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Tyler Perry’s Erotic Thriller Mea Culpa Branded “Worst Netflix Movie Ever” as Rotten Tomatoes Score Tanks




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Summary

  • The latest film from Tyler Perry,
    Mea Culpa
    , has faced heavy criticism for its weak chemistry between leads and silly plot twists.
  • Despite low scores on Rotten Tomatoes, the legal thriller could still be a hit on Netflix, as viewers are curious to see it for themselves.
  • Departing from his usual comedic projects, Perry’s attempt at an erotic legal thriller has failed to captivate both loyal fans and new audiences.



Tyler Perry’s latest offering has come in for some heavy criticism as the writer/director attempts something different to his usual projects with the “erotic” legal thriller, Mea Culpa. The movie, which stars Kelly Rowland, arrived on Netflix last week, and took no time to see its Rotten Tomatoes approval rate plummet on both the side of critics and audiences.


Mea Culpa

Mea Culpa

3.5/5

Release Date
February 23, 2024

Cast
Kelly Rowland , Trevante Rhodes , Kerry O’Malley , Sean Sagar , RonReaco Lee

Runtime
2hr

Studio
Tyler Perry Studios

Tagline
Everyone’s guilty of something.

Mea Culpa is a legal thriller that sees Rowland playing a criminal defense attorney, Mea Harper, with Trevante Rhodes costarring as her client, Zyair Malloy. Harper is going through a crisis in her marriage and it just so happens that Malloy, who is accused of killing his girlfriend, has his eye on getting more than just a strong defense case from his lawyer.

Although the movie did not gain many critic’s reviews – seven at the time of writing – there are very few positive comments, which is hammered home by the dismal 14% Tomatometer score. As the film soared up the Netflix chart, reviews from viewers flooded in, and were almost as unanimously negative towards the film. For many of those who have watched the film, a combination of the lack of chemistry between the two leads, a story that gets too silly for its own good, and the overriding sense of schlock make up the main criticisms of the film.


Among the many damning reviews, The Guardian’s Benjamin Lee noted:

“As one might have guessed from the plot description, it’s hopelessly overstacked, Perry’s poor actors stumbling over absurdly soapy dialogue, needlessly busying something that required a lot more focus to work. While it might start out as an erotic thriller, it slows down to a damp relationship drama before meandering its way to a climax hinged on head-scratching twists that make little to zero sense.”

On X/Twitter, the opinions were just as scathing as those on Rotten Tomatoes. Check out a small selection of these below:


However, there were some small graces to be found, such as Movieweb’s own Will Sayre, who said:

It’s the sort of popcorn flick that is best consumed with your pals, so you can all discuss and argue about what exactly happened as the credits roll.



Mea Culpa Can Still Be a Netflix Hit Without Good Reviews

Trevante Rhodes and Kelly Rowland in Mea Culpa on a motorcycle
Netflix

Mea Culpa diverges from Perry’s well-trodden path of comedy and family drama, and on the surface it looks like the gamble has not paid off. However, that would only be true if the film was playing in cinemas and expecting people to shell out a wad of cash to sit through the panned movie.

Instead, this is one of several projects Perry has lined up with Netflix, and as many other panned movies have proven, people don’t care what they watch when it comes free as part of their subscription. If anything, this kind of negative review seems to increase the need of viewers to seek out and appraise negatively received movies for themselves – if for no other reason but to add their own blistering review afterwards.


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This reception is a stark contrast to Perry’s celebrated works like Diary of a Mad Black Woman and the Madea franchise, which, despite their own critics, have found a loyal audience appreciative of Perry’s unique blend of humor, social commentary, and emotional depth. Mea Culpa has mostly failed to resonate with either Perry’s own fans, or those who have an interest in this kind of steamy romp that was popular in the late ‘90s.

For those looking to see how much of the negativity is justified,
Mea Culpa
is streaming on Netflix now.

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