Critic Reviews



Based on 55 critic reviews provided by Metacritic.com
Like “The Shining,” there are a number of different ways to interpret Jordan Peele’s excellent new horror movie, Us. Every image seems to be a clue for what’s about to happen or a stand-in for something outside the main story of a family in danger. Peele’s film, which he directed, wrote and produced, will likely reward audiences on multiple viewings, each visit revealing a new secret, showing you something you missed before in a new light.
A brilliant home-invasion thriller laced with cultural reference points stretching back to the late ’80s, and a smorgasbord of first-rate visceral cinematic scares. Think “Funny Games” collided with Cronenbergian body horror and Hitchockian suspense, and you’re maybe halfway there.
Us is a bit predictable and contains a few jumbled auditory edits. However, these small missteps are in the service of an ambitious story that has a lot to say about what divides us as humans and how those divisions hurt everyone. Peele’s direction contains a tight grasp on horror and comedy, balancing both perfectly. His game cast shines brightly in their dual roles, and the ending makes the whole endeavor well worth your time.
The performances are uniformly fantastic, but I was most impressed by Wright Joseph and Nyong’o, both delivering distinct and completely unique work. Nyong’o gives a master class in acting in dual roles and is almost unrecognizable as her doppelgänger persona.
Clearly the work of an ambitious writer/director who can see himself inheriting the mantle of Rod Serling ... it offers twists and ironies and false endings galore — along with more laughs than the comedian-turned-auteur dared to include in his debut film. ... It packs a punch.
Us is something of a frustrating watch, a visual and technical marvel that just doesn’t seem to know what it is. Unlike Get Out, which only swelled in impact as you left the theater, Us is best viewed on a visceral level, not an intellectual one.
As a sleekly-directed, crowd-pleasing horror film, it’s efficient, terrifyingly thrilling and a lot of fun. It’s the kind of movie that will be discussed and debated for decades to come, and perhaps thirty years from now, as things continue to descend into utter chaos, “Us” will be looked back in retrospect as prophetic. As it stands now, it’s fascinating, a little maddening, and entertaining.
Terrifying...The less you know going in — and the less energy you spend thinking about it after the fact — the better the movie works, trading on some uncanny combination of Peele’s imagination and our own to suggest a horror infinitely larger and more insidious than the film is capable of representing.
Us is an impressive and astonishingly hair-triggered sophomore feature squarely positioned to decimate genre audiences. It’s purposefully vague, but jam-packed with more memorable genre imagery and inquisitive discussion starters than most braindead by-the-book cinematic offerings beholden to formulaic blueprints.
Exciting? Sure. Unique? Without a doubt. But it’s hard to not feel frustrated by a script that never seems to figure out what it’s trying to say.

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