New Netflix movie The Stranger lands an almost perfect Rotten Tomatoes score

the Stranger
(Image credit: Netflix)

The Stranger is Netflix’s newest original crime thriller, and it's been getting rave reviews. The film – not to be confused with the Harlan Coben Netflix series of the same name – is an Australian crime drama directed by Thomas Wright.

It follows the friendship that forms between two strangers, Henry (played by Sean Harris) and Mark (Joel Edgerton). Their new connection is a great comfort to them both, but it soon becomes clear that they are hiding the huge secrets of their past from each other. Meanwhile, a huge police operation is closing in the background.

The tense thriller has debuted to an almost perfect Rotten Tomatoes score, landing 96% with critics on the review aggregator. "Moody and atmospheric, this is a superior true-crime tale. Edgerton and Harris are on knockout form," says Total Film's James Mottram in the pages of the new issue, featuring Enola Holmes on the cover. "It’s abundantly clear that The Stranger has crept, assiduously, into brilliance," writes The Guardian’s Luke Buckmaster in his five-star review. "To call it an unconventionally impressive crime drama is to put it very lightly."

Sydney Morning Herald’s Paul Byrnes says: "In tone, the film is brilliantly hidden. It takes a long while to work out what’s happening. The atmosphere is gloomy, distrustful, brutal in language, with a jangly soundscape and music."

"What makes The Stranger so interesting is how it turns the crime thriller on its end," M.N. Miller of Ready Steady Cut argues. "We are trained to watch car chases and watch detectives beat up criminals to get the answers they are looking for. Here, we are neck-deep in psychological warfare."

While Deadline’s Anna Smith writes: "You’re left with an admiration for the extraordinary police work that usually remains secret by its very nature – and this quietly compelling insight will stay with you for a while."

Although, not all of the reviews have been positive. Hannah Strong of Little White Lies wrote: "There are some striking images within The Stranger matched by its aesthetic intensity, but the convoluted plot is withholding in a way that makes it difficult to truly connect with the story, as worthy a subject it might be."

For what else to stream on the platform, check out our guide to the best Netflix thrillers and the best Netflix movies available now.

Fay Watson
Deputy Entertainment Editor

I’m the Deputy Entertainment Editor here at GamesRadar+, covering TV and film for the Total Film and SFX sections online. I previously worked as a Senior Showbiz Reporter and SEO TV reporter at Express Online for three years. I've also written for The Resident magazines and Amateur Photographer, before specializing in entertainment.