The Best Transformers Movie Is Killing It On Streaming Right Now

The Transformers' highest-rated movie on Rotten Tomatoes, Bumblebee, is currently in the top 10 most watched on Paramount+.

By Sckylar Gibby-Brown | Updated

transformers bumble bee

Michael Bay’s lust for over-the-top special effects has earned the Transformers franchise a reputation for being all action with no plot or development— all except Bumblebee, the only Transformers movie to be Certified Fresh by Rotten Tomatoes. Apparently, audiences at home recognize the same thing as the critics because TransformersBumblebee is currently killing it on Paramount+ as one of the top 10 most-watched films on the streaming service.

Who would have thought that a movie based on the 1980s robot toys and an animated children’s show would turn into a major blockbuster franchise? Apparently, Michael Bay had a feeling because despite all of his films being considered critical splats, 2007’s Transformers evolved into a multi-billion-dollar franchise. While the Transformers movies generally didn’t meet critical expectations, audiences kept buying tickets, and it wasn’t until Bumblebee came out in 2018 that critics and audiences agreed that the franchise finally made a good film.

As a prequel to the Transformers series, Bumblebee takes audiences back in time to 1987 when fan-favorite living alien robot, Bumblebee, is on the run and seeks sanctuary in a junkyard in a small California beach town. There, he meets Charlie, an 18-year-old young woman who is trying to figure out where she belongs in the world while simultaneously dealing with the pain of her father’s death. The pair develop an unlikely friendship that escalates into helping one another defend earth against the Transformers’ enemies, the Decepticons. 

In the sixth movie in the Transformers franchise, Bumblebee stars Hailee Steinfeld (True Grit, The Edge of Seventeen) as Charlie. Jorge Lendeborg Jr. (Spider-Man: Homecoming, Love, Simon) co-stars as Charlie’s friend Memo, and John Cena plays Agent Burns. Bumblebee is the only Transformers movie that was not directed by Michael Bay, with Travis Knight taking the helm instead.

The fact that Michael Bay was not the director of Transformers’ Bumblebee could indicate why the film is widely considered the best Transformers movie. While the previous Transformers films were criticized for being loud, cacophonous films that leaned heavily on the explosives rather than the plot or characters to capture the attention of audiences, Bumblebee was praised for adding both fun and wonder to an otherwise inflated franchise. In addition to adding Knight to the roster, the film brought in a new scriptwriter for the movie—Christina Hodson, known for writing the Harley Quinn film, Birds of Prey.

While the film has received the highest critical praise in the Transformers franchise, Bumblebee was the lowest-grossing film from the series. However, even coming in last financially, the film was still considered a profitable success and brought Paramount Pictures $468 million at the box office against a budget of $135 million. 

In addition to refreshing the franchise by showing what a good Transformers movie could look like, Bumblebee also set itself up for future sequels. The seventh film in the Transformers series, Transformers: Rise of the Beasts, is set for release on June 9, 2023.