It shouldn't come as much of a surprise that Sweet Girl is drawing a lot of attention. Jason Momoa's action-thriller wasn't a critical favorite, to say the least, but it's the sort of movie that you can watch casually on a Saturday afternoon, especially if you enjoy the Aquaman actor. If you're itching for a few more films in this vein, we're here to help!
Here's what you should stream or rent if you liked Netflix's action-packed blockbuster.
John Q (Showtime/Cinemax)
When his insurance won't cover his son's heart transplant, a desperate man (Denzel Washington) takes a hospital emergency room hostage.
Why You Should Stream It If You Liked Sweet Girl: The movie that Sweet Girl is perhaps most comparable to is John Q, Denzel Washington's thrilling, thoughtful drama centered around a father who makes some bad decisions in the interest of doing the right thing. With its vigilante lead, its clear-eyed disdain for Big Pharm, and its high volume of thrills, this early '00s pulse-pounder wasn't especially well-received by critics, but it continued Washington's track record as a dependable box office star, grossing over $100 million worldwide. Come into the movie for the action/suspense and leave with some serious, stimulating discussions about the increasingly distressing state of modern healthcare.
A logger (Jason Momoa) defends his family from dangerous drug runners.
Why You Should Stream It If You Liked Sweet Girl: If you love Jason Momoa and you're looking for another Netflix movie to watch, Braven does seem like the next logical step. Similar to Sweet Girl, the action-thriller follows a standard revenge-type plot, focusing on a reclusive man who is pushed to the edge by nefarious personalities. But Momoa's screen presence remains distinct, and there's an unpretentious quality to Braven that can make it easy to enjoy in the right mood. Will it be remembered for years to come? Maybe not. But this '90s throwback should win the warm affections of the actor's fans.
The Rainmaker (Starz)
A low-level lawyer (Matt Damon) takes on a fraudulent insurance company.
Why You Should Stream It If You Liked Sweet Girl: While Francis Ford Coppola's '90s drama favors conversations over action beats, The Rainmaker should appeal to any viewer who enjoys thoughtful commentary on corporate greed and the dangers of putting your faith in the healthcare insurance system. This acclaimed legal drama might not be as lighthearted as other films we've listed, admittedly, but if you appreciate intellectual discussions about modern medical care, The Rainmaker will win you over.
Sudden Death (Amazon)
A former fireman (Jean-Claude Van Damme) takes on a group of terrorists holding the Vice President hostage during the heated seventh game of the NHL Stanley Cup finals.
Why You Should Stream It If You Liked Sweet Girl: There's no denying that Sudden Death is one big ball of cheese. That said, if you loved Sweet Girl, particularly for its giant climactic scene centered around PNC Park, there's a good chance that you love Pittsburgh-based throwback action-thrillers with a mix of high stakes and local sports arenas. Should that be the case, you'll likely enjoy this mid-'90s JCVD movie, which was based on a story by Karen Elise Baldwin, the wife of then-Pittsburgh Penguins owner Howard Baldwin, who co-produced the film. Though it wasn't especially well-liked upon release, it's been retrospectively seen as one of the action star's better movies from his fast-fighting macho era. If you prefer civil conversations over roundhouse punts to the face, Sudden Death may not be your thing. Otherwise, you might get a big kick out of it.
Side Effects (Starz)
A distressed woman (Rooney Mara) sees her life spiraling when a drug prescribed to her has unexpected side effects.
Why You Should Stream It If You Liked Sweet Girl: Though ultimately more grounded and character-focused compared to Sweet Girl, Side Effects is another movie with a great deal of contempt for the current state of the healthcare system, with Steven Soderbergh providing another sneering, sophisticated thriller with an all-star ensemble and his dependable stylistic flair. Led by Rooney Mara, Side Effects is sharp in its observations and cutting in its approach, but it also has a great deal of pulp to wash down some of its more bitter pills. The result isn't Soderbergh's finest, notably with a wobbly third act, but it's quite compelling and it shows the director's commendable strengths and his unwavering confidence as a filmmaker and a pulsating entertainer.
Sicko (Hoopla/Kanopy/Tubi/Plex/Vudu/Amazon Prime)
Michael Moore explores the various problems that plague the American healthcare system.
Why You Should Stream It If You Liked Sweet Girl: Depending on where your politics lie, Michael Moore's movies might not be your cup of tea. But if you appreciated the fist-shaking at Big Pharm throughout Sweet Girl, you'll probably like Sicko, the insightful 2008 documentary exploring the injustices that take place daily in the U.S. healthcare system. Maybe even more so than most of the director's other features, Sicko is made accessible through a universal distaste and disgust for how common citizens can be misled and mistreated by insurance companies and other healthcare providers. This core frustration is vividly detailed, while also carrying the filmmaker's signature wit and mischievous irreverence. That said, if your blood pressure is already high, put this one at the bottom of your list. The last thing you need at the moment is more medical bills.
The Fugitive (HBO Max)
A man (Harrison Ford) wrongly accused of murdering his wife must track down the real killer while being the target of a nationwide manhunt.
