Us (2019)


Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBB.5

USA/, 2019, , , , Screenplay by Cinematography by Produced by , , , Jordan Peele.  Music by Production Design by Costume Design by Film Editing by

Years after she had a terrifying experience at a amusement park on a beach in Santa Cruz, Lupita Nyong’o finds herself back in the same area when she and her husband () take their kids to their summer home for a relaxing getaway. They meet up with their friends (, ) who are also there with their kids, until something strange happens that throws the experience on its ear: late at night, Nyong’o and Duke look outside their front window and see the film’s most terrifying image, four strangely dressed individuals standing in their driveway, holding hands and not moving. Threats to call the police get our protagonists nowhere, and intimidation doesn’t work either, then the strangers make their move and the family have a home invasion on their hands by people who turn out to be of a very eerie and disturbing origin. To go into too many details would spoil the secrets of what is an often delicious, cleverly directed thriller that, like director Jordan Peele’s previous effort Get Out, has an instructive allegory to go along with its imaginative plot but, unlike his previous film, doesn’t quite have its message nailed down. The issue of American life existing on a binary of privilege and struggle (along racial and/or economic lines, depending on what’s more on your mind) is likely at the heart of what is being explored, but while Peele has come up with a richer plot than his previous film, he hasn’t worked out all the rules of his game; making a movie that tantalizes you with unanswered questions is only acceptable if you commit to the enigma, but if you’re going to have a character who sits down and explains everything (which happens twice, here), they have to explain absolutely everything. There’s plenty to take away, including the mesmerizing performance by Nyong’o in the lead and a number of very scary sequences, but it’s only a wonderful film if you don’t look at it too closely.

Screen Actors Guild Award Nomination:  Best Actress (Lupita Nyong’o)


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