Don't Worry Darling (2022) Poster

(I) (2022)

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Truly Style Over Substance
ryanpersaud-5941524 September 2022
The Good: I have to give credit where it's due; Don't Worry Darling is a fun, daring movie with some great attributes. The performances, particularly by Florence Pugh and Chris Pine, are honestly great. Styles does surprisingly well too, being a compelling and interesting character. He and Pugh have great physical chemistry - even if it doesn't seem to go much beyond that - and I can see how their scenes perhaps, um...led to tension of set (if you know the story behind this movie, you'll get what I mean).

This movie looks fantastic. Victory, the fictional desert oasis this film takes place in, is a gorgeous little 1950s inspired American suburb; the costumes, the food, the houses, they all look great and you'd be forgiven to for seeing the appeal of a place like it. There are some scenes that look so good, I almost wanted them to go on longer just to spend a little more time in these places (i.e. The dance hall, the clubhouse). One thing I've noticed in 2022 is that we're beginning to see technology, technique, and will come together, producing some of the most beautiful looking films I've seen in years come out. For all its problems, Don't Worry Darling is shot very well and looks very expensive.

The Bad: Unfortunately, Don't Worry Darling falls flat where storytelling is concerned. It's one of those movies that makes sense in hindsight - you can see the breadcrumbs the movie leaves that hints to the ultimate conclusion.

It's not particularly surprising, but it is an interesting idea. While I'm happy the film was more subtle than I'd imagine, it would've been nice to interrogate and explore the themes and ideas the film raises. There are way too many redundant hallucinations that take up too much time. We don't get a sense of how anything in this world happens, we don't get a lot of context on the other people in Victory, how the program works etc.

I don't think films need to over explain every aspect of their story. Some things can be let up to interpretation or ambiguous. But I have to wonder why so much of this film feels like it's treading water until the big reveal? Not much truly happens for a bulk of it. It's a shame, because Pugh really gives it her all as Alice, but she's a pretty hollow character despite all the time we spend with her.

The Ugly: I'd describe Don't Worry Darling as Stepford Wives + The Matrix + The Truman Show + Pleasantville. It wears its inspirations on its sleeves, it's not close to those films in terms of quality, but I can appreciate the attempt.

Also, I love a movie with good food scenes and this one ticks that box. Have a big bag of popcorn ready if you're going to watch.
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Builds intrigue, then wastes it
benjaminskylerhill23 September 2022
Olivia Wilde's second directorial effort is nowhere near as bad as I expected it to be given the firestorm of behind-the-scenes drama and production troubles. But it's also just not nearly as interesting or as well-put-together as it ought to be given it's fierce, original, thrilling premise.

It's a sleek-looking production, and Wilde does some very smooth work behind the camera. Most of the performances are extremely good (especially Florence Pugh's), but some of the supporting cast does put a little too much ham into their work.

Despite some clunky dialogue that consists largely of repetitive empty platitudes, the story is able to build a lot of intrigue with its intelligent placement of bizarre happenings. It causes its audience to ask questions and tests their patience by withholding and bestowing information in just the right doses.

This intrigue lasts for the first two acts, although the film's character development unfortunately falls to the wayside because the mystery was given all the attention.

It's a shame, because the third act and final twists of the story make all the nuance and complexity of the mysterious characters and world-building slip away.

At the film's conclusion, I was left dissatisfied. Dissatisfied with the fact that the villains' motivations were oversimplified to the point that their actions no longer make much sense.

It's like they deliberately planned to go about achieving their goals in the most convoluted, difficult way possible and in a way that would make them the most vulnerable that they could possibly be. It's a laughable ending with hilariously half-baked twists.

Don't Worry Darling is one of those movies that's bursting with imaginative, intriguing ideas, but never quite finds a way to put them together in a satisfying, coherent way. It's messy and not particularly satisfying as a result.
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I had such hope for this
AfricanBro23 September 2022
This is the movie I was looking forward to most all year. I avoided all the behind the scenes drama and press surrounding it so that I would enjoy the movie for the movie itself because I was so excited purely based on the cast alone, plus the soundtrack too after hearing Ooogum Boogum song by Brenton Wood in one of the teasers. It starts off showing us this perfect life, too perfect so you have this too good to be true feeling and know that something's amiss throughout. It gave off 60's American dream life in the suburb's vibes.

Chris Pine really catches your attention with his charisma the way he speaks every time he's on screen, but he's not saying anything of actual substance. And that's how the whole movie feels, very captivating and pretty to look at, visually stunning; Olivia Wilde did a great job, well produced and has artistic direction but it all feels empty. The writing falls flat and it's hallow. Someone said Chris Pine is used to disguise mediocre movies after 'All the Old Knives' and I'm starting to see it, he just makes movies seem better than they really are. Olivia Wilde and Florence Pugh did good, with Harry Styles doing as good as you'd expect.

