Set in the 1950s, “Suburbicon” follows Gardner Lodge (Matt Damon), a husband and father living in a quiet and peaceful suburban town named Suburbicon. This idyllic town is plagued when two mobsters break into Gardener’s home, revealing the hidden underbelly of the town. Meanwhile, Gardener’s son, Nicky (Noah Jupe), who knows that there is more to his family than meets the eye, develops a close friendship with Andy (Tony Espinosa), son of their new African-American neighbors, the Myers, whose arrival sparks racial hatred and unrest in the formerly all-white town.

The crime comedy film is directed by George Clooney, who also wrote the script along with Joel Coen, Ethan Coen and Grant Heslov.

It also stars Julianne Moore, Oscar Isaac, Glenn Fleshler and Megan Ferguson.

'Sad mishmash of ideas'

Bill Zwecker of Chicago Sun-Times states that two stories told in the movie are combinations that don’t work well together. “We might have had two quite good, independent features, if those scripts had been produced into two different Movies,” he writes. “Instead, we are presented with quite the sad mishmash of ideas here.”

However, Zwecker lauds Oscar Isaac’s portrayal of an insurance agent. “We are presented with another sterling example of this extremely talented actor’s ability to give us a character we will long remember.”

'An enjoyable watch'

Jessica Kiang of The Playlist writes that although the film is “uneven,” the “cherishable dialogue tics and dummkopf punchlines” in “Suburbicon” makes it an entertaining movie.

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She also raves about the acting, especially that of Damon and Jupe. Damon’s performance is described as transgressive while Jupe’s portrayal of Nicky is praised as a “standout” which gives the movie “its only real moments of emotional connection.” On the other hand, Moore’s dual role as Margaret, Gardener’s sister-in-law (Moore also plays Gardener’s wife), is criticized as “underwritten” and “self-contradictory.”

'Tonal disaster'

“Two stories compete for screen time but never really intertwine in the script,” adds Brian Tallerico of RogerEbert.com. He further criticizes the screenwriters for not developing the characters well. “We never get to know William (Mayers) at all—I’m not sure he even has a line,” he writes. In addition, the score of the movie (composed by Alexandre Desplat) is described as “overdone” while Robert Elswit’s cinematography is criticized as “uninspired.”

Suburbicon” is playing in theaters across the US now. Watch the trailer for the movie in the video below