The controversial ‘Where the Crawdads Sing’ just took the top spot among Netflix movies – should you watch?

A suprise netflix version, Where the Crawdads Sing (was not listed in What’s new on Netflix in November 2022 schedule) is an instant hit online. We’re not sure Where the Crawdads Sing will get a spot on our best movies on netflix list, but we already know it’s proven itself on Netflix.

The movie jumped to No. 1 on Netflix’s list of movies in the US on Sunday, November 13 (and it’s still there, fighting Falling for Christmas by Lindsay Lohan). And that’s pretty interesting, because it seems like Netflix has grabbed an embedded audience. Not only did the film gross $140 million worldwide when it hit theaters in the summer of 2022, but it also featured an original song by Taylor Swift (“Carolina”).

But none of that says “you should actually watch Where the Crawdads Sing.” Because answering the “should you stream?” the question is much more complicated. (And if you don’t want to stream, don’t worry: we have the 7 best new movies to watch onlineas well as the calendar of what is new to Netflix, with movies and shows for the week of November 14). We also have an explanation of the controversies surrounding the film, some related to two of its characters and others about Delia Owens, the author of the book on which the film is based.

What is Where the Crawdads Sing about? And why is it so controversial?

Where the Crawdads Sing, which came out last summer, focuses on Kya Clark (Daisy Edgar-Jones): a young, lonely girl in North Carolina. Nicknamed “Marsh girl” for the area she resides in, Kya becomes a suspect in a murder mystery tied to one of two men she is romantically involved with.

The film is an adaptation of the book of the same name by author Delia Owens, and it’s Owens herself (and her then-husband Mark) who is tied to some of the controversy surrounding the film.

The interesting thing about Crawdads is that two of its cast apparently air some of the controversy from the book. Kya is able to get by thanks to the help of the black couple – Jumpin’ (Sterling Macer, Jr.) and Mabel (Charlene “Michael” Hyatt) – whose dialogue in the book was called out by reviews (opens in a new tab) to perpetuate racial stereotypes. David Erlich from IndieWire (opens in a new tab)however, wrote “While Jumpin and Mabel still betray their career-long criticism that Owens tends to infantilize his black personas, Macer and Hyatt ground their roles in a quiet dignity that repels the way they may have been written on the page.”

On its own, that might not be so egregious, but Delia and Mark Owens’ story doesn’t help them. Their book Secrets of the Savannah caught the eye (opens in a new tab) calling for human population control as a means to save wildlife, and Delia’s Owens Foundation website was critical (opens in a new tab) for calling Africa a “dark continent”.

Oh, and, Owens was wanted in the interrogation (opens in a new tab) for a murder in the 1990s in Zambia.

Where the Crawdads Sing Review: What the Critics Say

If that controversy isn’t enough to keep you from watching, perhaps the critics’ consensus will. On Rotten Tomatoes, Where the Crawdads Sing earned a particularly low score of 35%, drawn from reviews such as the critic Scott Tobias (opens in a new tab)‘ (from his newsletter, free after signing up with your email address), where he wrote “The PG-13-ness of Where the Crawdads Sing buffs every edge of this story – the abuse, the abandonment, the betrayal , sex , and even the alleged murder. It would be better as trash.

Kya (Daisy Edgar-Jones) in Where the Crawdads Sing

(Image credit: Michele K Short)

At New York Mag’s Vulture (opens in a new tab)Bilge Ebiri managed to find something nice to say, writing “The best thing about the novel and the film is Kya herself, an overwhelmed character who finds solace and companionship in nature, and who, having never lived anything resembling a normal life with other people, not quite sure what to do with her emotions….Edgar-Jones is perhaps the best interpreter of this young woman’s wounded inner life; says a lot about the actress’ talents. However, she never really feels like someone who stepped out of it world, but rather someone who was thrown into it; that says a lot about awkward cinema.”

But, overall, Ebiri is negative about writing ‘Crawdads’ “for much of Where the Crawdads Sing we are left to watch a not very interesting and anything but predetermined trial, with little suspense or surprise. … So forget the crayfish, turkeys, fireflies, shells and snow geese. Forget even the prison cat. The film is a snake that eats itself.

A positive review came from Liz Shannon Miller of Result (opens in a new tab)who wrote “The directness of its message turns out to be a bit of a letdown, but the fact remains that Where the Crawdads Sing is a heartfelt and beautiful picture, the kind the big studios used to do all the time, and now feel like a bit of an endangered species.”

Should you watch Where the Crawdads Sing tonight?

Where the Crawdads sing is 97% audience score (opens in a new tab) at Rotten Tomatoes clearly stands out for its low review score. And if you look at some fan reviews, you might get a better idea of ​​whether or not you should watch. Tori B called it “A tale reminiscent of The Notebook. A beautiful piece about discrimination and not seeing beyond the outside to look within.”

Matthew R is more helpful with his mixed review, writing “The movie was OK. The plots are a little thin and none of the actors really stand out. It’s a good Wednesday night movie when there’s nothing going on. other. The scenery was beautiful, I guess I didn’t know there were swamps in North Carolina, so it was kind of interesting. … The movie lacked something that pulls and fascinates you during the entire length. Even the “twist” at the end wasn’t exactly shocking in any way. It’s worth watching, but don’t rent it. If it’s available on any of your services streaming is fine, but don’t pay anything for it.

And there you have the big reason to finally discover Where the Crawdads Sing. You already pay for Netflix and want to see what it’s all about.

Next: here’s how watch No online. And for holiday cheer, we have Santas release date details.

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