Another week, another list of Netflix’s top 10 films – with Jennifer Lopez thriller The Mother launching into the number one spot.
The Mother follows an isolated assassin living in Alaska, who emerges from hiding to protect her daughter from dangerous forces. Lopez plays the skilled (and unnamed) US military operative, putting her choreographic talents to use in a series of action-packed shootouts and chase sequences as she tries to keep her daughter out of harm’s way.
The film has proven a smash hit for Netflix, entering the Top 10 Films in 93 countries, with over 83,000,000 hours viewed – four times the amount for the runner-up film this week, Tom Hank’s grumpy old man showcase A Man Called Otto.
That’s despite a pretty lukewarm response from critics, with a 44% rating on Rotten Tomatoes, and a general consensus that the film leans too heavily on cliché to carve out its own identity, though the audience score is stronger. If you’re one of the people who watched and enjoyed it, we’ve got more J-Lo classics to recommend.
The critical response wasn’t a problem for Netflix, it seems – and it’s been a similar situation over at Amazon Prime Video, where the undercooked spy thriller Citadel has been a massive hit for the streaming service.
However, if you’re looking for a thriller to watch this weekend and are wondering about The Mother, you’d do well to check out another thriller hanging out at the bottom of the Top 10: 1995’s Heat.
Bringing the heat
Heat, written and directed by crime drama master Michael Mann (The Last of the Mohicans, Collateral), stars the talents of Al Pacino and Robert De Niro as a police lieutenant and professional thief respectively, narrowing in on each other through a series of heists, murders and betrayals.
It’s one of the greatest crime epics of all time, and is one of the most influential movies of the ’90s, providing inspiration to everything from Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight (it’s like watching the movie through new eyes once you’ve seen Heat) to the GTA games – both of which inspired whole new sections of their industries themselves.
It has some all-time great performances from Pacino and De Niro as two very different kinds of pro – broken men who don’t know each other at all, and yet automatically recognize the other as a kindred spirit as they play cat and mouse across Los Angeles. Which makes the collision course they’re on oddly tragic, as well as utterly gripping.
And if that doesn’t take your fancy, you could always check out Kung Fu Panda 3, of course, which currently sits at the number six spot. Or any of the other recommendations in our list of the best Netflix movies.