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The Cuba Gooding Jr. Crime Drama Taking Off On Hulu

Cuba Gooding Jr. has one of the most intriguing careers of any Oscar winner. He first rose to prominence with a star-making turn in 1991's Boyz n the Hood and then followed it up with a string of high-profile roles in the likes of A Few Good Men and Gladiator — no, not the Russel Crowe film, but the underrated 1992 boxing movie — before landing the part that would garner him the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor: Rod Tidwell in Jerry Maguire. Not only did the actor get recognition from numerous awards show, but he managed to steal the spotlight from Tom Cruise and popularized the phrase, "Show me the money" in everyday conversation.

Things started to go awry in Gooding Jr.'s career in the 2000s when he began making some baffling career choices, starring in one flop after the next. That downhill spiral began with Boat Trip and continued with the likes of The Fighting TemptationsRadio, and Daddy Day Camp. Soon, the actor became more of a fixture in direct-to-video films you'd find in the bargain bin at Walmart than the top of the box office. Still, the actor's career has had some bright spots in recent memory, including an Emmy-nominated performance as the titular character in the FX drama, American Crime Story: The People v. O.J. Simpson

It also looks like audiences have missed the actor, as of late, considering one of his most underseen films has become popular on Hulu, according to the streaming service metric site, FlixPatrol. If you're in the mood for a nasty crime drama, then now is the time to check out Bayou Caviar.

Bayou Caviar marks Cuba Gooding Jr.'s first time as a director

You're not alone if this is the first time you're hearing about Bayou Caviar. The movie had an extremely limited theatrical release back in 2018 (via Deadline). People may not have flocked to see it when it first came out, but now that it's readily accessible on Hulu with the press on the button, more people seem to be giving it a chance, allowing it to claim the number 9 spot for the top Hulu movies in the world for January 15, 2021. 

Cuba Gooding Jr. pulls double-duty as both lead actor and director in Bayou Caviar, which is about a former boxer, Rodney (Gooding Jr.), who eventually gets wrapped up in the affairs of a Russian gangster, Yuri (Richard Dreyfuss). The criminal gives Rodney the task of coming up with blackmail for his business associate's son-in-law. Rodney ends up getting drawn into the labyrinthine criminal underworld of New Orleans that will put him in direct contact with a slew of colorful characters, played by the likes of Famke Janssen, Lia Marie Johnson, and Katharine McPhee.

While the film seems to have piqued the curiosity of numerous Hulu subscribers, the question remains regarding whether it's worth checking out. It didn't exactly light up the Tomatometer when it was first released, although it does have an audience score of 50 percent on Rotten Tomatoes. The film has its supporters, such as Ben Kenigsberg of The New York Times, who wrote in his review, "Like a boxer who doesn't know when to quit, 'Bayou Caviar' goes on a bit long, then rallies — in this case with an agreeably cynical closing image."

If you've missed seeing Cuba Gooding Jr. on your TV screen, then Bayou Caviar may just scratch that itch.