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Keeping Up with the Joneses (2016)

PG-13 | | Action, Comedy | 21 October 2016 (USA)
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A suburban couple becomes embroiled in an international espionage plot when they discover that their seemingly perfect new neighbors are government spies.

Director:

Greg Mottola

Writer:

Michael LeSieur
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Popularity
2,708 ( 22)
3 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Zach Galifianakis ... Jeff Gaffney
Isla Fisher ... Karen Gaffney
Jon Hamm ... Tim Jones
Gal Gadot ... Natalie Jones
Patton Oswalt ... Scorpion
Ming Zhao ... Scorpion's Girlfriend
Matt Walsh ... Dan Craverston
Maribeth Monroe ... Meg Craverston
Michael Liu ... Yang
Kevin Dunn ... Carl Pronger
Dayo Abanikanda ... Cool Man
Henry Boston ... Patrick
Jack McQuaid Jack McQuaid ... Mikey
Bobby Lee ... Ricky Lu
Ying He Ying He ... Mrs. Lu
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Storyline

A suburban couple becomes embroiled in an international espionage plot when they discover that their seemingly perfect new neighbors are government spies.

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

There Blows The Neighbourhood See more »

Genres:

Action | Comedy

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for sexual content, action/violence and brief strong language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | Hebrew | Mandarin

Release Date:

21 October 2016 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Keeping Up with Jones See more »

Filming Locations:

Atlanta, Georgia, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$40,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$5,461,475, 23 October 2016, Wide Release

Gross USA:

$14,896,798, 23 December 2016

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$28,939,621, 26 December 2016
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.39 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Producers Walter F. Parkes and Laurie MacDonald sparked to the idea of a suburban couple, who, as Parkes said, "desperately wants to be friends with their neighbors. This connection provides a recognizable and emotional foundation for a high-concept comedy - that the film wasn't just about playing the gag." See more »

Goofs

Near the end of the movie, after "The Scorpion" blows up, the aerial shot of the top of the hotel and there is no helicopter pad or helicopter on the roof. A henchman had previously said "The chopper is ready boss" as he came down from the roof. See more »

Quotes

Jeff Gaffney: Okay, can you guys tell us anything at all?
Natalie Jones: I'm not Greek. I'm Israeli.
Karen Gaffney: Ex-Mossad?
Natalie Jones: Can't tell you.
Karen Gaffney: Come on. Are you guys even married? Can you even tell us that?
[Tim and Natalie look at each other]
Tim Jones: Yes. That actually you can't fake.
Jeff Gaffney: But that's it? Everything else was a lie?
[Tim shrugs while drinking coffee]
Jeff Gaffney: I mean, 'cause I think when you told me that you hated your job, that seemed real. I mean, from an HR perspective. That seemed real.
[...]
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Connections

References Neighbors (1981) See more »

Soundtracks

CAN YOU DO THIS
Written by Aloe Blacc, DJ Khalil (as Khalil Abdul-Rahman), Chin Injeti (as Pranam Injeti) and Daniel Tannenbaum
Performed by Aloe Blacc
Courtesy of Interscope Records
Under license from Universal Music Enterprises
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User Reviews

 
Mr and Mrs Jones
20 October 2016 | by ferguson-6See all my reviews

Greetings again from the darkness. Dozens of movies through the years make up the Spy Action-Comedy segment. Most of these lean heavily on either action (Mr. and Mrs. Smith, Red, Knight and Day) or comedy (Austin Powers, Get Smart, Date Night). The latest entry from director Greg Mottola and writer Michael LeSieur offers a more balanced approach while being somewhat grounded in familiar suburbia. Perfect casting certainly helps.

Comedies are the toughest genre to review because the only thing that matters … does it cause you to laugh? … depends on the sense of humor of each viewer and even their frame of mind while watching. So what I can report is that the full theatre at my screening was filled with enthusiastic laughter multiple times, along with a pretty steady stream of chuckles and giggling. This will undoubtedly vary from the accounts of uppity film critics who will discount the basic plot and obvious laughs (which is the whole point).

A James Bond-type opening credit sequence sets the tone as we abruptly shift to watching Jeff and Karen Gaffney (Zach Galifianakias, Isla Fisher) sending off their two sons to summer camp before returning home to their idealistic cul-de-sac suburban home. Things pick up when the new neighbors, Tim and Natalie Jones, arrive … a seemingly perfect couple played by Jon Hamm and Gal Gadot. They are the type of couple who are beautiful to look at, stylishly dressed, and even show up with a blown-glass sculpture as a gift for their new neighbors.

Of course, this perfect couple is really married spies seeking information from the military weapons contractor where Jeff works as a Human Resources associate. It's Karen who senses something is off about the perfect couple, which leads to her stalking Natalie all the way to a dressing room where she is comically intimidated by Wonder Woman in black lingerie. On a side note, Ms. Fisher does have a later sequence where she proves to be anything but a homely housewife, despite how that dressing room scene is presented.

The men head off for some male bonding – at a highly unusual specialty restaurant, leading to one of the more manic sequences in the movie. The four leads are all excellent, but it's Gal Gadot who is the real surprise … and her scenes with Ms. Fisher are the film's best. Both are allowed to shine, while the men are a bit more one dimensional. Galifianakias is the all-trusting good guy just happy to have some excitement in his life, while Hamm is the super cool spy (who wishes he wasn't). Both men seem to enjoy the chance to make friends, while the women are a bit more focused on tasks at hand.

Director Mottola is known for his films Adventureland and Superbad, and writer LeSieur is best known for Me, You and Dupree. The impressive thing about this latest is that the comedy mostly derives from character and situational interactions, and the expected steady stream of punchlines never materializes. There is even some insight into marriages that have become a bit too predictable, and the challenges of making new friends when all available energy is devoted to parenting and making ends meet.

In addition to the four leads, there are some funny moments for Maribeth Monroe, Matt Walsh and Kevin Dunn. The brilliant Patton Oswalt is cast as the self-nicknamed villain, and is responsible for one of the film's biggest laughs.

Of course, this is not subtle or high-brow humor, and the story line is predictable throughout. The laughs stem from the contrast of a subdued, comfy suburban life versus the sophisticated, over-accomplished jet-setting couple … laughs clearly enhanced by the talented leads. So while this seems like the kind of movie I would usually ignore, perhaps it arrives at a time when laughing is simply preferable to the daily grind of an embarrassing and humiliating Presidential race. So go ahead and give laughter a chance … it works even better than a stress ball.


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