Lou (2022) Poster

(I) (2022)

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A gritty well-made action thriller with a solid lead performance by Allison Janney in the lead
IonicBreezeMachine23 September 2022
In a secluded part of the Pacific Northwest, loner Lou Adell (Allison Janney) is living a solitary life with her dog Jax with her only regular contact being with single mother Hannah Dawson (Jurmee Smollett) and her daughter Vee (Ridley Bateman) who rent property on Lou's land. During a massive storm Hannah's abusive and presumed dead ex Phillip (Logan-Marshall-Green) kidnaps their daughter Vee and Hannah enlists Lou's help in tracking the two down leading to Lou tapping into her dormant skillset and long buried wounds that made her who she is.

Lou is the directorial debut of cinematographer Anna Forester whose previous directing credits were in television such as Criminal Minds and Outlander. Produced by J. J. Abrams' Bad Robot Productions, the film while initially setup at Paramount was dropped early on with Bad Robot opting to film Lou independently with distribution rights eventually being picked up by Netflix. The movie doesn't break too far from the established formula of this kind of action thriller, but it does deliver on suspense and character you expect from this type of film.

One of the things that stood out to me with Lou was just how gritty the film looks. While Lou is set in the 1980s, the movie wisely avoids becoming "nostalgia porn" and really only uses 80s iconography or references when appropriate and in context rather than reminding you every few minutes as some films set in the decade have been guilty of. From the hard-edged fight sequences to some really tense survival sequences such as a setpiece on a lopsided rope bridge the movie reminded me of thrillers such as 1988's Shoot to Kill which mixed this kind of chase movie with environmental perils. Allison Janney is really good as Lou and her performance as this hardened isolated loner is well done and she fits the role very well in terms of both the character's backstory and skillset as well as conveying the inner turmoil of this character when it's revealed what the source is. The other actors are good in their roles too with Jurmee Smollett's performance as an abuse survivor quite engaging and Logan Marshall-Green a solidly done antagonist even if they're not as compelling as Janney's role. The movie does have a twist relating to certain character relationships and like most twists related to this type of genre exercise I think most will see it coming, but it works well enough thematically and leads to a tense and emotional climax that I was willing to let it pass.

Lou doesn't reinvent the wheel when it comes to this kind of gritty minimalist action thriller, but it gives enough meat to the characters, aesthetics, and performances that I was kept engaged throughout the film's brisk 100-minute runtime. Anna Foerster shows solid work in her first feature in the director's seat and I look forward to seeing her hone her style in other films.
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Intriguing beginning but quickly drops in quality
paul-allaer26 September 2022
As "Lou" (2022 release; 109 min) opens, we are introduced to Lou, a fifty-something "lone ranger" woman in remote Washington State (we later learn it's the San Juan Islands). One senses she has had a complicated past. Her neighbor is Hannah, a thirty-something mother of a young daughter. A big storm is arriving soon, and before you know it, things go haywire on many different levels. At this point we are 10 min into the movie.

Couple of comments: this film is directed by noted cinematographer Anna Foerster. More importantly, the film is produced by none other than J. J. Abrams, immediately raiding expectations. Alas, it was not to be. For that, look no further than the script, which is frankly quite weak. Not only do things happen that simply make no sense, but worse, there is never any doubt how all of this is going to play out in the end. There are two bright lights: first, Allison Janney brings a tough performance in the title role. Second, the outdoor scenery (somewhere in the wild and wide open Pacific Northwest) is simply tops. It's a shame that the rest of the production isn't on the same high level.

"Lou" premiered on Netflix this past weekend. If you are in the mood for an "action thriller" that is fairly straight-forward if not predictable, I'd readily suggest you keep your expectations fairly low, and then draw your own conclusion.
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Great performances. Good characters. Decent writing
Ithilfaen9 October 2022
It's an action thriller so I wasn't exactly expecting it to re-invent the wheel. I just wanted a decent popcorn flick with interesting characters and some action on the side.

I was actually pleasantly surprised. While not reinventing the genre, the movie definitely reinvigorates it. The characters development and the dynamic between the two women is very well written and the acting is exceptional for a movie of the genre.

