21. The Interview
Release Year: 2014
Directed By: Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg
Starring: James Franco, Seth Rogen, Lizzy Caplan, Randall Park, Diana Bang, Timothy Simons, Reese Alexander, Anders Holm, Charles Rahi Chun, Ben Schwartz
Release Date: Sunday, March 1
It’s rare that a film’s release creates an international event, apart from breaking box office records or some other headline-grabbing achievement. But The Interview became the subject of national security when its portrayals of North Korea came under fire by the country and resulted in threats of terrorism in response to its release. For a minute there in 2014, a Seth Rogen movie had the world fearing for security. Fortunately, the film didn’t cause anything more than a box office bomb, but it’s one of the month’s best new releases on Netflix this month.
James Franco and Seth Rogen star in The Interview as Dave Skylark and Aaron Rapoport, the host and producer behind the successful tabloid talk show Skylark Tonight. When Dave and Aaron learn that North Korea’s leader Kim Jong-un (Randall Park) watches their show, they plan to set up an interview with him, under the impression and motivation that talking to the leader one-on-one would boost their profile as journalists. But while Dave and Aaron prepare for their trip to Pyongyang, they’re recruited by the CIA to carry out an assassination on their subject instead.
The Interview comes from directors Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg, who also co-directed This Is the End and co-wrote films such as Superbad, Pineapple Express, The Green Hornet, The Watch and others. Following the film’s canceled wide theatrical release, the ended up making $40 million in rentals and $12.3 million worldwide from its limited theatrical run. The film earned middling critical reception as reflected by its 55% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. If the international madness surrounding The Interview caused you to miss it, add it to your Netflix watch list this March.