NETFLIX’s The Stranger is a Very Competent Thriller

The Australian thriller delivers on disturbing levels without showing anything more than it needs to.

Thomas M. Wright’s The Stranger is a new thriller film released on Netflix after it first premiered at the Cannes film festival. There are so many incompetent films from all over the world released every single day of the year. In particular, Netflix releases so many films that just come and go by without leaving any sort of impression on anyone. However, The Stranger is very much a stand-out.


Based on a True Story

The story of The Stranger is dark, really dark. Although at first, you might not know what is going on, as the movie progresses the plot unravels itself little by little. At its most basic, the story follows an undercover operation in regard to the disappearance of a kid in 2002. Now eight years later, the potential murderer is under surveillance and a target by the feds.

The film’s story is so heavy to get through that it makes it all the sadder that the fact that it’s based on a true story is depressing. There’s basically nothing to laugh at here, nothing to smile about, no fun to be had, it’s all one giant experience of doom. The entirety of two hours plays out like a sad theatre play with great acting and disturbing music. At times the audience will be lost trying to figure out what is going on exactly, but the best thing you can do is trust that the writing will explain itself sooner rather than later and that everything will make sense later on. Although not particularly deep in the sense that it’s so mysterious you may need to read essays to understand the plot, the story is still presented in a clever way that keeps the watcher engaged.

One thing you can be certain in regards to The Stranger is that Joel Edgerton is the producer and stars in the main role. Edgerton, generally, makes incredible decisions when it comes to which films he gets involved with. He is one of the best actors working today and he knows how to select good projects.

We’ve seen many, many thrillers that tackle real-life murders and events that will remind you of how disgusting humanity can be at times, but while this film doesn’t stand out much, it is very competent. It’s not something we haven’t necessarily seen before but it does do a really good job at what it’s trying to accomplish. The tone is accordingly darkened and the cinematography helps set the mood.


Expectations for The Stranger

One thing everyone needs to realize before watching the film is to understand that this is not an action film first and foremost. What you also can’t expect is a thriller that’s constantly intense from start to finish and that has twists at every turn. This simply is not that kind of a movie. The intensity most definitely takes over the second half of the runtime, and you will potentially find yourself anxious waiting on what’s to happen.

The critics so far have also loved The Stranger too. Most of the reviews have commented on the ending and just how intense it is. Additionally, there’s barely any moment of relief up until the last seconds. There may also be some tears involved but that depends on how much the story affects your emotions and how much attention you’ve paid to the dialogue.

This great Australian thriller is now streaming on Netflix globally.

Photo: Netflix


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