The Michael Fassbender Crime Thriller On Netflix Based On A Hit Murder Mystery

By Chris Snellgrove | Updated

the snowman
Michael Fassbender in The Snowman

Michael Fassbender became a household name by appearing in big-budget genre films such as X-Men: First Class and Prometheus. However, those who enjoy the talented actor in these loud and bombastic films may be surprised by how much he shines in much smaller productions. If you’d like to find out for yourself, you must stream the exciting and unpredictable murder mystery The Snowman on Netflix today.

What is The Snowman about, exactly? The movie follows Detective Harry Hole as he investigates the recent death of a young woman. The investigation is anything but routine, and it doesn’t take long before the erstwhile is engaged in a battle of wits with “The Snowman Killer” and needs to team up with a brilliant new recruit.

The Snowman, featuring Michael Fassbender as Detective Harry Hole, is now streaming on Netflix.

We can’t tell you much more about the plot of The Snowman without ruining everything, but we “gave you all the clues” you need to know whether this particular mystery tickles your fancy or not. If you’re still on the fence about watching it, you should know that this is one murder mystery that is filled to the brim with talented actors.

At the top of that list is Michael Fassbender, and he lends all the brooding gravitas and charm to the role of the beleaguered Detective Hole, who may or may not be in over his head with this investigation.

The rest of The Snowman’s cast is equally dazzling: Top Gun star Val Kilmer lends his trademark intensity to the production, and he is joined by Spider-Man icon J.K. Simmons. Speaking of Marvel, Toby Jones (who played Arnim Zola in the first two Captain America films) and James D’Arcy (who played Edwin Jarvis in the flesh in Agent Carter and Avengers: Endgame) each do an amazing job. Controversial Brown Bunny star Chloë Sevigny rounds out the celeb ensemble, offering a unique blend of subdued charm and innate vulnerability.

The Snowman

The Snowman is the kind of murder mystery with plenty of twists and turns, but even before the film began production, it had a similar array of surprising twists. For example, while the finished movie was directed by Tomas Alfredson, the first director that was attached to the movie was no less than Martin Scorcese.

While the final film offers plenty of entertainment, we can’t help but wonder what kinds of tweaks a legendary director like Scorcese would have made and whether his film would have looked anything at all like the one that Alfredson brought to life.

The Snowman brought in $41 million at the box office, more than the estimated $35 million budget, but not enough to turn a profit.

Speaking of how the movie looks, it’s worth noting that The Snowman has an unforgettable aesthetic that feels relatively unique in the world of murder mystery films. Principle filming took place in Oslo, but scenes for this movie would be shot all over Norway. This helps give these scenes an added layer of icy verisimilitude while also visually distinguishing the movie from the genre films that came before it.

The Snowman

For all of its charms (and we do think this is a charming film), neither critics nor audiences knew what to make of The Snowman when it came out. The movie earned a box office of $43.1 million against a budget of $35 million. It was a minor profit, but the film made far less money than Universal Pictures would have liked when you factor in marketing costs.

And The Snowman was particularly savaged by critics upon release. On Rotten Tomatoes, the movie currently has a seven percent critical rating, with critics noting that the plot sometimes gets downright confusing. However, even the biggest haters admitted that the movie’s awesome ensemble cast helps to elevate even the dullest scenes.

We’re honestly not sure if The Snowman becoming a cult classic has been done ironically, or if people really like Scandinavian-noir movies.

Fortunately, The Snowman has recently experienced a cult renaissance, especially once it hit streaming platforms such as Netflix. In a world where true crime reigns supreme and murder mysteries are experiencing a revival thanks to the success of series like Peacock’s Poker Face, modern audiences are primed to experience a well-crafted whodunnit with a killer ensemble cast.

The Snowman delivers all of that and more, and watching it has an added bonus: you’ll certainly be dropping “I gave you all the clues” memes in the group chat and annoying your friends for at least a month, and that alone makes this worth a watch on Netflix.