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MOVIE REVIEW

Suburbicon also known as “Suburbicon: Bem-vindos ao Paraíso,” “Predgrađe,” “Suburbicon: Tiszta udvar, rendes ház,” «Субурбикон»

MPAA Rating: R-Rating (MPAA) for violence, language and some sexuality.

Reviewed by: Alexander Malsan
CONTRIBUTOR

Very Offensive
Moviemaking Quality:

Primary Audience:
Adults
Genre:
Crime Mystery Dark-Comedy
Length:
1 hr. 44 min.
Year of Release:
2017
USA Release:
October 27, 2017 (wide—2,000+ theaters)
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Relevant Issues
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lying to police and to one’s own children

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About murder, sin and the fall of man

Who was the world’s first murderer? And why? Answer

Death and what happens afterward—eternal life or eternal death

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The wrong of defrauding others, including through insurance fraud

The foolishness of borrowing money from wicked people

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What is HYPOCRISY—and what doees God say about it? Answer

HYPOCRISY IN THE CHURCH—“I would never be a Christian; they’re a bunch of hypocrites.”


cinema tickets. ©  Alexey SmirnovEvery time you buy a movie ticket or buy or rent a video you are in effect casting a vote telling Hollywood, “I’ll pay for that. That’s what I want.” Read our article

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Featuring: Matt Damon … Gardner
Julianne Moore … Rose / Margaret
Oscar Isaac … Bud Cooper
Richard Kind … John Sears
Noah Jupe … Nicky
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Director: George Clooney—“Good Night, and Good Luck,” “Monuments Men,” “Leatherheads,” “The Ides of March,” “Confessions of a Dangerous Mind”
Producer: George Clooney
Grant Heslov
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Distributor: Distributor: Paramount Pictures Corporation. Trademark logo.
Paramount Pictures Corporation

A bloody, ugly, caustic political satire

Ah “Suburbicon”! According to the writers of this film, this fictional place is everyone’s idea of dream living in the 1950s. Yes, people are flocking from all over the country to live there: Ohio, New York, and yes, even from Mississippi! It’s the “perfect” neighborhood, many churches, full of “perfect” people (portrayed as all white) who greet each other on the street every morning with a firm handshake or a smile, where every house is lined up perfectly with each other, and there’s never been any history of crime.

That’s the loaded setup for this dark social satire.

The story focuses on the lives of the Dodge family. Mrs. Rose Dodge (Julianne Moore) has recently been in an car accident; her husband was driving. Now, she is confined to her wheelchair at home—her only companions are her husband Gardner (Matt Damon), son Nicholas and Rose’s only sister, Maggie (also Julianne Moore).

On top of that, Gardner is in a bit of a jam himself, owing a large debt to the mob, who one night visits his family to collect. In the process, they knock-out Gardner, Nicholas and Maggie and murder Mrs. Dodge.

I guess every town has its skeletons…

I’m just going to come right out and say it… “Suburbicon” is an absolute mess of a film—from start to finish. It seems to spend the whole time trying to figure out what kind of film it wants to be. At times, it tries to be darkly comedic, at other times it’s a murder mystery, and then for some bizarre reason, which made my mouth drop wide open for most of the film, it tries to address American racism and civil rights in the middle of all this!

I wish there was something… anything… positive that I could honestly praise about the film, but there’s just so much inconsistency and discrepancy, not to mention the appalling lack of morality on display, that it is really hard to find anything redeeming or good to commend, except maybe, perhaps, the performances of some of the main characters.

Content of concern

There is a lot of ugly, angry content in “Suburbicon.”

Editor’s Note: Director and co-writer Clooney screened his film for friend and TV writer/producer Norman Lear—a fellow Progressive Liberal political activist and longtime vocal critic of both Conservatives and Christians. After viewing the movie, Lear reportedly told Clooney, “This is the angriest film I’ve ever seen.

Clooney and the 2 main actors (Damon and Moore) all embrace agnosticism (or atheism) and frequently promote their Leftist globalist worldview. In this case, they are using dark and peculiar “social satire” to poke at those Americans with an opposing worldview that they apparently despise—painting them with a broad brush as mostly terrible, idiot hypocrites—you know, the ones who talk about Jesus and Heaven and supposedly dislike people of color and diversity and are really nasty underneath the surface. They’re so deeply dangerous, they could erupt into a murderous hate-filled mob at any moment!

Concerning the film’s violence, sensitive Christians are advised to SKIP the following descriptions, unless you really NEED to know all the details.

Racism

True Bible-believing, obedient followers of Christ have long opposed racism—knowing that we are all made in the image of God; we are all of one blood.

RACISM—What are the consequences of racial prejudice and false beliefs about the origin of races? Answer

Racism, Racial Issues and Christianity
Get biblical answers to racial hot-topics. Where did the races come from? How did skin color come about? Why is it important to have a biblical foundation for such issues?

