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The Biographical Thriller Killing It On Netflix Right Now

Netflix is a cornucopia of quality content at all times, but the streaming giant's worth becomes all the more apparent when you come across a hidden gem that you've never quite managed to catch, yet ticks pretty much all the boxes for a great movie night. A surefire sign of such a film is that they often wind up on Netflix's Top Ten list, as your fellow movie aficionados catch wind of the flick and flock to watch it on their respective couches. 

The most recent entrant into this unofficial Hall of Fame is Snowden, the 2016 biographical thriller that tells the true story of NSA informant Edward Snowden. Per Box Office Mojo, the movie didn't make much of an impact during its theatrical run, bringing home a measly $37.3 million against a budget of $40 million. 

So, why are audiences suddenly mass-watching the movie? Why is Snowden one of the best things on Netflix right now? Let's take a look at the biographical thriller that's killing it on Netflix this election season.

The story of Edward Snowden starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt

First of all, Snowden's helmsman is none other than writer-director Oliver Stone of JFK, W. and Nixon fame. Stone's politically themed movie background alone should speak volumes of his capability to helm this kind of film, and when you remember that he also made Platoon and Wall Street — as well as wrote Brian De Palma's Scarface – this particular project of his becomes a borderline must-watch. 

There's also the fact that the Snowden cast is an absolute all-star collection. Joseph Gordon-Levitt leads the pack as Edward Snowden, and Shailene Woodley of Big Little Lies fame stars as Snowden's girlfriend Lindsay Mills. The various journalists, agents and fictional characters around the pair are played by household names like Star Trek's Zachary Quinto, The Amazing Spider-Man's Rhys Ifans, Deadwood and Fargo's Timothy Olyphant — and, of course, Academy Award winner Melissa Leo of The Fighter fameOh, and speaking of Oscars, there's also the force of nature known as Nicolas Cage, who portrays former U.S. intelligence officer Hank Forrester. 

In case you weren't convinced by Stone and the rock-solid cast, the movie does also boast a perfectly decent 61% fresh rating and 70% audience score on Rotten Tomatoes, so its poor box office performance was likely more of a "slipped through the cracks" situation than anything else. 

As with other "based on a true story" features, an avid follower of the news might already know the basic gist of the movie's plot — but as scores of Netflix viewers are finding out to their delight, the story has certainly never been told this well.