Despite crashing like a starship falling from the heavens during its brief stay in theaters, 65 has risen above the barbs of critics to land at the top of Netflix’s movie list. At this very moment, 65 is the most popular film on Netflix, and it is getting the large audience that eluded it while the film was on the big screen earlier this year. Thanks to that, Sony Pictures can legitimately say that directors Scott Beck and Bryan Woods have delivered a streaming hit.
In the distant past, Mills (Adam Driver) is a starship pilot for hire in an advanced human civilization. To better provide for his wife, Nevine (Chloe Coleman), and their daughter, Alya (Nika King), Mills takes on an unexpectedly dangerous long-term assignment that ends with his ship crash-landing on Earth 65 million years ago.
Now that we’ve set the stage for the film, we’re ready to share three reasons why you should watch 65.
It’s a great showcase for Adam Driver
Most of this movie belongs to Driver, as he is not only portraying the main character, but he’s also the only performer who gets to speak English throughout. Some of Driver’s best work comes early in the film, as Mills is forced to contend with crippling despair after learning that he is apparently the only survivor of the crash. Driver also does a great job of getting across Mills’ depression at the prospect of never seeing his family again.
We also have to give a shout-out to Ariana Greenblatt, who portrays Koa, a young girl who lived through the crash. Greenblatt had to play a character whose language is completely unfamiliar to both Mills and the audience, but Greenblatt still sells the emotional moments through her face and body language. Driver and Greenblatt have a real Last of Us vibe here, and it works.
The dinosaurs are the real stars
Jurassic Park is still the gold standard for dinosaurs on screen, but by the time Jurassic World Dominion hit theaters last year, the dinosaurs were so tame that the filmmakers felt that they had to create giant locusts to give the sequel some bite. By contrast, friendly dinosaurs aren’t on the menu in 65, instead, Mills and Koa find themselves forced to contend with some very hungry dinos at every step. At this point in human history, Mills and Koa are at the bottom of the food chain.
65 keeps the dinosaurs on screen just enough that they don’t overstay their welcome, and their sense of menace is maintained throughout.
It’s a fun survival horror story
Survival horror video games have given us some very bad video game movies, particularly in the Resident Evil franchise. 65 isn’t based on any video game, but it sure gives us some video game vibes. As noted above, it calls back to the Last of Us-style dynamic between Mills and Koa. She isn’t Mills’ daughter, but he really puts his life on the line to protect Koa.
Additionally, the movie has a fairly big ticking clock which means Mills and Koa only have a limited time to get off the planet. That’s a very video game-like move, but it definitely works for this film.
You can watch 65 on Netflix right now.