In Theatres: 
Oct 27, 2017
Running Time: 
105 minutes

Suburbicon is not the film its marketing materials make it out to be. The trailers portray it as some dark comedy in which Matt Damon must enact vengeance against the mob in order to protect his son after they kill his wife, but that’s only half the film. The other half that the trailers don’t show is the uproar caused when a black family moves into their quiet, all white suburb. The film attempts to provide this racial commentary by using the two families as a juxtaposition to one another but ends up with two poorly planned stories rather than one well thought out idea.


Suburbicon is the ideal suburban community, for white people at least. All the houses are nearly identical with their perfectly mowed lawns and colorfully painted exteriors. From grocery store to community centers, Suburbicon has everything your family will ever need. Things seem perfect for Gardner Lodge (Matt Damon) and his family, but after a home invasion results in the death of his wife, things start to spiral out of control. Across the street, Suburbicon’s first black family has just moved in and the neighborhood is not happy to say the least. They fear that a black family in their community will invite crime and others that will threaten their happy little bubble. As the violence depicted towards the innocent black family increases, the real danger across the street happening with the Lodge family goes unnoticed.


There are two distinct stories happening here, and Suburbicon does a poor job at intertwining them together. The primary focus of the film is on the Lodge family without a doubt. They’re the ones who are given the majority of screen time; they’re the ones who have speaking roles, unlike Mr. Mayers; they’re the ones who actually have first names. Because of the two segmented stories and because the film itself is being marketed as this dark comedy about revenge, the first half feels weird as the scenes involving the Mayers family are just randomly inserted into the plot with little to no reason for the overall story. It isn’t until later that things start to become clear and make any sense as to what the film’s message wants to be.


I like the idea behind the film; you have an entire neighborhood focused on an innocent black family who just wants the same opportunities as the rest of the community when the real monsters are literally in their backyard but nobody sees that because they’re white. There’s definitely a conversation to be had here, but Suburbicon is so disjointed and messy that it ruins any real impact. Neither story is given the time or detail needed to fully explore what it’s trying to say. It’s a random assortment of puzzle pieces in which you can see the image they’re trying to make, but they simply don’t fit together.

Matt Rodriguez
Review by Matt Rodriguez
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