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This Dwayne Johnson film is Netflix’s most popular action movie. Here’s why you should watch it

Earlier this year, Snitch celebrated its 10th anniversary in a very subdued fashion. After all, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson has starred in so many action flicks that they all tend to blur together. In the movie, Johnson plays John Matthews, a father who is alarmed when his son, Jason Collins (Rafi Gavron), is sentenced to jail for 10 years on bogus drug charges. To help his son earn his freedom, John agrees to undertake a very deadly personal mission and infiltrate the criminal underworld in order to expose drug dealers who have escaped justice until now.

Snitch may have been destined to remain forgotten until it debuted near the top of Netflix’s Netflix’s top 10 most popular movies. And suddenly, a mid-budget action film from a decade ago has become a streaming hit. But there’s more to Snitch‘s newfound success than Netflix’s infamous algorithm. This is a movie that has earned its revival by offering things that many of Johnson’s other action films couldn’t provide. That’s why we’re sharing the three reasons why you should watch Snitch on Netflix, especially if you want to save yourself a trip to the theater this weekend.

It has one of Dwayne Johnson’s best performances

Dwayne Johnson in Snitch.
Lionsgate

Snitch falls into roughly the beginning of the second half of Johnson’s two-decade career as a full-time actor in Hollywood. And while Johnson has always shown a lot of charisma as an action hero, he hasn’t always had a lot of dramatic range beyond his comfort zone. Thankfully, Snitch is one of the rare action flicks that doesn’t treat Johnson’s character like an invincible warrior or a wise-cracking badass. Instead, John is well outside of his comfort zone and Johnson actually seems physically and emotionally vulnerable. That’s quite an accomplishment considering that he’s still bigger than most of the other actors around him.

There are even moments when John appears overwhelmed by the task at hand. John knows that he has to secure his son’s freedom any way that he can, but to do so, he has to commit the same misdeed that landed Jason in jail. Despite his good intentions, John doesn’t have the moral high ground in this flick, and that makes Johnson even more enjoyable in the role.

The supporting cast is very strong

Jon Bernthal in Snitch.
Lionsgate

Casting directors Lindsay Graham and Mary Vernieu, and director Ric Roman Waugh deserve a lot of credit for surrounding Johnson with a top-notch supporting cast in Snitch. And on the top of the cast list is The Walking Dead veteran Jon Bernthal as a reformed criminal, Daniel James, whom John bribes into giving him an introduction to the local crime scene. It isn’t until much later that Daniel realizes that John has betrayed his trust and endangered both of their families by crossing a drug dealer, Malik Anderson (as played by the late Michael K. Williams).

Stranger Things‘ David Harbour shows up in a minor role as Jay Price, while Blue Beetle‘s Susan Sarandon plays one of the movie’s most despicable characters, District Attorney Joanne Keeghan. She’s the one who doesn’t have a problem using low-level criminals to set up their friends for long prison sentences, which is what happens to John’s son at the beginning of the movie. Keeghan simply believes that the ends justify the means if it ultimately helps further her political career.

Barry Pepper, Benjamin Bratt, and Harold Perrineau also have supporting roles that help push Snitch to greater heights than it would have achieved with a lesser cast. It’s still Johnson’s movie, but he doesn’t have to carry it all by himself.

The moral quandaries are more intriguing than the action

Dwayne Johnson in Snitch.
Lionsgate

Snitch is a Dwayne Johnson movie, so action was always going to be a part of its DNA. But it’s not the action that makes this movie stand out. Instead, it’s the way that almost every major character is morally compromised by the choices they make. John chooses to trick Daniel into helping him make drug connections despite the fact that a third-strike conviction will send Daniel to jail for decades. Daniel accepts John’s bribe because he needs the money regardless of the risk, and Keeghan willingly allows others to risk their lives just so she can notch up more convictions and political wins.

Ironically, it’s John’s son, Jason, who turns out to be one of the more moral characters in the film. Despite being set up to receive drugs without his knowledge, Jason refuses to help the D.A. and the police entrap anyone else. That’s why John felt he had to step in to save his son. Those are the kinds of conflicts that give Snitch its dramatic moments and emotional weight. But if you’re only checking it out for the action, then you won’t be disappointed

Watch Snitch on Netflix.

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Blair Marnell
Blair Marnell has been an entertainment journalist for over 15 years. His bylines have appeared in Wizard Magazine, Geek…
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