A Mark Wahlberg Real-Life Drama Is Destroying Netflix

The Mark Wahlberg biopic Father Stu is #1 on Netflix.

By Matthew Creith | Published

In actor Mark Wahlberg’s lengthy career, he has gone from rapping in Boston to starring in major motion pictures alongside heavyweight actors like Amy Adams, George Clooney, Leonardo DiCaprio, Charlize Theron, and Dwayne Johnson. Known for taking risks in his career for famous directors, Wahlberg stunned audiences with a performance in the 2022 biographical film Father Stu, which he also produced. The movie based on a true story was a modest hit at the box office and is now climbing the charts on Netflix to claim the top spot on the subscription streaming platform.

mark wahlberg

According to FlixPatrol, a website designed to track the streaming content around the world, Father Stu is currently the number one film streaming on Netflix in the United States, beating out other titles like Do Revenge, Morbius, and I Used to Be Famous. Father Stu stars Mark Wahlberg as Stuart Long, a former boxer turned Catholic priest who goes on to inspire those around him after he deals with his criminal past and his rare muscular disease known as inclusion body myositis. Wahlberg produced the movie and intended the film to honor and be true to Long’s story, as the real-life priest passed away in 2014.

Written and directed by Rosalind Ross in her feature film directorial debut, Father Stu was released in theaters on April 13, 2022, and fared pretty well at the box office. The Mark Wahlberg-led movie went on to gross over $21 million at the box office against a budget of $4 million, a modest take from an independent film that had no ties to an existing franchise like the Marvel Cinematic Universe and the Fast & Furious film saga. Father Stu was specifically released at a time known as Holy Week for devout Catholics, which coincides between Palm Sunday and Easter every year.

Even though Father Stu had a decent box office return for a small movie, critics and audiences have not seen eye to eye when it comes to their reviews of the film. Rotten Tomatoes currently ranks the Mark Wahlberg movie with 42% on its Tomatometer based on 42 critics’ reviews, but the Audience Score sits at 95% from over 1,000 verified ratings by users of the site. It seems to be evident that while many critics were mixed in their understanding of the film, audiences appear to have enjoyed the true story elements, which helps explain why Father Stu is currently #1 on Netflix.

mark wahlberg

However, the cast of Father Stu may also account for the reason why the film is such a hit with streaming viewers. Mark Wahlberg is still a big box office draw and a noted Netflix star as of late with his turn alongside comedian Kevin Hart in the buddy comedy Me Time, but it is the supporting cast of Father Stu that makes all the difference. Mel Gibson costars in the movie as Long’s estranged father, a different type of role for an Academy Award-winning director and performer who has had his fair share of run-ins with the law in the past.

Also starring in Father Stu with Gibson and Mark Wahlberg is Australian character actor Jacki Weaver, known to American audiences for her work in David O. Russell’s Silver Linings Playbook opposite Jennifer Lawrence, for which she was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress. In fact, David O. Russell, as a frequent collaborator with Wahlberg, was initially attached to write the screenplay for Father Stu before the script and directing duties were passed onto Rosalind Ross. The movie was eventually filmed in parts of Los Angeles and Montana with Wahlberg gaining 30 pounds to play Stuart Long.

After the success of Father Stu, Mark Wahlberg might be spending more time on the Netflix charts than originally intended. The actor and producer is currently filming Our Man from Jersey for Netflix, an action thriller costarring J. K. Simmons, Halle Berry, Jackie Earle Haley, and Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje. He has also signed on to the adventure epic Arthur the King, currently in production with British director Simon Cellan Jones at the helm and costarring The Fate of the Furious actor Nathalie Emmanuel, as well as Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings star Simu Liu.