I try to find a nice thing to say about every film I watch. But I cannot for the life of me think of anything that I liked about Suburbicon. Did Clooney only direct this because the Coens wrote it? Did he not clue into the reason why they never directed it themselves? I mean, if you take a step back and look at the whole, it’s easy to see why: it’s amateur hour through and through. But Clooney probably didn’t see it that way. And so we have this in the world, a film so vile and tone deaf that not a single minute of effort redeems it. Pretty much all the characters are loathsome save for the little boy, who undergoes so much traumatic shit so that we see how awful his immediate family is, and his black neighbours, who are barelycharacters to begin with, and (like said boy) seem to exist only to highlight how shitty the white people in town are. But we know that, George. We know the white people are shitty. Including a black family just to underscore that doesn’t matter if that’s all they’re there for. And the script is so poorly assembled that I have no idea if the black family was the Coens’ doing, or Clooney’s addition. Who’s to say? The fact of the matter is, racial politics is shoehorned into this—and badly.
This also wants to be a comedy, but the tone is so bleak that none of the jokes land at all. It wants to be a crime caper, but we’re privy to all the essential facts almost immediately—and the police/law enforcement is conveniently kept out of the action. Oh, this film wants to be a lot of things, but like Matt Damon’s character, it does everything ineptly. It’s frankly a wonder the studio didn’t try to bury this. They should’ve, because now they have to deal with the embarrassment. If Clooney ever directs again, for God’s sake put a leash on him so that he doesn’t unleash anymore horrors like Suburbicon. For the love of all things holy, we don’t need trash like this. It poisons the soul. It worsens the credibility of an already struggling industry. Just stop.
P.S. I considered bumping this to one star purely because Oscar Isaac walks in from a completely different film and tries to save its sorry ass, but he’s only in it for two scenes, and honestly, that’s just one more unacceptable thing about this flaming trash heap. You waste Oscar Isaac and you immediately raise my ire.