Netflix Just Remade One of the Best Thrillers of All Time With 100% Tomatometer

Netflix Just Remade One of the Best Thrillers of All Time With 100% Tomatometer
Image credit: Legion-Media, Netflix

A remake of one of the most influential thrillers of the 20th century has debuted on Netflix.


  • A new version of the classic 1953 thriller was released on Netflix on March 29.
  • The new movie garnered impressive ratings in just a few days.
  • Viewers, however, are incredibly disappointed.

Netflix continues to delight its subscribers with new movies and series, a large percentage of which are foreign productions. When it comes to feature-length projects, many international films are no less popular on the streaming service than their American counterparts — Germany's Oscar-winning All Quiet on the Western Front, released in 2022, is a great example of this. However, for every quality international project, there are many more mediocre ones, to say the least.

For example, just a few days ago, a new French film, The Wages of Fear, debuted on Netflix. This is a remake of the 1953 film that had a huge impact on both the genesis of the thriller genre and global pop culture in general. The new movie has a pretty high rating, but is it really worth watching?

A Remake of the Iconic 1953 Thriller

Few avid cinephiles have not heard the name of French auteur Henri-Georges Clouzot, rightly considered Alfred Hitchcock's chief rival. His The Wages of Fear, based on the novel by Georges Arnaud, follows a group of European men who are hired by an American corporation to transport two truckloads of nitroglycerin to an oil well whose explosion is the only way to avert an environmental disaster. But the road proves to be incredibly bumpy for the men — any pebble could lead to a detonation, and so the main characters had to face a true existential horror, being a hair's breadth from death.

Netflix Just Remade One of the Best Thrillers of All Time With 100% Tomatometer - image 1

Even if you're not familiar with the 1953 movie, you've probably seen this trope in many other movies and TV shows, from 1994's Speed with Keanu Reeves to an episode in the second season of The Mandalorian where Pedro Pascal and Bill Burr's characters had to transport highly explosive shipments.

But back to the 2024 remake. It was directed and co-written (with Hamid Hlioua) by Julien Leclercq, known to Netflix subscribers for 2021's Sentinelle. The premise is essentially the same as the original novel, except that instead of a noir story about playing with death itself, the new movie turned out to be a typical action movie.

2024 Film Receives High Ratings

Even though the movie was released just a few days ago, on March 29, it's already garnered some impressive ratings. According to What's on Netflix, the reimagining of The Wages of Fear became the second most-watched movie on Netflix worldwide just one day after its release. It also ranked number one in France and was in the Top 10 in the US, Brazil, Canada, Germany, India, Mexico, the Netherlands and Spain.

Over the next two days, however, the movie's views only increased, and it is now number one in the global Top 10, as well as in many of the Top 10s in the countries mentioned above.

Is the New Movie Worth the Attention?

While Clouzot's film is widely considered a classic and has a well-deserved 100% on Rotten Tomatoes, the new The Wages of Fear is extremely disappointing. As of this writing, there are only a few critical reviews on Rotten Tomatoes, but the audience score of only 20% is not reassuring at all.

The new iteration has failed to capture the essence of the original novel: neither it nor the 1953 movie have any mindless (and pointless) gunfights where bullets hit trucks and don't cause explosions. Just tremendous tension and suspense created by the situation itself.

As a result, The Wages of Fear comes across as an unnecessary milking of the cult movie, which is more akin to the latest Fast and Furious installments. Unfortunately, even a much better marketing would not have helped.