People are calling Netflix’s Lupin the first ‘great show’ of 2021. The series about Assane, a first generation immigrant from Senegal in France, takes us through his childhood alongside the present – after having adopted the persona of a fictional, “gentleman thief” character, to get to the bottom of an intensely personal mystery. Omar Sy as Assane/Lupin is cooly magnetic, using every trick at his disposal for caper after caper. Lupin also has a much larger heart than most films or television of its ilk. Fans of the series might love the titles on the following list, which range from a sleeper Bollywood hit starring Akshay Kumar and Manoj Bajpayee in a battle of wits, to a Marvel Cinematic Universe television series that was, sadly, cancelled after two seasons despite universal praise for its lead actress, Hayley Atwell.
Sherlock (Netflix; Series)
BBC’s cult-hit Sherlock, very comfortably dips into vigilante territory. Its compelling take on the titular character, with a star-making performance by Benedict Cumberbatch, will feel reminiscent of the modern-day, rocambolesque capers of Assane. In fact, these two characters have history too: the persona that Assane assumes, of the French fictional character Lupin, has met previous iterations of Sherlock in some short stories and a video game.
Ocean’s 11 (Amazon Prime Video; Film)
One big, slick heist, dripping with style, and bobbing with energy, directed by Palme d’Or winner Steven Soderbergh. Oh, and did I forget to mention its fantastic, funny, and infuriating ensemble cast: Brad Pitt, Don Cheadle, George Clooney, Julia Roberts, Matt Damon… ?
Agent Carter (Disney+ Hotstar; Series)
If you’re looking for an espionage lead you can really get behind, you simply must watch Hayley Atwell as the titular agent in, the cancelled-too-soon, Agent Carter. The period, espionage drama, features Peggy Carter, whom we first met in the Captain America: The First Avenger, going on genuinely fun, secret missions for Howard Stark (much relation to Tony) whilst being a working woman in 1940s America.
American Hustle (Netflix/MUBI; Film)
A dazzling, ensemble piece boasting nuanced performances from Christian Bale, Amy Adams, Bradley Cooper, Jennifer Lawrence, and Jeremey Renner, as a bubbling stew of con artists, FBI agents, and politicians. The remarkable characters, co-written and fluidly directed by David O. Russell, elevate the film above many in the genre.
Special 26 (Netflix; Film)
Neeraj Pandey’s second directorial venture , after critically acclaimed sleeper hit ‘A Wednesday!’, is a fun, cat-and-mouse, crime film, based on the 1987 Opera House heist. Starring Akshay Kumar, Anupam Kher, and Manoj Bajpayee, the film stood out as one of the most original voices in the top grossing films of 2013.