Netflix’s The Harder They Fall: What Fans Are Saying About The Idris Elba Movie

Western movies aren’t nearly as common as they were in decades past, and the few offerings from that genre that trickle in nowadays oftentimes have a steeper hill to climb to impress audiences. Netflix has dabbled with Westerns a few times in recent years, and the streaming service’s latest movie on that front is The Harder They Fall, starring Idris Elba and Jonathan Majors, among others. Following a limited theatrical release in late October, The Harder They Fall premiered on Netflix on Wednesday, November 3, right before Marvel’s Eternals dropped in theaters.

So how is The Harder They Fall faring among the public? Well, it’s a big hit among professional critics, with the movie ranking at 86% on Rotten Tomatoes. This includes CinemaBlend’s own Eric Eisenberg, who gave The Harder They Fall 4 out of 5 stars in his review and called it “a badass and bloody Western.” But how does the general audience feel about The Harder The Fall? That’s what we’re here to go over.

The Harder They Fall Is Scoring A Lot Of Praise

Jonathan Majors, Delroy Lindo and RJ Cyler in The Harder They Fall

(Image credit: Netflix)

Netflix’s The Harder They Fall won’t go down as one of those movies that delivered drastically contrasting opinions among professional critics and the general audience. The latter group was also greatly entertained by the Western, as indicated by its 93% Audience Score on Rotten Tomatoes. This, of course, translates into plenty of talk about it on social media, like so:

For those who aren’t familiar with The Harder They Fall, the Western follows an outlaw named Nat Love and his quest for revenge against Rufus Buck, the man who killed his parents when he was a boy. The movie is packed with action and drama, and in the days since its arrival on Netflix, it’s built

At the time of this writing, The Harder They Fall rests comfortably on Netflix’s Top 10 in the U.S. listings, trailing only behind the Nina Dobrev and Jimmy O. Yang-led romantic comedy Love Hard. So clearly the Western isn’t lacking for views, but nevertheless, many of the movie’s fans are urging others to stream it on Netflix posthaste.

Now that we’ve made it clear that The Harder They Fall is popular with Netflix subscribers, let’s direct our attention to the movie’s starring talent.

Idris Elba Shines As The Villain

idris elba the harder they fall trailer screenshot

(Image credit: Netflix)

The Harder They Fall boasts an impressive lineup of acting talent, including Regina King, Zazie Beetz, Delroy Lindo, LaKeith Stanfield, RJ Cyler, Danielle Deadwyler, Edi Gathegi, Deon Cole and Damon Wayans Jr. However, for the sake of this piece, let’s focus on the movie’s two lead actors: the aforementioned Idris Elba and Jonathan Majors. The former plays Rufus Buck, the movie’s main antagonist, and as is usually the case with Elba, he delivers another stellar performance.

Idris Elba is no stranger to playing villains, including Shere Khan in The Jungle Book, Krall in Star Trek Beyond and Brixton in Hobbs & Shaw, to name a few examples. His time as Rufus Buck in The Harder They Fall looks to be another favorite for this aspect of his performing career.

The Harder They Fall makes Idris Elba’s second Western for Netflix this year, with Concrete Cowboy having debuted on the streaming service in April. Elba also recently starred as supervillain Bloodsport in The Suicide Squad, but Rufus Buck is definitely the more sinister character.

Next up, we’re looking at Jonathan Majors, who starred in The Harder They Fall as Nat Love, the main protagonist.

Jonathan Majors Was An Especially Big Highlight

Jonathan Majors in The Harder They Fall

(Image credit: Netflix)

2021 has been a big year for Jonathan Majors, as earlier this year, he appeared in the Loki Season 1 finale as He Who Remains, a version of Kang the Conqueror, who will appear in Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania. While we count down to the Ant-Man threequel’s release in summer 2023, The Harder They Fall certainly offers another showcase of Majors’ acting talent and charisma, as uniquely put by this person.

Jonathan Majors also shined in 2020 from his work on fellow Netflix movie Da 5 Bloods and the short-lived HBO series Lovecraft Country. Speaking of the latter show, The Harder They Fall serves as an example of how a person’s view on an actor in one project can change with a drastically different project.

It hasn’t taken Jonathan Majors long to be catapulted to stardom, and The Harder They Fall is another project for his growing fanbase to enjoy him in.

Finally, let’s look over other elements of The Harder They Fall that are being commended.

The Harder They Fall Excels Beyond The Action And Story

Regina King in The Harder They Fall

(Image credit: Netflix)

Directed by Jeymes Samuel, who also co-wrote the script with Boaz Yakin, The Harder They Fall has been collecting a lot of compliments for its sleek visuals and standing out at as Black-led Western. Case in point:

The Harder They Fall has also scored attention for its soundtrack, so if you decide to look up some of the tunes afterwards, you’re not the only one.

It’s also worth noting that as laid out at the beginning of The Harder They Fall, while the events of the movie are fiction, most of its starring characters are historical figures. So it’s a good bet that there’ll be a decent chunk of people who read up on these people and what happened to them in real life after watching this movie.

Before wrapping up, here’s a bonus: The Harder They Fall also includes a special tribute to the late Chadwick Boseman, who co-starred alongside Jonathan Majors and Delroy Lindo in Da 5 Bloods.

Of course, this is just a sprinkling of the fan reactions for The Harder They Fall, so feel free to browse Twitter to learn what other people have to say. Whether you’ve already seen the movie or not, be sure to look through our Netflix November 2021 guide to learn what else the streaming service has left to deliver this month (and what’s leaving).

Adam Holmes
Senior Content Producer

Connoisseur of Marvel, DC, Star Wars, John Wick, MonsterVerse and Doctor Who lore, Adam is a Senior Content Producer at CinemaBlend. He started working for the site back in late 2014 writing exclusively comic book movie and TV-related articles, and along with branching out into other genres, he also made the jump to editing. Along with his writing and editing duties, as well as interviewing creative talent from time to time, he also oversees the assignment of movie-related features. He graduated from the University of Oregon with a degree in Journalism, and he’s been sourced numerous times on Wikipedia. He's aware he looks like Harry Potter and Clark Kent.