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A superficial cult favorite thriller that’s all star power and no substance jumps 44 places overnight to become one of Netflix’s biggest hits

A-list cast, C-list execution.

street kings
Image via Fox Searchlight

Believe it or not – despite what the internet discourse would try and have everyone believe – David Ayer made movies both before and after Suicide Squad, with his second feature-length directorial effort Street Kings honing the core concepts that had defined his output as both a writer and filmmaker up to that point.

The likes of Training Day, Dark Blue, S.W.A.T., and Harsh Times all focused largely on police departments riddled with corruption, and the street-level action thriller didn’t make any deviations from that playbook. Respective Rotten Tomatoes scores of 36 and 58 percent are hardly through the roof, although it would be fair to say the trigger-happy 2008 effort has gained something of a reputation as an underrated and unfairly chastised cult favorite over the last decade and a half.

street kings
via Fox Searchlight

One thing that can’t be denied is that Street Kings comes packing an insanely stacked cast of top-tier talents, with leading man Keanu Reeves being joined by Hugh Laurie, Chris Evans, Forest Whitaker, Common, Naomie Harris, and Terry Crews, so star power is hardly in short supply, even if the fairly straightforward narrative of a grieving LAPD veteran questioning the loyalty of his colleagues after being implicated in the death of a fellow officer is boilerplate stuff that’s been seen and done before.

As if anyone needed anymore reminders, though, star-studded genre films are always going to find favor on Netflix, and Street Kings is merely the latest in a very long list of examples. Per FlixPatrol, having jumped 44 places overnight, it’s currently the eighth most-watched feature on the worldwide watch-list and enjoying its latest lease of new life on-demand.

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Scott Campbell

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