People Don't Really Love Netflix's New Movie, But They're Watching Anyway

Terrence Little Gardenhigh and Ed Helms in Coffee & Kareem

(Image credit: (Netflix))

Most days, Netflix feels like a bottomless pit of movies, television shows and documentaries – sometimes so much so that more scrolling goes on than viewing. Everyone ventures into their section of the streaming platform, but a lot of subscribers are tuning into the new original comedy Coffee & Kareem, even if the general consensus is that it’s not too good of a movie.

As Netflix’s new top 10 ranking reveals, Coffee and Kareem is currently at No. 3 in most-watched streaming options almost a week after the new movie hit the service. It’s just behind the viral series Tiger King sitting at No. 1 and the new season of Ozark, which premiered a couple weeks ago. However, as Rotten Tomatoes indicates, it’s pretty well disliked. Audiences have given it a rotten 35% score and are bashing it on Twitter too. Here’s one comment:

Coffee & Kareem is an action comedy that stars The Office’s Ed Helms as Detroit police officer James Coffee, who the vulgar 12-year-old Kareem (Terrence Little Gardenhigh) dislikes because he's dating his mom (Taraji P. Henson). Kareem plots their breakup by hiring criminal fugitives to take him out, but he exposes a secret network of criminal activity in the process. The oddball pair end up teaming up when they are targeted. More words from the Twitterverse here:

And the critics are not liking it anymore than casual viewers either. Coffee & Kareem currently has a 22% Tomatometer score. Peter Travers of Rolling Stone said this in his review:

Everything goes stupefyingly wrong in this crime against comedy that features Ed Helms and Taraji P. Henson straining so hard for laughs that never come that you think director Michael Dowse was holding a gun to their heads.

As he notes, the movie is directed by Michael Dowse, who also worked on Stuber and Goon. Here’s what The Guardian’s Benjamin Lee said about it:

There's a better movie buried underneath the many corpses in the crude and confused Netflix comedy Coffee & Kareem, one of their algorithmically assembled weekend options patchworked together from a stack of search terms.

But hey, not everyone hated the new Netflix feature. Movie-watching is obviously objective, but you won’t exactly find glowing praise. A positive review from Barry Hertz of The Globe and Mail called Coffee & Kareem an “interesting sort of gross chaos,” and some viewers echoed this kind of sentiment:

But then there is Netflix’s metric of recording views. Just because a subscriber clicked play on Coffee & Kareem doesn’t mean they got to the end or were remotely paying attention. There’s considerably less stakes in pressing play on a new release (that was likely promoted high in Netflix’s interface the past few days) than buying a movie ticket. The streaming service used to go by if the user watched at least 70 percent, but now if you watched up to two minutes, another point goes to the popularity of the movie.

You be the judge. Coffee & Kareem is streaming on Netflix now.

Sarah El-Mahmoud
Staff Writer

Sarah El-Mahmoud has been with CinemaBlend since 2018 after graduating from Cal State Fullerton with a degree in Journalism. In college, she was the Managing Editor of the award-winning college paper, The Daily Titan, where she specialized in writing/editing long-form features, profiles and arts & entertainment coverage, including her first run-in with movie reporting, with a phone interview with Guillermo del Toro for Best Picture winner, The Shape of Water. Now she's into covering YA television and movies, and plenty of horror. Word webslinger. All her writing should be read in Sarah Connor’s Terminator 2 voice over.