Sandra Bullock Has A Huge New Hit On Netflix

By Doug Norrie | 21 seconds ago

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It’s been more than three years since Sandra Bullock has released a major film, marking one of the longest hiatuses of her accomplished career. But that flick absolutely crushed it on Netflix, marking a big win for the streamer. It was one first major offerings financed completely by the company for the platform. Well, it looks like she has now done it again. Bullock released another movie last week on Netflix which is currently climbing the charts in a big way. According to FlixPatrol, The Unforgivable is currently sitting at number one for Netflix and has been generating quite a bit of buzz around its story and Bullock’s star turn especially. 

The Unforgivable follows the story of Ruth Slater, played by Sandra Bullock, as she attempts to pick up the pieces of her life following a tragic and deadly incident involving her and her sister. Slater ends up serving an extended prison sentence after she is charged with the murder of a local police officer who had come to take her and her sister out of the house. This incident has a cascading effect of not only sending Ruth to prison but also landing her sister (who was very young at the time) in a foster family because their parents were both deceased. 

The movie tells the story of how, when Sandra Bullock’s character is released from prison she goes about trying to reconnect with her sister, who has almost no memory of her. And Ruth is also fighting against factions within the town who are out for revenge because of the initial killing. It’s a layered story about family, but also about the almost sliding door effects of a single incident on families and the community. Bullock plays a nearly broken soul, someone struggling to maintain after such a horrific event. But she’s also working to maintain some semblance of her past life even when nearly everyone is working against that happening. Check out Sandra Bullock in the trailer for The Unforgivable.

It’s easy to see, from the trailer, why this movie and story would attract an audience on Netflix. It has the star power of Sandra Bullock obviously but there is clearly a heightened tension around the rest of the cast. There is Vincent D’Onofrio as the now-local sheriff who has been dealing with the fallout of the shooting. And then there is Violet Davis who is clearly at odds with Bullock’s character. Other notables include Jon Bernthal, Rob Morgan, and Aisling Franciosi as Ruth’s now-grown, younger sister Katie. Directing is Nora Fingscheidt in what amounts to her first feature film release. 

For all of the gains The Unforgivable is currently making on Netflix in terms of viewership and chart-climbing, there was some stumbling when it came to the critics. The movie is sitting at just 39% on Rotten Tomatoes and 41 on Metacritic. For the most part, reviews praised the ensemble cast in that everyone played their particular role with a certain amount of gravity, noting that this role was a strong one for Sandra Bullock especially. It’s a grittier performance than we are used to seeing from the star. But many took issue with the overall story, saying it turns a bit dull and never fully works its way into any particular part of the story. 

Interestingly enough, this follows a somewhat similar line to what the other Sandra Bullock Netflix hit did when she released Bird Box a few years ago. The alien attack/ survival story was a major hit for the streamer, racking up some of the biggest viewing numbers it had ever seen. At the time, a few months into its run, Netflix announced that it had in fact been the second-most-watched movie ever for the platform. Currently, there is a series in development around the story. But that one also wasn’t a major hit with critics, sitting at 64% on Rotten Tomatoes

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In all, critics aren’t the be-all, end-all when it comes to movie performance. Sandra Bullock likely knows this as much as anyone. Sure, the release timing in selected theaters was probably meant for it to land some award season buzz. That almost definitely won’t be happening with the critical reception. But it has clearly found an audience on Netflix and is very much worth checking out.