Slow paced so it has a lot of suspense, arousing questions all movie long and when they finally start getting answered it's too little too late; the reveal is not big enough to justify the wait. It was an ambitious attempt and showing of Wilde's ability but ultimately underwhelming. It's just about better than mediocre with everything it does right but other aspects of the movie can't put it beyond a 6/10. Just feels like it's missing something. Not as bad as the press around it was, nor as good as those who were hopeful for it thought it was going to be.
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The good kind of weird
FeastMode24 September 2022
As usual, I went into this movie knowing nothing, without watching any trailers. And as usual, I had a great time as I slowly learned what the movie is about. This is such a weird and cool movie. It's creepy and haunting but not in a horror kind of way. The story is fully intriguing.

I love the way it was directed. I kept wondering who it was, thinking it would be a director I'm already familiar with. But I was surprised to find out it was Olivia Wilde. Not sure if this is her directorial debut but I think she did a great job.

Florence Pugh is ultra-talented. I already knew this, especially after Midsommar. But she again reinforces it with numerous scenes where she conveys her emotions so well that I can feel them with her. She's a rockstar.

There are a few parts where it feels slow. And there were times when I felt like I wanted more. But I really enjoyed what I was given and had an overall great time with this movie. (1 viewing, opening Friday Dolby Cinema 9/23/2022)
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I hope Wilde is paying for Florence's chiropractor bills for carrying the whole entire movie
atkin-9126624 September 2022
The concept of the movie was good, but needed to be taken a bit further in my opinion with detail. A lot happens in the movie that basically requires the audience to accept without question.

Over explained movies are obviously no fun, but this one just left me annoyed because in two hours, I feel like they could have done a lot more.

Florence Pugh gives an amazing performance. If anyone has seen Midsommar, they would be aware that she knows how to give an emotional performance with or without supporting leads. She is the body and soul of this movie and it would be a complete disappointment without her.

Pugh made the movie interesting, but the writing and directing did not excel in the movie. The cinematography was wonderful and there was some great acting from some people and that's about it.
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rkeilitz-19-53791522 September 2022
I was anticpating the release of this movie not due to all the in-fighting drama about the cast which fueled the fire for online gossip but more about Olivia Wilde directing and Florence Pugh a very underrated actress. The rest of the cast is just decoration with Harry Styles replacing Shia LaBeouf which was a major mistake.

The premise is Alice and Jack Chambers are a young, happy couple in the 1950s, living in the seemingly perfect company town of Victory, California, which has been created and paid for by the mysterious company for which Jack works. Curiosity about the nature of her husband's work on the secret "Victory Project" begins to consume Alice. Cracks then begin to form in their utopian life as her investigation into the project raises tensions within the community.

The beginning of the movie I thought Oh God another Stepford Wives but as it progressed it sort of got interesting with a surprise ending that had me asking is that all there is?
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Pugh and Pine do their best but not even their great talents can make this movie work.
dinerat8 September 2022
Glaringly mediocre sophomore effort by Olivia Wilde, who showed great promise with her debut directorial effort "Booksmart" but falls flat on her face with this bland thriller that lacks showmanship and teeth. Its shot well and the cinematography is very good but outside of those things and way better than this movie deserved performances by Florence Pugh (who makes you care when there is really nothing to care about) and Chris Pine, (whose suave and dangerous performance deserves to be in a much better movie than this) there is nothing here that we have not seen before and it overstays its welcome way before the end credits roll. Harry Styles is decent for what he's doing here but it's nothing remarkable and you can see a better actor in his role doing more with it and most of the other actors including Wilde herself are nothing to write home about.

In closing, there is really nothing here to see other than two great actors (Florence Pugh and Chris Pine) wasting their time with mediocre material.
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A film beyond expectations....
PerryAtTheMovies20 September 2022
7.5/10 This my attempt to #dontspoilitdarling

First, my preconceived notions of the film. I thought this film would be entertaining, but lack real excitement and chaos. I thought the trailer had spoiled a significant chunk of what would happen.

That being said, I had the utmost pleasure of attending a pre-screening for "Don't Worry Darling" during an IMAX Live event, and my hopes had kind of plummeted with some of the casts answers to questions. However, I feel that I was slightly mis-directed.

This film was entertaining for myself. It's not a heavy psychological thriller, but it has a few elements that made feel uneasy. As some of the cast stated, there is more to this film than meets the eye. We were told don't blink, and listen.

