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The Gene Hackman Mystery Climbing Up Netflix's Top 10

Boasting a career spanning more than four decades, a pair of Academy Award wins, and a laundry list of iconic films on his resume ("Bonnie and Clyde," "The French Connection," "Superman," "Unforgiven," "The Birdcage," and "The Royal Tenenbaums" among them), Gene Hackman is the very definition of a Hollywood legend. But with just over 100 film and television credits to his name, it's safe to assume not all of Hackman's films were worthy of that "iconic" label. In fact, per a rare 2021 interview with The New York Post, Hackman himself even admitted his career was "checkered," and spotted by "hits and misses."

Even still, Hackman's "misses" were often better than most of the films released around them. And even when those films didn't work, the actor was often quite good in them. That includes a box office bomb (per Box Office Mojo) from the year 2000 that found Hackman sharing the screen with Morgan Freeman, Monica Belluci, and Thomas Jane. Long forgotten by even Hackman diehards, that film is not only being rediscovered on Netflix, but it's also proving to be a hit, having just broken onto the streamer's coveted Top 10 list.  

Under Suspicion is worth a watch to see Gene Hackman square off against Morgan Freeman

The title of the 2000 Gene Hackman misfire currently climbing Netflix's viewing charts is "Under Suspicion." If you're wondering about its "bomb" status, one look at the film's less-than-fresh Rotten Tomatoes scores will confirm that neither critics nor moviegoers were particularly impressed. We're certainly not here to convince you "Under Suspicion" is an overlooked masterpiece either, but it's hardly the worst film Hackman ever appeared in, lest you forget certified stinkers like "Superman IV: The Quest for Peace" and "Welcome to Mooseport." And if you're looking for a reason to add "Under Suspicion" to your Netflix queue, you should know both Hackman and Freeman are indeed quite good in the film.

Directed by Stephen Hopkins, "Under Suspicion" found those legendary actors facing off in a twisty game of cat-and-mouse as Freeman's hard-nosed detective questions Hackman's powerful tax attorney about the rape and murder of two young girls in San Juan, Puerto Rico. Needless to say, watching Hackman and Freeman go toe-to-toe for 110-minutes is the biggest reason to give "Under Suspicion" a spin. Regarding the film itself, it's a fairly standard murder mystery.

It's also talkier than most, and Hopkins does little to beef up the tension throughout, opting instead to sit back and let his legendary leads carry the dramatic load. Fans of Hackman and Freeman should find "Under Suspicion" to be a worthy addition to their Netflix queue.