The biggest movie on Netflix right now isn’t really a movie

Couple laying in bed and watching Netflix
(Image credit: Shutterstock / WeDesing)

It’s not often that a non-fiction documentary becomes the most popular Netflix show for multiple weeks on the bounce, but The Tindler Swindler has found its way to the top of the streamer’s charts for the second week running. 

Having already established itself as one of the best Netflix documentaries, The Tinder Swindler currently ranks as the number one film in 94 countries, sitting pretty at the summit of the charts in both the United States and United Kingdom. 

At the time of writing, the feature-length exposé has racked up an almighty 64.7 million hours viewed, with the week’s second-biggest movie, Tall Girl 2, lagging behind on just 27.44 million.

The Tinder Swindler, which comes from the creators of the equally shocking Don't F**K with Cats, takes a microscope to the extraordinary case of an alleged billionaire playboy who extorted millions from unsuspecting women through Tinder. 

Based on the months-long investigation by Norwegian newspaper Verdens Gang, the film charts the brave response of three unsuspecting marks, who band together to give the titular crook a taste of his own medicine. You can check out the trailer below:

But why has The Tinder Swindler proved so popular? Well, anyone who was subscribed to Netflix over the lockdown periods of 2020 will know that this isn’t the first of the streamer’s documentaries to enjoy the viral treatment. 

Both Tiger King and The Last Dance proved immensely popular among those confined to their homes during those now-immortalized months, but both were multi-episode documentaries rather than feature-length, standalone projects.

As such, The Tinder Swindler is one of the few Netflix documentaries that the streamer itself would deem a movie, rather than a TV show. At present, Netflix doesn’t offer a performance metric for documentaries, but the popularity of its latest factual hit may prompt an imminent rethink. 

The Tinder Swindler appears to have struck a chord with millennials and Gen Z viewers, in particular, given its emphasis on the dangers of dating apps – or more accurately, certain individuals that use them. Incidentally, Tinder has since banned the notorious swindler (who goes by the name of Simon Leviev) from its platform.

The documentary also comes as the latest in a long line of factual flicks commissioned by Netflix that expose the dangers the internet. The Social Dilemma, for instance, shines a light on the dangerous data-harvesting methods employed by the world's largest tech corporations, while The Great Hack takes that concept further yet by analysing the root of the notorious Cambridge Analytica scandal.

No matter how bleak the subject matter, though, Netflix appears to score big wins time and again with its documentary offerings – The Tinder Swindler is simply the latest feature-length example in this pattern of success. 

For more of the best Netflix movies, check out our comprehensive guide. 

Axel Metz
Phones Editor

Axel is TechRadar's UK-based Phones Editor, reporting on everything from the latest Apple developments to newest AI breakthroughs as part of the site's Mobile Computing vertical. Having previously written for publications including Esquire and FourFourTwo, Axel is well-versed in the applications of technology beyond the desktop, and his coverage extends from general reporting and analysis to in-depth interviews and opinion.  Axel studied for a degree in English Literature at the University of Warwick before joining TechRadar in 2020, where he then earned an NCTJ qualification as part of the company’s inaugural digital training scheme.