Just when I thought I couldn't be surprised by the depth of Janney's acting, she knocks another one out of the park in a role I never would have expected her in.

Oh and for the ones who are having such a hard time "suspending disbelief" when they see "a senior citizen" kick two young guys into next week, ask yourself why you had no such issue while watching Keanu Reeves, a mere 3 years "younger" take a whole room full of armed younger guys in John Wick...
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Jason Bournes older sister
celt00724 September 2022
Great story, great acting . The action scenes/ fight are fantastic .

The film is very good not understanding why anyone would vote this down below 6 ? I gave it a 8 because it's such great performance by Allison Jenney.

I found it just a tad , predictable , but over all an entertaining bout of film.

Don't worry about the lower scores just remember to watch this movie for the pleasure to watch Allison kick some serious arse .

This is pretty darn good and deserves attention . Many will call it woke but it seems organic . Enjoy the movie it's worth a watch .

Turn of your tv watch this movie now .
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Solid entertainment
aandb200125 September 2022
This is the kind of movie you want on a lazy weekend. Nothing too scary or sad or shocking. Couple of good twists. Solid acting and plot. Really cool scenery and camera work.

A couple of goofs (Battery operated light in the kids room is way ahead of the 80's timeline. I thought Jax went home? Where'd the bombproof vest come from?).

Allison Janney is great. Actually all the actors are good to great. Even the side characters of the local sheriff and deputy are good.

Overall a solid movie and worth it.

I'm glad I didn't pay to watch it on a theater. I don't regret the time watching it at home on Netflix.
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Well-acted but absurd plot
aronofskydavid25 September 2022
This movie could have been very good because the cast and acting are solid, with excellent cinematography. The story is so ridiculous, however, that no one could ever believe it and dramas don't work well with stupid scripts. Allison Janney, who plays a former CIA agent, is always worth watching and so are the other actors even though their dialogue is fairly limited. Jurney Smollett also does fine given the poor script she has to work with. It is impossible to describe how absurd the story is without including too many spoilers, so I suggest seeing this if you are an Allison Janney fan with about an hour and forty-five minutes with nothing else to do.
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Not too bad
jupitermission24 September 2022
Firstly this isn't gonna win any awards for originality. Twists are very predictable but fine. I'm sure some people are gonna nag about this and that. Some people fail to realize that it's just a movie, it's entertainment. Decent storyline, good acting, cinematography was great. I wasn't bored throughout at all. Jurnee Smolett was good as usual(loved her in 'Lovecraft Country'). The little girl was adorable. Everything was explained even if you saw it coming. The key most people lose is that you're not a professional movie critic so stop acting like one. If you don't like something, turn it off and move on and don't voice your other issues into your entertainment and you'll be fine, I promise.
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Had problems.
Dodge-Zombie25 September 2022
I should start off here by saying in general the acting was actually pretty good. The movie had a good cast for the most part and almost everyone played their parts well. The direction seemed pretty good too as did the photography. The music fit the movie well and the the scenery and location were great.

So why aren't I scoring this higher? Plot holes. Lots and lots of plot holes. People doing stupid things for stupid reasons. The scripting in some parts was terrible and also as well as the acting was the action scenes were just far too unrealistic.

The main reason however is because the whole thing was so predictable within 10 minutes I could of written the whole film out and not been far wrong.

If you're not looking for surprises you may enjoy this more than I did.

