So Suburbicon comes a little as a surprise. Starring Matt Damon (Saving Private Ryan, We Bought a Zoo, Oceans Thirteen) and Julianne Moore (Crazy, Stupid, Love., The Forgotten) Suburbicon throws audiences into a world of violence, murder, riots, blackmail and racism all within the comforts of your own backyard.
So first we get a good feel of this cozy neighborhood in a town called Suburbicon. It’s friendly has lovely houses is a great place to raise kids and is very…non-ethnic shall we say. The movie introduces us to this lovely neighborhood just as they are getting their very first black neighbors the Mayers. News Flash: No one is happy about this change. Then suddenly the movie shifts to the Lodges. The father Gardner Lodge played by Matt Damon awakens his son Nicky; Noah Jupe (The Man with the Iron Hat, The Last Dragon Slayer) in the middle of the night telling him men are in the house before bringing him downstairs to a very hostage situation. We find his mother Rose and his aunt Margaret both played by Julianne Moore downstairs with a couple of robbers who tell the family if they do as they’re told one will get hurt. That turns out to be a lie. Soon after the entire family is drugged into unconsciousness and when they come too they find out the robbers overdosed poor Rose and she unfortunately did not survive the invasion.
A police investigation is quickly underway to find these monsters and bring them to justice. In one such incident the police call the Lodges and aunt Margaret into the station to identify who they believe to be the culprits. As Gardner and Margaret look over the list of suspects they are unaware that Nicky is also looking in as well and the young boy clearly sees the men who killed his mother…he also sees his father and his aunt lie to the police by telling them the murderers are not there
.It’s here that the psychological ball starts rolling and everything I believed this film to be starts to change. Gardner has become hostile and threatening to Nicky and aunt Margaret moves in and suddenly changes her appearance to that of her late sister Rose. Things start to go from bad to worse when the men from the invasion return demanding payment for their unspeakable crime and a twisted life insurance agent shows up to blackmail the family for the claim money on Roses life insurance. And while the Lodges spiral out of control the Mayers who live just behind them try to stop the once peaceful community from destroying their lives as the town riots and try to force them out of the neighborhood.
This was a good movie even with the surprising twist it took. Coming out on Halloween weekend this movie was drastically overshadowed and unfortunately it will never be looked at as a must see. It’s not flashy and to be honest the best draw in for me was Matt Damon playing a bloodied up father who killed people in the 60’s. Who doesn’t want that? But what this film does give off is a surprising message that there is no such thing as perfect. On the outside something could look nice but when you look to the under-belly you’ll find a place where adults lie, fathers kill their families and happy people are quick to mutate into something foul and unforgiving with the simple notion of change.
Suburbicon is a movie worth seeing because with perfect articulation it shows us the flaws of human nature. Throughout the movie the town is so focused on the Mayers and ridding them of the neighborhood they fail to see the extremely obvious evil happening in the Lodges house just a yard over. I also liked the message they sent with the Mayers son Andy played by Tony Espinosa (The Birth of a Nation) and Nicky who became fast friends and seemed to be the only decent people in the whole town. Only the innocent are good.
Rated R for violence, language and some sexuality.
Rotten tomatoes have Suburbicon at a 26% rotten. Awwww…
Would I watch this movie again? Yes. It may not be the best movie out right now, but I thought it was very powerful and thought provoking. And once you see the first lie given by Nicky’s family the film keeps you hooked as you try and figure out just what kind of people they really are. It’s not a must see for theaters of course but if you ever come across it and you have some time on your hands, this movie will not disappoint.