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Netflix's number-one movie is a little-known thriller from the director of Daredevil

Plus, bonus Michael Keaton!

Netflix's number-one movie is a little-known thriller from the director of Daredevil
Marc Chacksfield
10 February 2024

Director Michael Cuesta is currently filming the upcoming Daredevil: Born Again for Disney Plus. But before he was helming superheroes, he had created a handful of decent action flicks.

One of these was American Assassin. While the movie didn't make too much of a dent in the box office when it was first released in 2017, its found a new lease of life thanks to Netflix.

American Assassin is currently the top movie on Netflix right now in the US (globally, it's Despicable Me 3), according to FlixPatrol.

Based on the script by The Amercians' writer/producer Stephen Schiff, the plot revolves around Mitch whose life has been beset by tragedy, losing both his parents when he was young and his fiancée in a terrorist attack.

His misfortune is the CIA's gain, though, as they hire him to be part of a black ops counterterrorist group. Dylan O'Brien is Mitch, while Taylor Kitsch also stars, as does Michael Keaton.

While the reviews for American Assassin are mixed (it only manages 34% on Rotten Tomatoes), Rolling Stone reckons it's worth a watch, noting: "Even when logic goes up in flames, Michael Cuesta's thriller speeds ahead like a heat-seeking missile. Michael Keaton and new star Dylan O'Brien make action fireworks seem fresh again."

The New York Post is also fans, writing: "The casting of O'Brien, known mostly for the Teen Wolf TV series, came out of left field, but it was ultimately a smart move. He's young, hip and charmingly introverted."

Many reviewers do point out that it's a pretty run-of-the-mill thriller, with The Observer noting: "It's shallow and self-congratulatory, refusing to justify its incessant violence with character development or genre spectacle."

The Toronto Star is even more damning: "So generic is this film, drawn from the vast pulp output of thriller scribbler Vince Flynn, it offers a glimpse into a dazzling future when robots begin making movies."

Certainly a mixed response, then, but with it riding high on Netflix right now it looks like it's just what some needed for a bit of mindless weekend viewing.

  • If you are looking for something a little different, then head to our What To Watch guide...