The four-part Netflix series “Collateral” — not to be confused with the 2004 feature starring Tom Cruise and Jamie Foxx — is a twisty, fast-moving thriller featuring fine performances, a timely storyline, and a fascinating location. Just four episodes long, it's full of surprises. And Carey Mulligan, the Oscar-nominated star of “An Education” and “The Great Gatsby,” is better than ever.
Year it began: 2018
Where it can be seen: Netflix
Typical episode length: 60 minutes
Number of episodes: 4
Who’s in it: Carey Mulligan, John Simm, Billie Piper, Nicola Walker and Hayley Squires
Brief plot description: A London detective investigates the seemingly random murder of a pizza delivery man and uncovers a case of interlocking circumstances amid a cross-section of British society.
Why it’s worth watching: David Hare, the screenwriter behind films like “The Hours” and “The Reader,” wrote “Collateral” for the BBC, and in many ways its multi-textured approach fits his oeuvre. Mulligan plays Kip Glaspie, a London detective assigned to investigate the shocking murder of a pizza delivery man. The crime draws in a number disparate characters, including a government official, his ex-wife, a local reverend, and her girlfriend, who witnessed the killing.
It’s a tangled web of individuals and motivations, and while some may find this all a bit too heavy on coincidence, there’s no question that “Collateral” is a gripping procedural. Best of all is Mulligan, whose Kip is an involving and always identifiable figure. The actress is a “get” for a series such as this one, and if there’s any justice, we’ll see the character back onscreen. After all, just four episodes is a bit sleight. Still, a series that leaves us wanting more is often a good sign.
Story topics: you should be watching