Florence Pugh's acting was tremendous. Similar to "Midsommar" she knows how to make the daytime feel uneasy. The rest of the cast was good, but perhaps because they're not as centralized as Florence.

Cinematography wasn't spectacular, but it did a great job of holding attention, and earning its tension. The score definitely added to that, as well. The music was perfectly suited for the film even after I listened to it for an hour leading to the start of the film.

Truly, the story was very interesting up until the reveal took place, at which point the film slightly loses momentum. However, I still wasn't sure if it would end as I thought, but it definitely didn't end as I had hoped. There's a few things I think I would've liked to see differently, and maybe even have the film lengthened to two and a quarter hours to not have everything so rushed.

Overall, very good cinematography with great acting by Florence Pugh. The story isn't as psychological as I would've hoped for, but still makes the daytime feel slightly uneasy. If you can see it in IMAX it's definitely worth it, however, just seeing it in theatres is worthwhile.

Lastly, I don't know much about her, but I feel people are going to hate on this film just because Olivia Wilde is associated it, and I don't think that's deserving. However, I'll leave that up for you to decide.

Thank you for reading this very long review. I hope it gives you insight to the film without spoiling it. Until next time.... Enjoy the show!
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Felt like a women's verson of Get Out (wish I like it as much)
subxerogravity24 September 2022
I have to admit I went into this film with low expectations. I go to the movies enough that I've been watching the trailer to this flick for almost a year now. Seriously, out of all the flicks I saw this year no film has made me wait as long snice the time I saw the trailer back in the spring. At this point I just needed to see what it was all about.

I came out of this movie liking it. At first, I thought it was dull and mundane as we went through this woman's life. Maybe that's what Oliva Wayde was going for as I'm sure the movie was filled with less obvious metaphors that I did not understand or even wanted to, honestly.

It was a mystery and when the mystery was revealed I have to stay I was quite satisfied with the end results. The fact that this mystery dropped clues that did not actually lead to solving the puzzle but in fact made a bigger puzzle did not weigh too heavy on how much I like where the movie went. It was worth all the superficial fluff.

I could be missing the depth of it because the film was not directed to me, but there were certain parts that reminded me of Get Out and the empathy made it an exciting experience overall.
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Florence Pugh!!!
parksiet24 September 2022
To quote Harry Styles, "This movie feels like a movie, like a real movie. Like a 'go out to the theatre' film movie." Without poking too much fun at Styles' interview skills - he's right! This is a movie you should see in theatres that I quite enjoyed! While it doesn't fully live up to the promise of its incredible trailers, it surely is a compelling, engaging film and another fantastic work from Olivia Wilde. However, the true standout from this film is Florence Pugh, who deserves all the praise she will receive for her performance here. She is incredible and really shows off her range as an actress, I couldn't get enough of her in this movie! She was absolutely phenomenal and even if you don't like the movie, I assure you that you will love Florence Pugh in it! She truly carries the film, and right from the start you are fully enveloped in her character's conflicts and story. Pugh commands the screen in every scene that she is in - which is pretty much the entire film... one could say she really is the element that holds the film together! If you are a Florence Pugh fan, you'll be in heaven... and if you aren't... you will be by the time the movie is over!

The rest of the ensemble cast is wonderful here too! Pugh is definitely the standout, but I really loved Chris Pine's performance here too. He has this suave but menacing persona in it, and makes it very hard for you to get a read on what was going through his character's head. And can I just say... they made Pine look really good in this role, his costuming and hair was PERFECT. I also didn't mind Harry Styles, he was good especially considering he doesn't have much acting experience. It was a little hard to take him seriously in some dramatic scenes... but it seemed like he was really trying his best! And if he brought an audience into this film, that's a win. The rest of the cast was great too, it was an awesome ensemble and Olivia Wilde got some great performances out of her actors. She gave a good performance herself in a supporting role, but her direction is the most notable! I liked "Booksmart", but this is a huge step up for her! It is much larger in scale and deals with a lot more complex themes, which Wilde weaves into the film so organically. There is so much attention to detail and an expert use of symbolism to convey themes of control. I loved the aesthetic she brought to the film as well, from the stunning 50s production design and costumes (I loved these) to the phenomenal cinematography. It had this Hollywood high gloss feel to it, and yet had a number of avant-garde qualities that actually worked so well for the film! The film is evocatively shot, and I was amazed at some of the clever ways the cinematographer and Wilde chose to capture certain moments. And I can't mention the technical excellence of the film without mentioning the haunting and disturbing sound design. It worked so well for the film, really setting the tone in such a strong way and playing off the amazing 50s soundtrack the film had! Every beat is felt throughout your body and draws you further into the mayhem ensuing on screen. And the editing was exceptional too, especially in helping to reveal things to the audience without having to expressly tell us. The film's technical merit is impressive right from the very start, and I give all credit to Wilde for this in her excellent sophomore effort.

