"The Kitchen" is a dystopian Netflix movie that has been on the Top 10 list for two weeks.
The film is set in London in 2044, where the gap between the rich and poor has widened.
The story follows a young man named Izi and a 12-year-old boy named Benji as they try to escape a system stacked against them.
There is a new dystopian Netflix movie that has been hogging a spot on the streamer’s Top 10 list for the last two weeks, directed by a duo that critics are saying the film world needs to watch out for. Haven’t you heard about the dystopian sleeper hit yet? Let’s see what audiences and critics say about Netflix’s The Kitchen.
Written, directed and produced by Daniel Kaluuya with contributions from writer Joe Murtach, director Kibwe Tavares, and producer Daniel Emmerson, The Kitchen tells a story set in London in 2044 where the city has descended into a state where the gap between the rich and poor has only gotten bigger and bigger.
London has suffered dramatically, and the rich have practically eradicated social housing, leaving many without homes and fending for themselves. Despite the world’s dystopian state and the odds stacked against them, one housing estate remains, called The Kitchen.
The story follows Izi, a solitary young man desperate to escape his life and the community he once called home in The Kitchen. On his journey, Izi meets 12-year-old Benji, who has lost his mother and is searching for new people to call family. While the two are unlikely friends, they form an alliance and work together to escape a system stacked against them.
Some of the actors and stars that you will see on-screen include Alan Asaad as Oozie, BackRoad Gee as Kamale, Cristale as Lianne, Demmy Ladipo as Jase, Henry Lawfull as Cronik, Hope Ikpoku, Jr. as Staples, Jedaiah Bannerman as Benji, Kane “Kano” Robinson as Izi, Rasaq Kukoyi as Arinze, and Reuben “Trizzy” Nyamah as Dirt.
When the film first had its limited theatrical release starting on the 8th of December, 2023, audiences didn’t take to the film. The film saw a $16 million gross, which doesn’t seem too bad until you consider that the budget for the film was $38 million, effectively making it a box office bomb.
Rotten Tomatoes reviews suggest the same thing, with a 43% audience score. With reviews and complaints from audiences calling the movie boring and complaining about the social commentary, it seemed like hope was lost for Daniel Kaluuya’s film.
Nothing speaks louder than complex data, which suggests that The Kitchen was a failure, so why is it taking over Netflix now?
The Kitchen is Ruling Over Netflix Right Now
The Kitchen might have had a lacklustre theatrical release, and despite the hate that audiences were giving it, critics loved the movie, giving it an 87% on the Tomatometer. The critics’ consensus was utterly different from audience reviews, stating that The Kitchen is a “smart sci-fi that’s solidly grounded in social commentary” and that the directing duo have a bright future ahead of them.
The broader audience that Netflix can reach seems to share critical perspectives. Despite being released on the platform near the end of the week of the 15th of January to the 21st, The Kitchen didn’t just manage to snag a spot in Netflix’s Top 10 but grabbed third place, winning 10.2 million hours viewed and 5.6 million views. The dystopian drama seems determined to hold onto its spot in the Top 10, garnering even more views and hours viewed in its second week, with 14 million hours and 7.7 million views between January 22nd and January 28th.
So why is The Kitchen doing so much better on Netflix than in theatre? The answer is simple: after COVID-19, and with the meteoric rise of streaming services like Netflix, Disney+ and Amazon Prime Video, theatres and box office scores no longer tell the full story of how successful a movie is. Streaming has changed the world because it’s affordable, and you can conveniently experience everything you need from the comfort of your home. The future isn’t about cinema anymore.
As a movie grounded in social commentary, it seems fitting that its success has some commentary on the state of the movie world.
What do you think the dystopian sleeper hit The Kitchen’s sudden success on Netflix says about the world of cinema?
In a dystopian future London where all social housing has been eliminated, Izi and Benji fight to navigate the world as residents of The Kitchen, a community that refuses to abandon their home.
Studio: Film4, DMC Film, 59% Productions
Running Time: 1h 47m
Release Date: December 8, 2023 (Theatrical), January 19, 2024 (Streaming)
Cast: Kane Robinson, Jedaiah Bannerman, Hope Ikpoku Jr, Teija Kabs, Demmy Ladipo, Ian Wright
Megan Oosthuizen is a talented writer hailing from East London, South Africa. With a passion for literature, video games, movies, and TV shows, Megan brings a wealth of knowledge and insight to her work as an entertainment journalist.
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