The movies that have dominated Netflix as of late have started to feel very familiar. Domestic dramadies like Fatherhood and Mother’s Day; horror films like the Fear Street trilogy; animated fares like Dog Gone Trouble and Wish Dragon. Netflix has a winning formula for choosing genre flicks that appeal to a wide range of audiences.
But it’s been quite some time since the world’s biggest streaming service churned out a big-budget action movie—and it appears they’ve got a winner on their hands this time. Because today Gunpowder Milkshake took over as the #1 movie on Netflix’s Top 10 list for movies in the United States.
Created by relatively unknown director Navot Papushado, this violent action flick stars a star-studded cast of actresses, including Karen Gillan (well known at this point for her roles in Guardians of the Galaxy and the Jumanji reboots), Lena Headey, Carla Gugino, Michelle Yeoh, and Angela Bassett. Gunpowder Milkshake centers on Gillan’s character, Eva, who rustles together a deadly team of female killers to protect an 8-year-old girl.
While there have been a handful of high-charting action films like Gunpowder Milkshake on Netflix in 2021, few of them have made a huge impact. Movies like Army of the Dead, Outside the Wire, and Sentinelle had decent showings on the daily charts, but none have been able to reach the heights that films like Spenser Confidential, Extraction, The Old Guard, and Project Power reached in 2020.
I know this because of my ranking system, which awards points to movies based on where they finish on the Top 10 charts each day. And according to that list, these projects have been Netflix’s most popular dramatic action movies since the Top 10 feature debuted in February 2020:
- Spenser Confidential – 239 points
- Extraction – 182 points
- Angel Has Fallen – 182 points
- The Old Guard – 179 points
- Project Power – 179 points
- Army of the Dead – 154 points
- Ava – 128 points
- Peppermint – 122 points
- Mile 22 – 115 points
- Outside the Wire – 109 points
As you can see, only two dramatic action movies—Army of the Dead and Outside the Wire—have found great success this year, with Army of the Dead earning the most points from the Top 10 charts. But not even Zack Snyder’s latest film measures up to the fifth-best action flick of 2020, Project Power. And given the success Netflix had with the genre last year, it seems an action movie will be due soon in 2021.
On top of that, several of Netflix’s top-rated action movies came from third parties. Films like Ava, Peppermint, and Mile 22 weren’t produced in-house, and you have to think that the streaming service is looking to duplicate the success it found from projects like Spenser Confidential, Extraction and The Old Guard.
So will it be Gunpowder Milkshake? Given the intriguing premise and star-studded cast, I’m inclined to believe it could be. We’ll see how Gunpowder Milkshake holds up against Fear Street Part 3: 1666 and the Twilight films this weekend.