Stranger Things star Millie Bobby Brown tops Netflix charts again with new fantasy movie – but it has a divisive Rotten Tomatoes score

Millie Bobby Brown in Damsel
(Image credit: Netflix)

Damsel, a new fantasy movie starring Stranger Things' Millie Bobby Brown, has raced to the top of the Netflix charts after it hit the streamer last Friday (March 8). 

The movie is now number one in the US, the UK, and plenty of other countries around the world including Australia, Canada, Mexico, Thailand, Germany, and Greece (per FlixPatrol). Brown is no stranger to the Netflix top 10 – Stranger Things season 4 is the streamer's third-most watched TV show of all time, with more than 140 million views 

In Damsel, she plays Elodie, a noblewoman betrothed to a prince who realizes, too late, that their marriage was a front to sacrifice her to repay an ancient debt. Stuck in a cave with a dangerous, fire-breathing dragon, Elodie must save herself. Directed by 28 Weeks Later helmer Juan Carlos Fresnadillo, the cast also includes Ray Winstone and Angela Bassett as Elodie's father and stepmother and Robin Wright as her new mother-in-law.

Despite its success on the streamer, though, Damsel is dividing critics with a score of 57% on Rotten Tomatoes. Our own review gives the movie three stars, highlighting the way Brown "brings conviction to her stand-offs with an impressively realized creature, helping to lift their battle royale above the story’s bullet-point plotting."

Meanwhile, according to The Independent, the film "plays as if it should be a horror film, without any trace of actual horror, while its feminist identity is whittled down to Elodie having to grit her teeth and bear several limbs being BBQed by dragon’s breath." 

Collider agrees that the movie has shaky feminist grounding, with their review reading: "Damsel tries far too hard to shake a fist in the face of the patriarchy – or, in this case, the matriarchy – and prove to the world that it’s 'not like the other girls.'" 

However, some critics found more to enjoy in the fantasy flick. Per The Guardian, "If Damsel doesn’t exactly rewrite the storybook, it makes for a competent rework of it – a rousing revenge saga that provides a thin yet encouraging message for its younger female audience and a balm for those older viewers who grew up being spoon-fed the same old gendered clichés."

"More than a fantasy adventure, Damsel is a grisly and at times even touching tale of endurance and survival. It’s sweaty, snarly fun," Vulture agrees.

Damsel is streaming now on Netflix. For more, check out our picks of the best Netflix movies to add to your watch list.

Entertainment Writer

I’m an Entertainment Writer here at GamesRadar+, covering everything film and TV-related across the Total Film and SFX sections. I help bring you all the latest news and also the occasional feature too. I’ve previously written for publications like HuffPost and i-D after getting my NCTJ Diploma in Multimedia Journalism.