An Underrated Civil Rights Movie Is Leaving Netflix

The 2015 British civil rights film Suffragette is leaving Netflix on November 16.

By Matthew Creith | Published

English actor Carey Mulligan is receiving some of the best reviews of her career for her performance in the Me Too era film, She Said. The movie is set to debut in theaters on November 18, which tells the story of journalists who risked their lives and reputations to expose the sexual misconduct allegations levied towards Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein. Mulligan has been known for playing lead female characters in conflict with the patriarchy, just as she did in the 2015 British historical drama Suffragette, a civil rights movie that will soon leave Netflix on November 16.

Underrated when it was released in theaters on October 12, 2015, Suffragette tells the story of the women’s suffrage movement in the United Kingdom that took place at the beginning of the 20th century. The civil rights movie about the fight for women’s right to vote was directed by Sarah Gavron and written by Welsh playwright Abi Morgan. It is notable for being the first feature film in history to have scenes shot in Britain’s Houses of Parliament, having filmed on location in February 2014.

Suffragette debuted in the United Kingdom but had a minimal release in North America in 2015, which accounts for why many fans of Carey Mulligan might need to discover the film exists. Currently available for streaming on Netflix for a bit longer, the civil rights movie contains an ensemble cast of actors, including Helena Bonham Carter, Anne-Marie Duff, Brendan Gleeson, and Ben Whishaw, as well as Academy Award winner Meryl Streep. Most of the actors in the film portray real people who were involved in the United Kingdom’s suffragette movement, while some are amalgamations of historical figures, such as Helena Bonham Carter’s character, who is based on Edith Garrud and Edith New.

After its limited run in global markets, Suffragette took in some decent returns for a historical drama set in the United Kingdom. The civil rights movie grossed around $34 million at the box office against a budget of $14 million, having been distributed by 20th Century Fox. However, because the movie did not have a lengthy North American release, Suffragette quickly left movie theaters in the United States with very little fanfare.

To drum up a more financially successful showing at the box office for the civil rights movie, several key cast members, such as Meryl Streep and Carey Mulligan, appeared in promotional photographs in conjunction with Time Out London. According to The Conversation, these photographs were viewed as inappropriate and a bit tone-deaf for their depiction of famous actors wearing shirts that read, “I’d Rather Be A Rebel Than A Slave.” Many moviegoers took this message as a slight against Black individuals and deemed the campaign racist, but the film’s cast believed their message came through, and the promotional tools might have worked in their favor to get audiences to see the movie.

Critics and audiences were pretty kind to Suffragette upon its eventual release in theaters, and as the civil rights movie is currently available for streaming, viewers seem to be still weighing in on what they think of the project. Rotten Tomatoes currently ranks Suffragette with a 73% on its Tomatometer based on 223 critics’ reviews, as well as an Audience Score of 68% based on over 10,000 ratings from users to the site. Similarly, Metacritic ranks the movie with a Metascore of 64 based on 37 critics’ reviews and a User Score of 6.7 based on 93 ratings from users, which typically denotes generally favorable ratings from critics and users alike.

After her substantial work in Suffragette, contributing to the civil rights movie, Carey Mulligan took on a more assertive persona in 2020’s Promising Young Woman, where she played a vengeful young woman taking back her identity after a traumatic incident in her past. She has become a bit of an icon in the woman’s rights field as of late, costarring in the highly anticipated She Said with Zoe Kazan, which appears to examine all of the events leading up to a few brave women revealing to the world who Harvey Weinstein actually was. In the film, actor Ashley Judd is rumored to be playing herself in a cameo role, as she was one of the most recognizable celebrities who accused Weinstein of workplace sexual misconduct.