Every month, Netflix loses a selection of titles which move to make space for new releases. While some are welcome goodbyes, it is often hard to part with certain films, especially the underrated ones that we happen to discover while painstakingly doomscrolling.
One such underrated prison thriller will be leaving Netflix at the end of the month, much to our chagrin. Films like this deserve ample recognition and viewership, so it’s sad to see them fly under the radar. Prison movies are often fascinating as they provide a deeper understanding of the complicated judiciary system and show the underlying cruelties inflicted on the inmates behind bars.
More often than not, these films explore the physical, emotional and spiritual pain and existential condition of the inmates, raising pertinent philosophical questions about society at large.
While The Shawshank Redemption is the most famous of this genre, various other cinematic ventures deserve equal acclaim and recognition as it goes beyond the mainstream pulpy depiction of criminality.
One such film is the 2017 film Shot Caller. Written and directed by Angel Has Fallen filmmaker Ric Roman Waugh, the film stars Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, Lake Bell, Omari Hardwick, Jon Bernthal, Jeffrey Donovan, and Emory Cohen.
The motion picture portrays a gritty, intense reality of the brutal hierarchy within prisons, where inmates are often compelled to walk down a slippery slope of dangerous crimes to protect themselves and their families. Nobody is safe.
Coster-Waldau’s character goes from being a respectable stockbroker to a prison inmate after he is caught driving under the influence. Quickly, he understands how he must be the predator to prevent being preyed upon. Under the alias of Money, he engages in morally degrading and corrupt activities, which he does to better his family’s quality of life.
Hardened by his time in prison, Money makes some difficult decisions for the sake of those closest to him. Sinking deeper into a world of lies, deceit, weapons, illegal smuggling and killing, Money’s strife for survival is ruthless, exhilarating and somehow still moving.
Its top-tier cast makes the film even more terrifying. Coster-Waldau, in particular, shoulders the film forward with an immense understanding of his character.
The Game of Thrones actor adds a sense of realism to his transition from being a simple family man in a white-collar job to a vicious prison inmate and the ultimate shot caller (top leader in a prison).
It’s a brilliant, razor-sharp film that is highly underrated and deserves to be watched on Netflix before it’s too late.