Netflix Is Losing The Best Denzel Washington Crime Thriller Adaptation, Stream Before It’s Gone

By Jason Collins | Published

Back in March, Netflix surprised Denzel Washington fans by adding one of his finest movies ever, the universally acclaimed 1995 neo-noir mystery thriller movie Devil in a Blue Dress.

However, approximately three months after the film’s arrival on the platform, this 100-minute piece of atmospheric excellence is soon leaving Netflix. This provides a perfect opportunity for those who haven’t seen the film and those wanting to revisit it to watch the movie on streaming before it becomes a Blu-Ray collector’s item.

Devil In A Blue Dress Is A Noir Classic

Devil in a Blue Dress is set in the late 1940s and follows Denzel Washington’s Ezekiel “Easy” Rawlins, a WWII veteran who gets laid off from work and is now trying to make ends meet. After a friend introduces him to a PI looking to hand off what appears to be a straightforward job—finding a missing woman—Ezekiel gets entangled in a web of secrets, conspiracies, and deception, which puts him in the crosshairs of some of the most powerful people in late-1940s Los Angeles.

Based On The Best-Selling Novel

The movie is actually an adaptation of Walter Mosley’s 1990 novel of the same name, presenting a gripping story about postwar racial divisions in which our protagonist can’t really navigate the world in the same way as white detectives do in similar movies.

This thematic exploration is complemented by beautiful cinematography, standout performances—Don Cheadle’s performance was particularly praised—and sharp dialogue, all of which actually build on top of each other to create a larger, beautifully formulated whole.

Everyone Brought Their A-Game

Denzel Washington also delivered a striking performance in Devil in a Blue Dress, portraying an intelligent and caring man who’s just trying to hold on to his life and serve the role of a detective without actually being part of law enforcement.

His delivery is confident, calculating, and effortlessly cool, even at the time at which his career was still on the rise. Washington’s performance was complemented by Jennifer Beals, Lisa Nicole Carson, Tom Sizemore, and the previously mentioned Don Cheadle, who stars in a minor, supportive role that was highly praised among the critics.

Fell Short Of Being Profitable

While it performed admirably with the critics and the audiences—as reflected by the stellar rating scores on Rotten Tomatoes— Devil in a Blue Dress didn’t really fare well at the box office.

In fact, it failed to recuperate its production budget, falling short by $5 million. It’s a failure that the director Carl Franklin attributed, at least in part, to the release’s unfortunate proximity to the O.J. Simpson verdict announcement, which he believes affected how America saw crime stories involving an African-American man and a white woman.

Stream On Netflix While You Can

Devil in a Blue Dress is a really good movie, and Sony acquired the rights with the intention of turning it into a franchise—a plan that sadly never came to fruition. Despite being a fantastic movie, Netflix decided to part ways with it and several dozen other releases. For those interested in watching Devil in a Blue Dress, the movie is available on Netflix until July 1, 2024, when it’s scheduled for removal from the platform.