Us

“Why is nice Jordan Peele making such scary movies?”

As is often the case, Jay’s question is one that I can’t answer. But f you thought Get Out was too much, like Jay did, you will want to skip Us altogether. Maybe see Captain Marvel again while you wait for Dumbo, because Peele has clearly decided he’s made us giggle enough and now his goal is to induce heart attacks instead of belly laughs.

And yet, I still have to tell you to see it, even though you will kind of hate every minute. Us is just too good to miss. Like Get Out, there is a lot going on under the surface of Us, and like Get Out, it works as a thriller so if you want, you can ignore all the subtext and just enjoy the ride, or cringe in terror until the ride ends. In Us’ case, the ride is both metaphorically and literally a hall of mirrors, as a vacationing family is forced to face off against their evil twins. It’s like goateed Spock four times over, only in Us it is clear that the family from the mirror universe is out for blood and won’t stop til they get it.

Peele writes, directs and produces here, and in his sophomore outing as director he has already proven to be a monumental talent. He doesn’t appear as an actor but he’s imparted many of his mannerisms to Winston Duke, the family’s easygoing dad who seems more than anything is excited to get out on a rented motorboat that hangs slightly left. Duke provides a welcome dose of comic relief even as he does whatever is necessary to protect his family. He is equal to Lupita Nyong’o, and that’s the best anyone can ever do, because she brings it every time. Shahadi Wright Joseph and Evan Alex, as their kids, are both great as well. It’s awesome seeing them work together to survive as the stakes get raised higher and higher by the minute. Even more impressively, those four, and almost everyone in the movie, play dual roles, and there’s not a weak link to be found.

Us is one of those rare movies that stands above by being better executed, more thoughtful, and shamelessly cleverer than the rest of its genre. And like Get Out before it, Us is not a typical Oscar contender but it better get some attention next February. Because Peele and company deserve to be praised for what they’ve given us with Us: a brilliant film that manages to be brutal and restrained, and one that 24 hours later I still haven’t fully digested or shaken.

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18 thoughts on “Us

  1. tubularsock

    Well Sean it’s like this for Tubularsock.

    Tubularsock moved from his family years and years ago so just the thought of having to meet a mirror family of Tubularsock’s family is way, way, way too scary to even contemplate a movie like US.

    Tubularsock will pass on this one.

    There are some things one does not want to experience in ANY reality!

    Cheers.

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  2. ninvoid99

    I just saw the film this morning as I’m half-finished with my review right now and man, it is intense. It was insane and in a good way. The stuff Winston Duke was doing reminded me of Chevy Chase in some ways as he was fun. Lupita Nyong’o better be in the conversation for the Best Actress Oscar race. She is fucking great in this.

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  3. Orca Flotta

    Like Jay I didn’t like Get Out too much. Not because it was to much, too scary but just because it didn’t feel good. And I’m not too fond of watching Us either. The plot is clear from all the descriptions by countless reviewers and I have no need to watch a trainwreck happening in slow motion.

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  4. Liz A.

    I just need someone to give me a good write up of both of these. I can’t do horror, and yet I really kind of want to see these as I’ve heard they’re so good.

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  5. Sam Simon

    Great review! I must admit that I didn’t enjoy the movie as much as you did, but it’s good to feel your enthusiasm through your words. I also wrote about Us in my blog, if you want to pass by. My main problem has to do with the story telling, while the execution is stellar!

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  7. Christopher

    One of the interesting things about Get Out was that it started with a terrifying prologue that for a long time seemed unrelated to the main story. Peele cleverly dragged it out long enough, in fact, and put enough in between, that at times I’d almost forget that it was a horror film. And then the horror started and the connection became clear.
    Holy shit, Us did the same thing but took it to a whole new level. Watching the family enjoy themselves so much on vacation I had to keep reminding myself that this was a horror film but I got so caught up in the fun they were having it made the turn things took even worse.
    This is true of the whole cast but especially Lupita Nyong’o but I was astounded when the credits rolled and I saw that the actors also all played their doppelgangers. Lupita Nyong’o really made her twin different but also eerily the same.

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