R | 1h 44min | Crime, Drama, Mystery | 27 October 2017 (USA)
Synopsis: A home invasion rattles a quiet family town.
Review: The synopsis for the film could be the worst ever. “A home invasion rattles a quiet family town” might as well say “a tiny mouse goes to Harvard and overthrows NASA.” They would both be a distraction from what this film is really about. I wish the story had to do with a home invasion and how twisted a 50s era suburbanite family coped. That would be a good movie. But this is more a social statement that is very heavy handed, and even though you might agree with the message there is nothing entertaining about watching it be told.
I love the Coen Brothers and their ability to make dark humor endearing. Films like Fargo, No Country for Old Men, Raising Arizona.. the list is very long.. all are some of the best made. But this one was too dark and the humor was unable to penetrate that darkness at all. What was intended as quirky comedy comes across as awkward. Yes there are twists and turns and those should be intriguing to experience. But each one just took us further and further into depression and sadness.
Director George Clooney is trying to get us to understand that America was never as great as the posters portray it to be. We have all been lulled into believing that the 50s was some sort of peaceful, beautiful, iconic time when everything was wonderful. When in truth it was a facade. A lie. That while we were hiding behind manicured lawns there was a horrible hatred poisoning our society. But we know that already. We know that white America was an embarrassment. We see it even today. So as frustrated as we are with our current state of politics and social divisions the movie doesn’t help that. It could have worked had they focused simply on this unraveling, dysfunctional family. Maybe.
The acting is pretty solid. Matt Damon is hard not to enjoy and to see him in this role is fun. Plus we seldom get to see him play a character that is despicable. Julianne Moore plays dual roles as twin sisters. One is married to Matt Damon’s character and the other wants to be. Moore too is rarely seen in a role this unlikeable. Too bad the film overshadows the performances.
As dark and violent as FARGO was there was still a tongue in cheek wink to it that makes it a classic even today. As you watch this one you see that they tried to recapture that magic here. Some of the characters could have jumped from those pages to this script seamlessly. But the tone of this film and the all too familiar evil makes keeps it from being anything but dismal and disappointing.
There is nothing redemptive or uplifting about this film. It is just sad and at times shocking. SUBURBICON is rated R for violence, language and some sexuality. It is totally an adult film due to the themes and violence. I give it 1 out of 5 rolling pins. Zero entertainment with an oppressive message.