I can't recommend it though.
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Decent action flick with a great lead!
cscott23315 October 2022
I really like Allison Janney and it was fun watching her in such a different role. I mean she plays a total bada$$, and she played it very well. We've seen her comedic chops many times and she's amazing. She's great in a serious roll too. I think she did a great job in this role. I thought the storyline was a good one. Certainly kept me entertained. Truthfully these days having a totally new story is an accomplishment! There was plenty of action! Honestly I don't think I'd have watched it had it not been for Allison janney. Jurnee Smollett has never been one of my favorites but I enjoyed her in this. Decent way to spend a Tuesday night.
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We loved it.
janmanuel226 September 2022
Allison Janney is so great in this movie. She was perfect for this role. I loved the other actors too. I don't understand people who think this was 1) predictable and 2) a dud. We thought it was really different and had some surprises. We did not think it was a dud. It was exciting and the action sequences were great, especially the cabin fight scene. The photography was beautiful. It held our interest throughout. It was different from a lot of movies Hollywood cranks out that have no originality. I have to mention that the little girl was wonderful in this. The interaction between the two women also added to the movie.
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Amazing heroine
sergepesic6 November 2022
There is, seemingly never-ending supply of middle-aged men on a rampage vengeance movies. Ask Kevin Costner or Liam Neeson. Now we have something a bit novel. Older woman with murdering skills taking on a kidnapper. There isn't much original about this endeavor, these days required twist and turns that come out of nowhere abound. But so what. When you have such an amazing heroine as Allison Janney many shortcomings are easily forgiven. She brings to this, many times visited party, true grit and mysterious charisma lacking so much in so many of our plastic movie stars. Letting yourself be who you are and of your own age liberates and allows you to do what you are meant to do. Act. Is that too much to ask?
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Janney steals the show.
Top_Dawg_Critic28 September 2022
I don't think there's a role Janney can't do, but she sure stepped up from her character as Bonnie on Mom. I never thought I'd say this, but she needs more action roles, she nailed this one. Sadly, her performance wasn't able to carry the rest of the film from being good to becoming great. The first half was a great start and setup to continue into the second half, but sadly, the second half turned into a dull, convoluted and cliched nonsense. It's like of the two writers, one did great to start, the other poorly to end. It's too bad a seasoned filmmaker wasn't consulted - wonder how it even slipped through producer J. J. Abrams. Had the second half been as great as the first, I would've given this a 9/10, but sadly, it's only 7/10 from me.
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The Rain Wasn't Left in Africa...
Xstal4 October 2022
What would you do, if your daughter's snatched from you, by a person from your past, who left you troubled and harassed, the only one that can help you, the neighbouring lass known as Lou, she's not quite what you had perceived, has several tricks up both her sleeves (amongst other things).

It's a familiar tale although refreshingly told with two women in the lead but it's as contrived as they come and requires a bucket load of salt to suspend your disbelief, although if you need a shallow thriller as a bit of a time filler, it just about fits the bill, and there are one or two interesting tangents that might make you scratch your chin, or even raise an eyebrow.
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Worth watching
drjgardner12 October 2022
Here's a film with a good script, some clever twists, great acting, and wonderful photography, made all the more impressive since a lot of it is done in the dark and on site.

The 4 principal actors are at the top of their game, but so too are the supporting actors.

I was impressed with some of the fighting scenes, not merely because of Allison Janney's performance here, but also because the fight scenes are realistic fight scenes and not the choreographed nonsense you normally see.

The ending is perhaps a little too easy to anticipate, but for the first 30 minutes the writers haver you in their lap and you really don't know what 's happening.

Definitely worth seeing and brave to everyone involved.
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Dark, effective, taut, gritty psycho thriller - crackin' entertainment
danieljfarthing14 October 2022
In dark, effective psycho thriller "Lou" Allison Janney (strong again) is a surly ex-CIA spook living on a remote mountain, pulled into helping only near neighbour Jurnee Smollett when her kid Ridley Asha Bateman is snatched by evil ex Logan Marshall-Green (great - channelling Tom Hardy) who's ALSO ex-military Special Ops. As Janney & Smollett track Marshall-Green across the harsh storm-lashed wilderness more layers & twists unfold... but how will it all end? Maggie Cohn & Jack Stanley's screenplay is classically solid, and Anna Foerster directs with a terrifically taut & gritty style. It's simple, old-school style fare, but still crackin' bang-on entertainment.
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A solid enough 'chase through the woods' thriller
Tweekums23 November 2022
As a storm threatens to batter Orcas Island in the Pacific North West a man picks up a hitch-hiker. This is a mistake as the man is very dangerous. He is a former Green Beret. He is also the husband of Hannah and father of her daughter Vee who live on the island. Vee thinks her father is away searching for treasure; Hannah believes he is dead. When he gets to their home he kidnaps Vee. Unable to contact the authorities Hannah goes to her neighbour, Lou Adell. Lou offers to help and together the two head off into the woods to find Vee. Hannah has no idea that Lou has certain skills that will be very useful in the hours to come. As the story progresses they will face various dangers and secrets will be revealed.

