The best thrillers on Hulu available in May 2021



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There is a scene at the start Luce, a gripping racial and preconceived psychodrama that’s as tense as any thriller, and it all really comes down to two people talking in a classroom, their deceptively polite conversation turning into passive antagonism -aggressive. One of the two is the main character, a beaming student played by Kelvin Harrison Jr. The other is his government and history teacher, Ms. Wilson (Octavia Spencer), the only teacher at their Virginia high school who ever seems challenge star athlete, debate club champion and future promotion major, though she too sees him as an “important example for the school,” a black child who rose to the top of the class . Harrison perfectly captures the poise and charisma of an academic golden kid, the kind who just knows how to talk to adults, projecting sincerity and gratitude with just a touch of good humor, so you don’t go out of your way. ‘a Tracy Flick super performer. . But the actor also lets us see, early and often, how this conviviality is a sort of facade: a whole fabricated character that Luce can turn on or off. And as Ms. Wilson carefully questions the up-and-coming student about an assignment he has returned that has given him red flags, his mask of kindness slips away, just long enough for him to utter what looks a lot like a veiled threat. It’s a remarkable, chilling performance: of Harrison, to be sure, but also of his character, playing code-switching mind games with his teacher. [A.A. Dowd]

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