Release Date: October 27, 2017
Director: George Clooney
Writer: Joel Coen, Ethan Coen
Cast: Matt Damon, Julianne Moore, Oscar Isaac, Jack Conley, Noah Jupe, Glenn Fleshler, Sonia Gascon, Becca Beton, Inbal Amirav, Michael D. Cohen, Tim Neff, Megan Ferguson, Steve Monroe, Marah Fairclough, Gary Basaraba, Dash Williams, Jessee Foudray, Carter Hastings, Ellen Crawford, Karimah Westbrook, Emily Goss, Diane Dehn, Alex Hassell, Steven M. Porter, Mark Leslie Ford, Paul Black
Genre: Crime, Drama, Mystery
MPAA Rating: R
Runtime: 104 minutes
Production Company: Black Bear Pictures, Dark Castle Entertainment, Huahua Media, Silver Pictures, Smokehouse Pictures, Paramount Pictures
Country: UK, USA
When the first trailer was released for Suburbicon, I would be lying if I said I wasn’t excited. I’m a fan of Matt Damon, and from the surface, it appeared he was taking on a role other than the rough, tough, action hero he was developing into. Though skepticism consumed me once I found out George Clooney was attached as the director. Mr. Clooney is a fine actor, but his direction with film as of late hasn’t been that impressive. I loathed The Monuments Men, and slightly enjoyed The Ides of March which had mixed reviews during its theatrical release. Then, the subtitles of the trailer revealed that the Coen Brothers wrote the film, I had no idea of what to think. Those writers are popular, but for my taste, I’m not too sure of what all the commotion is about, but all films are subjective in their own right. So, after seeing this film, I’m sad to say that some of those raging suspicions ended up coming true.
The film didn’t take long to reveal itself either. From the first few minutes, it became obvious that this isn’t in the slightest what the trailers led you to believe. You wouldn’t be alone if you thought there was a home invasion that rattled a town, and Gardner (Matt Damon) was out for revenge. This appears to be a fun filled adventure taking place in the “so-called” safe suburbs in 1959 America. Misdirection in a trailernot revealing all plot points and potential spoilers is fine, but they’re also supposed to give you a true account of what story you’re about to embark on. That wasn’t the case here. Starting with the characters, none of them led up to someone you should be proud of. Other than Gardner’s son Nicky (Noah Jupe), every single role in this film was detestable. They all deserved what was coming to them. There was also no reasoning behind it all, or explanation of where it came from. The thought of having an entire cast being despicable to their core is a mystery that needs to be solved, and Clooney, and the Coen Brothers aren’t remotely up to the task.
It would be no surprise if news dropped that the Coen’s wrote this script blindfolded, riding a horse backward while intoxicated. The story was all over the place barely hanging on by a thread. For some reasons, the Coen’s decided to include a Black family that had no relationship in the film, or dialogue with the main cast. They were added to show how sick America was decades ago with its deep seeded racism. Was racism and segregation a large part of America back in those times? Of course, it was, but at least involve that side plot with the rest of the story which never happened. There was no point to have Black people terrorized for nearly two hours in a film that’s not a true story. It would’ve been understood if inclusion served the plot, but it didn’t. It’s like the director and writer said, “Hey let’s see how racist we can be just for the fun of it.” This took place early in the film, with no relation to anything else, and I was patiently waiting for the connection that never came.
There were moments where the soundtrack of the film did increase tension in the air, and there was a good sense of mystery, but when that mystery is solved, it just leads to further disappointment. There are many elements in this film that are competing to see what’s worst. That being the story, the characters, and overall flow of the film, this film is a combination of three different stories that never came together. What comes to mind is a ketchup, jelly sandwich on cinnamon toasted bread. All three are magnificent separately but in no way, shape, and form should be ever mixed together.
Simply put, this movie is trash, and it will be forgotten as soon you’re done pronouncing its name. The film is nothing like the trailers and it reveals the lies this country tries to hide behind. If that what Clooney’s objective was, he succeeded, but if his goal was to create an entertaining piece of art to be remembered in the annals of film history, he failed miserably. It shows how America was sick, is still sick, and needs deep tissue cleansing. I’m passionate to ask the director what the hell he was thinking. I’m happy and upset at this revelation, on top of being angry, enlightened, and disturbed.