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)