What to know before watching Hit Man on Netflix

Richard Linklater directs an unbelievable real-life story

Glen Powell as Gary Johnson in Hit Man
Glen Powell plays Gary Johnson in new Netflix film Hit Man. (Netflix)

Glen Powell stars in Hit Man, a new Netflix film that’s based on a wild true story and brought to screens with the help of School of Rock director Richard Linklater.

The action rom-com not only stars the Anyone But You breakout actor, but was penned by him too. Powell co-wrote the film’s screenplay alongside Linklater, based on real events that were captured in a local Texas magazine article.

With online buzz calling it a good time all round, here’s everything we know about Hit Man — including its plot, cast, trailers and when you can expect to see it for yourself.

Adria Arjona and Glen Powell in Hit Man
The movie premiered at the Venice Film Festival last year. (Netflix)

Hit Man is streaming on Netflix now, having arrived on Friday, 7 June. It received a limited release in cinemas from Friday 24, May.

The film received its official debut in September 2023 at the Venice Film Festival with many outlets laying on the praise. As such, expectations for Linklater’s latest are high.

Adria Arjona and Glen Powell in Hit Man
The reviews are in for Hit Man. (Netflix)

The reviews are in for Hit Man and it looks like Linklater's latest is a sure-shot success, with star Powell winning critics over with his turn as a pretend killer.

Total Film's review likened it to a “rom-com with guns” and called it a “good time”. They also said that it's “loaded with noirish zingers (“chivalry may be dead, but I didn’t kill it”) and delicious performances.”

Variety said the film is “studded with delicious moments” while the Evening Standard called the screenplay a “cracker” and “an intelligent comedy that contains plenty of laugh-out-loud moments.”

Elsewhere, The Telegraph had just as good of a time, suggesting the film “trips along on great writing, Linklater’s witty, light-touch direction and a rich sense of place,” but hitting home that Powell and Adria Arjona’s on-screen romance is the main event.

Read more reviews below:

Total Film: Linklater's rom-com-with-guns is a damn good time (3-min read)

Variety: Richard Linklater’s Fun True-Life Lark Stars Glen Powell as a Dweeb Who Goes Undercover as a Contract Killer (6-min read)

Evening Standard: Richard Linklater’s sexy, screwball murder comedy is a gem (3-min read)

The Telegraph: Richard Linklater’s Double Indemnity comedy hits the target dead-centre (3-min read)

We got our first glimpse of Linklater and Powell’s Hit Man in April 2024, with a debut trailer that painted the picture of a bizarre true story involving a man who spends his days pretending to be a hired killer.

Like any crazy scheme, things were going well… until they weren’t.

Watch it below:

Austin Amelio, Sanjay Rao and Retta in Hit Man
Austin Amelio, Sanjay Rao and Retta co-star in the film. (Netflix)

Hit Man follows the true story of a man who spends his days as a mild-mannered professor and his nights pretending to be a fake hired killer.

As the movie’s succinct synopsis explains: “He meets his match in a client who steals his heart and ignites a powder keg of deception, delight, and mixed-up identities.”

The plot was inspired by a story written under the same title which ran in the magazine Texas Monthly and was penned by writer and journalist Skip Hollandsworth. It followed the exploits of real-life fake hit man Gary Johnson, a so-called ‘professional killer’ who was secretly working for the authorities.

According to Linklater, it’s a movie about “identity and self and passion. But on a plot level, it’s just a guy who gets in a little too deep. His passions lead him in a direction where he’s deceiving someone he’s in love with, and being someone else. They have to deal with those repercussions.”

Glen Powell, Adria Arjona and Richard Linklater on the set of Hit Man
Glen Powell co-wrote the script with director Richard Linklater. (Netflix)

Powell stars as the movie’s titular Hit Man Gary Johnson with Andor’s Adria Arjona starring as Maddy Masters, his mysterious love interest who lures Gary into a dark and dangerous world of real-life crime.

Parks and Recreation’s Retta co-stars as a police officer who works with Gary, alongside The Walking Dead’s ​​Austin Amelio who plays another undercover cop.

Sanjay Rao, Evan Holtzman, Molly Bernard and Mike Markoff will also appear.

Hit Man is streaming on Netflix now