Mel Gibson’s Most Controversial Crime Movie Is Now On Netflix

Mel Gibson's controversial film, Dragged Across Concrete, is streaming on Netflix.

By Douglas Helm | Updated

mel gibson dragged across concrete

Mel Gibson is not a stranger to controversy in his personal life and film projects. One of Mel Gibson’s most controversial projects might be the 2018 film Dragged Across Concrete, which just hit Netflix. The film is currently trending at #4 in Netflix’s US streaming library.

The film follows two cops who become embroiled in a robbery after they’re suspended without pay for police brutality. Along with Mel Gibson, Dragged Across Concrete stars Vince Vaughn, Tory Kittles, Michael Jai White, Jennifer Carpenter, Laurie Holden, Fred Melamed, Udo Kier, Thomas Kretschmann, and Don Johnson. It was written and directed by S. Craig Zahler.

Mel Gibson’s Dragged Across Concrete debuted at the 75th Venice International Film Festival and was immediately controversial, though reviews were mixed overall. One point of criticism was the gratuitous violence, but the real point of controversy was the movie’s depictions of racism and police brutality. Instead of condemning racism and police brutality, various points of the movie seem to take a lighter stance on these serious real-world issues, and the movie has been accused of having a right-wing bias.

As mentioned, Mel Gibson and Vince Vaughn’s characters in Dragged Across Concrete are both suspended without pay for an act of police brutality. However, their boss seems to be sympathetic to the situation, and it’s apparently the third time that Gibson’s character was suspended for police brutality. The most gratuitous acts of violence in the movie also tend to happen toward minorities and women.

mel gibson dragged across concrete

It may have been different if the movie was a critique of this sort of behavior, but Mel Gibson and Vince Vaughn’s characters aren’t necessarily painted as the out-and-out bad guys of Dragged Across Concrete, which is what led to the critique. There are some reviewers out there that enjoyed the film or thought it was average, but the controversial elements remain.

According to reviews, the excessive violence can sometimes make Mel Gibson’s Dragged Across Concrete a pretty difficult watch. While violence can be enjoyably excessive in a stylistic way in the John Wick films or Quentin Tarantino’s entire catalog, the violence in the film has been criticized for being gratuitous just for the sake of gratuity. Gibson has faced similar accusations in previous films of his, like Passion of the Christ, but that violence was more for the sake of historical accuracy and depicting a real event rather than a couple of cops beating on people (and getting off pretty light for it).

The film may have received mixed reviews, but the movie was pretty unambiguously a financial miss. It only managed to pull in around $660,000 at the box office against a budget of $15 million. And although Mel Gibson was nominated for a Saturn Award, Dragged Across Concrete was also nominated in a new category at the Golden Raspberry Awards for Worst Reckless Disregard for Human Life and Public Property.

In short, there are probably better Mel Gibson films out there, but Dragged Across Concrete is on Netflix if that’s something you’re interested in. You can also look forward to seeing Gibson in a more tastefully violent franchise in the John Wick prequel series The Continental later this year. Stay tuned for more news on what’s streaming on Netflix.