The Cate Blanchett Action Thriller Leaving Netflix Forever

By Chris Snellgrove | Updated

Hanna (2011)

We loved to see Cate Blanchett sinking her teeth into new roles, and she was most certainly the best part of Thor: Ragnarok (the rare Marvel movie made of nothing but good parts). Years before she ever crushed Mjolnir onscreen, however, Blanchett appeared in Hanna, an action thriller about a clash between CIA Agents and an assassin trained by one of their best operatives. The film combines an unpredictable script and a stellar supporting cast to create an unforgettable action experience, and you can stream this thriller on Netflix before it leaves the streaming service on September 30.

The action thriller Hanna, starring Cate Blanchett, is leaving Netflix September 30.

What is Hanna about, exactly? In this film, Saoirse Ronan plays the titular assassin who has been impeccably trained by a former CIA agent, played by Eric Bana. They live together in the wilderness of Finland, but their would-be peace is shattered when a CIA agent, played by Cate Blanchett, is sent to wipe both Bana and his precocious young assassin off the board in a permanent way.

Honestly, those big names alone are a pretty compelling reason to watch Hanna, but if you’re not yet convinced, you should know the movie has a killer supporting cast comprised of one great character actor after another. For example, Shakespearean actor John Macmillan dazzles in this film, as does Downton Abbey alumnus Michelle Dockery.

Screenwriter Seth Lochhead was still a student at Vancouver Film School when he wrote the original story and script.

Anchoring the supporting actors is Tom Hollander, who kills it in high-profile shows such as The White Lotus and even loans his voice to the delightfully demented Harley Quinn cartoon (he plays Alfred, and he somehow makes each scene more hilarious than the one before).

Eric Bana and Saoirse Ronan in Hanna (2011)

While Hanna provides an onscreen tale guaranteed to keep viewers on the edge of their seats, the story of how this film was made is often just as harrowing as its scenes of cinematic violence. Screenwriter Seth Lochhead was still a student at Vancouver Film School when he wrote the original story and script.

Finding the right director proved a bit more difficult: at first, some of the names that were considered included Alfonso Cuarón (best known for directing Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban) and Danny Boyle (best known for directing Trainspotting).

Ultimately, Hanna is a movie that we love specifically because it isn’t like traditional action movies…

Joe Wright was chosen as the perfect director for Hanna. He was a surprising choice at the time as he had only directed three other films, including Pride & Prejudice and Atonement. However, the latter film happened to feature future Hanna star Saoirse Ronan, and Wright’s experience working with the up-and-coming talent helped him coax a career-best performance from the young actor.

Another reason we recommend you check out Hanna over other action thrillers is that the film is often breathtakingly beautiful. Much of that is due to the fact that the movie was shot on location in areas around the world, including Germany, Finland, and Morocco. If you’ve been raised on a steady diet of action films mostly shot in either New York or California, then this particular serving of international action and globe-spanning cinematography will likely be particularly filling.

Cate Blanchett in Hanna (2011)

That was certainly the reaction from critics and audiences alike when Hanna first premiered. On Rotten Tomatoes, the movie currently has a 72 percent critical rating. That means it’s certified “fresh,” which is a particularly noteworthy accomplishment for a film from a genre (action thriller) that so many critics simply dismiss out of hand. 

Hanna also proved popular enough among general audiences to turn a tidy profit. The movie was made on a budget of $30 million, and it went on to earn a respectable $65.3 million. And now that the movie has popped up on streaming, more and more fans are discovering the unique joys of this very unconventional action yarn.

Ultimately, Hanna is a movie that we love specifically because it isn’t like traditional action movies: it adds fun doses of fantasy adventure and even coming-of-age tropes into a movie laced with healthy doses of thrilling action. We never knew what to expect, and that is the highest praise we can give to a genre where most of the characters and plots end up being predictable. However, we are expecting you to go ahead and stream this film on Netflix before it leaves the streaming service after September 30.