Lou, which has just dropped today (Friday, Sept. 23) on Netflix, is now available at a very competitive time. As our Andor review said, it is one of the best Star Wars shows to date. There''s also The Rings of Power episode 5 that has just dropped today, and House of the Dragon episode 6 appears to be a major shake-up.
Allison Janney and Jurnee Smollett lead a thriller to track down a lost child. Yes, Janney has found her own Taken, as she plays the gruff badass in Liam Neeson.
We must be curious whether or not Netflix has a winner on its hands? While Lou certainly looks like a movie that will spend time on the Netflix Top 10 Movies chart, critics are divided on this one. It all seems to be about expectations.
Should you stream Lou? Will it be on our list of the best Netflix movies? Let''s start by typing something into it.
What is Netflix''''s Lou about?
Lou (Allison Janney) is a loner who keeps to herself, living life with her dog, and her unreliable attitude gained from what appears to be a dark past. However, life has a way to stop people from keeping to themselves, even as Hannah Dawson (Jurnee Smollett) and her daughter Vee (relative newcomer Ridley Bateman) run afoul of Lou one day in the wilderness.
While Lou and Hannah don''t get along at all, Hannah soon finds herself relying on Lou as Vee is kidnapped by a strange guy. Even worse, everything happens during a storm.
Lou takes the lead in the hunt, but Hannah refuses to stay back and not assist hunt down Vee''s own daughter. As they hunt down Vee and her kidnapper, Hannah learns how violent Lou is.
Lou''s past will be revealed to Hannah throughout the hunt to rescue Vee.
Lou reviews: What critics say
Vee currently has a barely-not-rotten score of 67 percent on Rotten Tomatoes (opens in a new tab) and that''s triggered by its mixed-bag of positive and negative reviews.
The positive starts with John Anderson at the Wall Street Journal (opens in a new tab), who notes Janney for "making us stay so long over Lou." Through her performance, Lou notes, as "Janney keeps us engaged during the more meditative moments of Lou," Anderson says. "Sometimes you just want a crazy action movie to kill an evening, and Lou fits that bill. Just don''t expect to be thinking about it tomorrow."
Jeannette Catsoulis continues the praise for Janney - despite Maggie Cohn and Jack Stanley''s ridiculously over-the-top screenplay - "Unfazed by the working conditions, she gives her grouchy character more than a ramrod spine and steely stare: "She gives her a woundedness that keeps us watching until this prolix quest for redemption should have reached its preordained conclusion."
Brian Tallerico of RogerEbert.com (opens in a new tab) isn''t as pleased with Lou. He writes that "Without spoiling, Lou has one of those disbelief character connections that requires deep writing and direction to advance through it. However, Lou cant manage this trick, persuading us to investigate the whole process in a way that makes the emotional scenes later unquestionable."
Benjamin Lee of The Guardian (opens in a new tab) is also uninterested, writing, "Who is Lou? What is Lou?" After a wildly diverse but mostly unremarkable 107 minutes, Lou has no clue for what he says, perhaps he''s fine for Janney''s abilities and his abilities. Lou briefly teases that his notion of something is before throwing the veil from our eyes, holding up its hands, and shrugging.
Outlook: Should you stream Lou?
Lou, as you may well know, is the gender-flipped Taken that many may have requested. Janney is no action hero, but she''s proving here that she''s "still got it" even if the ''it'' is something nobody ever anticipated from her (a lead role in an action-thriller).
As you know it, you should approach Janney as Lou''s powerful model. The critics don''t recognize Smollett''s performance in the film, so don''t expect Hannah to be a major positive or negative for the film. But in a weekend where you might look to provide, Lou is looking to provide.