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Get Out (2017)

March 1, 2017

Starring: Daniel Kaluuya, Allison Williams, Bradley Whitford, Catherine Keener, Lakeith Stanfield
Director: Jordan Peele

Bottom Line: Without a doubt, Keegan-Michael Key and Jordan Peele’s sketch comedy show “Key and Peele” has been one of the funniest things I’ve seen on television in recent years. The duo has since moved on with their careers, with Key starring in last year’s very good but largely overlooked film Don’t Think Twice and becoming a very popular voice actor, while Peele wrote last year’s Keanu as the first film for the two comics to star in together, but received rather lukewarm reviews.

And then came the trailer for Get Out, a horror film written and directed by Jordan Peele that looked like a total mind bender, full of racial tension – a complete departure from what the comedian is famous for.

And yes, Get Out was completely crazy, but it’s a game changer. It tells the story of Chris Washington (Kaluuya), a black man going to meet his white girlfriend’s family for the first time, along with all the trepidation and seemingly harmless stereotypes that arise in such a situation, made all the more awkward when Chris sees that the family employs a couple of black folks as servants around the house – and they are about as natural as Keanu Reeves in a dramatic role. Get Out manages to turn a situation that could make any man apprehensive – meeting the girlfriend’s parents – and turns it into a complete horror story, filled with racial overtones that are still way too relevant in today’s world.

Get Out is a borderline masterpiece that is wicked smart, excruciatingly tense and entertaining, all while sprinkling in appropriate amounts of humor and traditional jump scares. It’s a monumental achievement for Jordan Peele in his first directing role and almost certainly makes the multi-talented comic an A-Lister going forward. His script is full of bits of racism and stereotypes that make the film’s wild final act all the more mind-blowing and powerful.

The acting in Get Out is top notch from the entire cast. Kaluuya easily carries the film in the lead role, providing Chris with a perfect mix of cockiness and apprehension, as his vulnerability increases throughout his horrific experience. Bradley Whitford and Catherine Keener are genuinely creepy as the parents, with Keener’s hypnotherapy likely to disturbingly cling to you long after the film is over. And then there’s Lakeith Stanfield and LilRel Howery, who play small but spectacular roles. Stanfield is particularly great, channeling his hilarious character from the hit FX show “Atlanta” in Get Out‘s opening scene before reappearing later in a completely different context. It’s the kind of glorious bit role that has earned a number of actors Best Supporting nominations in the past.

Get Out is the first must see film of 2017 and is better than any movie that I saw in 2016. It will be interesting to see how a horror/thriller hybrid released in late February and written/directed by a black man will fare come next year’s award season. Sadly, this genius film will likely overlooked or forgotten by then, but with a ridiculous 99% positive rating from the critics so far, maybe Jordan Peele’s wonderful film will help break new ground. And if it does get nominated, it shouldn’t be to diversify the awards, it should be because it deserves to be – and Get Out is plenty worthy.

Replay Value: This is the kind of film that requires a second viewing.
Sequel Potential: Even though this is likely to be a big hit and has award potential, a sequel would almost certainly trivialize this film’s message.
Oscar Potential: If Get Out doesn’t get a Best Picture nomination it will be because it got slighted or because 2017 was an amazing year for films. This movie is drawing live at Best Pic, Best Director, and Best Original Screenplay noms, with some serious long shot possibilities for Kaluuya, Keener, and Stanfield in the acting categories. Still, we are in pretty unprecedented territory here.

Grade: 8/10 (must see)

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2 comments

  1. […] Releases: After a strong early start to the year that has already seen high quality films like Get Out and Logan be released, it looks like April is going to be a rather dull month in […]


  2. […] Releases: After a strong early start to the year that has already seen high quality films like Get Out and Logan be released, it looks like April is going to be a rather dull month in […]



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