The Mind-bending Sci-Fi Thriller On Netflix With a Marvel Star

By Sean Thiessen | Updated

anthony mackie synchronic
Anthony Mackie in Synchronic

Original movies are out there, folks. You just have to know where to look. If trippy, time-warping sci-fi/horror indies are your jam, look no further than Synchronic, streaming now on Netflix. This cinematic mind-bender stars Anthony Mackie and Jamie Dornan as paramedics caught in the tide of a designer drug wreaking havoc on people’s minds – and reality itself.

Synchronic is not casual viewing. Anthony Mackie plays Steve, a man who spends his life-saving others, only to be diagnosed with a critical brain tumor. In his desperation, he turns to synchronic, a discontinued drug that he learns has the ability to send certain people through time.

Anthony Mackie takes viewers on a brain-breaking trip through time and reality in Synchronic, available to stream on Netflix.

Reality collapses in on Steve as his use of synchronic increases and his trips through time become more dangerous. The film races toward a stunning conclusion, putting Anthony Mackie at the center of this modern sci-fi cult classic.

Synchronic debuted at the Toronto International Film Festival in 2019 and was released the following fall. The Anthony Mackie flick was added to the Netflix library at the beginning of 2021, where it lies in wait for adventurous moviegoers.

Synchronic comes from the bizarre minds of filmmakers Justin Benson and Aaron Moorhead. The duo directed the film from a script by Benson. Before they teamed up with Anthony Mackie, Benson, and Moorhead had long been carving a name for themselves as wildly creative independent filmmakers. They started making insane movies in 2012 with the horror mystery Resolution

Jamie Dornan and Anthony Mackie in Synchronic

The film made noise in the indie film world, and they followed it up with a segment in 2014’s V/H/S Viral. The same year, they released their horror romance movie Spring, a film that earned the praise of filmmakers like Guillermo del Toro and Richard Linklater.

In 2017, the filmmakers made Endless, which introduces the fictional hallucinogenic flower that synchronic is derived from. Both Endless and Resolution have elements that bear weight for Anthony Mackie in Synchronic. The directors have since joined Mackie in the Marvel Cinematic Universe; Benson and Moorhead helmed episodes of the 2022 series Moon Knight

Synchronic came from the creative minds of horror directors Justin Benson and Aaron Moorehead, the team behind Spring, Endless, and Resolution.

Synchronic is a hidden gem for Anthony Mackie, who, aside from his prominent role as the Falcon and Captain America in Marvel films, often flies under the radar in smaller, riskier projects. 2023 was a full year for the actor, who has been the leading man on the big and small screen.

He kicked things off with the comedy film We Have a Ghost, in which he plays a father whose family’s new house is haunted by none other than Stranger Things star David Harbour. In March, Mackie starred with Natalie Morales in the sci-fi rom-com If You Were the Last during the film’s SXSW premiere.

He also had a role with former Captain America star Chris Evans in Apple TV’s Ghosted, and in Peacock’s adaptation of the video game Twisted Metal. Synchronic may not be the most popular Anthony Mackie film, but it holds up even against the highest-profile work the actor has to offer.


Speaking of high-profile work, the star of Synchronic is about to hit Netflix once again in the Russo Brothers’ latest film, The Electric State. Starring Millie Bobby Brown and Chris Pratt, the blockbuster is set to debut in 2024, as will Captain America: Brave New World.

The new Marvel film will be the first Captain America movie to star Mackie in the title role. It will also introduce Harrison Ford to the Marvel Cinematic Universe as he takes on the role of General Thaddeus ‘Thunderbolt’ Ross. The role was previously played by the late and great William Hurt.

Synchronic doesn’t have the same name value as Anthony Mackie’s other projects and only made $1.5 million at the box office, but it has become a streaming hit.

With a mix of superheroes, action, and smaller-scale films more akin to Synchronic, Anthony Mackie has a jam-packed slate ahead of him. The actor has been a player in Hollywood for a long time, racking up more than 70 credits since 2002. He broke out in a big way in 2008’s The Hurt Locker, and became recognizable worldwide with 2014’s Captain America: The Winter Soldier.

With Synchronic, Anthony Mackie delivers some of the finest work of his long and varied career. Even with superhero status, he remains a risk-taker, constantly pushing his skills to new heights. Steam Synchronic on Netflix now to catch the Marvel star at the finest – and trippiest – you may ever see him.