Movies to watch on Netflix: Shadow of the Moon

Netflix has released its latest original movie with the sci-fi thriller In the Shadow of the Moon. Should you be adding this movie to your list?

In the Shadow of the Moon is the latest Netflix original movie to be released this year. The sci-fi thriller boasts a strong cast that includes Boyd Holbrook (Narcos), Cleopatra Coleman (The Last Man on Earth), Bokeem Woodbine (The Rock), and Michael C. Hall (Dexter). The movie starts out as a simple mystery/crime-thriller but we learn over time that there is a lot more at play here.

What starts as a series of mysterious crimes that shake Philadelphia in 1988, becomes much more very quickly. Holbrook’s character Locke has more pieces to the puzzle than his comrades and works independently to try to figure out what’s happening. Over the course of several decades, he tracks a mysterious killer until he gets the answers he’s looking for. There is plenty of action, tension, and enough surprises to keep you guessing up until the very end.

In the Shadow of the Moon is not without its flaws but is a solid experience overall. So you’re prepared going in, we’ll break down those flaws and the strengths of the movie.

The dialogue

The dialogue definitely falls in the flaws category for me. Especially early in the movie, the characters feel like parodies of themselves. Bokeem Woodbine’s Maddox is the worst culprit. We know a lot of the buddy cop dramas give characters catchphrases but Maddox’s use of the word “s**t” is incredibly excessive. He seems to find a way to use the word in every sentence out of his mouth. Sometimes, it is the entire sentence.

The other characters don’t repeat the same phrases but you can almost predict the dialogue throughout the first 30-40 minutes of the movie. Police having the same disagreements, buddies having the same conversations that you’d expect. It’s rough but fortunately, there are enough other things happening for you not to care so much. It’s clear the story got most of the attention here and the dialogue was just there to get us through it.

The story

Speaking of the story, this was a big strength. While In the Shadow of the Moon does take a little time to get to the point, it does a good job of teasing it fairly early. They give you enough to work with to keep you interested in trying to figure out what’s going on, and it starts with the opening scene.

They tell you from the start that things are going very badly in 2024 and when they take you back to 1988 you are there to figure out why we went back this far and how we are going to get from here back to this dystopian future we’ve been presented with. As the clues start to come together the amount of intrigue increases. You’ll be making guesses among yourselves as the film goes along.

Strong finish

While the period where we’re getting to know our characters is a bit rough due to the amount of dialogue and the lack of quality there, once it gets going that momentum doesn’t fade. You are fed information piece by piece in a manner that keeps your interest growing. Up until the final minutes, you will receive answers to questions posed from the beginning and then questions from minutes prior.

The mystery aspect was well done and truly makes the movie in my opinion. Many times with movies people only remember the ending and if that’s the case for In the Shadow of the Moon then people are walking away pleased.

In the Shadow of the Moon is currently streaming on Netflix.

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