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A hauntingly visceral thriller throws the Netflix Top 10 into a state of chaos

Incendiary in more ways than one, and a certified Netflix smash hit.

via Netflix

Whisper it, but Netflix’s foreign-language original movies might be more consistent in terms of quality than the myriad of star-studded Hollywood productions that arrive at regular intervals, even if it’s the big names and explosive action scenes that tend to draw in more subscribers. Once again putting that theory to the test, France’s Athena has scored vastly superior reviews to the J.J. Abrams-produced Lou, but it hasn’t quite hit the same heights on the viewership rankings.

Not that the hauntingly tragic tale is being completely ignored by the streaming service’s customer base, though, with FlixPatrol outing co-writer and director Romain Gavras’ socially-conscious story as the 10th most-watched feature on the global rankings after becoming one of the biggest hits in 24 nations since premiering this past Friday.

via Netflix

Predictably, it only hit number one in its native France, but Athena should endure based on the acclaim being pointed in its direction.

Nominated for the Golden Lion at the Venice Film Festival, and the current holder of an 82 percent Rotten Tomatoes score and 70 rating on Metacritic, the incendiary effort follows three siblings in the aftermath of their youngest brother’s death, of which the circumstances remain shrouded in mystery. Setting off in search of answers, the trio find themselves in the midst of the chaos that erupts around them as they begin to edge closer to the real truth of what happened.

It’s powerful stuff that even managed to draw the ire of France’s right-wing political subset, so Athena has definitely managed to touch a nerve or two.

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Scott Campbell

News, reviews, interviews. To paraphrase Keanu Reeves; Words. Lots of words.