Written by the Coen Brothers and Directed by George Clooney, Suburbicon is an entertaining film that makes a few missteps along the way, and doesn’t quite reach its full potential. Set in Middle American suburbia in the late ’50s, Suburbicon plays out like a film-noir satire that lies somewhere between a Hitchcock thriller and the Coens’ own Fargo. Matt Damon plays Gardner Lodge, a bloated, self serving, in-over-his-head banker in a role that feels reminiscent of William H. Macy’s Jerry Lundegaard in Fargo. Damon is so believable in the role that his performance almost goes unnoticed. Suburbicon begins on a strange scene that is initially puzzling to the audience and I appreciated its slow reveal as the movie unfolded.
Gardner and his sister in-law Margaret (played by Julianne Moore) hatch a half baked scheme to have Gardner’s wife and Margaret’s sister Rose (also played by Julianne Moore) murdered by a couple of low life criminals during a mock home invasion. Moore is fantastic in this film, and plays her dual role as a psychotic 50s housewife to perfection. The master plan seems to be motivated by an insurance policy and an affair between our two leads. The rest of the film follows Lodge and Rose as they try to keep up the charade of grieving the loss of a loved one while attempting to cover their criminal tracks. It doesn’t help their case that the two of them aren’t exactly criminal masterminds (a tried and true Coen brothers archetype) and as the movie plays out they find themselves getting deeper in the cover up.