A Controversial Jennifer Garner Movie Is Coming To Netflix

Jennifer Garner's controversial Peppermint movie will be arriving on Netflix on December 1st.

By Chad Langen | Published

jenifer garner

When it comes to discussing bonified female action stars, Jennifer Garner is frequently left out of the conversation, which is unfortunate considering the amount of screen time she’s contributed to the genre. For example, she portrayed the tough-as-nails CIA agent Sydney Bristow on five seasons of ABC’s hit series Alias before wielding a pair of Sai in both 2003’s Daredevil, where she starred alongside Ben Affleck, and its 2005 spin-off Elektra. Over a decade later, she appeared as a ruthless vigilante in the action thriller Peppermint, and Netflix subscribers will have the chance to revisit the controversial 2018 flick when it arrives on the streaming platform on December 1.

Described as a female-driven version of films like Death Wish and The Punisher, Peppermint revolves around a middle-aged woman, Riley North, who witnesses the slayings of her husband and daughter in a senseless act of violence. Five years later, she comes back from self-imposed exile to seek revenge against those responsible and the system that let them go free. Although the storyline feels a bit regurgitated, Jennifer Garner gives a compelling turn as a woman in grief who feels that violently lashing out is the only way to overcome her grief.

Upon the movie’s theatrical release, Peppermint was criticized for its over-the-top violence and for perpetuating racist rhetoric. Richard Brody of The New Yorker deemed the film racist, saying that it “reflects the current strain of anti-immigration politics and its paranoid focus on MS-13.” Meanwhile, Matt Brunson of Film Frenzy sympathized with Jennifer Garner, declaring that she’s a remarkable actress who can’t seem to catch a break from Hollywood.

On the review aggregation website Rotten Tomatoes, Peppermint has a score of 13% from registered critics based on 152 reviews. The film was blasted for poor character development, an unoriginal story, and for being outright racist. Despite all the criticism, however, Jennifer Garner was praised for her ability to shoulder the movie with her solid performance.

jannifer garner peppermint

Although critics have been rather harsh toward Peppermint, everyday audiences have shown a deeper appreciation for the flick. Based on over 2,500 ratings from traditional viewers, the brutal action feature has a score of 70% on Rotten Tomatoes. Not only did audiences find satisfaction in watching Jennifer Garner slay bad guys for an hour and a half but they seemed to welcome the excessive bloodshed.

Despite negative critical reception, Peppermint managed to earn over $13 million in its debut weekend. Domestically, the film earned more than $35 million during its theatrical run, and it brought in another $18.5 million from international markets. To this day, it’s one of the highest-grossing flicks featuring Jennifer Garner in the leading role.

From a screenplay by Chad St. John, Peppermint was directed by Pierre Morel, who also helmed the subjectively similar action thriller Taken starring Liam Neeson. In addition to Jennifer Garner, the film stars John Gallagher Jr., John Ortiz, Juan Pablo Raba, Annie IIonzeh, Jeff Hephner, Cailey Fleming, Method Man, Tyson Ritter, Pell James, and Eddie Shin. Fans will have the chance to relive the brutal and controversial feature in all its bloody glory when it becomes available to stream on Netflix on December 1.