The Netflix Crime Thriller Twists And Turns To The Very End

By Sckylar Gibby-Brown | Updated

Recently, bad thriller movies have been given a second chance after Netflix picked them up years after their flopped release and added them to their streaming catalog. But Netflix doesn’t just pick up bad movies from other studios; they also distribute them. Like the 2021 man-on-the-run thriller Beckett, which was filled with twists and turns to the very end, it received panned reviews from both audiences and critics.

John David Washington As Beckett

In Beckett, John David Washington portrays an American tourist named Beckett enjoying a vacation in Greece. However, his tranquil getaway takes a drastic turn when a fatal accident entangles him in a political conspiracy, leading to a frantic manhunt targeting him. He races against time to exonerate himself, navigating through perilous encounters and unexpected betrayals to reach the embassy and prove his innocence.

Film Festival Premiere Before Heading To Netflix

Written by Kevin A. Rice and Ferdinando Cito Filomarino and directed by Filomarino, Beckett premiered at the 74th Locarno Film Festival nine days before it was released on Netflix. Filomarino and Rice began working on the film before 2019, with Luca Guadagnino (Call Me By Your Name) signing on to produce. The main cast, including John David Washington, Alicia Vikander, Boyd Holbrook, and Vicky Krieps, were signed to star that same year.

Netflix Changes The Film

Originally titled Born to be Murdered, Beckett was supposed to get a theatrical release. But in 2020, Netflix took over the rights to the film, revised the name, and changed the thriller to premiere at a film festival before becoming available to stream. Whether this choice was made because of the pandemic or other reasons is unknown.

Beckett takes place in Greece and was shot there, too, becoming the first Netflix movie filmed in the country. Filming took place in various locations throughout Greece, including inside the ancient ruins of Delphi. 

Denzel Washington’s Son

The star of Beckett is John David Washington, the son of renowned actor Denzel Washington. Like his father, Washington is known for his captivating and commanding performances, especially in thrillers. In addition to Beckett, Washington is known for his gripping performance in Christopher Nolan’s critically acclaimed thriller Tenet

Unfortunately, Washington’s performance wasn’t enough to bring critical acclaim to Beckett. The critical consensus on Rotton Tomatoes claims the movie injects a dynamic momentum into its narrative of a man on the run. However, critics say this thinly plotted thriller struggles to maintain sustained audience engagement despite its brisk pace.

Stream Beckett On Netflix

Beckett received an overall score of 47 percent from critics on Rotten Tomatoes, with audiences giving the film an even harsher score of 33 percent. Reviewers on Metacritic weren’t much kinder, allocating a weighted average score of 52 out of 100 based, awarding the film the accolade of “mixed or average reviews.”

But for every hater, there is someone who loves Beckett. Some critics spoke out in favor of the film, defending it against those who found it poorly paced and full of plot holes. While the film was panned overall, Beckett has managed to carve a significant fan base who, excited by the thrill of the chase, love the thrilling (and slightly ridiculous) plot.