I thought this was a pretty solid thriller. The basic premise may not be that original but it is effective at delivering the necessary thrills. Choosing to set the story in the mid-eighties was a good choice as it was able to tie in with certain events and provided a good excuse for lack of communications... besides once the action has moved into the woods the year it was set barely matters. There are some good tense moments and the action is quite gritty at times, in one scene a character gets a knife through the hand. While our eponymous protagonist is tough there isn't a sense that she can't be harmed as is so often the case in such films. The setting is impressive with nearby Vancouver Island standing in for Orcas Island, which is part of Washington State. The acting is solid; especially from Allison Janney who plays Lou; it was refreshing to have an older woman playing an action lead. Direction from Anna Foerster was also impressive. On the down side I could have done without a couple of the twists, they weren't that surprising and didn't add that much to the story. Overall though a decent film; not a must see but worth watching if you enjoy the genre.
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Not all women are meant to be mothers, says one who wasn't a good one.
JohnRayPeterson18 October 2022
After watching this movie, you will not be a fan of the CIA, and you will be thankful for having a caring mother. The lead character, Lou, is a woman with many secrets, as you would expect from a 26 years veteran CIA foreign agent, but her biggest secrets has to do with who she was, and is as a person. Skilled at the job she retired from, but not amicably, definitely not amicably, she's now somewhat of a semi-recluse, but of course there's more to it than that.

Lou's neighbour's daughter is kidnapped, the thriller part begins and practically never stops; but, you couldn't possibly expect things to go where they go. There are some action scenes but only because there needed to be. The adventure takes place in a forest by the Pacific on a stormy night; an urban suspense it is not, urban I mean.

The movie has very good character development in my opinion; as the story progresses we get to know more about Lou, extremely well played by Allison Janney, from the series The West Wing and the movie Juno. Lou is unlikable at first and throughout the movie, and then we get to understand why. The why will not ingratiate her, it will only explain her and that alone is enough. The why is something we also learn about the character 'Philip' who kidnapped the daughter of Lou's neighbour and tenant, Hannah.

I'm am tempted to write more about the character Philip, played by Logan Marshall-Green (I'm now a fan), but if I do, I'll just spoil for you what makes this story a darn good one. Suffice it to say there are no coincidences or superfluous parts to the story or how Lou is far more than whatever you may think at the beginning. It's a thriller and one I'll not soon forget.
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Entertaining thriller
Luigi Di Pilla24 September 2022
Came out on Netflix and didn't hesitate to watch this kidnapping action thriller. The filming locations in Canada with their wild forest landscapes were amazing. They gave this thriller in addition an intriguing and mysterious touch.

It is a simply story mixed with suspense. The director made a good job and all the the actors too. Running time is perfect.

If you like this genre of movies don't miss the other Hollywood kidnapping thrillers The Call with Halle Berry, Cellular with Kim Basinger, Trapped or Panic Room with Julianne Moore.

I spent with my wife an entertaining evening.

Give it a try. 6/10.
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Not exactly original, but still a solid watch
GregTheStopSign9526 September 2022
You've seen most pieces of this movie before, in other movies, but maybe not all together in one movie in this way. It may not change your life, but I doubt you'll regret watching it.

The leads are all great, especially Alison Janney; the camera work is great, the setting is great, it's just a great movie all around, only let down a little by one fight towards the end.

Honestly, this movie is just further proof that Alison Janney is always worth watching in EVERYTHING she appears in, and while Logan Marshall-Green may never be a Hollywood Leading Man (or will he?) he's absolutely worth watching, whatever he's in. Let's not forget Jurnee Smollett, either, she's easily as great to watch.
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Lost its potential midway
SoumikBanerjee2528 September 2022
Teaming up with your estranged neighbor or a random stranger only to realize at a later phase that he/she isn't really the person who they were pretending to be; it's a template that has been done to death!

There was a time back then (the late 2000s, in particular) when audiences fancied such stuff, irrespective of what were they trying to tell, whatever their implications might have been. Not anymore though. Now, it all boils down to the director and how he/she decides to present the story.

