Jan 282018

Suburbicon probably had some good ideas at its core, mostly perhaps by the Coen Brothers, and one would think someone like George Clooney who has not only worked with them but no doubt has the highest reverence for the two might make for a good replacement, Instead we get a mishmash of ideas that never come together.




Genre(s): Drama, Suspense, Crime, Comedy
Paramount | R – 105 min. – $31.99 | February 6, 2018

Date Published: 01/28/2018 | Author: The Movieman

Directed by: George Clooney
Writer(s): Joel Coen & Ethan Coen and George Clooney & Grant Heslov (written by)
Cast: Matt Damon, Julianne Moore, Noah Jupe, Oscar Isaac, Glenn Fleshler, Megan Ferguson, Jack Conley, Gary Basaraba, Michael D. Cohen
Features: Commentary, Featurettes
Digital Copy: Yes
Formats Included: Blu-ray
Number of Discs: 1
Audio: English (DTS-HD MA 5.1), Spanish (Dolby Digital 5.1)
Video: 1080p/Widescreen 2.35
Subtitles: English SDH, Spanish
Disc Size: 41.7 GB
Codecs: MPEG-4 AVC
Region(s): A, B, C


THE MOVIE — 2.5/5

Suburbicon was a movie written by the Coen Brothers back in the mid-80s and was shelved, only to be revived in 2005 and again in 2015. Sometimes some scripts should remain shelved or at the very least the original writers’ core story remained intact. What we get here is a mish-mash of ideas from social commentary, race relations, dark comedy and crime-drama and really doesn’t work on any of these levels.

Note: This portion contains some MAJOR SPOILERS, so readers beware!

The year is 1959 and the quaint town of Suburbicon it all: a small police force, firehouse, shopping mall, church choir and more. But all that changes when an black family moves into town much to the dismay and fear amongst the townsfolk, who will stop at nothing to run them out.

Meanwhile, this family’s neighbor, the Lodge family – husband Gardner (MATT DAMON), wife Rose (JULIANNE MOORE), son Nicky (NOAH JUPE) and Rose’s twin sister, Margaret (also Moore) – has something sinister going on when a pair of robbers break into their home and in the process, Rose is killed from a chloroform overdose.

I’m not giving anything major away since the ‘twist’ (for the lack of a better word) is revealed about halfway through that this was no random robbery, as one would expect from a Coen Brothers (at least partially) script. In fact, Gardner had hired the two goons to off the wife in order to collect the large insurance policy where he and Margaret, who have been having an affair, could run off together to Aruba.

As the towns’ people continue to harass the black neighbors, at one point turning into a riot outside of their house, taking all of the police force to keep them a bay, within the Lodge household, Gardner and Margaret’s plans are starting to go out the window from the boy Nicky becoming suspicious of them and claims investigator named Bud Cooper (OSCAR ISAAC) comes snooping around as the whole situation has raised red flags, and the money could be in jeopardy.

I actually didn’t hate Suburbicon as there are some decent ideas in the haphazard of a story with through-lines of the Coen Brothers in there before George Clooney and Grant Heslov came in and mucked it up. I also get the quasi and underdeveloped subplot concerning the black neighbors in conjunction with the Lodge family with one being a perfectly normal all-American family and the other house filled murder, affairs and (psychological) child abuse; one has the town up in arms… But this theme doesn’t overcome a rather dull story and, worse yet, something that’s supposed to be darkly humorous that failed to utter even a mild chuckle from me.

On the plus side, the film was beautifully photographed by Oscar-winning cinematographer Robert Elswit and had previously worked with Clooney on The Men Who Stare at Goats and Good Night, and Good Luck (as well as Syriana and Michael Clayton where Clooney starred). Beyond the look, the production design was also fantastic to behold. Besides those things, not a whole lot to admire despite a talented cast (though Oscar Isaac was a standout in his all-too-brief role) and accomplished director in Clooney.

Suburbicon plain and simply was a misfire from George Clooney and Grant Heslov, I guess attempting to do their own portrayal of a Coen Brothers movie and while some parts worked, there’s more than enough that do not that makes this a complete skip unless you are a big fan of the cast.



This release comes with a semi-glossy slip cover and inside is a redemption code for the Digital HD copy.

Considering its lackluster box office, we do get a few extras including an Audio Commentary by Producer/Co-Writer/Director George Clooney and Producer/Co-Writer Grant Heslov which I did enjoy especially since Clooney does make for a great storyteller, and let’s face it, I could hear him read the phone book; a Welcome to Suburbicon (29:50; HD) making-of featurette with behind-the-scenes footage and interviews with the cast and crew; The Unusual Suspects: Casting (12:49; HD) introduces us to the variety of cast members and their characters; and Scoring Suburbicon (7:54) on Alexandre Desplat’s process of coming up with the music.


VIDEO – 4.5/5

Paramount releases Suburbicon onto Blu-ray in its original 2.35 widescreen aspect ratio and a 1080p high-definition transfer which looks excellent. Colors are incredibly vibrant which of course is in stark contrast with the story of murder and racism while detail is sharp and nicely defined throughout and skin tones have a natural appearance. It’s an impressive transfer all around.

AUDIO – 4.0/5

The DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track is standard enough, dialogue is crisp, clear and clean coming from the center channel while the bulk of the surrounds are composed of the score by Alexandre Desplat with some modest elements such as the riot scene.


OVERALL – 2.75/5

Overall, Suburbicon probably had some good ideas at its core, mostly perhaps by the Coen Brothers, and one would think someone like George Clooney who has not only worked with them but no doubt has the highest reverence for the two might make for a good replacement, Instead we get a mishmash of ideas that never come together in spite of a respectable cast and production design.





Check out some more 1080p screen caps by going to page 2. Please note, these do contain spoilers.

 Leave a Reply

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>