Entertainment » Movies

Suburbicon

by Greg Vellante
EDGE Media Network Contributor
Friday Oct 27, 2017
Matt Damon stars in 'Suburbicon'
Matt Damon stars in 'Suburbicon'  

There are good films, and there are bad films, but perhaps the most frustrating type of film is one with failed potential. "Suburbicon" is one of these films. It comes to us from director George Clooney, who began his filmmaking career with a duo of excellent films: 2002's "Confessions of a Dangerous Mind" (still his best film) and 2005's "Good Night and Good Luck" (his second-best film). From here, Clooney exponentially dipped in quality with uneven films like "Leatherheads" (2008), "The Ides of March" (2011) and "The Monuments Men" (2014, and this should've been the nail in the coffin).

Now we have "Suburbicon," an ugly, unfocused mess of a movie that finds Clooney either A.) completely phoning it in, or B.) proving that he has somehow forgotten how to direct a film. Boring and lifeless, "Suburbicon" trucks along at an agonizing 105 minutes that feels like 105 days, with constant echoes of the film that could have been. Originally written by the Coen brothers (then redrafted by Clooney and Grant Heslov), you can sense the Coen-esque world being built here only to be torn down by unnecessary posturing and lazy filmmaking.

"Suburbicon" is founded upon classic Coen comedy archetypes, where stupid, greedy protagonists become involved in a multi-layered plot involving money, backstabbing and shocking, sudden acts of violence. But I spent the entire film imagining what this would look like with another Coen draft and their eyes behind the camera. Instead, we get sluggishly-paced scenes of establishing shots and close-ups, all set to a wallpaper score by the king of wallpaper scores, Alexandre Desplat (I knew it was him before his name even showed up in the final credits).

All in all, this is missed opportunity after missed opportunity -- a failed experiment that only comes to life once, when Oscar Issac briefly enters the picture to stir some much-needed energy into the pot. Everything else is like a fish flopping on the ground, clinging to its final moments of existence. As the lead, this is one of Matt Damon's worst performance. Julianne Moore, my favorite actress, plays two roles and I can't even justify her contributions. She gives it her all, but the content is just so bad.

Worst of all, the story attempts to work an undertone of commentary on white privilege and the broken American Dream into the film, but it's all so obvious and heavy-handed. At one point, there's a shot involving a black man, a Confederate flag, and the chaos that surrounds them. It is framed so blatantly, it's so full of itself, that my eyes rolled into the back of my head until I could see my brain. In this moment, my brain pleaded with me ... "Make it stop."

Suburbicon

Suburbicon is a peaceful, idyllic, suburban community with affordable homes and manicured lawns -- the perfect place to raise a family, and in the summer of 1959, the Lodge family is doing just that. But the tranquil surface masks a disturbing reality, as husband and father Gardner Lodge must navigate the town's dark underbelly of betrayal, deceit and violence.

Info

Runtime :: 105 mins
Release Date :: Oct 27, 2017
Language :: Silent
Country :: United Kingdom

Cast

Gardner :: Matt Damon
Margaret/Rose :: Julianne Moore
Roger :: Oscar Isaac
Ira :: Glenn Fleshler
Louis :: Alex Hassell
Shopping Woman :: Marah Fairclough
June :: Megan Ferguson
Nicky :: Noah Jupe
Stretch :: Michael Cohen
Hightower :: Jack Conley
Virginia :: Diane Dehn
Protestor No. 4 :: Tim Neff
Uncle Mitch :: Gary Basaraba
Clinic Mom :: Emily Goss
Mrs. Mayers :: Karimah Westbrook
Andy :: Tony Espinosa
Mr. Mayers :: Leith Burke

Crew

Director :: George Clooney
Screenwriter :: Joel Coen
Screenwriter :: Ethan Coen
Director :: George Clooney
Screenwriter :: Grant Heslov
Screenwriter :: Grant Heslov
Director :: George Clooney
Producer :: Teddy Schwarzman
Executive Producer :: Ethan Erwin
Executive Producer :: Barbara Hall
Executive Producer :: Joel Silver
Executive Producer :: Daniel Steinman
Executive Producer :: Hal Sadoff
Cinematographer :: Robert Elswit
Film Editor :: Stephen Mirrione
Original Music :: Alexandre Desplat
Production Design :: James Bissell
Costume Designer :: Jenny Eagan
Casting :: Ellen Chenoweth


Comments

Add New Comment

Comments on Facebook