The R-Rated Disney+ Crime Mystery Thriller Dives Into Dark Secrets

By Chris Snellgrove | Published

Disney+ crime thriller r-rated

In every good crime thriller, answers to the biggest mysteries are often hiding in plain sight; what if one of the best modern crime thriller films was doing the same? Now that Hulu content is available on Disney+, subscribers to both services have access to more films than ever before. If that describes you, then it’s definitely time to stream The Good Mother and see what the hype is about.

What is The Good Mother about, actually? The plot begins when the estranged son of a journalist gets murdered, kicking off her unusual alliance with his pregnant girlfriend. Together, these women quickly get in over their heads in a world comprised of narcotics and other criminal activities, and their quest to find answers soon becomes a race to stay alive while keeping their integrity intact.

One of the most compelling reasons to check The Good Mother out is its stellar cast. Hilary Swank plays the mother investigating the murder of her child, and this two-time Academy Award-winning actor instantly elevates every scene that she is in. The movie also features some great genre stars, including House of the Dragon’s Olivia Cooke and Midsommar’s Jack Reynor.

Another thing that we adored about The Good Mother is that every scene looks absolutely gorgeous. The movie takes place in Albany, New York, and everything was shot on location, meaning we get great shots of iconic locations such as Empire State Plaza and the New York State Capital. In the hands of director Miles Joris-Peyrafitte, these shots transcend verisimilitude and achieve a kind of transcendent quality that perfectly complements the air of unreality creeping around the edges of the story.

When The Good Mother first came out, it baffled critics who were expecting more of a traditional crime thriller. On Rotten Tomatoes, the film currently has a critical score of 21 percent, with critics mostly complaining that the film’s unconventional story wasn’t what they were expecting. However, we consider that a good thing: not only did this movie zig where other thrillers would zag, but the focus more on characters than plotting gives us more time to enjoy the actors’ excellent scene work (made all the better by Swank’s killer acting).

The Good Mother wasn’t exactly a box office darling, but it was never meant to be. The movie had a very limited theatrical release in 2023, ultimately bringing in a worldwide total box office of $553,182. In other words, most crime thriller fans never even got a chance to see this one theatrically, but here’s some good news: checking out this unique thriller is as easy as clicking a button.

For those rocking both a Disney+ and Hulu subscription, it’s now possible to stream The Good Mother on Disney, and experiencing this combination of beautiful cinematography and ugly subject matter feels truly sublime. The movie serves as a reminder that this genre still has plenty of surprises in store for us, and audiences with an open mind are in for a treat. Plus, be honest: doesn’t it feel good to stream something on Disney+ other than your regular servings of Marvel and Star Wars slop?