The Forgotten Mel Gibson Crime Thriller On Netflix Is A Must-Watch

By Steven Nelson | Published

mel gibson

Ah, Mel Gibson. Whether he’s playing a post-apocalyptic road warrior or donning a kilt in medieval Scotland, he’s always brought a certain grit to the big screen. Now, imagine taking that signature Gibson roughness and quite literally dragging it… across concrete.

Intrigued? Well, that’s precisely what you get with Dragged Across Concrete, now available for your streaming pleasure (or intense nail-biting sessions) on Netflix. Just when you thought you’d seen all shades of Mel Gibson, this film tosses in a few more.

Mel Gibson and Vince Vaughn star as police officers in Dragged Across Concrete

Dragged Across Concrete serves up a gripping narrative that is both uncompromising and intensely immersive. At the heart of this tale are two beleaguered policemen, Brett Ridgeman (Mel Gibson) and Anthony Lurasetti (Vince Vaughn). Their dedication to their roles as police officers has been unwavering, but with time, they’ve grown disillusioned with the returns they’ve received for their sacrifices.

mel gibson vince vaughn
Mel Gibson and Vince Vaughn in Dragged Across Concrete

Mel Gibson as Ridgeman, with his grizzled demeanor, has been on the force for decades. His partner, Lurasetti, while younger, also grapples with frustrations that come with the job. Their worlds start spiraling when they’re caught on video using excessive force, leading to their suspension.

With bills piling up and familial responsibilities breathing down their necks, they decide to leap into the underworld, aiming to secure a payday by stealing from a notorious criminal.

Yet, as Mel Gibson and Vince Vaughn delve deeper into this dark endeavor, the situation quickly spirals. The film masterfully introduces other characters, weaving a rich tapestry of interconnected stories. Tory Kittles shines as Henry Johns, a man freshly out of prison, desperate to provide for his family. He gets entangled in Ridgeman and Lurasetti’s plan, adding another layer of complexity.

Furthermore, Jennifer Carpenter’s character, Kelly Summer, is a poignant addition. A bank employee returning from maternity leave, she gets unexpectedly embroiled in the growing turmoil, serving as a stark contrast to the morally ambiguous paths our protagonists tread.

Director S. Craig Zahler, known for his gritty storytelling, doesn’t hold back in this film. He delves deep into the gray areas of morality, exploring what people might resort to when backed into a corner. The dialogue is sharp, the tension palpable, and the line between heroes and villains often blurs, challenging viewers to reflect on their own moral compass.

The film’s pacing, combined with its multifaceted characters, creates a world where every decision has a consequence, and every action ripples through the intertwined lives of its characters.

The Reaction To Mel Gibson’s Dragged Across Concrete

While Dragged Across Concrete showcased S. Craig Zahler’s signature blend of gritty storytelling and vivid character development (the Mel Gibson role stands out), its reception was a tale of two extremes. Critics largely praised the film, evident from its robust 76% score on Rotten Tomatoes.

Many applauded its nuanced characters, sharp dialogue, and the morally grey landscape Zahler painted. The director’s decision to dive into the murkier waters of ethics and choices, combined with powerful performances by Mel Gibson and Vince Vaughn, definitely resonated with the critics.

However, the box office figures painted a different story. Despite the film’s strengths, it grossed a meager $660,132, which was a hard hit given its $15 million budget. Multiple factors could have contributed to this. Perhaps the film’s lengthy runtime, coupled with its slow-burning pace, didn’t sit well with a broader audience.

Dragged Across Concrete socred 76 percent on Rotten Tomatoes but bombed at the box office

Or, given the heavy thematic elements and moral quandaries, it might not have been everyone’s pick for a movie night out. It’s also worth noting that movies dealing with police controversies can sometimes polarize audiences, which might have impacted its commercial appeal.

Whatever the reasons, while Dragged Across Concrete was a darling for many critics, it unfortunately didn’t have the same allure at the box office.

Dragged Across Concrete stands as an intriguing chapter in Mel Gibson’s diverse filmography. The movie, with its slow-burning pace and moral complexities, offers a thought-provoking cinematic experience for those who venture into its gritty narrative. While it might not have set the box office on fire, its rich storytelling and Gibson’s compelling performance make it a worthy watch. 

For fans of character-driven dramas and Gibson’s characteristic intensity, streaming this on Netflix provides an evening of introspection, tension, and a raw look at the shades of grey that define human morality. As always, with any Mel Gibson project, expect the unexpected and prepare for a deep dive into the human psyche.