It takes a lot of effort to take a script from Joel and Ethan Coen (but mid-80s, pre-Fargo), tap the talents of Julianne Moore, Matt Damon and Oscar Isaac, and come up with a product as repulsive and soulless as this. But George Clooney, who’s a better actor than director, rose to the challenge. Black humor, which the Coens make look easy, is a difficult skill, one that Clooney may never master. And he compounds the problem in this tonally conflicted piece by grafting on a second, socially conscious “message” movie about racism in 1950s suburbia. It simply doesn’t work. Liked the kid actors, though. (105 min)
About Don Morton
Don Morton has viewed some 6,000 movies, frequently awake. A bachelor and avid cyclist, he currently divides his time between Tokyo and a high-tech 4WD super-camper somewhere in North America.