This movie is the type of movie we don't normally see these days, and it was quite refreshing. It definitely takes inspiration from other stories and films, such as "The Stepford Wives", and was even reminiscent of "WandaVision", but it manages to put a clever enough spin on these ideas that makes the film as a whole feel more original. Some ideas and elements did feel somewhat half-baked, but the film still did a lot to make them feel more natural and developed within the film! The story itself was right up my alley, it dove right into the mystery right at the beginning and sucked me in within seconds of the movie starting. It has a tight, gripping script with a fantastic twist at the end! Sure, it may be predictable but they put a unique enough spin on it that made it really work for me, I loved the 3rd act! It definitely won't be for everyone, and it depends how believable you find elements related to the twist. But it really came together for me in the end; I was on the edge of my seat and my eyes were wide! The story and ultimately the movie may not be as good as that first trailer promised it would be, if they did one more pass of the script it really could have been perfect, but what we got was still awesome!

The film is thrilling and at times filled me with dread. It is an excellent (and somewhat erotic) psychological thriller that just worked so well for me! The script is definitely not its strongest component, and in less inspired hands this film could have fallen flat. However, due to Olivia Wilde's strong vision for the film and well-rounded technical strength, exquisite sound and visuals the film bolsters... it actually works! And the cast was incredible too! While it does feature plenty of star power, one thing is for sure, this is Florence Pugh's world and we are all just living in it. This is one of her best performances to date, she elevates this movie to an exceptional level. Her effortless dedication to every element of her performance is impressive, especially considering the on-set drama that may or may not have happened. It is unfortunate the drama has taken focus off the film, but I do hope audiences still go out to experience this great film! Everything came together to create a really solid film that I just ate right up, it worked perfectly for me! And I can't wait to rewatch it!
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Interesting concepts, misguided direction
jackson-9707824 September 2022
Oh boy, where to start.

I'll begin with positives. The production design was gorgeous - it was easy to be swept up in the fantastical 1950's American suburb setting thanks to the colourful set pieces and wonderful costumes. Florence Pugh is really the stand out performer in DWD, but even her talent was not enough for me to genuinely care for her character. Unfortunately the positives end here. Although Chris Pine is fine and played the role well, there was no substance to his character, he is written to be obscure and sinister but not enough about his character nor the Victory Organization that he leads is revealed to have the audience invested in his performance imo.

The negatives, of which there are many.

First and foremost my biggest issue concerns Wilde's direction. The movie would have been much better suited to tackle either Florence's character struggling with her sanity, OR the Victory Project's shady dealings. Both are explored but neither is convincing nor given enough exploration. Wilde borrows well established tropes from the psychological thriller genre that are better utilized in films like Shutter Island and the Truman Show, and these tropes are shamelessly replicated in an attempt to come across as smart or groundbreaking, but unfortunately come across as juvenile. Harry Styles might not be as bad as some are making him out to be (he is inexperienced, not atrocious) yet there were multiple moments in the theatre when his delivery spawned audience laughter. I'll avoid spoilers, but the third act is littered with moments that seemingly come out of no where and raise more questions than they answer. I can't help but feel this movie was doomed from the start and would have been better off in another director's hands. Watch are your own risk !
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Don't Worry Darling...or do. (Spoiler free)
gronnte23 September 2022
Olivia Wilde dove headfirst into her sophomore project, a mystery filled thriller-drama, and landed head first into an endless pit of unfinished and underdeveloped characters and concepts so wide, that even the movie's 2-hour runtime couldn't even begin to unpack it all.

Carrying most of the movie alongside Wilde herself was Florence Pugh as the lost puppy, 'Alice', who finds herself in an ominously perfect world with her 'perfect' boyfriend, Jack portrayed by Harry Styles. The story follows Alice's journey in unveiling the truth about this utopia and just how she wound up there. The movie wastes no time in setting the story up (later causing pacing and contextual issues) and we are introduced to all the main characters, portrayed in 'keep up with the Joneses' style, pretty quickly. Almost too quickly.

As Act 1 takes up most of its time showing just how much Alice and Jack are in love with each other, and how the ritualistic days that repeat in this community make up most of the characters' personalities, the story is pretty much revealed. Amid the cinematic sequences is Alice, already in anguish, trying to unfold the expected truth about this dreamland. If not for the trailers, which give away a pretty significant chunk of the movie; this plot might have had a bigger effect. But running on the cliché of a mystery filled utopia, audiences are already likely to be one step ahead.

