‘Suburbicon’ review: An absolute waste of time

George Clooney’s latest misses the mark

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George Clooney, I’ve had better.

One would think that when an Oscar nominated director gets together with Oscar nominated writers along with Oscar nominated actors, the result would be a touchdown. Instead, Suburbicon is like the Beatles getting back together and playing a few songs from The Wiggles catalog.

The movie star’s latest directorial effort outfitted its cinematic engine with a script from the Coen Brothers and Matt Damon as the star-and the result is an absolute turd of a film. Think about a movie that is empty inside and offers you nothing, and this movie sits on that part of the movie map.

Suburbicon is about a peaceful small town in the 1960’s where everything is perfect and neighbors are like family, but something simply isn’t right. Damon’s Gardner is a businessman living with his wife and sister in law (both played by Julianne Moore) whose home gets invaded by burglars one night, and together with the arrival of an African American family, flips the peaceful town on its head.

Betrayal, deceit, and sudden violence follow. That’s it. This movie has nothing to say, because it wastes time on the wrong story. If Clooney had focused on the race war that overwhelmed so many cities back then, this movie could have been a timely bolt of energy. Instead, it’s another odd and erratic, and incomplete, mess from the Coen Brothers factory.

I hated this movie with a passion. When I left the theater, I felt like I was betrayed by good filmmakers with honest intentions. With a lineup this strong, wasting it on insurance fraud and poisoned milk feels like a bad audible.

To be honest, I’ve never loved Clooney in the director’s chair. While Good Night, and Good Luck was a triumph, The Ides of March and Confessions of a Dangerous Mind came off as disappointments. Suburbicon is just bad.

When Damon and Moore’s characters get into trouble in this movie, you don’t care what happens to them, because the story spent zero time building them up as legit dual-sided characters. You simply don’t care. Oscar Isaacs plays an insurance agent with about three scenes in the film and I cared more about his doomed character. I wanted to know more about every character in the film except the two leads. Isn’t that a bad thing?

I took my dad to see this film, and we’ve watched a lot of good movies together. Before we left, a preview of the film flashed a review that read, “perfectly twisted.” I wonder if that critic and I saw the same film, because Suburbicon was anything but perfect.

If the intentions were to make a dark thriller with some comedy, this missed the mark.

If there was a dialogue about trouble in the 50’s and 60’s and racial tension, this missed the mark, because not enough time was dedicated to it.

If the idea was create a film about how human beings can be monsters, go watch Mother! or Detroit instead.

Suburbicon says very little, doesn’t entertain, and is a waste of time. Skip it all together. Go to the park, watch paint dry, or play checkers all by yourself in a quiet room.

The dream team got together for a movie and in the end, the end result was a wreck.