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Review: Sorry to Bother You, 2018

Garrett Smith Film, Reviews 1 Comment

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Director: Boots Riley
Writer: Boots Riley
Starring: Lakeith Stanfield, Tessa Thompson, Jermaine Fowler

Sorry to Bother You is easily one of my favorite movies of the year. Not just relevant, but vital.

We are living in absurd times, and Boots Riley has made an absurdist comedy to address just how crushing an experience that can be.

Steven Yeun’s character has a line about how we as people will adapt to problems rather than solve them if they’re too absurd to even comprehend a solution to. If it’s so big it feels like there’s nothing we could do on a personal level to effect change, we’ll just learn to live with it. That hit me so, so hard. I feel this every day, and I want to cry and scream and shout about it.

Thankfully, Riley made Sorry to Bother You, this wonderful movie, so that I could commiserate about this shared experience we’re having in a diverse theater full of people in North Philadelphia. That’s so, so important and part of what makes this such a vital 2018 film.

Also, I would totally get it if the third act lost you. It’s one of the few movies where it flew off the rails, and instead of that being frustrating, I started rooting for it get further and further off the rails. I think some remarkable, fascinating choices are made throughout the third act, and if you’re willing to let it be the absurd comedy it wants to be, there is so much value in the conversation Sorry to Bother You is trying to have in its finale.

I loved this, and I hope you all see it, and I hope you all have the same experience I did—I bonded with a diverse group of people last night, and I think we all walked away not wanting to be so complacent about the world, no matter how tragically absurd it becomes.

Score: ★★★★☆

This review originally appeared on Garrett’s Letterboxd. Follow him there for more ratings, reviews, and lists.

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Garrett Smith

Comedian of no repute. Co-host of the I Like To Movie Movie podcast and Movie Movie Live! the monthly game show based on the podcast.
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