Netflix Viewers Rage-Quitting R-Rated Ana De Armas Movie

Netflix Viewers Rage-Quitting R-Rated Ana De Armas Movie
Image credit: Skydance Media, Columbia Pictures

This fictionalized biopic had viewers logging out by the 20-minute mark.


  • This adaptation of a novel takes a lot of liberties with history.
  • Its graphic depiction of suffering has the opposite effect of what was intended.
  • Many audience members haven't been able to make it to the halfway mark.

At the 79th Venice International Film Festival, one movie got a 14-minute standing ovation that reduced its star actress to tears. It looked like this daring, provocative, and NC-17 rated Netflix biopic might have reached a level of true greatness.

And then the rest of the world watched it, and the reviews were less than stellar.

Critics called the movie 'exploitative', 'self-indulgent', 'infuriating', and – the worst words of all for a Hollywood movie – 'boring' and 'a slog'.

Audiences watched it and were rage-quitting within the first 20 minutes of the movie, taking to X (formerly Twitter) and Reddit to demand, 'What the f**** did I just watch?'

What Went Wrong?

The movie, of course, is Blonde, an adaptation of a Joyce Carol Oates novel about Hollywood legend Marilyn Monroe. It's important to note that the book is NOT a biography of the famous actress, but a heavily fictionalized reimagining of her life.

Director Andrew Dominik ran with that idea, declaring that he was interested in creating a movie that was ​​'avalanche of images and events' rather than a truthful examination of history.

But there are two major criticisms of Blonde. First, that all of those images didn't actually make for an engaging movie – at nearly three hours long, it's pretty tedious. And second, that for a movie that's supposedly meant to examine the exploitative nature of Hollywood, the film itself exploits Monroe's memory in some truly gut-churning ways.

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Within the first twenty minutes of the film there is horrific child abuse and rape, enough to send a lot of viewers lunging for the remote.

The Real Suffering of a True Icon

Marilyn Monroe did go through a lot of suffering in her life, including three miscarriages and a string of abusive men. However, she was also notoriously sharp, witty, independently minded, and incredibly media-savvy. Sick of the studio system that exploited actresses and wouldn't let her take on serious roles, Monroe started her own studio in 1954 – an action that was later considered key to the collapse of the old system.

In Blonde, Monroe is reduced to being an object and a victim. Indiewire ran one of many reviews to point out,

'Dominik critiques the world for reducing his subject down to her topline assets—and then treats her in exactly the same way. His Marilyn is a sexy, breathy blonde with daddy issues. And that's all folks.'

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Gone is the Marilyn who desperately wanted children and suffered multiple miscarriages – here she has an abortion (which never happened in real life) and gets chatted at by a weird CGI fetus.

Gone is the Marilyn who survived a lifetime of being beaten down by men and fought to be recognized as an intelligent, talented player. Instead she is utterly helpless and calls her lovers 'Daddy' (it's as cringey as it sounds).

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Even the little details, like the fact that Monroe was an excellent cook, are subverted to make room for the dumb blonde stereotype. (At one point she asks incredulously, 'People make spaghetti? I mean, not just in a store?')

Roasted From All Directions

Critics have largely disliked the movie, with the worst reviews saying things like

'Blonde is not a bad film because it is degrading, exploitative and misogynist, even though it is all of those things. It's bad because it's boring, pleased with itself and doesn't have a clue what it's trying to say.' (The Independent).

Audiences agreed, with several Reddit users roasting the movie by pointing out, 'There comes a point where you're infantilizing the character so much that you might as well put a pacifier around her neck.'

Another suggested, 'Take a shot every time she says 'Daddy',' but another user quickly jumped in to point out, 'You are going to get someone killed.'

Over on X, one user said 'Couldn't stomach more than about 20 minutes of the nearly three hours length. That 20 minutes was nothing but cruel and heartbreaking. Absolutely unwatchable.'

Another agreed with the 20-minute benchmark, saying 'Started Blonde and turned it off in record time. Graphically showing rape on screen is not in any way a meaningful way to portray the horrors of sexual assault. Please, I'm begging you leave this woman alone and quit slapping SA survivors and women in the face.'

Glutton for punishment? You can watch Blonde on Netflix and decide if you agree with these sentiments.

Source: Indiewire, Independent, Reddit.