Rated R | 116 mins.
Directed by Jordan Peele
Starring Lupita Nyong'o, Winston Duke, Elisabeth Moss, Tim Heidecker, Shahadi Wright, Evan Alex
After major success, critical acclaim, and an Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay with his 2017 debut, Get Out, Jordan Peele had the big task of delivering his sophomore effort with Us and he did not disappoint. Is it better than its predecessor? Not exactly, but it still held its own. The psychological thriller about a family and their doppelgängers (aka the "Tethered") will have you on the edge of your seat and holding your breath waiting for whatever's next. Though it's a frightening concept overall and deemed a "horror" film, Peele showcases his strong writing chops by sprinkling in clever one-liners as comic relief, but still maintains all of the suspense.
Peele himself has said that with Us, he wanted to make a horror movie featuring people that looked like him and he was able to achieve that with finesse. He got the casting just right and now it seems like he's trying to go for the Black Panther gauntlet. He's crossed off Daniel Kaluuya, Lupita Nyong'o, and Winston Duke. All that's left is Chadwick, Michael B., Letitia, and Ms. Angela Bassett. Nyong'o, however, is a serious powerhouse and stole the show in Us. She wasn't messing around.
Everyone knows what Nyong'o is capable of as an actress, and her performance in this film is no different. In fact, it's Oscar worthy. I challenge you to find another actress that could've played Adelaide Wilson flawlessly. Every actor had to pull double duty for this movie, but not like her. On one hand, she gave us the overprotective, always worried mother and wife who takes over as the decision maker in order to survive. On the other side of the spectrum, she delivers a terrifying display as Red, her creepy, raspy doppelgänger who k nows no limits.
What Us comes down to is its inventive writing and ensemble of gifted, entertaining actors. Some aspects of the film were somewhat predictable, but it was still fun to watch everything unfurl and watch a black family kick some ass. The haunting rendition of Luniz' "I Got 5 On It" will also stick with you long after the credits roll. Peele is the Alfred Hitchcock for a new generation and we're all looking forward to see what his next nightmare looks like. ★★★★
★★★★★ Classic | ★★★★ Excellent | ★★★ Good | ★★ Fair | ★ Poor