‘Us’ Movie Review Roundup: Critics Are Raving About Jordan Peele’s New Horror Film [TRAILER]
Comedian-turned-Oscar-winning-writer-director Jordan Peele wowed audiences and critics with his genre-defying 2017 Get Out, a horror film that addressed race relations in the United States like no film had ever done before. So when his newest movie, Us, was set to premiere at this year’s South by Southwest Festival in Austin, Texas, everyone had pretty high expectations. And, for the most part, it seems Peele managed to meet them.
Us, which was released to theaters on March 22, stars Oscar-winner Lupita Nyong’o as the matriarch of a middle-class African American family on vacation in California. Although haunted by a past experience in the beach town, Nyongo’s character takes her family back to the scene of the original crime, and is met with terrifying results. When a family of four doppelgängers donned in red jumpsuits and packing giant golden scissors with which to kill attacks the house, Nyongo’s Adelaide and her family are forced to kill for their lives. Although Us doesn’t have as quite direct of a thesis as did Get Out, critics picked up on one particular line spoken eerily by Adelaide’s doppelgänger – “we’re Americans.”
In his review, NPR‘s Scott Tobias hypothesized that the film is “about the American underclass, those who toil out of sight and out of mind.” Rolling Stone‘s Peter Travers agreed, calling the story the ultimate “horror film for its time.” But still others were left slightly disappointed that Us wasn’t the upfront societal critique that Get Out had been. “Fans of Get Out, Peele’s brilliant, mind-bending 2017 debut, may feel vaguely let down that his follow-up is, for all of its sly humor and high style, a fairly straightforward genre piece, and that its bigger ideas and metaphors don’t feel quite fully baked,” wrote Leah Greenblatt for Entertainment Weekly.
Nevertheless, even those critics who were somewhat disappointed couldn’t help but rave about the film’s overall success. Travers called Nyongo’s performance “one of the great performances in horror movie history,” while David Sims from The Atlantic praised Us for being “so rife with ideas that it should inspire multiple trips to the theater for its most devoted fans, because it ends not on a definitive answer but on a trenchant question for viewers to ponder on their way out.” Although not as clearly political as Peele’s first film, The New Yorker‘s Anthony Lane even goes so far as to suggest that Us “travels further and deeper, with a more resolute sense of adventure” than Get Out ever could.
Currently, the film has an overwhelming 94% rating on the critic aggregator website, Rotten Tomatoes. Amongst audiences, Us is rated at 69%. The film, which also stars Winston Duke (Black Panther), Elisabeth Moss and Tim Heidecker (Ant-Man and the Wasp), is currently in theaters.
See the full trailer for Us below: