The Most Controversial R-Rated Movie of 2024 Streaming on Netflix in May

The Most Controversial R-Rated Movie of 2024 Streaming on Netflix in May
Image credit: Lionsgate Films, Netflix

Netflix has dropped one of the most controversial movies of Jenna Ortega and Martin Freeman's careers.


  • At the end of April, a new erotic thriller landed on Netflix.
  • It starred Jenna Ortega and Martin Freeman as a student and a teacher involved in a forbidden romance.
  • Despite backlash, the film made its way into the Netflix Top 10 in the US and Canada.

There is no doubt that Jenna Ortega is among the most talented budding stars in Hollywood. Today, she is considered the new scream queen, the new Wednesday, and generally an excellent and versatile actress. Not surprisingly, the demand for her talent is so great that this year alone there are four films in post-production on which she has been involved.

Such a prolific career is not without its flaws, and not all of Ortega's projects are universally acclaimed. Earlier this year, for example, a new film was released in which the actress starred opposite Martin Freeman. However, the film received a fair amount of backlash. The movie was panned by critics and audiences alike and flopped at the box office, but it's not even about the actors' performances, just that their characters were poorly written and the plot turned out to be too problematic.

The movie in question just recently landed on Netflix, seemingly causing even more controversy, but that didn't stop it from becoming one of the most watched movies the week it was added to the service. Let's find out what the movie is all about and why it's getting such bad reviews.

What Is This R-Rated Movie?

A new erotic thriller landed on Netflix late last month, marking the feature debut of filmmaker Jade Halley Bartlett. It's called Miller's Girl.

The story revolves around Cairo Sweet (Ortega), a high school student from a wealthy family who finds solace in literature. She also pursues an unusual goal: to romance a high school teacher so she can use it as inspiration for her college admissions essay.

Her target is Jonathan Miller (Freeman), Cairo's creative writing teacher and a struggling novelist. He adores Cairo's erudition and creative skills, but suppresses the feelings that simmer within him. Cairo, however, does not hide how she feels, and when Miller attempts to prevent her from doing anything, Cairo does whatever it takes to gain what she wants, even resorting to blackmail, which could ruin not only Miller's reputation, but his whole life.

What Is This Controversy About?

As a result, even at the time of its release, it could not boast financial indicators and enthusiastic sentiments. With a budget of $4 million, Miller's Girl failed to earn even one million at the box office, and if you turn to review aggregators, the estimates are not at all reassuring.

On Rotten Tomatoes, for example, the critics' verdict was a measly 29%, and audience sympathy was not much higher, with a 41% approval rating. Many praised the acting and cinematography, but the screenplay, despite its potential, only annoyed many.

It's all about the controversies. First, the age gap between Ortega and Freeman is a whopping 31 years! Second, regardless of age, the issue of teacher-student relationships is an ethical matter. This type of relationship is not uncommon in real-life schools and colleges, and Miller's Girl could have been a poignant drama dealing with socially uncomfortable issues.

But does the movie really deal with these issues? Because there are some pretty raunchy scenes in it that make you wonder if the story is really criticizing the inappropriate romance, or if it's just a kinky fanfic with questionable characters.

Despite all the criticism, however, the addition of Miller's Girl to Netflix has worked to the film's advantage, as by the end of April it had already made its way into the regional Top 10s in the US and Canada, beating out many of the streaming service's original films.

So if you're still intrigued despite all the controversy, Miller's Girl is available to stream on Netflix.

Have you seen Miller's Girl?