Netflix’s Star-Studded ‘Pain Hustlers’ Takes an Utter Pasting from Critics

For reasons that aren’t quite comprehensible, any time Netflix unveils a star-studded original movie boasting a stacked array of talent on either side of the camera, there’s an exceedingly high chance it’s going to be terrible. For further evidence, look no further than Pain Hustlers.

The crime caper is coming to the streaming service on Oct. 20, and boasts Emily Blunt and Chris Evans in the lead roles, with veteran Harry Potter and Fantastic Beasts director David Yates calling the shots on his first feature in 25 years that cost less than $180 million to produce. Based on the reviews, though, returning to his roots hasn’t exactly gone as planned.

Image via Netflix

Having been greeted rather tepidly following its first public screening at the Toronto Film Festival, critics have come forth and deemed Pain Hustlers to be something approximating a disaster, with the pharmaceutically-inspired blend of drama and comedic overtones currently carrying a risible approval rating of just 18 percent.

It would be nice to say this comes as a surprise, but looking at Netflix’s track record for taking unlimited amounts of star power and directorial pedigree to deliver nothing but steaming hot garbage more often than not, it’s hard to do so much as bat an eyelid.

Maybe one day the platform will get it right on a consistent basis, but that sure ain’t happening with Pain Hustlers, a crushing disappointment given that Evans and Blunt are two of the most effortlessly likeable and charismatic talents working today that seem to be having a blast playing against type.



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