Film review: Suburbicon is an absorbing, sharply-written and beautifully performed film

What do you think of Suburbicon? Picture: MEGAN ALDOUS

What do you think of Suburbicon? Picture: MEGAN ALDOUS - Credit: Archant

George Clooney’s Suburbicon is his latest outing in the director’s chair and is an engaging and bleakly comic thriller.

Adapted from an unproduced script by Joel and Ethan Coen (who share a writing credit with Clooney and producer Grant Heslov) the film focuses on the eponymous neighbourhood whose inhabitants’ idyllic existence is disrupted by a violent attack on the Lodge family and the arrival of African-American family, the Mayers.

The attack on the Lodges and its aftermath is particularly well-handled. Robert Elswit’s tight, claustrophobic cinematography perfectly captures the burgeoning sense of dread that infects the Lodges’ lives.

The Mayers’ subplot is equally effective, Clooney treating with admirable dexterity the increasingly hostile racial abuse the community inflicts upon the family.

Sadly, however, Clooney never fully marries these two storylines effectively, which means that the film often feels rather uneven in both tone and theme, as if the director cannot decide whether he is making a dark crime thriller or a scathing civil rights drama.


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Nevertheless, the film is still a gripping and thought-provoking thriller with a universally superb cast.

Matt Damon turns in a quietly terrifying performance as the stern Lodge family patriarch, Gardner, and Oscar Isaac delivers an electrifying performance as sinister insurance claims investigator Bud Cooper.

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Though not quite as impressive as some of Clooney’s previous directorial outings, Suburbicon is an absorbing, sharply-written and beautifully performed film.

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