The Jon Bernthal Crime Thriller On Netflix With A Billion-Dollar Megastar

By April Ryder | Updated

Jon Bernthal in Snitch

We all know that “snitches get stitches,” but no one is big enough or bad enough to get in the way of a father’s love for his son in the Jon Bernthal crime thriller Snitch. Alongside Bernthal in the film, you’ll see Dwayne Johnson (The Rock), Susan Sarandon (Dead Man Walking), Rafi Gavron (A Star is Born), Barry Pepper (Awake), Benjamin Bratt (Dead for a Dollar), and Michael Kenneth Williams (Body Brokers). 

Snitch is an action thriller film that is based on the real-life experiences of a DEA informant named James Settembrino. Dwayne Johnson plays the role of the informant, John Matthews. 

Snitch, starring Jon Bernthal and Dwayne Johnson, is an intense crime drama streaming on Netflix.

John’s son is a simple college student who made a bad decision when he chose to allow his friend to use his address to ship some drugs. Jason’s (the son) friend set him up to help reduce the time he will serve on some of his own charges, and now he is facing a minimum of 10 years in prison unless he agrees to set someone else up to reduce his time. 

Jason refuses to continue the cycle of being a “snitch,” forcing John to make moves of his own to save his son from a life in prison. John meets with a U.S. Attorney, Joanne Keeghan (Susan Sarandon), who offers to help reduce the time Jason is facing if his father becomes an informant on a big-time drug dealer. 

Jon Bernthal and Dwayne Johnson in Snitch

Agreeing to the deal, John begins searching through his list of employees to see if he can find anyone to help him work his way into a dark and devious world of drugs. When he sees that one of his employees, Daniel (Jon Bernthal), has a prior record for distribution, John sets his sights on him as a way in. 

Snitch really starts getting good when John begins working with some high-ranking drug dealers. He must keep his deal with the DEA under wraps, as the discovery of his secret could lead to his family’s and himself’s death. 

Snitch was based on the real experiences of an actual DEA snitch.

Dwayne Johnson does a great job of selling the role, as he seems to fit right into the realm of crime and debauchery. Susan Sarandon also does an excellent job of playing her part, but Snitch isn’t the first movie where the actress was cast as a strong-willed lawyer. Her role in The Client (1994) was an award-winning performance, granting Sarandon the BAFTA award for Best Actress in a Leading Role. 

Snitch was released on February 22, 2013, by Summit Entertainment, but the film’s creation began long before its release date. Ric Roman Waugh and Justin Haythe wrote the movie, and the project was first started in 2004. 

Jon Bernthal in Snitch

Inspired by a documentary the two saw about how federal drug policies are set up in such a way as to encourage incarcerated individuals to “snitch” on others, Haythe wrote the original screenplay for the film, and Waugh was charged with reworking the piece.  

Snitch finally opened in theaters in the U.S. in February of 2013, and it grossed more than $13 million soon after it premiered. Overall, the movie made nearly $60 million worldwide.

While watching the movie, look out for a few notable “goofs” made during filming. For instance, the first scene depicting John Matthews begins with him using the practice golf putting green in his office. Matthews then moves over to a nearby window, turns back towards his desk, and the putting green has mysteriously vanished. 

Another small mess-up is seen when John and Daniel go to pick up their first test run of drugs. There is a semi-trailer in the background whose cargo initially appears as a pallet of shrink-wrapped 5-gallon buckets of paint. In the midst of the scene, the load changes to stacked pallets of rolled-up insulation. 

Snitch earned $60 million worldwide against a budget of $15 million, making it profitable, but not on the level of Dwayne Johnson’s later films.

Regardless of the silly slip-ups, the movie is totally worth a watch. Snitch received an approval rating of 61 percent from the audience on Rotten Tomatoes, with more than 50,000 verified ratings. 

The movie has a run time of nearly two hours and a “PG-13” rating. Grab some popcorn and prepare yourself for plenty of anticipation, action, and a few excellent performances. Snitch is now streaming on Netflix with a subscription, of course.