Netflix’s latest movie deal is a juicy one for us and us: The streamer spent $20 million to acquire the streaming rights to Hitman, the latest film from the great director Richard Linklater. Not to be confused with the disastrous 2007 adaptation of the game Hitmanthe 2023 film was one of the most talked about films at the Venice Film Festival and has already racked up a slew of rave reviews, currently sitting at 98% positive on Rotten Tomatoes, and looks like it will likely enter the pantheon of the best Netflix films. .
Hitman is the story of teacher Gary Johnson, whose side job is to pose as a New Orleans police hitman, to trap people who try to hire him. The mild-mannered teacher becomes a completely different character when he cons people who want him to kill their colleagues or colleagues, but when he falls in love with a woman who wants him to kill her partner, things get very complicated indeed.
It’s an incredible story, and it’s also true: the film is based on a Texas Monthly article from 2001 in which Skip Hollandsworth describes the bizarre double life Johnson led for years. It is a wonderful piece of writing, as well as an extraordinary story. Here’s a flavor:
“The man’s name is Gary Johnson, but his clients know him by names like Mike Caine, Jody Eagle and Chris Buck. They believe he is Houston’s greatest professional hitman, the city’s foremost expert in conflict resolution. For Over the past decade, more than sixty Houston-area residents have hired him to shoot, stab, cut, poison, or suffocate their enemies, romantic rivals, or former loved ones.”
What do critics say about Hit Man?
Hitman seems to avoid the familiar clichés of hitman movies, instead focusing on the character: the BBC review he says that “another crueler writer-director would have focused on scenes of bloody violence, but Linklater prefers to ponder the question of whether you can convince yourself to become a different person.”
Writing on Collider, Ross Bonaime says is “one of the funniest films of Linklater’s career” while Ben Rotolo of The Wrap describes it as “delightfully funny”. THE The London Evening Standard says so contains “many laugh-out-loud moments” and intellectual references; “it’s also a darker thriller than it first appears.” Jane Crowther at Total Film/GamesRadar he says it’s “bubbly, fun, intense… a damn good time.” [that] It will leave you breathless.”
The consensus is this Hitman is a very funny film that is more interesting than the typical comedy: according to RogerEbert.com it is “equal parts fascinating, unnerving and ethically challenging”. Part romantic comedy, part action comedy and part thriller, it’s “a masterpiece,” according to him Luis Martínez of El Mundo: It’s “as classic as it is modern, as funny as it is deeply disturbing.”
It’s pretty clear that Netflix has a hit on its hands. All we need now is to know when it will hit our screens and join the list of new Netflix movies.