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Netflix confirms more than 70 new movies for 2022

Netflix confirms more than 70 new movies for 2022

The company will keep on going down the same quantity-over-quality path, here’s what stands out in its list
There’s no doubt that Netflix has acquired a lot of star power for its 2022 film slate, but 2021 proved that star power can’t save mediocre movies all on its own. (Image: Netflix)


Most Netflix subscribers will freely admit it, chances are, but they must be doing something contradictory to that admission when no one’s looking: the majority of the films present in the service’s catalog are mediocre at best, unwatchable at worst, yet “the numbers” (i.e. the vast amounts of telemetry and usage data collected by the company’s servers worldwide) must be telling a totally different story. There’s no other way to explain why Netflix insists on producing so many movies for its platform, year after year, while awfully few of those are good enough to earn both critics’ approval and audiences’ love.

So here we are, at the beginning of February 2022, watching Netflix’s cheesy preview trailer for the films it will be releasing in the next 11 months, counting more than 70 new ones in that time frame. A new film for every single week of 2022. The company’s output not only far surpasses that of any Hollywood studio, but it now represents around 15% of all the movies produced by Hollywood on average every year. That includes not just the Big Six film studios, but all indie production companies too. It’s uncanny.

Ryan Reynolds has starred in two Netflix films so far. They were both forgettable affairs of pedestrian writing and fancy but ineffective direction. Will his third, “The Adam Project”, prove to be any different? (Image: Netflix)


It’s worth noting, too, that the 70+ list of films announced by Netflix or shown in the trailer do not include a few movies we know for a fact that are coming in 2022 (such as Chris Hemsworth’s Extraction 2), while Netflix is also in the habit of picking up a number of movies every year at film festivals such as Sundance, SXSW and Venice. Those are then added to Netflix’s slate for Q3 or Q4 of the same year, so we could be looking at almost a hundred films in total by year’s end. In any case, this is the (draft) list of exclusive movies Netflix will be adding to its library throughout 2022:

Action/Adventure/Sci-Fi
The Adam Project
Athena
Carter
Day Shift
Enola Holmes 2
The Gray Man
Interceptor
The Mother
The Mothership
Spiderhead
They Cloned Tyrone

Animated/Anime
Apollo 10 ½: A Space Age Childhood
Bubble
Drifting Home
Pinocchio
My Father’s Dragon
The Sea Beast
The Seven Deadly Sins: Grudge of Edinburgh Part 1
Wendell & Wild

Comedy
Big Bug
The Bubble
Knives Out 2
Me Time
Metal Lords
Senior Year
The Takedown
Tyler Perry’s A Madea Homecoming
You People

Drama
A Jazzman’s Blues
Against the Ice
All Quiet on the Western Front
Blonde
The Good Nurse
Hustle
Luckiest Girl Alive
Operation Mincemeat
The Pale Blue Eye
Rustin
Spaceman
The Swimmers
White Noise
The Wonder

For the whole family
13: The Musical
Boo!
Ivy & Bean
Matilda
Rescued by Ruby
The School for Good and Evil
Slumberland
Tall Girl 2
We Have A Ghost

Romance
Along for the Ride
Don’t Blame Karma!
Falling for Christmas
Lady Chatterley’s Lover
Love in the Villa
The Noel Diary
A Perfect Pairing
Persuasion
Purple Hearts
The Royal Treatment
Through My Window

Thriller/Horror
Black Crab
Brazen
Choose or Die
End of the Road
The Inheritance
Monkey Man
Mr. Harrigan’s Phone
Texas Chainsaw Massacre
The Weekend Away
Windfall

Netflix will offer the sequel to the 2019 crime mystery hit “Knives Out” at some point in 2022 and fans’ expectations are understandably high. (Image: Lionsgate)


That is a lot of movies, to be sure, so Netflix subscribers will be getting their money’s worth — in terms of quantity, at least. The problem is that many of these movies don’t look like they’ll escape the black hole of mediocrity so many other Netflix productions have seemingly disappeared into. The company is talking up some of those over at its official blog Tudum, but the approach of “producing by numbers” — selecting which movies to produce based on viewership data and audience demographics rather than, you know, artistic potential — is evident in many, many cases. It’s this approach that led to the Netflix Filler Flick situation we are facing in the first place.

There are, of course, a few notable exceptions. These include Knives Out 2 with Daniel Craig, Enola Holmes 2, The Gray Man starring Ryan Gosling and Chris Evans, Ryan Reynolds’ sci-fi The Adam Project, Guillermo del Toro’s Pinnochio, The Mothership with Halle Berry, as well as comedies like You People from Jonah Hill and Eddie Murphy or Me Time with Kevin Hart and Mark Wahlberg. The animated The Sea Beast, Slumberland starring Jason Momoa or The School for Good and Evil with Charlize Theron and Kerry Washington also hold some promise. But the very fact that so few films stand out in such a big list is cause for concern, especially in the eyes of people who mean to watch movies they are genuinely interested in rather than just “kill time” with forgettable ones.

Netflix will offer the high viewership numbers of “Red Notice” as an example of its Hollywood aspirations but how many new subscribers did the film actually attract? (Image: Netflix)


Netflix seems to be thinking along the same lines it did back in 2016 or 2017, when it was becoming clear that Hollywood studios would eventually remove their films from the service’s library to put them on their own online platforms. The company rightly felt that it would have to step in and quickly produce its own movies to fill that void — a decision taken under pressure that led to a not inconsiderable number of Netflix Originals which were, in lack of a better word, abhorrent.

The streaming wars of 2022 require a different kind of thinking from Netflix: with not enough room for spectacular growth anymore, new subscribers will have to be attracted by quality as well as by quantity. Consumers have more options than ever available to them when it comes to film streaming and major players such as Disney or Warner provide appealing alternatives. Netflix does not have the luxury of focusing purely on production volume: it absolutely needs a few truly excellent films of its own every year in order to prove that it can compete with Hollywood on all fronts. Based on this draft list of 70 films, it will have a hard time accomplishing that in 2022.

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