By the time we're halfway through the movie, Alice has already had many revelations and jeopardised her safety, which in theory should provide the thriller part of the movie, but the continuous back and forth between her and her inner voice stalls the action. When it sets its footing and tension is built, we're already on the next scene in a different scenario. The occasional appearance by Frank (Chris Pine) grounds viewers as his authoritative speeches and long dialogues, reminiscent of Fight Club type toxic masculinity, give direction as to what is going on. Which is a great question for most of the movie as scenes start and abruptly end, often without any meaning or possible interpretation whilst watching.

Ultimately, the main issue is that there are some wonderful concepts but there's no depth to the story, leaving audiences with two-dimensional characters and an underwhelming reaction. The revelation of Bunny's character (Wilde) and Alice's background are a few of the more unique and intriguing elements of the movie, but all the while it doesn't make up for some of the most confusing and random character storylines such as Margaret's.

Addressing the elephant in the room, and what I believe is the main discussion point of many reviews surrounding this project, is Harry Styles. While he offers a very mild performance, he nonetheless provides some of the more memorable parts of this movie -- which may be for the wrong reasons but at least he made his mark. His character makes me believe this movie would have worked better as a comedy rather than a completely serious social commentary.
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Range of acting performances, good build up, poor ending
soHan_Solo24 September 2022
This film is full of ups and downs.

Florence Pugh puts on a hell of a performance and you can undoubtedly see that she is the best actor out of the bunch. This is the reason Harry Styles' performance is being criticised. His performance is decent however when acting with Florence Pugh the comparison and difference is evident.

The ending is where this film falls flat for me. The plot twist is ok however could have done with more development. Also 10-20 minutes or so at the end could have concluded the film a lot better. As a sequel is in doubt due to the controversy/drama on set, the film doesn't have a proper conclusion to its min story.

Good Cinematography Good Soundtrack Disappointing ending.
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Great story with an interesting twist! Judge for yourself.
jetson13224 September 2022
I was hessitant to watch this film based on some of the reviews on here and that Hollywood press had written. But to be very honest im glad I didn't listen to them!

This was an incredible film with an interesting story and Harry Styles can really act!! I recommend anyone give it a shot and judge it for yourself. It's not your typical marvel action movie but the movie keeps you intrigued through out the entire film!

Where there are parts of the film that seem like it's going a bit slow that is the moment that the film picks up and keeps you engaged. Olivia Wilde did a great job directing this film and also to add the suspenseful music included in this film helps with the engagement.
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People gotta chill
ashleymitchell-1981020 September 2022
I thought this was a great psychological thriller that had a twist that was definitely unexpected. It kept you guessing throughout and had the creepy vibe I love in movies. Florence carried the acting but I was also pleasantly surprised by Harry's performance. Was it the best movie I've ever seen? No but I definitely enjoyed it. As for claims that Olivia is a "bad director" I truly don't know what that job entails but I do feel like a lot of the social media hype and drama surrounding this movie has people just wanting to hate on it due to its popularity. Movies are literally just meant for us to sit back and enjoy so I wish people would stop being so dramatic about it honestly. The movie makes you think about the world we live in today and truly how some men want life to be. Interesting concept overall.
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"Welcome to the Victory Project."
mattstone13723 September 2022
After a somewhat chaotic production and tabloid-driven controversy, Warner Brothers' Don't Worry Darling has been released into theaters. Carrying the prestige of solid but glaring antecedents, the film is a calculated, patient mix of classics like Rosemary's Baby, The Stepford Wives, Brave New World, and a slew of other classic media about those trapped within their worlds and their minds.

Don't Worry Darling is directed by Olivia Wilde, her sophomore effort after the wildly popular Booksmart, and written by Katie Silberman, Carey Van Dyke, and Shane Van Dyke. Wilde's contributions are singular and focused, an impressive second effort for a relatively inexperienced filmmaker. The script, ironically, is sophomoric - messy, repetitive, and painfully reductive.

The film is set during the 1950s and follows Alice Chambers, who lives with her husband Jack in the pleasant, picturesque town of Victory. Their decadent lifestyle is paid for by the Victory Project, who oversee the town and its people, but Alice's serenity and routine are soon disrupted after she witnesses a plane crash. With her mind unravelling, she begins to sense something sinister about the town, the company, and her own place within its borders.

