Jordan Peele, from the popular Key and Peele comedy duo, has been receiving a lot of attention for his newest film Get Out. Many good things have been said about the film, as well as Peele as a director, including remarks by Olly Richards in a recent review that described Peele as “one of the most exciting new directing voices we’ve seen in a while.” His directorial debut has been well-received by audiences and has done extremely well in the box office. Reviews of the movie range from “funny with a good plot,” to the much deeper with a comment by Observer film critic Mark Kermode, referring to it as a “chilling satire of liberal racism in the U.S.” It has received very positive reviews and ratings with an 8.3/10 on IMDb and 99 percent on Rotten Tomatoes.
The movie was released on February 24 and has now earned more than $100 million at the box office, making Peele the first African-American writer-director to pass that threshold with a debut feature film. It is also currently ranked as the sixth highest-grossing film of 2017, putting it right above La La Land on the list. With over 15 million tickets sold, these ratings are not a small feat, especially because it was all achieved on a $4.5 million budget and without any big names in the cast.
I had the opportunity to watch the movie in the Darrin Communications Center through a pre-screening put on by UPAC Cinema on February 7. I hadn’t even heard about the movie until the day of, as I had been focusing on school pretty intently, and had no expectations set. My first impression of the film was extremely positive. The environment definitely added to the fun with the audience clapping, cheering and laughing throughout the various plot twists and intense scenes. It made it easy to get sucked into the story and the jokes without giving much thought to the deeper, underlying themes.
When the movie was about to end, the final plot twist is what really snapped the picture into focus, for me, about the message Peele was trying to portray. The “twist” seemed a very subtle hint at media coverage of inequality in the U.S., specifically with police interactions. The movie had two scenes involving this specific reference, which is what got me to think deeper into the film after I had watched it.
Although my original thoughts on the movie did not revolve around race or satire, when I had time to process it more and thought deeper into the motifs, I noticed a few messages, especially in the few scenes when Chris is introduced to his girlfriend’s family and her family friends. Many of the reviews on the movie cover these “messages” that Peele may have been trying to send, and I encourage everyone to read these. But, if you don’t want to read between the lines, the main text is equally satisfying. Get Out as a whole can be enjoyed by almost anyone, whether you want to just watch a “comedic thriller” or a thought-provoking “social thriller.” I encourage you to take the time for this one.