Movies to watch on Netflix: Murder Mystery review

Photo Credit: Murder Mystery/Netflix, Acquired From Netflix Media Center
Photo Credit: Murder Mystery/Netflix, Acquired From Netflix Media Center /

Murder Mystery, starring Jennifer Aniston and Adam Sandler, was released back in June but if you skipped it you may want to reconsider. Is Adam Sandler back?

The question is legitimate when it comes to Murder Mystery. I count myself among the many who grew up loving Adam Sandler’s movies. Not just the ones starring him but a few Happy Madison films starring his friends as well. Happy Gilmore and The Waterboy are classics and my family was also fond of Deuce Bigalow: Male Gigolo starring Rob Schneider. Sandler dominated the comedy world for a while there and it felt like he was incapable of making a bad movie.

That changed though. Starting around 2006 with Click to some and definitely by 2011 with Jack and Jill to all, Sandler fell off. When Sandler signed a four-film deal with Netflix back in 2014, some were hopeful but most were not. However, despite all of his films being hated by critics, Sandler was able to get the deal extended for four more films in 2017. Leading up to Murder Mystery, here is how Sandler’s first four Netflix films have done:

  • 2015: The Ridiculous 6 0% RT rating
  • 2016: The Do Over 10% RT rating
  • 2017: Sandy Wexler 27% RT rating
  • 2018: The Week of 27% RT rating

While critics always seem to look for reasons to knock Netflix movies, these reviews are also reflected in audience reaction as none had an audience rating higher than 42%. However, that hasn’t stopped people from watching them. Netflix reports that his films are some of the most popular on the site.

So what about Murder Mystery?

Photo Credit: Murder Mystery/Netflix, Acquired From Netflix Media Center
Photo Credit: Murder Mystery/Netflix, Acquired From Netflix Media Center /


The first thing we heard about Murder Mystery was that it was one of the most-streamed films in Netflix history in its first three days. Netflix reported that 30 million subscribers watched the film, 17 million of them from outside the U.S. and Canada. The Rotten Tomatoes critic rating is also higher than the rest, though it still only sits at 45%. It appears to be a turn in the right direction.

The story

In Murder Mystery, Sandler plays police officer Nick Spitz and Aniston plays his wife Audrey. Nick has failed his detective exam three times but has lied to his wife saying that he got the promotion.

It’s their 15th anniversary and Nick has never taken Audrey to Europe as he promised. When she calls him on it, he pretends that this was the surprise he had for her. On their flight to Europe, they end up running into the wealthy Charles Cavendish (Luke Evans). His uncle has stolen his fiance and he invites the two to join him on the family yacht as he plans to get drunk and ruin the wedding.

Audrey, who happens to be a huge fan of romance and murder mystery type novels, wants to jump on the offer but Nick needs a little convincing. Once on the yacht, we’re introduced to an eccentric cast of characters that includes Terence Stamp (1978 Superman) as the uncle, billionaire Malcolm Quince. When Quince is killed after the room goes dark, everyone is a suspect. This includes the Spitzes.

The rest of the film follows the couple as they try to figure out which of the guests did it while fleeing police capture after they become the prime suspects.

What makes it funny?

While the cast of eccentric characters makes for solid comedy, the dynamic between Nick and Audrey really carries the movie. Sandler captures the essence of a city cop amazingly and Aniston the essence of someone who lives in her head too much. The way they communicate with each other shows love but drastically different personalities and then the way they communicate with those around them adds another layer.

They are already out-of-place because they are regular people on a yacht with the extremely wealthy. There are times when someone will mention luxury items and Nick will compare that to what he has, often embarrassing Audrey. At the same time, Audrey will often talk to and about people like they aren’t real because she’s watching things play out like it does in her novels and not connecting with reality at all times.

Murder Mystery
Photo Credit: Murder Mystery/Netflix, Acquired From Netflix Media Center /

More than just a comedy

Between Nick the cop and Audrey the murder mystery lover, the two trying to figure out who did the murder adds another layer to the movie. I personally found myself trying to solve the murder and the way they were working through who did or didn’t commit the crime was also entertaining. I found myself pausing the movie to make sure I didn’t miss the next scene while laughing a few times.


If you were ever going to pick a time to give Sandler a second chance, Murder Mystery appears to be the movie to start with. Sandler was still himself but seemed to be a more toned-down version in this movie. There are laughs throughout the movie and the mystery element keeps you invested until the very end. The performances from the side characters complement the main cast well and if this is the Sandler we’re going to get from now on it just may be enough.

Sandler’s next film has an incredible cast that features Maya Rudolph and Kenan Thompson of SNL fame, Kevin James (Hitch), Julie Bowen (Modern Family), Noah Schnapp (Stranger Things) and many more. Most likely noticing the success of Murder Mystery, the movie will also have a murder mystery at the center of its story and will be Halloween themed. There is no date yet for the next Sandler film, but if you like what you see in the cast and need a primer to get ready for it, then you should watch Murder Mystery.

Murder Mystery is currently available on Netflix.

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