There's a lot to like about Don't Worry Darling. The entire production is meticulous and perfectly styled, enveloping viewers into a brilliantly suffocating atmosphere of 50s utopia. The 1950s in film (especially modern films) is often painted with a heavy and distracting gauze of irony; the overbearing aesthetics of the period usually feel purposefully synthetic, like they've been lifted straight from a brochure. Wilde sidesteps these cliches.

Don't Worry Darling's Victory is pleasant and sunny, but the film keeps a unique balance, presenting a town which feels lived in and practical. The desert sun sears residents, the fine china feels personal and authentic, and the homes look genuinely inviting. Where most filmic landscapes of the 50s never feel like more than a façade, Victory looks like an enjoyable, livable place. In short, Don't Worry Darling does for mid-century suburbia what Star Wars (and Alien) did for spaceships.

The legitimacy of the atmosphere is wonderfully complimented by Wilde's eye and Affonso Goncalves' editing. The pair are in harmony with each other and effectively synthesize tension from the flimsy script. Wilde's main tools are symmetry and visual repetition, while Goncalves uses a classical, Griffith-like accelerating tempo in his cutting structure.

The mixture of these elements (atmosphere, symmetry, and tempo) emulates the sort of high tension found within other contemporary thrillers of the mundane like We Need to Talk About Kevin. Both films have contextually ordinary realities but use filmmaking techniques to clue audiences into the abnormalities subtly boiling just beneath their manicured surfaces.

It bears repeating: the core strengths of the film are its singleness of vision and its wholly engrossing atmosphere and pacing. It's become cliched praise, but Don't Worry Darling would make delectable prestige television, straight down to its too-thin premise.

Helping construct the film's perfectly pitched tone are cinematographer Matthew Libatique and composer John Powell. Libatique emphasizes Victory's heat; every performer glows under Victory's scorching sun, shiny and tanned. The film is uber-colorful and highly saturated to evoke the gauzy, saccharine pleasures of the town. Indoors, at night, things cool off but aren't cool. Shadows fall and colors are more muted, but blacks are never overly emphasized. Every scene is visually pitched to a delicious, delirious heat.

Conversely, Powell's soundtrack uses whispers and delicate strings to poke and prod inside Alice's mind. While his soundscape does become overbearing and too forceful by film's end, the quieter, more relaxed chords are entrancing and effective. Powell uses an eclectic mix of acapella and instrumentation to keep viewers on their toes and scratching their heads, punctuating moments with a hushed cacophony and keeping a firm grip on his sonic harnesses through most of the film.

All of these cleverly conceived and passionately executed elements make Don't Worry Darling's sloppy, thin story a crushing disappointment. Most glaringly, the script is poorly structured. Its opening act conveys little information about anything or anybody, setting up early context and later revelations on a foundation of sand.

The bulk of the film is nothing but a series of teases and vagaries, so poorly connected to each other or immediate consequences that they might as well be dream sequences. Wilde does make effective use of their surreal tones and abstract qualities, but a series of paranoid fake outs does not make for a holistic or satisfying story. The story behind the story, what audiences are ultimately paying for, stretches plausibility.

Lack of substance is not the only defining quality of the script. It's also glaringly derivative, highly repetitive, insultingly reductive, and maddeningly obtuse. The writers' influences are myriad, but the key works are listed up top. As a bonus, the film also borrows 1984's iconic cover illustration. Like Jordan Peele's Us, Don't Worry Darling struggles to reconcile its subtext with its literal thrills, opting for wheel spinning and unanswerable questions in lieu of a logical or internally rigorous narrative.

Unlike Us, the subtext isn't worth the effort; the film has little to say beyond a tepid rehashing of current political dogma. For a fleeting moment, interesting questions about contemporary work life, the nature of exhaustion, and the desire to live within comfortable lies are raised, but they're quickly abandoned for an obligatory and out of place climax. On top of the stale message, the film quickly unravels after the big reveal, instantly raising plot-based questions of motivation, financing, and pointless secrecy.

Don't Worry Darling is exceedingly frustrating. The film is made with clear forethought and an eye for the edit, which is depressingly refreshing in today's assembly line filmmaking mode. It's snappily paced and never boring, though its constant motion and narrative gimmicks keep the viewer at arm's length emotionally and psychologically. The story is far too thin, mostly predictable, and gratingly simplistic, in stark contrast to the film's depth of atmosphere and visual construction.

