Critics Respond to Netflix’s Satire
‘Don’t Look Up’ is a dark, funny satire that resonates in the COVID-19 era
Early Reviews Call ‘Don’t Look Up’ an Oscar Nominee and Funniest Movie of the Year
After the world premiere of “Don’t Look Up” in Los Angeles, awards tipster took to Twitter, predicting the star-studded satire filmed in the Boston area would bring back the Oscar season at the awards show.
When the Twitter hype died down and the first full reviews came out earlier this month, critical reception for the film was decidedly mixed.
Starring Jennifer Lawrence and Leonardo DiCaprio as astronomers who must convince the world to pay attention to the comet that has a “100% chance” of destroying the planet if no action is taken, “Don’t Look Up Landed in select theaters on December 12. 10 and heads to Netflix on December 24.
Some critics, including Boston.com, have found director Adam McKay’s film entertaining and perfectly in tune with the never-ending parade of calamities now pervading everyday life. Others, however, were not so fond of the film.
At the time of this article’s publication, “Don’t Look Up” had achieved a 56% freshness rating on Rotten Tomatoes, leaving it just below the freshness threshold (60%) and far from the typical score type of Oscar favorites. .
That said, a single number cannot adequately capture the range of critical responses, and many reviews coded as “fresh” or “rotten” by the critical aggregation site have a bit more nuance. To help you judge whether to add big-budget satire to your Netflix lineup, here’s what some of the top movie critics are saying, good and bad, about “Don’t Look For.”
Washington Post critic Ann Hornaday wrote that “Don’t Look Up” “bristles with fuel elements of absurdity, observational humor and seething outrage that give the best political satires their edge.” .
Not content with simply stoking rage and self-righteous superiority, McKay dares to infuse ‘Do not seek’ with a sense of genuine and unironic heartbreak. Sincerity is perhaps the most daring action of all in a film that, in its most angry, funniest form doesn’t hesitate to come dangerously close to real life.
Clarisse Loughrey of The Independent praised Jennifer Lawrence’s performance and thanked McKay for “letting us laugh at our own misfortune”.
âIf anyone’s the right person to announce the end of the world, it’s Jennifer Lawrence. There is always something firm and direct about his performances – without flowery mannerism, nor impulse to romanticize suffering. In short, Lawrence doesn’t make *** bulls. Neither did his character in Adam McKay’s punchy and funny satire âDon’t Look Upâ.
Boston.com review of the film praised DiCaprio and Jonah Hill’s performance and called the film “very funny.. “
âHill, in particular, perfectly plays the role of a proudly misinformed power broker, sprinkling Kate and Randall with mocking reviews at every turn. As Mindy, DiCaprio is asked to do the heaviest lifting, and he succeeds 90 percent of the time, credibly portraying the astronomer’s transformation from a nebulous, panicked astronomer into a bona fide celebrity.
Jocelyn Noveck of The Associated Press gave “Don’t Look Up” two and a half out of four stars, calling the film both “extremely watchable” and “funny”, but also “chaotic.”
âWhile I enjoyed the mix of humor and emotion (and dread), some might find the tonal changes a bit jarring. Perhaps a more worthwhile slowness to choose is that the stuffed script doesn’t render. really justice to all those movie stars.
The Observer’s Siddhant Adlakha gave “Don’t Look Up” two and a half out of four stars, criticizing its frenzied style but acknowledging that it hits its pace in the final third of the film.
“For a movie, finding glimmers of beauty in the midst of such sadness is nothing but commendable, but ‘Don’t Look Up’ doesn’t get there until the start of its duration, either. 145 minutes. Ironically, it may be too little, too late.
The ugly one
Boston Globe’s Mark Feeney called the actor’s roles “cartoon” and said “Don’t Look Up” was a useful reminder of why skits on “Saturday Night Live” don’t last longer than two hours.
âWith so many really good actors on screen, you keep waiting for really good things to happen on this screen, then just hoping for good things, then just looking forâ¦ things. Nothing more. than astronomy, of course.
David Rooney of the Hollywood Reporter wrote “Don’t Look Up”, calling the performances caricature, nonexistent humor and observational satire “caricature obvious.”
âA cynical satire, unbearably blissful, stuffed to the ears of stars which claims to comment on the political and media inattention with regard to the climate crisis but in reality trivializes it. ‘Dr. Strangelove, it is not.
Variety’s Peter Debruge delivered similar criticisms to Rooney, saying he hoped audiences didn’t “hate the characters as much as I did.”
âHumans are stupid and you can’t expect them to agree to anything, even if their existence depends on it. This is the “hilarious” idea that Adam McKay wants to convey with “Don’t Look Up”, a sufficient political satire that is easy to target. “
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