Film Reviews by Ben Silverman '20
Release date: March 22, 2019
Us, both Written and Directed by Jordan Peele, follows a family on their trip to a beach house as they encounter their demons… literally their own demons, carbon copy of themselves from another place. Spoilers are probably imminent, so if you haven’t seen this movie yet, read carefully. Lots of expectations were very, very high for this movie. Jordan Peele is well known for his career at Key and Peele, but even more well known for writing and directing Get Out (2017), which is hailed as one of the best movies of the 21st century. This was both an advantage and a disadvantage. Due to Get Out receiving so well, we expected so much from him - a bar set too high. Us is excellent, but the plot is weak at the end and it doesn’t even compare to Get Out.
Every aspect of this movie is carefully thought out and engineered. It has the best cinematography and sound engineer that I’ve seen this year. The music adds the horror and fear to the scenes, the uneasy rhythm and music type causes the viewer to ease back in their chair, unsure of what to expect. The camera angles are used incredibly well to establish the “view” of the character, it puts you in the place of the character. Essentially, Peele engineered every aspect of this movie to make you feel like you’re in the movie, watching it through the eyes of a main character instead of a bystander. I fully expect for the sound team and the cinematography team to be nominated for many awards for this movie
Casting and script is very well done as well. The editing, combined with the amazing delivery and acting, does it’s job very well and envelops the watcher in the characters and plot. Lupita Nyong’o does another excellent job, playing the main character and really showing us how her character reacts and feels during the movie.
This would be an excellent film, if not for the ending. Without spoiling anything, I was severely disappointed by the ending. Up until then, Peele leaves the viewers guessing as to what the “explanation” is, and when it’s actually revealed, it’s very underwhelming. I would have loved several other explanations for the plot, but this is perhaps the weakest of all of them. It leaves many questions unanswered, doesn’t explain a number of things in the movie, and leaves so many missed opportunities for an excellent plotline earlier in the movie. Peele did everything right, except for the ending. He chose to go in the opposite direction of Get Out, going with a more “practical” third act, if you can even call this “practical”. Taking out the ending, this movie had definite Oscar nominations for direction, writing, and maybe even Best Picture. Adding it back in, this movie barely reaches the bar.