Why You Should Stream It If You Liked Sweet Girl: If we're talking about "man on the run" movies, we'd be hard-pressed not to mention The Fugitive. The Harrison Ford-starring action-thriller is basically the baseline for these popcorn flicks, and its influence is seen throughout Sweet Girl. There's a lot to like in this cable favorite, from Ford's appealingly rugged performance to Tommy Lee Jones' Oscar-winning supporting turn. Above all else, though, it's effectively rousing filmmaking, and one that's easy to revisit — no matter how many times you've seen it. If you haven't watched it, it's probably playing on TNT. Or your dad has it on DVD. If those options fail, stream it on HBO Max.
Man on Fire (Amazon)
A former CIA operative (Denzel Washington) is out for vengeance against those who hurt the family he was hired to protect.
Why You Should Stream It If You Liked Sweet Girl: Much like John Q, Man on Fire is a revenge thriller that's bolstered by Denzel Washington's magnetizing screen presence. Given its fair share of flair and style from the late Tony Scott, Man on Fire is a dark, entertaining thrill ride, and it's not afraid to get mean and violent. Can it be loud and excessive? Certainly. But Washington's controlled performance keeps it all in check, producing one compelling sequence after another. It runs a bit long, but it doesn't lose steam. If you like your revenge films with some unhinged menace, check this one out.
The Next Three Days (Netflix)
A married couple's (Russell Crowe, Elizabeth Banks) life is turned upside down when the wife is accused of murder.
Why You Should Stream It If You Liked Sweet Girl: If you are a big fan of movies about angry men facing injustices and on the run fighting for their lives, with the 'Burgh in the backdrop, you better check out The Next Three Days. Paul Haggis' character-focused drama-thriller isn't without its problems, namely its ludicrous plot and uneven pacing, but it's ultimately an effective thriller, thanks to strong performances from its lead stars, its suspenseful story, and its local flavor. Maybe I'm a bit soft on this movie since it takes place in my neck of the woods, but this watchable, well-crafted drama does seem to have more going for it than some critics gave it credit. If you're looking for another fun Pittsburgh thriller, especially one that's on Netflix, this film is easy to engage with.
Jack Reacher (Hulu/Paramount+/Epix)
A homicide investigator (Tom Cruise) dives into a case involving a trained military sniper.
Why You Should Stream It If You Liked Sweet Girl: If you're jonesing for even more Pittsburgh-based action movies, Jack Reacher is quite easily one of the best of the bunch. This paperback adaptation isn't the most intellectually stimulating watch, but its thrills never fail. Tom Cruise and director Christopher McQuarrie, who has taken over the Mission: Impossible franchise, know how to bring pulpy thrills and how to pack a punch. Plus, what other action movie features a villainous turn from acclaimed auteur, Werner Herzog? Unfortunately, the lackluster 2016 sequel was ultimately forgettable and disappointing, but Jack Reacher is a slick and entertaining ride from start to finish.
Aquaman (HBO Max)
The human-born heir to the throne of Atlantis (Jason Momoa) must go on a quest to prevent a war between land dwellers and the residents of the ocean.
Why You Should Stream It If You Liked Sweet Girl: Considering that the movie made a billion dollars worldwide, there's a pretty good chance that you've seen Aquaman — especially if you're a Jason Momoa fan. Certainly, Sweet Girl feels like one of the actor's passion projects after leading the charge on this surprisingly massive DC blockbuster, and it's easy to see why Netflix was inclined to give the action star his own vehicle. His screen presence as the nautical scalawag is boisterous and playful, working well with his singular screen presence. Similarly, James Wan brings a lot of inventiveness to the forefront, filling this superhero movie with colorful oddities and pulpy action galore. The result is an appropriately splashy success — one that solidified Momoa as a major star.
Dora and the Lost City of Gold (Paramount+/Hulu/Epix)
Dora the Explorer (Isabela Merced) leads her friends on an adventure to save her parents.
Why You Should Stream It If You Liked Sweet Girl: Though it was nowhere near as profitable as Aquaman, Dora and the Lost City of Gold was also a strong showcase for Sweet Girl's other star, Isabela Merced. This self-aware, live-action reboot of the popular children's show didn't put a lot of butts in seats, but it did prove that Merced could be an appealing actress in her own right. She takes on the familiar, fourth-wall-breaking title character with a cheeky smile and a fun-loving attitude. The up-and-coming movie starlet plays up Dora's eccentricities quite well, while also making the performance her own. The resulting family film owes a great deal to The Brady Bunch Movie and The Addams Family, but it's also, thankfully, surprisingly amusing and disarmingly sweet.
Sweet Girl is available to stream on Netflix.
Will is an entertainment writer based in Pittsburgh, PA. His writing can also be found in The Playlist, Cut Print Film, We Got This Covered, The Young Folks, Slate and other outlets. He also co-hosts the weekly film/TV podcast Cinemaholics with Jon Negroni and he likes to think he's a professional Garfield enthusiast.
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