Overall, it's a solid effort which lives halfway up to its potential. I tentatively recommend it, with two words of caution: stay away from the trailer (I sorely wish I'd gone in blind) and don't expect anything too shocking. Admittedly, it's a paradox; the less you know the better, but there's not much worth spoiling.
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It's Not Reinventing the Wheel, but It'll Entertain You
hellsing21823 September 2022
I'll just say I've never been one to read into movie meanings and this one is no exception. I can't comment on what this is an allegory or representation of, so I won't. On a surface level however, it works just fine. The cinematography was well done and acting was good, though Chris Pine obviously goes above and beyond here so props to him. On the other hand there are quite a few plot points of the movie that we never really receive answers to. Arguably we don't need to know though because the film will still give you enough information to follow it all the way through and properly grasp the plot. Can't say I'll go out of my way to see it again, but as a popcorn movie I was perfectly happy with what I got. Give it a chance!
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Good psychological thriller
avocados1221 September 2022
I'm into this genre and i really enjoyed this film the whole cast played their roles really well, Florence in particular. I think the concept of the movie was a really clever one and it's a very good twist. The only negative is the continuation of the storyline. It could've been better, sometimes the film feels like it's dragging an a little. But apart from that very gripping and thought provoking. I would recommend people to go and watch this film if you're into this genre. People who are giving harry styles a hard time are being quite harsh - it's his first big acting role and i think he did very well.
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Great psychological thiller, misunderstood by wrong audience
joska-3333722 September 2022
Just saw this movie in the theatre and it had me amazed. The acting of Pugh was outstanding by itself, although the acting of Styles isn't the best I have seen.

The plot was great, plot twists that we did not see coming (and me and my bf watched ALOT of psychology movies). The movie has also an underlaying message about a social problem that gets the attention. The filming itself was also very amusing to watch.

We thought we might get bored by another thriller with predictable plots and twists, but we were surprised. We did notice that the audience in the theater wasn't the right audience for the movie. It was filled with giggling girls crushing over Harry Styles, giggling at scenes they thought looked funny, but were actually very serious and good scenes. The critique the movie gets may thus be from a wrong perspective of the viewer.

I will say I think Harry Styles wasnt the best pick, because of the audience he attracts, but mostly because he is just not that good of an actor. But other than that, I loved the movie, we loved the movie and it deserves much more credit than it gets.
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An in crescendo movie that explodes on the viewer's face
Andelisam_Lyman23 September 2022
There are 4 things to mainly praise about Don't Worry Darling, its cast, its cinematography and music and it's story.

Florence Pugh is incredible as Alice, the main character, a role that requires very similar acting skills to her breakthrough role in Midsommar, she definitely carries the movie on her shoulders. At the same time Harry Styles does a great job as her co-star, it isn't difficult to understand why some consider him the biggest heartthrob of our times, but it's also a great step for him as an actor because Jack, Alice's husband, is a complicated character that requires acting skills that maybe wouldn't be expected of someone on his second ever acting gig. The rest of the actors are all in their place too, and do an excellent job, but their characters are small, making it a film centered mostly on the main couple.

The cinematography of the movie is gorgeous, the colours and the scenography deliver the utopic 50s town making us want to be there too, as well as the music; speaking of the music there's a melody that works both as a lullaby and an alert, written by Styles himself, that accompanies us through the movie, despite being a good melody and doing its job working both in a soothing and a disturbing manner it's sometimes a bit understated, especially when is just hummed by Alice.

The story though goes in crescendo, it starts with a couple living an utopic life in an utopic town and it ends with that image breaking like the mirage it really was. It contains probably the best plot twist of the year.

On the flip side, it turns out obvious that this is the screenwriter's first attempt at a movie that contains social topics that can be difficult to get if you don't have previous knowledge of them, and it makes you wish for a more in depth explanation of the thing that's hiding behind the utopia.

Overall it's a beautiful movie that, despite its seriousness, doesn't take itself too seriously and should be enjoyable for all those who watch it with an open mind. Good directing work by Olivia Wilde who keeps proving to be one of the new directors to keep an eye on.
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great psychological thriller, beautiful cinematography
Libjaney23 September 2022
Brilliant film, i knew the plot due to previously reading the screenplay but olivia wilde spun the twist beautifully. Florence pugh's performance outsold. People criticising harry styles acting skills clearly hadn't watched the film as his performance was fine. Kiki layne's character added the perfect amount of context and was woven through the plot delicately. While olivia wildes character might not have been as crucial it was very much needed for the progression of the film, now chris pine and gemma chans performance really outdid this film for me and i would have loved to have seen much more of the two of them. Back to harry styles' i believe he truly is the perfect fit for jack chamber's his and florence's chemistry was outstanding.

