The critics, so far, have a unanimous verdict: “The Last Days of American Crime,” Netflix’s new sci-fi/heist mashup that features scenes of police brutality and other gratuitous violence, is one of the worst films… ever.
The movie, released on Netflix June 5, has a 0% Tomatometer score on Rotten Tomatoes, which means none of the 26 critical reviews tabulated by the site were positive. Overall, the site assigned a 2.27 out of 10 rating for the film across reviewers.
“The Last Days of American Crime” joins only 42 other films (with at least 20 reviews) to receive the dubious distinction of getting a Tomatometer goose egg, including Netflix’s “The Ridiculous 6” from Adam Sandler, “Gotti” starring John Travolta, 1990’s “Problem Child,” “Staying Alive” (also starring Travolta) and “Police Academy 4: Citizens on Patrol.”
The consensus is that, with protests nationwide over the police killing of George Floyd, the timing of the movie’s release is a disaster. But even discounting that, “The Last Days of American Crime” is a derivative work that has nothing to say, according to critics.
That said, “The Last Days of American Crime” is one of the most popular films currently on Netflix, according to the company’s ranking system. It stands at No. 2 in the U.S. on the top 10 list of movies; however, Netflix tallies that based on how many accounts in the previous 24 hours watched at least 2 minutes of a title. (The company claims that’s a better reflection of what’s “popular” than its previous metric, measuring how many households watched at least 70% of a title.)
It’s possible many Netflix users are simply checking out a few minutes of “The Last Days of American Crime” to see if it’s really as bad as critics have painted it.
Here’s the description of the movie, from Netflix: “As a final response to terrorism and crime, the U.S. government plans to broadcast a signal making it impossible for anyone to knowingly commit unlawful acts. Graham Bricke (Édgar Ramírez), a career criminal who was never able to hit the big score, teams up with famous gangster progeny Kevin Cash (Michael C. Pitt), and black market hacker Shelby Dupree (Anna Brewster), to commit the heist of the century and the last crime in American history before the signal goes off.”
Variety‘s Peter Debruge, in his review, said, “It’s hard to imagine a movie worse suited to the moment than this convoluted and frequently offensive sci-fi heist film about criminals looking for loopholes in a police state.” Debruge said the “gory, excessive and frequently incoherent” film is “an offensive eyesore in which looting and anarchy are treated as window dressing, law and order come in the form of mind control, and police brutality is so pervasive as to warrant a trigger warning.”
IndieWire’s David Ehrlich said the movie “is so bad it should be illegal,” calling it “A braindead slog that shambles forward like the zombified husk of the heist movie it wants to be” and “a death march of clichés that offers nothing to look at and even less to consider.”
Rolling Stone’s David Fear opined that “this rancid mixture of ‘Purge’-lite sci-fi dystopia and heist flick would be ridiculous regardless of when it came out,” but given the current climate in the U.S., “this is now a textbook example of tone-deafness and extremely bad timing.” He added, “Netflix, what the hell were you thinking?”
And Vulture’s Bilge Ebiri dubbed the film “a ghastly, unimaginative mess,” and said it’s “yet another insipidly sleazy, lizard-brain shoot-’em-up” which, even if it had been released “at a less tense and tender time, this thing would go down like an oversize flaming lead balloon.”
“The Last Days of American Crime,” with a running time of 2 hours and 29 minutes, has a TV-MA rating from Netflix for sex, nudity, sexual violence, language and smoking.
Based on the Radical Publishing Graphic Novel created by Rick Remender and Greg Tocchini, the movie is directed by Olivier Megaton, written by Karl Gajdusek, and produced by Jesse Berger, Jason Michael Berman, and Barry Levine.
The Rotten Tomatoes audience score for “The Last Days of American Crime,” meanwhile, is 27% (based on 198 user ratings), which is the percentage of users who rated it 3.5 stars (out of 5) or higher. Rotten Tomatoes is part of NBCUniversal’s Fandango.