‘The Courier’ Reaches No.1 on Netflix Top 10

Non-English films are growing in popularity on Netflix Credit: Instagram

Hitting 11,200,000 views on Netflix between May 13 – May 19, ‘The Courier’ provides an intense look into Spain’s financial turbulence from 1992 to 2011. 

Based on true events, real news footage is weaved into the narrative, underscoring the authenticity of its wild crime saga.  For fans of Spanish cinema and TV, the film is a trove of familiar faces. Aron Piper, known for his roles in ‘Muted’, ‘Elite’ and ‘The Mess You Leave Behind’ leads the cast.

‘The Courier’ unfolds across several European cities including Brussels, Geneva, Madrid, and Marbella.

1992: A Pivotal Year for Spain

The narrative begins in 1992, a pivotal year for Spain with the Olympics and the Expo in Barcelona.  Ivan (Piper) experiences first-hand the stark impact of financial collapse on his family, moving from prosperity to hardship within a short space of time. The 1992-93 economic crisis was ended by devaluating the peseta—Spain’s currency from 1896 to 2002—three times in less than a year.

The story then leaps to 2002, capturing Spain’s entry into the Euro.  Opportunities abound in this era of economic upheaval, particularly for those unscrupulous enough to exploit the vulnerable.  As a young man disillusioned by his country’s government, Ivan is determined to transcend his humble beginnings.  Working as a valet at a luxurious golf club, he seizes the chance to infiltrate the world of powerful elites, becoming a courier for an international money laundering organisation, transporting suitcases to Brussels and Geneva.

Dirty Money in the Costa del Sol

Ivan is not content to remain a mere courier.  He sets his sights on the Costa del Sol, a region teeming with dirty money, aiming to capitalise on the corrupt dealings of property developers, politicians, bankers, and athletes.  Ivan’s ambition knows no bounds; he is willing to harm anyone in his quest for wealth.

At its core, ‘The Courier’ is a tale of crime and its eventual consequences.  It portrays the allure of a lavish lifestyle and the inevitable downfall that follows.  Overall, the film is a riveting crime thriller that provides a stark reminder of the destructive power of greed.

The Rising Popularity of Non-English Films

The film follows the huge success of ‘Society of the Snow’, another Spanish movie that entered the Top 10 most-watched non-English movies of all time on Netflix.  Nominated for an Oscar for Best International Feature Film 2024, ‘Society of the Snow’ is also based on true events.  On October 13, 1972, a rugby team from Uruguay boarded flight 571 to Santiago, Chile, for a match.  However, just short of their destination, their plane crashed deep in the mountains, leaving those who survived fighting to stay alive.

Both the ‘The Courier’ and ‘Society of the Snow’ demonstrate the enthusiasm for non-English stories, which generate 30% of all Netflix viewing, according to a new report by the streaming channel.

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    • Mary Davidson

      27 May 2024 • 16:15

      So nothing has changed then, Spain is still incredibly corrupt, just read your local newspaper, the political class who are corrupt by nature, the Royal family, police, especially local mayors, and sadly there is little the public can do but suffer these endemic criminals. The saddest thing is historically the elite in Spain always treated the lower classes with contempt. Kings, Queens then the worst of all Franco but we have learned these people will never give up ripping off the little people.

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