Browsing: Home » Review » Review: SUBURBICON


By Jose Jara

By: Daniel Guzman

Do yourself a favor and don’t watch this movie. If I had seen this film on Netflix I might have been less annoyed with the time I wasted. I was not that fortunate though. A friend of mine who was also a victim of this viewing and I were trying to figure out a catchy title for my review of Suburbicon. My friend came up with “Suburbibomb!” I was fixated on giving it the title “Suburbi-CON!” Instead, I settled on just bashing this movie throughout the body of this review.

For those who have had the chance to catch the trailer to Suburbicon, I warn you in advance that the trailer deceives in the direction that the movie is heading.  Sometimes that is a sweet surprise while watching a movie, but in this instance it proved to be a bitter discovery. The movie which was co-written by the Coen Brothers, George Clooney, and Grant Heslov gave some sort of sense in the trailer that this film is about a suburban middle class husband/father(Matt Damon) who is pushed over the edge by violent criminals, and seeks vengeance to right the wrongs that have been done against his family. I was also led to believe in the trailer that Oscar Isaac was the possible lead villain whom Matt Damon apparently owes money to.  I made the common mistake of assuming way too much. Let me give you a transparent synopsis of what this film really dives into, and let me warn those who hate spoilers to not read the following paragraph.

Matt Damon plays a 1950’s business man by the name of Gardner Lodge who finds himself  early in the story being the victim of a home invasion in which actress Julianne Moore plays his paraplegic wife as well as the wife’s twin sister. Most of the story is being observed through the eyes of Gardner’s young son, Nicky. The home invasion hints at Gardner’s involvement with these two evil men, and the home invasion boils down to Gardner’s wife ending up being purposely murdered with the boy Nicky seeing his mother’s demise. We are quickly led to discover that Gardner and his sister-in-law planned the home invasion in order to end up together while cashing in on his deceased wife’s life insurance. Oscar Isaac plays Roger, a life insurance investigator who is assigned to fish out bogus insurance claims that he thinks smell of foul play. The story continues then to unravel between Gardner and the evil men who were promised payment for the home invasion. Meanwhile a side story is taking place with a new family moving into this cookie cutter suburban neighborhood right next to the Lodge’s home. Every community member in Suburbicon is in an uproar due to the fact that the new neighbors are a few shades darker than the neighborhood is accustomed to. The story spends a great deal of time developing a climactic racial uproar against the new black peaceful neighbors and the rest of the entire community.

No one in this film is worth rooting for. There’s no good reason for the side plot of the racist town against this black family other than it serving as a distraction for the town to be oblivious of the crime and chaos occurring in the Lodge’s home. Matt Damon’s character is so unlikeable as a deceitful husband with a cold hatefulness towards his own son. Julianne Moore goes from a sweet aunt to a stomach revolting sister killing adulteress. Oscar Isaac is great as a sly insurance investigator, until he shows you his true colors. The children, Nicky and his new black neighborhood buddy, Andy, are the only characters who you really feel for and get to sympathize with. Every actor seems to nail their part, but the film loses itself in depicting characters that are unappealing to the audience.

Suburbicon made me realize how much I dislike George Clooney’s directing as well as his collaborations with The Coens. They like to venture into a dark comedy that excels in having a dark morbid tone and dabbles in strange humor. The outcome that Clooney delivers up in this film is a drab and boring dark tale with unsuccessful tries at comedy. Almost like I missed the punch lines, leaving me just remembering the depressiveness of this film. You have been warned by yours truly and my victimized movie companion, this movie is a “Suburbi-BOMB! “