November 14, 2017
Get Out (2017)
Grade: 64/100

Director: Jordan Peele
Stars: Daniel Kaluuya, Allison Williams, Bradley Whitford

What it's about. It's "Meet the Parents" time for Chris (Daniel Kaluuya), the black photographer boyfriend of white brunette hottie Rose Armitage (Allison Williams). Chris' trepidation about his girlfriend's family only increases when he learns that their home is in a remote rural location, that Rose's grown brother Jeremy (Caleb Landry Jones) is creepy, that mother Missy (Catherine Keener) is a shrink, and that brain surgeon father Dean (Bradley Whitford) seems obsessed about race.

It gets worse. Chris is unwittingly hypnotized by Missy. The family estate has two black servants, Walter (Marcus Henderson) and Georgina (Betty Gabriel), who seem to dislike Chris while showing undue loyalty to the Armitages. The next day, a sizeable group of odd people arrive for a social function led by Dean. They take great interest in Chris, especially Jim Hudson (Stephen Root), a blind gallery owner.

Chris' only contact with the outside world is cell phone calls to his best friend Rod (Lil Rel Howery), a black airport security guard. At first, Chris discounts Rod's paranoid ravings about the ulterior motives of the Armitage family. But just because you're not paranoid doesn't mean that they aren't out to get you. Hint: they are.

How others will see it. This engrossing entry in black paranoia was met with resounding critical approval. It received a 99% fresh score at Rotten Tomatoes, and pleased audiences at, where some 200K user votes averaged a high 7.7 user rating. The rating does decline modestly with advancing age, from 8.3 under 18, to 7.4 over 45. Older viewers may be more skeptical that such a vast criminal conspiracy could hold together for long.

Get Out was also a significant box office smash, earning 250M worldwide on a shoestring budget of 5M. The big winner is sole writer and first-time director Jordan Peele, a television actor well-known for his regular roles on "MADtv", "Childrens Hospital", "Key and Peele", and "Big Mouth", featured in the latter as the voice of Duke Ellington's ghost.

How I felt about it. It's a good movie. It's cogently written and intelligently cast. The story unfolds slowly but effectively. We can feel the world closing in on Chris, whose wits are not quite enough to escape the elaborate trap around him. It's true that Chris lives to tell, but this is known as a cinematic happy ending. If the movie had been made during the 70s, Chris would have become the black male equivalent of a Stepford wife.

But everyman Chris is not the most interesting character. That honor belongs to Rose, who is confident that her looks and guiles can snare any man, and is sufficiently cold-blooded to regard any new black boyfriend as a future host to be led to the slaughter.