Netflix’s best original movie in ages drops this weekend — and it’s 98% on Rotten Tomatoes

Glen Powell as Gary Johnson in "Hit Man" streaming on Netflix from June 7
(Image credit: Netflix)

If there were doubts that Glen Powell is on a fast track to Hollywood superstardom, his new Netflix movie, "Hit Man" will erase them.

The actor has been building an impressive resume that includes the blockbuster smash “Top Gun: Maverick” and the glossy rom-com “Anyone But You”, but this new Netflix effort from director Richard Linklater is his real star-making performance. 

“Hit Man” arrives on Netflix today (June 7), and I can tell you already, that it’s the best original movie the streaming service has offered for a long time. It’s got future Netflix No. 1 written all over it, and it’s a shoo-in for our ranking of the best Netflix movies

I caught an early screening of this romantic comedy last month, and even though I went in with high expectations off the back of its film festival buzz, I was still pleasantly surprised by its high quality. It’s already rocketed into my top 10 favorite movies of 2024 (so far), and I’m confident it’ll have retained a spot by year’s end. 

If you’re after something new to watch on Netflix this week, your search is over. Here’s why. And be sure to check out all the best new shows and movies to watch this weekend

What is “Hit Man” about? 

“Hit Man” sees Glen Powell play Gary Johnson, an unassuming high school teacher who moonlights as an undercover hitman for the New Orleans Police Department. Taking on a range of fake personas to help sell the ruse, Gary’s job is to help the cops arrest people who are looking to hire assassins for real. 

Gary finds he has a knack for this strange profession, and develops new self-confidence by pretending to be somebody else. However, things get seriously complicated when he meets a beautiful woman named Madison (Adria Arjona) who is looking for help eliminating her abusive husband. 

Breaking strict protocol, and desperate to hide his true identity from this new love interest, Gary finds himself slipping into a dangerous world of deception with potentially deadly consequences. As Gary loses himself in the role of a ruthless assassin it becomes clear the only route out might be to become the contract killer he’s spent so long pretending to be. 

“Hit Man” is an absolute hoot

Glen Powell as Gary Johnson in Hit Man on Netflix

(Image credit: Netflix)

What’s most remarkable about “Hit Man” is that it works on pretty much every level. 

The comedic gags all land, the romance is swoon-worthy (Powell and Arjona have incredible chemistry), and the mystery element in the back half unfolds at a pleasing pace. I wouldn’t go as far as to label it a full-on thriller, but its dark edge should help it appeal even to Netflix viewers who swear that romcoms aren’t for them.

The real strength of “Hit Man” comes thanks to Powell’s committed performance. The role requires Powell to inhabitant many different characters, from a gun-toting hick to an eastern-European mobster as part of his job as a fake assassin, and the actor pulls off each new personality with aplomb. It’s clear that Powell had a blast making this movie, and that translates to his on-screen performance. 

Hit Man on Netflix

(Image credit: Netflix)

I’ve also got to give credit to director Richard Linklater, who keeps the movie zipping along, and despite the fast pace, the story never feels rushed. While I saw “Hit Man” in a phone-free environment, it’s hard to imagine that many viewers will be tempted to reach for their device while watching, “Hit Man” is simply too enjoyable to miss. 

“Hit Man” is pure cinematic entertainment, and that’s very much a positive. While some critics have attempted to discuss the movie’s deeper themes and its comment on the idea of “true self”, I think most viewers will gloss over this subtext and instead just enjoy the ride. Of course, this is no bad thing, “Hit Man” is a movie made to be enjoyed first and foremost, and in this area, it succeeds in impressive fashion.  

“Hit Man” reviews — critics also love this Netflix movie

“Hit Man” is only just arriving on Netflix, but critics have been praising this movie since its premiere in September 2023. It currently holds a 98% score on Rotten Tomatoes, which is enough to earn it a Certified Fresh seal of approval. 

Richard Roeper of the Chicago Sun-Times was full of praise for the movie’s leading man, “In the offbeat comedy, Powell confirms his leading-man credentials and shows sizzling chemistry with co-star Adria Arjona,” he said in a generally positive review. 

David Fear, writing for Rolling Stone, also had plenty of positive things to say about Powell: "Your suspension of disbelief may get tested more than a few times... yet your faith in Powell as a real-deal leading man who can work miracles is never shaken."

The Guardian’s Peter Bradshaw said “A hit is what it deserves to be” and noted the movie's ability to retain its realism despite its screwball comedy. Nick Schager of The Daily Beast was also a fan, saying “‘Hit Man’ is hot and hilarious, a winning combination amplified by a story that gets knottier at every turn.” While TheWrap’s Ben Croll called it “deliriously entertaining.”

“Hit Man”’s early audience score is also very high at 95%, although this comes from just a small sample size of user reviews as its release in theaters last month was pretty limited. 

You need to stream “Hit Man” on Netflix

(L-R) Adria Arjona as Madison Masters and Glen Powell as Gary Johnson in "Hit Man" streaming on Netflix from June 7

(Image credit: Netflix)

If you’ve read this far, it should be pretty obvious that I thoroughly recommend “Hit Man”. I’ve been fairly critical of Netflix’s recent original movie output with clunkers like “Atlas” (19% on Rotten Tomatoes) and “Unfrosted” (43% on Rotten Tomatoes) failing to meet the grade but the pairing of director Richard Linklater and Glen Powell proves to be a winning one for the world's most popular streaming service. 

One of the biggest compliments I can give “Hit Man” is that I’ve been eagerly anticipating the movie’s Netflix release, not just because I wanted to rewatch it (though I certainly do want to see it a second time ASAP), but largely because I’m excited for my friends and family to see it so I can talk about it even more. 

I’m extremely confident that “Hit Man” is the best newcomer to Netflix this week, but we have a full list of all the new movies and TV shows on the streaming service if you want to see what else is being added to platform's deep content library. 

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Rory Mellon
Entertainment Editor (UK)

Rory is an Entertainment Editor at Tom’s Guide based in the UK. He covers a wide range of topics but with a particular focus on gaming and streaming. When he’s not reviewing the latest games, searching for hidden gems on Netflix, or writing hot takes on new gaming hardware, TV shows and movies, he can be found attending music festivals and getting far too emotionally invested in his favorite football team.