Cookies help us deliver our Services. By using our Services, you agree to our use of cookies. Learn More.

The Idris Elba Action Thriller That Just Cracked The Netflix Top 10

Say, could you use a shot of Idris Elba in full-on action hero mode? Netflix has got you covered.

The Take, known as Bastille Day in most international markets, has cracked the streamer's Top Ten list for movies in the U.S. Sporting international intrigue, plenty of action, and an excellent cast, viewers are finding the flick to be a welcome diversion during this, the Year that Everyone Can't Wait to Forget About.

The Take is a truly international endeavor, with American, French, and Luxembourgian studios all taking part in its production. It was co-written and helmed by British director James Watkins, who is responsible for the underrated 2012 feature The Woman in Black, as well as one of the most purely disturbing episodes of Black Mirror, season 3's "Shut Up and Dance." Aside from the suave and dashing Elba, the cast includes at least one face which should be very familiar to Americans: co-lead Richard Madden, who starred on the first three seasons of HBO's smash hit series Game of Thrones (and who is lined up to portray the hero Ikaris in Marvel Studios' upcoming Eternals). Among the flick's supporting players are Charlotte Le Bon (The Promise), Kelly Reilly (Yellowstone), José Garcia (Now You See Me), and Eriq Ebouaney (Domino).

What's The Take about?

The Take opens on American drifter Michael Mason (Madden), who is wandering the streets of Paris on the night before Bastille Day looking for a mark to rob. He finds one in a young woman named Zoe (Le Bon), stealing her handbag and pilfering the cash and cell phone within. He then ditches the bag — but little does he know that Zoe had an agenda. Her bag also happened to have contained a bomb, and after Mason is caught on a security camera discarding the bag, the bomb explodes, killing multiple innocent bystanders.

Enter CIA agent Sean Briar (Elba), whose unorthodox methods of operation have earned him the recent ire of his superiors. Briar manages to take Mason into custody, but quickly comes to suspect that the petty thief is no terrorist. As it turns out, the bomb was meant only to be a diversion, drawing the attention of authorities so that a cadre of corrupt police officers can pull off a daring robbery of the French National Bank. Zoe, the girlfriend of one of the conspirators, had gotten cold feet at the last minute, leading to her encounter with Mason — and now, the gang of crooks are able to use her phone to draw a bead on Mason and Briar.

After a confrontation with the gang, Briar comes to fully believe in Mason's innocence — and as the conspirators begin staging more attacks to drum up fear among the public and divert attention from their plan, Briar becomes determined to take them down with Mason's help (and with or without the approval of his bosses). Will the pair be able to clear Mason's name, and bring the crooked cops to justice? 

Here's why you've never heard of The Take

The Take received only an extremely limited release in North America. According to Box Office Mojo, the flick opened on no more than a measly 100 screens, and with no advertising push to speak of, it only cleared about $50,000 during its entire stateside run. (No, there are no zeroes missing from that figure.) Overseas, the picture didn't fare much better. Due to its subject matter, the movie's release was significantly pushed back following the Paris terrorist attacks of November 2015; originally slated for release in February 2016, it was shuffled off to July of that year, only to be pulled from theaters after less than a week due to yet another deadly terrorist attack in Nice.

Despite Elba's star power, The Take failed to make a dent in the public consciousness when it was released to DVD and Blu-ray, and it's safe to say that the unheralded flick has gotten in front of very few American eyeballs... until now, thanks to Netflix. Fire up the streamer and check it out, because who couldn't use a little more Elba in their lives?