FRIDAY NIGHT MOVIE REVIEW: “99 Homes” stars Andrew Garfield (The Amazing Spider-Man, The Social Network), Michael Shannon (Man of Steel, Mud), Laura Dern (Jurassic Park, The Fault in Our Stars), Noah Lomax (Safe Haven, Playing for Keeps), and Tim Guinee (Iron Man, Blade). It is directed by Ramin Bahrani (Goodbye Solo, Man Push Cart) who also wrote it along with Amir Naderi (The Runner, Marathon) and Bahareh Azimi (Chop Shop, Goodbye Solo). When Dennis Nash (Garfield) and his family is evicted from their home after not paying off their loans the bank gave them, Nash ends up finding work in the man who evicted him: Rick Carver (Shannon). Carver’s business makes a ton of cash, and as Nash begins his adventure in this job, it changes him into the man he didn’t want to be.
I’ve been wanting to see this film for a long while now. The premise looked interesting and you can never go wrong with Michael Shannon (I have grown to enjoy watching the actor since “Man of Steel”). So once I was able to rent it, I made sure to spare no time. I never expected anything highly of the film, but I was wanting a good experience, and that is what I received. This was a hard movie to watch. No, it wasn’t gross, nor did it have bloody action. It was difficult because of the countless people who got evicted from their homes, the worst being this old man who had nowhere to go, ending up having to bunk with the Red Cross. I give the writers props for this, because I felt tension throughout the whole runtime. Everyone was constantly in a tight spot, making me feel uncomfortable for most of the time. It’s such an interesting story to partake upon as well because of how this stuff actually happens in real life and how cruel the world can be. I haven’t really seen a film that demonstrates a story like this. The directing is a perfect tool to showcase this tale, presenting a documentary style that makes me think that I am actually there watching this happen. It doesn’t have this feel all of the time, usually when they evict people from their homes, the better parts of this release. Performances were carried out greatly in this picture. Like I said before, you can’t go wrong with Michael Shannon. Once again he plays a “villain” in this one and I loved every minute of his performance. Andrew Garfield did a surprisingly good job as well. I’ve only seen him play Spider-Man, and I never cared much for the actor, but he did well in this. I thought he held a strong role. The supporting roles were good as well, with everyone holding up their end of the film. Throughout this whole movie, I thought I had it planned out. Having seen the trailer I could pretty much guess how this film would end. Although my predictions were somewhat correct, the flick still managed to shift itself away from what I think would happen in the moment. It’s funny because with thirty minutes left in the plot, I thought to myself countless times, “wow, I know what’s going to happen here! Time to pen down a con!” But, I never could write an issue down. The story broke away from what I thought even though it ended in the same mind-set I envisioned it to conclude on. So, the question remains, what are the problems with this? Besides the fact that I guessed some of this story right, the ending is one con that I can’t avoid. Now, I’m gonna say that I applaud the writers for making a non-Hollywoodish ending. What I will say though is why cut it short? You read it right: this film was cut short. The way it ended felt like there was at least twenty minutes left of plot left to watch, and it would’ve been better if loose ends were tied. I know, most of it could be guessed already after seeing it, but still, I want to watch what I think so I’m proved right. It doesn’t sit well in my stomach knowing that I watched four-fifths of a movie. Others may argue against me on this one, but it’s just what I think. Overall, this was an interesting and exhilarating film to watch that had no action. It was all about deception and what one man will do to get his family out of a bad predicament. By the way, I loved how they showed the dangers of being the guy who has to evict people out of their homes. It was a nice touch. FINAL SCORE: 87%= Juicy Popcorn
Here is the trailer: