Weirdest Movie Darren Aronofsky Ever Made Blew Up Netflix's Top 10

Weirdest Movie Darren Aronofsky Ever Made Blew Up Netflix's Top 10
Image credit: Paramount Pictures, Legion-Media

Eight million hours have gone into streaming this epic.


  • Director Darren Aronofsky is famous for making challenging and controversial films.
  • In 2014 he had a hit with a Biblical blockbuster.
  • Audiences and critics were fiercely divided on the movie.
  • Ten years later, it has become a massive success on Netflix.

There's nobody quite like Darren Aronofsky. His films are famously dreamy, odd, dark, and resistant to easy interpretation. He loves his nightmarish imagery and un-pin-downable endings. Perhaps the biggest triumph of Aronofsky is not work like Black Swan or Requiem for a Dream, but the fact that his deliberately arty and complicated movies consistently manage to find a massive audience.

Such is somehow the case even with his weirdest movies, like the fever dream that is Mother! (2017). In spite of being a chaotic allegory for mankind's relationship with the planet (and a re-spinning of the Adam and Eve story), Mother! was a box office success. Only Darren Aronofsky can write a movie where a baby gets eaten by strangers, provide no real explanation for anything, and have a hit.

It Gets Weirder

But our vote for the strangest Aronofsky film has to go to 2014's Noah. Kudos to the director for helming a Hollywood-backed Biblical epic sixty years after they went out of style. Further points for making something that confused and annoyed both atheists and Christians alike. (Is it an abomination unto the Lord? Or the greatest thing since The Buddy Christ? It is based on the Bible – which lots of people hate – but it also changed the Bible – which lots of other people hate. Is it a 'good' or 'true' or 'overly CGI'd' version of the Noah story? And if the other side is mad, does that mean our side should automatically love it?)

Although Noah isn't narratively disorienting like Mother! or psychologically twisty like Black Swan, it still manages to throw down some contradictions. The script has made a character-based drama out of the Noah story, which in theory should ground it – yet the melodrama is so high at times that it seems to be poking fun at the wild events of the original story. Likewise, the movie is based on the Book of Genesis but seems to be set in the distant future, based on the abandoned industrial cities.

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Oh, and there's a race of giant rock creatures who speak with the voice of Nick Nolte and work for God.

Noah is philosophical, Biblical, environmental, and also… kind of like a generic adventure movie? Like normcore in disguise as punk… or maybe it's the other way around.

A *Wave* of Audiences (See What We Did There?)

In spite of all of this, Noah was a box office smash on its release, banking over $360 million worldwide and making it the biggest commercial success of Aronofsky's career.

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It's now been ten years, but critics and audiences continue to be heavily divided on Noah… yet people still want to watch it. When it dropped on Netflix in March 2024, Noah stayed in the top 10 for two whole weeks, starting out at #10 before climbing up to #5. According to Netflix's official stats, the movie was watched for more than 8 million hours.

In a weird way, perhaps it's the critics that are driving folks to watch the movie. Kevin Ham, the president of an organization called Answers in Genesis, wrote in to Time magazine and called Noah 'The worst film I've ever seen… an insult to Bible-believing Christians, an insult to the character of Noah and, most of all, an insult to the God of the Bible'.

With reviews like that, don't you kind of want to watch it?

Sources: Time.