Netflix subscribers are loving the 2011 critically panned Robert De Niro movie Killer Elite

Robert De Niro and Jason Statham in action thriller Killer Elite
(Image credit: Open Road Films)

Killer Elite, an action thriller starring Jason Statham and Robert DeNiro, has shot to the top of Netflix's UK streaming chart, after landing on the platform on September 10. Subscribers' newfound love for it is surprising, too, not only because the flick is over a decade old... it was critically panned when it came out in 2011.

"Oof. Killer Elite aka The Feather Men now on Netflix. Totally guff and nonsense but an enjoyable action romp. Will watch doing the ironing this morning," one Twitter user wrote after the film dethroned I Came By, a Netflix Original starring George MacKay and Downton Abbey's Hugh Bonneville.

Based on Sir Ranulph Fiennes' book The Feather Men, the movie follows Danny Bryce (Statham), a retired assassin who finds himself at the center of a conspiracy when his former mentor (De Niro) is abducted by a disgraced Sheikh. To save him, and avenge the murders of the Sheikh's sons, he is tasked with killing three Special Air Service troopers. Directed by Gary McKendry, it also stars Clive Owen, Dominic Purcell, Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje, and The Handmaid Tale's Yvonne Strahovski.

Before arriving in cinemas, it earned a 28% score on Rotten Tomatoes. We awarded it three out of five stars in our review, praising Statham but knocking it down for its lack of character motivation and coherent plotting. Little White Lies branded it "long, muddled, [and] misguided" at the time, while Screen Rant argued that it boasted "a cartoony and messy narrative that is mostly style over substance." 

Killer Elite is available to stream on Netflix UK now. If you've already watched it, then check out our list of the best Netflix action movies for some more genre-appropriate viewing inspiration. If you'd rather shake things up, you can do the same with our more eclectic breakdown of the best Netflix movies.

Amy West

I am an Entertainment Writer here at GamesRadar+, covering all things TV and film across our Total Film and SFX sections. Elsewhere, my words have been published by the likes of Digital Spy, SciFiNow, PinkNews, FANDOM, Radio Times, and Total Film magazine.