Skip to main content

The Globe and Mail

Review: Clooney’s Suburbicon is a waste of A-list talent

Julianne Moore and Matt Damon in Suburbicon.

Photo Credit: Hilary Bronwyn Gay

1 out of 4 stars

Written by
Joel Coen, Ethan Coen, George Clooney and Grant Heslov
Directed by
George Clooney
Matt Damon, Julianne Moore and Oscar Isaac

Let George Clooney's attempt at Coen Brothers cosplay be a lesson to anyone who thinks that admiration effortlessly transfers over to achievement.

Although Clooney is a long-time collaborator with Joel and Ethan Coen (O Brother, Where Art Thou?; Hail, Caesar!; Burn After Reading; Intolerable Cruelty), his attempt here at dusting off one of their earliest screenplays is a misbegotten endeavour from start to finish.

Whatever stabs at dark comedy, social satire and noir-esque murder-mystery the Coens may have once been mulling with Suburbicon are only superficial wounds in Clooney's hands. There is no harm in allowing Clooney to further stretch his directorial muscles – Good Night, and Good Luck is not bad – but there ought to be a law against wasting such talents as Matt Damon, Julianne Moore and poor ol' Oscar Isaac in this hollow exercise.

Story continues below advertisement

Josh Brolin was also once part of the experiment, but Clooney had the good decency to cut his scenes. What a guy.

Video: George Clooney compares Houston flood victims to Syrian refugees (The Canadian Press)
Report an error Licensing Options
About the Author

Barry Hertz is the deputy arts editor and film editor for The Globe and Mail. He previously served as the Executive Producer of Features for the National Post, and was a manager and writer at Maclean’s before that. His arts and culture writing has also been featured in several publications, including Reader’s Digest and NOW Magazine. More


The Globe invites you to share your views. Please stay on topic and be respectful to everyone. For more information on our commenting policies and how our community-based moderation works, please read our Community Guidelines and our Terms and Conditions.

We’ve made some technical updates to our commenting software. If you are experiencing any issues posting comments, simply log out and log back in.

Discussion loading… ✨