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5 of the best and 5 of the worst Netflix original thrillers of the year

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best and worst netflix original thrillers

  • Netflix released a number of original thrillers this year, but not all of them have been a hit with critics.
  • Critics enjoyed haunting flicks like "I Am Mother" and "The Perfection."
  • On the other hand, they widely panned thrillers like "Polar" and "The Red Sea Diving Resort."
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Netflix released a limited amount of original thrillers this year, and they've received mixed reviews across the board.

Here are some of the best and worst Netflix original thrillers of the year, according to critic scores on Rotten Tomatoes. 

Note: The scores listed throughout the piece were accurate at the time of publication but are subject to change.

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"I Am Mother" impressed critics with its unique premise.

Rotten Tomatoes rating: 90% 

Starring: Hilary Swank, Clara Rugaard, Rose Byrne

As critic Brad Newsome wrote for The Sydney Morning Herald, "An intriguing premise, fine performances and a string of startling reveals that just keeps on coming make this Australian sci-fi film a real winner — and a must-watch for the Black Mirror set."



"The Perfection" was called seductive yet disturbing by critics.

Rotten Tomatoes rating: 73%

Starring: Allison Williams, Alaina Huffman, Steven Weber, Logan Browning

As critic Katie Rife wrote for the AV Club, "The Perfection takes deep, fetishistic satisfaction in pushing the envelope, then pushing it some more, building in seductive fits and shocking starts to an orgiastic frenzy of cinematic excess."



The heist-focused thriller "Triple Frontier" was praised for being loaded with action.

Rotten Tomatoes rating: 72%

Starring: Ben Affleck, Oscar Isaac, Charlie Hunnam

"Triple Frontier makes a decent stab at looking beyond the usual ambitions of the genre. There's thought behind all this gun-toting," wrote critic Clarisse Loughrey for The Independent.



The thriller "Velvet Buzzsaw" featured a number of familiar faces.

Rotten Tomatoes rating: 63%

Starring: Jake Gyllenhaal, John Malkovich, Billy Magnussen, Toni Collette, Natalia Dyer, Rene Russo

As Cosmopolitan's entertainment editor Emily Tannenbaum wrote, "Is director Dan Gilroy trying to catch us in our own shallow consumption? ... Frankly, if this is the case then thank you. I'll take it."



"Fractured" is a mystery thriller that most critics enjoyed.

Rotten Tomatoes rating: 62%

Starring: Lily Rabe, Sam Worthington, Stephen Tobolowsky

"When I wasn't busying myself making an internal checklist of films I was reminded of, I was happily playing armchair detective, curious enough to engage with the pieces I was given,"  wrote critic Benjamin Lee for The Guardian.



On the other hand, the horror-thriller "In the Tall Grass" didn't spook most critics.

Rotten Tomatoes rating: 37%

Starring: Patrick Wilson, Laysla De Oliveira, Harrison Gilbertson

As critic Noel Murray wrote for the Los Angeles Times, "'In the Tall Grass' runs too long and repeats itself too much to be as gripping as its source material. Turns out there's a limit to how scary weeds can be."



"Secret Obsession" is a thriller that left critics wanting more suspense.

Rotten Tomatoes rating: 31% 

Starring: Brenda Song, Mike Vogel, Dennis Haysbert

As critic Linda Holmes wrote for NPR, "This is a pretty bad movie, but it seems to be bad in the way it's meant to be bad. It's cheerfully trashy, and if that's up your alley, have at it."



"The Silence" couldn't be saved by a star-studded cast.

Rotten Tomatoes rating: 30%

Starring: Stanley Tucci, Kiernan Shipka, Miranda Otto, John Corbett

As critic Brian Tallerico wrote for RogerEbert.com, "Even the always-welcome Stanley Tucci can't add any flair to a movie that feels so much like a relative of John Krasinski's 2018 smash hit ['A Quiet Place']."

 



The spy thriller "The Red Sea Diving Resort" didn't receive high marks.

Rotten Tomatoes rating: 30%

Starring: Chris Evans, Michael Kenneth Williams, Haley Bennett

As Mark Kennedy wrote for the Associated Press, "A large part of the problem is the casting of Chris Evans as the leader of the Israeli spy ring that set up the hotel. He is most known for playing Captain America and seems not to have put aside his shield for this film."



"Polar" is a thriller that fell flat for most critics.

Rotten Tomatoes rating: 20%

Starring: Mads Mikkelsen, Vanessa Hudgens, Katheryn Winnick, Matt Lucas

"Polar is pure trash, but the generousness — and, in the final stretch, the poignancy — with which Mikkelsen approaches even the most lurid of the film's conceits at least pushes it toward the top of the garbage heap," wrote Keith Uhlich for The Hollywood Reporter.

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