The slew of Netflix releases that debut on the streaming platform each week always have something for everyone, from quirky movies to foreign TV shows, reality series, and much more. Next week, however, there’s no question what the (literally) biggest new Netflix title will be. That honor goes to The Gray Man, a Russo Brothers-directed spy thriller with a star-studded cast and a $200 million price tag.
Some of you can actually check out the movie — based on author Mark Greaney’s The Gray Man spy novel franchise — this weekend. It’s playing in select theaters now, ahead of its debut on Netflix next Friday. We’ve got all the details on it below. Along with some of the other big new Netflix releases that’ll have everyone talking over the coming week.
The Gray Man Netflix release date
Earlier this year, Greaney published the 11th novel in his Gray Man series (titled Sierra Six). Netflix’s movie, however, draws from the beginning of the series, with the streamer describing the plot thus:
“The plot of the film unfolds as the CIA’s most skilled mercenary (Ryan Gosling) — whose true identity is known to none — accidentally uncovers dark agency secrets, and a psychopathic former colleague puts a bounty on his head, setting off a global manhunt by international assassins.”
In addition to Gosling, the cast here also includes The Gray Man’s psychotic nemesis, played by a ‘stached Chris Evans; plus Ana de Armas, Bridgerton’s Rege-Jean Page, and Jessica Henwick. I’ve read several of Greaney’s Gray Man novels, and the most apt word I can think of to describe his work is escapist. If you love this genre, as I do, there’s also room for different preferences. There’s everything from the cerebral, gentleman spy world of John le Carre to the action-adventure that Greaney packs each of his novels with.
If pure escapism is what you’re looking for, there’s no reason you shouldn’t enjoy these novels. Or the movie — speaking of which, it will be available to stream on Netflix starting on July 22.
“I couldn’t be more amazed that The Gray Man is actually coming to the screen,” Greaney told me earlier this week. “It’s been a long journey from researching and writing the book in 2007 to seeing the final cut of the film in 2022, but I know how lucky I am and really hope viewers will love it!”
Virgin River + more Netflix releases
Meanwhile, continuing on with some of the other high-profile Netflix releases that are likely to dominate subscribers’ viewing time next week:
Virgin River continues its surprisingly long run on Netflix. And we say “surprisingly,” because Season 4 of this show is coming on July 20. Moreover, there will be at least one more season after that. How often do you see Netflix shows stretch to the 4th or 5th season mark anymore?
For those unaware of the story here, this is the summary from Netflix. “Searching for a fresh start, nurse practitioner Mel Monroe (Alexandra Breckenridge) moves from LA to a remote northern California town and runs headlong into a bad case of culture shock. Local barkeep and ex-Marine Jack (Martin Henderson) helps her adjust — and just might win her heart — as she takes cases and tangles with her irascible new boss (Tim Matheson).“
More new titles:
Indian Predator: The Butcher of Delhi: Those of you who can’t get enough true-crime Netflix releases in your life? This one’s for you. Moody, atmospheric cinematography gives a haunting aesthetic to this series, which is built around a killer with a grudge against the system. Police hunt for him after the killer leaves mutilated bodies and notes taunting the cops, daring them to catch him. Release date: July 20.
Too Old for Fairy Tales: The story at the heart of this Polish-language Netflix movie is not new by any means. But audiences like me have a soft spot for this kind of thing, all the same. Basically, it’s about a likable, socially awkward kid who plays a ton of video games and wants to compete in an upcoming tournament. Games are his life. His eccentric aunt, however, along with his mother’s illness eventually forces him to make some changes as far as what he prioritizes in life. Release date: July 18.
One more new Netflix release to check out
Lastly, a word about another high-profile Netflix movie release that’s just hit the streamer today (on July 15).
Persuasion is an attempt at yet another feature-length adaptation of a timeless work by the magnificent author Jane Austen. Only this one … is getting utterly ripped to shreds by critics. The Austen stans are losing their minds over how bad they think this one is. Though, based on where the movie’s Rotten Tomatoes scores stand right now, I suspect this might be another of those instances where there’s a huge divergence between critics and audiences. “Might” being the operative word.
Netflix’s Persuasion currently has a dismal 37 percent critics score on Rotten Tomatoes, but a 63 percent audience score. Here’s something to keep in mind, though. Part of the critics’ problem is with the fourth-wall-breaking that dominates this film, a la Dickinson on Apple TV+ (which did it much better). For me, it’s not a big deal — I can take it or love it. And speaking of Apple TV+, Johnson also co-starred in a recent film released via the iPhone maker’s streaming service: Cha Cha Real Smooth.
She was a sublime, ethereal presence in that movie. Which is to say, when you couple that performance with her other recent work, like her turn in Netflix’s The Lost Daughter? Her presence alone is enough to elevate any movie and make it worth at least checking out.
More Netflix coverage: For more Netflix news, check out the latest new Netflix movies and series to watch.