Despite 'Lou' having some extra advantages on its side; like a competent technical crew, an incredible setting, and a believable lead (Allison Janney) but due to an uninspiring write-up and a set of half-baked characters; it failed to leave its mark! Albeit the movie began on a rather promising note; however, that urgency, that determination dried out in a gradual manner.

I appreciate the attempt, I really do, but they gotta go that extra mile to make such attempts rewarding, keeping them on a surface level won't ever cut it.
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Enjoyable and action packed.
deloudelouvain15 October 2022
Lou is a fast paced action/crime movie so no dead moments in this one. For this genre it's worth a watch. Good quality photography and decent soundtrack makes Lou an entertaining movie to watch. Maybe a bit predictable at one point but besides that there isn't much wrong with it. Allison Janney appears in a lot of good movies. This time she has the leading role and she did a good job. She might not have not the most credible physique for her character but she got away with it which means she acted well. The cast isn't that big but they all did a good job. Lou won't win any Oscars but it's certainly good enough for a pleasant movie night.
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Well made movie, with decent acting performances, but let down by some implausible characters and plot turns
imseeg24 September 2022
This is really a well made movie, with a great leading acting performance by Allison Janney. It has got impressive photography and sound. All the technical details are really solid, BUT...

The bad; the leading character (actress Allison Janney) does not come across to me as being a credible character. That' s not her fault, because she is a wonderful actress, but she is simply miscast.

It's very trendy these last several years to put a female violent leading character into movies, but what we have here is an old woman (Allison Janney), who kills young, well trained men in a few seconds. Come on, who is gonna believe that? I couldnt anyway.

And because these killing scenes executed by this old woman are so important to the plot I got annoyed, because of this lack of credibility.

If the credibility of this old woman (being a trained killer) does not bother you though, then you could easily enjoy this movie as a decently made, supsenseful thriller.

More bad news though: there are several plot turns (small and bigger ones) that started to annoy me as well.

Could have been a lot better with a different cast and some better credible writing of the script.
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Predictable and watchable
RedKidBytes24 September 2022
Strong performances make it ok to pass time with this slow action film. Although, I don't know if I buy, the elderly female twig beating the carpola out of the two muscular guys. I couldn't quite make it but I think she killed them with a can of soup? John Wick style.

Underlying plot reveals itself in the end and leaves no questions unanswered.

After Hannah's young daughter Vee is kidnapped by her x military father, Hannah's next door neighbor Lou with her Labrador joins to search and track kidnappers footsteps. An awkward friendship ensues and some secrets are revealed. And the golden globe goes to the Labrador.
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I was pleasantly surprised
z_z_z_z_z_z12 October 2022
To Watch or Not to Watch?

I have become jaded over time as I feel that the quality of the average film has dropped over the years.

I must admit, I did not hold out high hopes for this movie. However, I was pleasantly surprised.

The acting was good, the music was good, as were the locations. It was great to see Janney in a different role and she excelled.

There are no great surprises here, but so what? It is a good way to pass a couple of hours of action /thriller entertainment with a couple of surprise plot twists.

I happily recommend it. It is worth the watch just so long as you keep your expectations realistic.
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Action thriller with a great performance by Allison Janney and June Smith.
cruise0129 October 2022
4 out of 5 stars.

Lou is a good action thriller film that puts Allison Janney in the action role with her taking the beating and fighting back.

The plot is good and a bit hallow with its story. It follows Hannah (Jurnee Smollett) and her daughter Vee. Living in a small town in Washington. Renting a house from Lou (Allison Janney) who is a loner and struggling with her arthritis and her past. When Vee gets kidnapped and taken into the forest. Hannah asks Lou for help which she will take matters into her hands with tracking Vee and the kidnappers.

The plot is thin and hallow with its story. It does have a twist that is not as surprising. It is a thriller following Lou and Hannah as they travel through the forest during a storm and trying to beat the race against time with catching up to the kidnappers. The action sequences are okay and entertaining.

Allison Janney did great with her performance. Along with Jurnee Smith who also did great with her role as well. It is one entertaining film that is worth the watch but the plot is thin and forgettable.
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