What is Christian love? Answer

What is HUMILITY? Answer

Violence: • A man is poisoned with lye, and as he runs—choking and in agony—a character takes a poker or crowbar and clubs him to death—splattering blood. • We see the club sticking out the dead man’s head, as another person tries repeatedly to yank it out with his foot planted on the man’s head. • There is a pool of blood and bloody clothing. • A man is knifed in his back and bleeds heavily. • A character describes to his son what he will do to him if he doesn’t do what he says—that is, he will have to kill him—and then he proceeds to graphically describe the details of how he’ll cover up his murder. • Another character is suddenly gruesomely struck by a fire truck, manages to survive a moment, and then ignited fuel flows toward him, and a car explodes. • Characters are murdered with knives and guns. • A man strangles a woman to death, another person is killed after swallowing food and drink poisoned with grounded-up medication. • There are riot scenes. • There is a frightening home invasion; a family is tied up and chloroformed using rags, one of which intentionally suffocates (to death) a disabled mother. • Two gangsters beat a man’s face (we see bruises, black eyes, scarred and bleeding nose).

Sexual Content or Nudity: Gardner, the father, is adulterous (with his wife’s sister), and this began before his wife’s injury. Mom’s now dead and out of Dad’s way, and the son returns home and walks in on his Dad and his replacement Mom (his real mother’s sister) having sex with each other; the actual sex position is displayed and some of new Mom’s underwear. There is sex play in the basement. The audience witnesses Dad on top of new Mom about to have sex, and again later they are seen in bed together. The son is shown in the bathtub (but nothing overly graphic).

Language: • F**k (15+), including “a f*cking hard-on” • “c**ks*cker” • a man looking for revenge says that when he finds the person(s) responsible, “he will peel them back from their a**h*les and let their guts spill out” • Jesus’ name is taken in vain twice • G*d-d**n (2) • “Episcopalians are all full of sh*t” • “Swear to G*d” • “My G*d” • d*mn (2) • h*ll (2) • “a**” • “N*ggers” • “N*gro” • another s-word

Hypocrisy and Christians

HYPOCRISY IN THE CHURCH—“I would never be a Christian; they’re a bunch of hypocrites.”

What does the Bible say about HYPOCRITES? Answer

There is absolutely NOTHING redeeming about this film. In short, I do not recommend this film for Christian audiences, period. Do not subject your spirit to what is, frankly, downright ungodly on many levels. There are much more spiritually edifying things to do with your short time on Earth. And certainly, please do NOT take children to see this.

  • Violence: Very Heavy
  • Profane language: Moderate
  • Vulgar/Crude language: Very Heavy
  • Nudity: Moderate
  • Sex: Heavy

See list of Relevant Issues—questions-and-answers.


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Secular Movie Critics
…“Suburbicon”… HITCHCOCK MOVE OVER!… unpredictable and nonstop edge of your seat intrigue. And funny. …I was belly laughing during murders. …tour de force.
Carole Mallory, The Huffington Post
…glib laughs and race hate… “Suburbicon”…wants you to know that the American dream was always a crock. …a story about the good old American days of prosperity and prejudice, of race hate and white people who are always just one clenched fist away from becoming a mob. …
Manohla Dargis, The New York Times
…Matt Damon is chilling in dark, twisted film… “Suburbicon” has a message about first impressions: Don’t trust them. …Neighbors are friendly. Faces are white. …Just below the surface though, it’s a cauldron of festering racism. When a black family moves in, that cauldron boils over. …[3/4]
Soren Andersen, The Seattle Times
…takes aim at the suffocating hypocrisy of 50s white-bread America, but can’t quite land its punches…
Xan Brooks, The Guardian [UK]
…An attempt at a more cynical take on “To Kill A Mockingbird” backfires with black pain being used as seasoning for a white suburbian satire. …A problematic misfire…
Scott Mendelson, Forbes
…shrewd set of jabs at American pride… a confusing and disjointed affair that’s not nearly as clever as it thought it was. …
Wenlei Ma, News Limited (Australia)
…Georg Clooney’s racially charged “Suburbicon” is a dreadful movie for dreadful times… Indictments of white privilege don’t get much more extreme or direct than this. They also don’t get much more condescending. …
Justin Chang, Los Angeles Times
…Murder and a race riot don't add up to comedy… Even without this preachy narrative, “Suburbicon” wouldn’t have worked. Its brand of comedy is too spiteful and its Mayberry-style targets are too obvious. …[1/4]
Rafer Guzmán, Long Island Newsday
…Is it possible to become a worse filmmaker by making more films? “Suburbicon” is George Clooney’s sixth feature as a director and the latest spiral downward in terms of quality. …Watching this movie is an experience in irritation, as if the audience were a cat and the filmmakers kept petting it in the wrong direction. …
Ty Burr, The Boston Globe
…a disaster… lazy, self-congratulatory posturing permeates the film… the movie’s pious points about hypocrisy, a characteristic of which “Suburbicon” itself quickly begins to stink. …
Sean Burns, The Artery
…smug… not funny… one of the year’s biggest clunkers, a massive miscalculation that doesn’t work on any level and serves as a lesson in how to stop something dead in its tracks. …
Adam Graham, The Detroit News