Netflix's summer blockbuster lineup kicks off with the star-studded original movie Spiderhead. This thriller/comedy mash-up with Chris Hemsworth, Miles Teller and more is the next entry in Netflix’s 2022 movie output, which so far has been highlighted by The Adam Project, Hustle and 365 Days: This Day.
Here is everything that you need to know about Spiderhead.
When is the Spiderhead release date?
Spiderhead is streaming exclusively on Netflix as of Friday, June 17.
Spiderhead reviews — what are the critics saying
Spiderhead appears to be dividing critics. The movie (as of June 17) has a 52% score on Rotten Tomatoes, which classifies it as "Rotten," but a number of reviewers call it a compelling sci-fi story and praise the work of stars Chris Hemsworth and Miles Teller. It fares a little bit better on Metacritic, where it has a score of 56, which puts in on the high end of the site's "Mixed" tier.
What to Watch's Spiderhead review finds itself more on the positive side. Find out why by giving it a read.
How to watch Spiderhead
Since Spiderhead is a Netflix exclusive movie, anyone who wants to watch is going to need a subscription to the streaming service.
Spiderhead is rated "R" for US audiences; "15" in the UK.
How long is Spiderhead?
Spiderhead's runtime is one hour 46 minutes.
The trailer for Spiderhead is here and it is weird. Maybe it’s the upbeat music against the questionable human testing that is going on, but Spiderhead looks to be beating to its own drum, which could make it a fun two hours for viewers. Get a sampling of what’s in store with the Spiderhead trailer:
Also check out a clip from Spiderhead that was shared as part of Netflix's Geeked Week:
What is the Spiderhead plot?
If the trailer didn’t help you figure out what the heck is going on with Spiderhead, here is the official synopsis from Netflix:
"In a state-of-the-art penitentiary run by brilliant visionary Steve Abnesti, inmates wear a surgically attached device that administers dosages of mind-altering drugs in exchange for commuted sentences. There are no bars, no cells or orange jumpsuits. In Spiderhead, incarcerated volunteers are free to be themselves. Until they’re not. At times, they’re a better version. Need to lighten up? There’s a drug for that. At a loss for words? There’s a drug for that, too. But when two subjects, Jeff and Lizzy, form a connection, their path to redemption takes a twistier turn, as Abnesti’s experiments start to push the limits of free will altogether."
Spiderhead is based on a The New Yorker short story, Escape from Spiderhead, by George Saunders. Deadpool writers Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick wrote the script.
Who is in the Spiderhead cast?
The leading trio of Spiderhead is Chris Hemsworth as Steve Abnesti, Miles Teller as Jeff and Jurnee Smollett as Lizzy.
Hemsworth is of course best known for playing Thor in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, which he is going to do again in 2022 with Thor: Love and Thunder. Outside of the MCU, the Australian actor typically balances between straightforward action movies like Extraction and 12 Strong and movies that he gets to go a bit outside the box in, like Bad Times at El Royale. Spiderhead looks to be more of the latter.
Like Hemsworth, Teller is slated to have a busy summer, as in addition to Spiderhead he has Top Gun: Maverick. Teller is best known for his work in movies like Whiplash, the Divergent franchise and The Spectacular Now.
Smollett has been working in Hollywood since she was a kid, appearing in Full House and Eve’s Bayou, but she’s had a particular good couple of years recently. In 2020 she starred in the critically acclaimed Birds of Prey and the Emmy-nominated HBO series Lovecraft Country, for which she earned her own Emmy nomination for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama series.
Also in the Spiderhead cast are Mark Paguio (Lonesome), Tess Haubrich (Alien: Covenant), Nathan Jones (Mad Max: Fury Road) and Charles Parnell (Top Gun: Maverick).
Spiderhead director Joseph Kosinski
It’s not just a busy summer for Spiderhead’s two leading men, Spiderhead is also the second offering from director Joseph Kosinski for the summer of 2022. He's also the director behind Top Gun: Maverick.
Kosinski’s past credits include TRON: Legacy, Oblivion and Only the Brave.
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Michael Balderston is a DC-based entertainment and assistant managing editor for What to Watch, who has previously written about the TV and movies with TV Technology, Awards Circuit and regional publications. Spending most of his time watching new movies at the theater or classics on TCM, some of Michael's favorite movies include Casablanca, Moulin Rouge!, Silence of the Lambs, Children of Men, One Flew Over the Cuckoos Nest and Star Wars. On the TV side he enjoys Only Murders in the Building, Yellowstone, The Boys, Game of Thrones and is always up for a Seinfeld rerun. Follow on Letterboxd.