Netflix hits it out of the park in “Fuck You, It’s January.”

I’ll be honest with you folks, Netflix is a hard sell these days. Ask anyone about Netflix and you’ll likely hear the same two topics; the upcoming crackdown on password sharers and the company’s dedication to “woke” garbage like Q-Force. Presumably at some point in 2022 or perhaps even 2021 someone at Netflix realized that the endeavor was not going to work in their favor, because the company turned heel and has been pretty clearly changing up its content over the last year. Did you know Wednesday has a black villain? Shockingly, Netflix has started releasing movies with non-white characters exhibiting personality flaws.

But that has nothing to do with today’s movie.

Today’s movie is The Pale Blue Eye. Directed by Scott Cooper who loves Christian Bale enough to cast him in a good majority of his directed films, The Pale Blue Eye stars none other than Christian Bale. Bale plays Augustus Landor in 1830, a retired detective brought back into the scene when a military academy suffers a gruesome murder. Cadet Fry (Steven Maier) has been hanged from a tree, and the military would like the murder solved before anything gets out to the public or to the other cadets.

Landor finds himself helped by the unlikeliest of people, military cadet and poet Edgar Allen Poe played by none other than Dudley Dursley aka Harry Melling. It’s always nice seeing the Harry Potter child stars go on to do good cinema, also RIP Robbie Coltrane, except for maybe Rupert Grint for whom most of his work since Harry Potter can best hope for “mixed” reviews from critics and audiences. I may not be in the demographic for Beauty and the Beast, but it sounds more dignified than Postman Pat: The Animated Movie.

Charlotte Gainsbourg of the song “Lemon Incest” fame is here, as is Peter Pettigrew aka Timothy Spall. You’ve got Beatrix Potter aka Lucy Bynton, and even Dobby aka Toby Jones is here as well. Damn, there are a lot of Harry Potter Alumni in this film. Not to denigrate the adult actors who were in the film, most of whom were established and respected actors in both screen and stage plays. And of course we can’t forget Robert Duvall and Gillian Anderson, my first crush.

The most mind-blowing part of this movie is that it’s an adaptation of a 2003 novel of the same name. Maybe it’s because the film takes itself very properly, but it feels like a straight adaptation of an Agatha Christie novel. If you removed Bale as Landor and stuffed in Hercule Poirot, I don’t think anyone would notice or complain. It’s a very dry movie, thematically, with little action or characters running around from place to place or big tension moments. It’s the kind of movie you can sit back and soak in for a couple of hours.

And it is a couple of hours. The film is nearly two hours and ten minutes long, and that becomes a problem as it starts to fall apart in the last few scenes. Not enough to ruin the film, in my opinion, but enough to put a bad taste in my mouth. Overall though I would recommend it for those looking for a good Agatha Christie-esque mystery movie. It is a film filled to the brim with incredibly talented actors. The worst thing I can say about it is that some might find it boring, so keep in mind my favorite Star Trek movie is The Motion Picture.

Rating: B+