Netflix Losing the Best Sci-Fi Secret Masterpiece of the ’80s

It’s surprising that a prolific director like John Carpenter has underrated movies. With iconic films like Halloween, The Thing, and Escape from New York, some of his work inevitably slips through the cracks. Unfortunately, Starman is one such hidden gem, and Netflix will soon lose this sci-fi treasure. Now’s the time to watch it.

Starring Jeff Bridges, Starman (1984) tells the tale of an alien responding to Earth’s message seeking intelligent life. Hoping to establish friendly connections, the aliens send a scout. However, Earth’s military reacts with hostility, shooting down the alien’s ship, causing it to crash. The movie follows this alien, adopting human form, desperately trying to escape a planet that isn’t as welcoming as expected.

Starman falls into the genre of classic films like E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial and The Iron Giant. A naïve visitor is feared and attacked for being different. Initially, humans fear the Starman, but soon realize he’s harmless and just afraid. Some humans, seeing the good in him, help him evade others who greet him with hostility.

Despite positive reception, Starman struggled at the box office, earning less than $29 million against a $24 million budget. The earlier release of E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial might have overshadowed it. Nonetheless, Jeff Bridges’ performance was so commendable that he received a Best Actor nomination at the Academy Awards.

Retrospective reviews have been kinder to Starman. In true John Carpenter fashion, it became a classic over time, similar to The Thing. Many articles now list it among the best sci-fi movies of its era.

Starman was missed by many upon its debut. Don’t make the same mistake in 2024. Before it leaves Netflix on June 30, take the time to watch this sci-fi classic that too many overlooked.

M. Osama Asghar

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