Suburbicon Review

Suburbicon (2017) Movie Review by Stephen McLaughlin


Director: George Clooney
Writers: Joel Coen, Ethan Coen
Stars: Matt Damon, Julianne Moore, Oscar Isaac

What may look like a good movie doesn’t necessary mean the movie is good. Yes, i’m plunging into the deep end on this George Clooney Directorial film written by the Coen Brothers.

Suburbicon is about a home invasion that rattles a quiet family town. The synopsis is rather simple and the opening shots of the film start of quite brightly. The sets, costumes and overall look really nails the feel of a 1950’s American suburbia. In fact, it reminded me a lot of the 1997 movie Pleasantville which is one of my favourite movies. Robert Elswit’s cinematography is beautifully handled and he leaves his mark on the movie.

Unfortunately the look isn’t going to win me over completely and this is down to an imbalance between a inexperienced Director compared to the the writing talents that gave us Raising Arizona and No Country for Old Men. I’m honestly not slating Clooney’s skills as a Director. I just think that he may have bitten off more than he can chew with this release.

The feel to the movie is rather confusing as although the lead in the movie Gardner played by the brilliant Matt Damon. The actor cannot decide if he is playing a serious role or a dark humorous role. My guess is the Coen Brothers wrote this as a dark comedy but it isn’t exactly executed that well by the Director or the Actors. Having said that I felt Julianne Moore playing both the characters of Rose and Margaret was interesting enough and Moore is probably the only reason I managed to watch this film completely.

I’m a fan of Oscar Isaac and I was disappointed that he only came into the story in the last 45 minutes of the film. His character Bud Cooper was decent and shared some great scenes with Moore that almost captured what I believe the Coen Brothers were going for and it was a little frustrating there wasn’t enough of this throughout.

Overall, when I heard of the release of Suburbicon, I was looking forward to see how this movie would fare. Unfortunelty it appeared confusing in tone and the storyline was a little dull. I’m not holding Clooney and Damon responsible for the overall mess of this film but there was a lot of mis-direction and an odd performance from Damon to make me not want to revisit this movie anytime soon. Quite disappointing.

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