Often, we primarily see Netflix as a place for a ton of Originals. Stranger Things 4 is back. True crime and stand-up are two of the mainstays of the service. But every now and then Netflix gets a great movie that it didn’t make, that it didn’t put its stamp on, it’s a must-watch regardless.
And, today’s news finds such a new movie on the Netflix charts after just one day on the service. Faster than I can say “a unique New York”, one of Will Ferrell’s best movies is back on Netflix, as Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy (a likely addition to our best Netflix movies list) just moved up to No. 3 in Netflix’s Top 10 Movies list in the United States.
Anchorman is loved in part because it’s a well-told but hugely over-the-top ensemble comedy. Will Ferrell may be in the lead role as the titular mustachioed doofus who anchors the action news hour on fictional channel KVWN 4, but all of his co-stars have their shining moments, too.
Why people are watching Anchorman right now
Anchorman is a satire on the old newsroom, the boys’ club mentality that has a toxic influence in the workplace and much more. Will Ferrell’s Ron Burgundy is also a dictionary definition of the oblivious, sexist, aloof men who used to run (and still run) things.
The story is simple: while Burgundy is currently the peacock of the march, with its team of field reporter Brian Fantana (Paul Rudd), sports commentator Champ Kind (David Koechner) and silly weatherman Brick Tamland (Steve Carrell ). But times are changing and his charm is wearing thin, as he learns when Veronica Corningstone (Christina Applegate) denies his advances. Afterwards, Burgundy learns that Ms. Corningstone has been hired, and she soon becomes a co-anchor. Arguments galore ensue, a random rivalry between news stations takes place, and Ron has even more problems in his life.
It’s hard to say which cast member gets the best lines, but Carrell’s are arguably the most memorable of the bunch. Who doesn’t remember how much Brick loves lamps?
Which is to say, it’s a thankfully low-stakes story. It’s no exaggeration to say that the news right now is terrible. Honestly, we couldn’t blame you if you’re not listening to the news these days for the sake of your sanity. And so we see Anchorman as a soothing way to turn off your brain.
San Diego’s obsessions in Anchorman revolve around a popular bear who is about to give birth and the accidental profanity of Ron Burgundy.
Critics and audience reaction to Anchorman
In 2002, when Anchorman was released, critics gave it mixed reviews, but that didn’t stop anyone from loving it. Positive ratings came from Desson Thomson of the Washington Post (opens in a new tab) who wrote that Anchorman is “Wonderfully dumb all the time”. rotten tomatoes (opens in a new tab) (which ranked the film with a 66% critics score) notes that Rolling Stone’s Peter Travers said (in an unavailable review) that Anchorman “slaps you with an awkward smile”.
Negative reviews came from Moira MacDonald of the Seattle Times (opens in a new tab), who wrote “Although the film is sporadically funny, it was done much better on the small screen, decades ago”, and said that it “plays like a small screen rerun”. Mick LaSalle of the San Francisco Chronicle says presenter (opens in a new tab) is “A comedic idea that never finds comedic source or anything resembling a sure source of laughs.”
Meanwhile, at the box office, Anchorman has done well despite stiff competition. In its first weekend, it grossed $28,416,365 (according to Box Office Mojo (opens in a new tab)) behind, only losing the weekend to Spider-Man 2 (one of the best comic book movies of all time).
Audiences gave Anchorman an average grade of B, when polled by CinemaScore (opens in a new tab).