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Movie theaters are having a rough time right now due to them being among the many businesses that have had to shut their doors due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Streaming, on the other hand, is doing quite well for itself, because with social distancing and quarantining being the new norm, people are turning to services like Netflix, Hulu and Prime Video for entertainment more often as they’re stuck at home. Speaking of Netflix, two movies in particular are getting a lot of eyes on there right now.
Usually when you look at the movies and TV shows that make up Netflix’s Top 10 list each day, it’s mostly made up of the company’s original content, like the absolutely bonkers Tiger King, along with an occasional sprinkling of longtime favorites, like The Office. As of today though, 2016’s Blood Father and 2019’s Badland, two movies that didn’t get a ton of press when they came out, rank at #4 and #7 on the Netflix Top 10 right now.
Why are Blood Father and Badland, much like The CW series All American, collecting a lot of views? That’s hard to say, but I imagine that since neither movie really made a splash at the box office, many folks are learning about them for the first time. Throw in how a lot of people have extra time to stream content in these coronavirus-filled times, and you have a plausible recipe for why Blood Father and Badland s are among Netflix’s biggest hits at the moment.
Based on the same-named book by Peter Craig (who also cowrote the movies’s script), Blood Father stars Mel Gibson as ex-convict John Link, who sets out to protect his estranged daughter, Lydia, played by Erin Moriarty, from drug dealers who are out to kill her. The cast also included William H. Macy, Diego Luna and Thomas Mann, among others. Made off a budget of $15 million, Blood Father only raked in close to $7 million in theaters, but it was met with largely positive reception.
Badland, which came out just five months ago as both a limited theatrical release and on VOD, follows Kevin Makely’s Mathias Breecher, a detective who’s hired to hunt down the worst of the Confederate war criminals across the Old West, but he finds his resolve tested when he meets Mira Sorvino’s Sarah Cooke, a pioneer woman who’s far more than she seems. The cast also included Bruce Dern, Wes Studi, Trace Adkins and Tony Todd, among others. Unlike Blood Father, Badland wasn’t nearly as positively received, ranking at 43% among critics on Rotten Tomatoes.
With no sign of the spreading coronavirus slowing down, needless to say we’ll continue spending a lot of time indoors to help flatten that curve. As such, Netflix will keep being one of the many ways we keep our minds occupied, and I’m curious to see if any other unexpected movies follow in Blood Father and Badland’s footsteps end up making the platform’s Top 10 for a short time.
Keep checking back with CinemaBlend for more updates on what’s happening with Netflix, and those of you who enjoy partaking in movies at theaters can look through our guide detailing all the big screen projects that's been delayed by the COVID-19 pandemic.