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Netflix's new sci-fi thriller hits the top 10 - and it's a critical smash

London gets the near-future sci-fi treatment in Netflix's latest original movie...

Netflix's new sci-fi thriller hits the top 10 - and it's a critical smash
Andrew Williams
22 January 2024

Daniel Kaluuya has been working on new Netflix movie The Kitchen for a decade, and it’s picking up some great reviews from the critics.

The Kitchen has shot straight to the number one slot in the UK (and the Bahamas) according to Flixpatrol, but it sounds like more folks elsewhere need to get up to speed with this one. It's the number four film on Netflix globally.

This is a sci-fi action drama set in a future London where all social housing has gone, apart from one outlier, The Kitchen. Its residents refuse to leave their homes, leading to a stand-off with the authorities.

The Kitchen stars rapper Kano, known as Kane Robinson in his acting career, while football fans will recognise Ian Wright as community radio DJ Lord Kitchener.

It’s a story of class clashes, woven into a dystopian future with elements based on aspects of society that are very real and present.

And judging by the reviews - it's got a huge 85% on Rotten Tomatoes right now - The Kitchen is nothing like the often brainless action flicks we see green lit by the likes of Netflix and Prime Video.

Netflix's new sci-fi thriller hits the top 10 - and it's a critical smash
Image Credit: Netflix

“The movie is not seduced by the need to be spectacular, action-driven or having an all-out war erupting in the building to provide entertainment. Instead, it's loyal to the family conflict and its political ideas, which are ultimately more powerful,” says Digital Spy’s 4-star review.

The Guardian says the real strength of the film is the near-future setting it paints. “The rich world-building is the picture’s main asset: the film looks fantastic, with its screaming neons and precipitous concrete cliff faces,” reads the 3-star review.

Several of the reviews suggest the story isn’t quite as strong as the meaning behind the film, but The Kitchen still packs a punch.

Daniel Kaluuya directs, alongside animation and special effects specialist Kibwe Tavares. Kaluuya also co-wrote the film with Joe Murtagh, who wrote 2023 BBC series The Woman in the Wall.