The Netflix Top 10 list won’t tell you how many people are watching a show, but it will tell you which shows people are watching the most. The Top 10 list for Sunday, Dec. 20 finds the Chadwick Boseman and Viola Davis-starring film, Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, at No. 1, while the holiday movie A California Christmas comes in at No. 2. How the Grinch Stole Christmas jumped from No. 6 to No. 3, with the British true crime docuseries The Ripper sits at No. 4. Meanwhile, the ballet drama Tiny Pretty Things, at No. 5 today, is still in the top.
But of the Netflix Top 10, which of these shows and movies are actually worth watching? We break down the entire Netflix Top 10 list and guide you through what to binge and what to skip.
Based on Netflix’s Top 10 from Sunday, Dec. 20
1. Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom
For fans of: Great performances from great actors, monologues | Is it good?: Does it have to be?
Chadwick Boseman‘s final film role was in this Netflix original, which is based on the Tony-nominated August Wilson play. Viola Davis stars as Ma Rainey, a powerhouse blues singer in 1927 Chicago who holds up a recording session to butt heads with her white manager over the ownership rights to her music, and Boseman plays a trumpeter in the recording session angling to get a foothold in the music business who sees Rainey’s fight as an opportunity for his own gain. It’s a good film that has a lot to say about race and music ownership, but the performances from Davis and Boseman elevate it. (Yesterday’s rank: n/a)
2. A California Christmas
For fans of: Corny holiday movies, lying | Is it good?: Does it have to be?
‘Tis the season for lovably ridiculous rom-coms! A wealthy businessman poses as a ranch hand in the hopes of convincing a hardworking farmer to sell away her family’s property before Christmas. You can probably guess where this is going. (Friday’s rank: 1)
For fans of: Jim Carrey, Baby Grinch | Is it good?: People certainly love it
Jim Carrey’s 2000 adaptation of the Dr. Seuss book has become a holiday classic for plenty of people. If you’re a fan, you’ve probably already made a plan to revisit it for the holidays. (Friday’s rank: 6)
4. The Ripper
For fans of: The story of the Ripper, but not that Ripper | Is it good?: It’s a must if you’re into true crime
If you already know everything about Jack the Ripper, brush up on a less famous creep. This four-part British true crime docuseries dives into the serial killer known as the Yorkshire Ripper, who murdered 13 women in northern England between 1975 and 1980. The killing spree eventually set off a massive manhunt that left the country on edge. Beyond the terrifying subject matter, what makes The Ripper so compelling is how well it explores the social and economic issues that put the Ripper’s victims — many of whom were sex workers — in his path. The cops don’t come off well either. It’s chilling stuff. (Friday’s rank: 4)
5. Tiny Pretty Things
For fans of: Ballet, high school melodrama, soap operas | Is it good?: Not really, but the dancing sequences are well done
After the star student at an elite ballet academy suffers an accident, her replacement is thrown into a cutthroat world where almost all the students seem to be in vicious competition with each other. It’s pretty over the top in its soapiness. (Friday’s rank: 2)
For fans of: Jason Momoa’s very particular set of skills | Is it good?: Honestly, yeah!
This 2018 action thriller stars Jason Momoa as a family man whose plan for a chill weekend at his hunting cabin with his father is thwarted by a gang of drug traffickers. You probably guessed this from looking at him, but it turns out he has the skills to fight back. (Friday’s rank: 5)
7. Manhunt: Deadly Games
For fans of: True stories, crime shows | Is it good?: It drags in some places, but it’s worth a watch
Cameron Britton stars as Richard Jewell, the security guard turned FBI suspect in the investigation of the 1996 Centennial Olympic Park bombing. Over 10 episodes, this series tells Jewell’s story, as well as the stories of the real bomber Eric Rudolph (Jack Huston), journalist Kathy Scruggs (Carla Gugino), and Jewell’s mother, Bobi (Judith Light). (Friday’s rank: 3)
For fans of: Mashed vegetables, pacifiers | Is it good?: For babies, sure
Colorful objects, preschool songs, and big-headed babies make this catnip for toddlers and younger kids who get screentime. (Friday’s rank: 7)
9. The Christmas Chronicles 2
For fans of: Kurt Russell, Goldie Hawn, Christmas | Is it good?: The first is better, but it still gives a good dose of holiday cheer
In the sequel to 2018’s The Christmas Chronicles, Kurt Russell and Goldie Hawn return as Santa and Mrs. Claus, which is pretty delightful all on its own. There’s also a plot here, though, with Kate Pierce (Darby Camp), who has grown into a cynical teen, reuniting with the Clauses to help save Christmas after it’s threatened by an elf gone bad. (Friday’s rank: n/a)
For fans of: Chess, drugs, and character drama | Is it good?: It’s one of the best shows of the year
Budding superstar Anya Taylor-Joy (she’s been cast as young Furiosa in the next Mad Max movie) stars in this literary adaptation as Beth Harmon, a brilliant but troubled chess champion in 1950s Kentucky. She was an orphan who, in her youth, developed an incredible skill for the game but also a debilitating addiction to pills, which quiet her obsessive mind. It’s a detailed character study of brilliance and madness that’s usually reserved for male characters. It comes from one of Netflix’s go-to limited series producers, Godless‘ Scott Frank. (Friday’s rank: 10)