Overall great film that i do recommend people see without the bias of outside drama.
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Great Concept, Falls A Bit Short
katierileylamb24 September 2022
I didn't pay attention to any of the drama surrounding the film and went to watch it with an open mind. I definitely saw reflections/inspirations of Stepford Wives and the Trueman Show but this wasn't a copy of them. I really liked the first half or so of it but the ending felt rushed. There's things I want answers to but I understand why they aren't explained (they aren't the focus of the movie). I think the overarching theme of the movie was really poignant and felt too real at some points. But this could've been done better. Acting was phenomenal by Pugh but Styles wasn't the best to be honest. At some points people were audibly laughing at his acting in the theatre. My true rating is 6.5 stars but I rounded up.
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Glad I saw it early. Ms. Wilde ruined her own film.
brandonlewissmu8 September 2022
I attended a test screening in early August. The whole thing was odd because I've been to test screenings in the past and they've been months in advance of the release date. The whole point is to "test" it and make changes. I'm not sure what they could have changed in the last 3 or 4 weeks. I mention this because there is no way I could watch this movie today and not be completely distracted by the off-screen drama. A lot of people are going to "hate-watch" this movie. I cant blame them. Ms. Wilde has managed to sabotage her own film.

Anyway, the movie itself.. it's not bad. It's not what a lot of these 1 star reviews are saying. I think, and understandably so, the the off-screen drama has completely ruined the experience for most people. Like I said, I don't think I could sit down and watch it today and NOT be completely distracted the whole time.

Anyway, while its not bad, It's definitely not good. It's the epitome of an average to below average movie.

The good: It was fun to look at. The camera work, the sets, the wardrobe. All very unique and well done. There were also some really good performances. Florence Pugh was definitely the best. Also, Harry Styles. Yes, Harry Styles. He was great. The guy seems to just be a natural at whatever he does.

The bad: The plot. The script. All the really important stuff. It's just not nearly as clever or boundary-pushing as Ms. Wilde thinks it is. It borrows aspects from movies like The Truman Show and Pleasantville (both great movies) and then mixes them with an attempt at some intense psychological thriller. It doesn't work. At all.

The problem with the movie is simple. This is a bad script. You can throw 6 or 7 good actors and one great actress into a film but if their lines are bad.. if their characters do nonsensical things.. if the plot isn't interesting.. You have nothing. You just have missed opportunity.
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Much better than the IMDb score would have you believe!
ethanbresnett29 September 2022
Don't Worry Darling deserves much better treatment than it has been getting from reviewers.

It oozes style and suspense from the get go and builds and builds towards a really rather thrilling conclusion.

I found the plot to be thoroughly intriguing from start to finish. It constantly had me scratching my head and wondering what direction we were going to turn. Even once the rug had been pulled from under us there was time for some additional surprises, and I loved the whole tone of the piece. There were some great messages and social commentary thrown in there which were occasionally very on the nose but mostly well judged.

OK, so there are definitely a few plot elements that don't quite hold up to tight scrutiny, but that really doesn't detract from the intrigue of the story at all. In fact I quite liked the way so many elements remained a mystery, it left me guessing throughout the film and I'm still pondering many elements of it now, which makes for a great movie in my book.

The lead performance from Florence Pugh was so engaging and engrossing. It was hard not to be so utterly drawn in by her portrayal of Alice, the seemingly perfect suburban housewife who begins to unravel the mystery of the Victory Project. Harry Styles needs more credit for holding his own opposite one of the best in the business. It's not an amazing performance by any stretch, but is remarkably solid for his debut in a leading role. Chris Pine also deserves a nod as his character and performance really elevate the sinister nature of the film, in often very subtle ways.

I thought the direction from Wilde was superb. It was so stylish, clean, and sharp. Some people have accused this film of putting style over substance but I think it has both in abundance.

This film clearly seems to be dividing opinion but I really can't see why. Perhaps a tad drawn out and with maybe a few too many question marks left hanging at the end, this doesn't at all detract from the fact that Don't Worry Darling is a thrilling, stylish, and intriguing film with a fantastic performance from Pugh at the centre of it all.
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A movie so bad they had to invent drama on the press tour to promote jt
Blubonnet_Spearman7 September 2022
It's a complete rip off of Stepford Wives with 2022 Twitter sensibilities. Wilde coasting on her media profile with the overrated Booksmart makes this flick drag as if it's 3 hours. To call it bland and forgettable would be kind. Styles showed promise as an actor in Dunkirk but here he's got little to do and even with that can't match it. Pugh is okay but nothing special. And Wilde tries hard but can't act as usual. The biggest thing about this movie is all the press drama and gossip surrounding it. In the future people will wonder what all the fuss was about as this movie enters the dustbin of history. Wilde in the past said if a movie is bad it's the directors fault. Even with a friendly press this couldn't scrape together a good critics score. Well Olivia, you happy to take responsibility here?
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