Blu-ray Review Crime

'Suburbicon' Blu-ray Review: An Interesting Place to Visit, but You Wouldn't Want to Live There

February 19, 2018Ben MK

A story about greed, deceit and wrongdoers getting their comeuppance, Suburbicon finds director George Clooney reteaming with his Ocean's trilogy co-star Matt Damon. This time, however, the pair aren't plotting a heist, even though this 1950s-set noir comedy does involve a fair bit of scheming.

Named for the supposedly idyllic — and, not so coincidentally, all-white — community in which the story takes place, Suburbicon follows the Lodge family, after a home invasion leaves matriarch Rose (Julianne Moore) dead and her mild-mannered advertising executive husband, Gardner (Damon), and twin sister, Margaret, to care for their son, Nicky (Noah Jupe). All is not what it seems, however, and when Nicky unwittingly stumbles upon the real motive for his mother's untimely demise, it puts both him and his family in mortal danger.

Written by Clooney, Grant Heslov and the Coen Brothers, Suburbicon also features a minor subplot concerning the racial intolerance that rears its ugly head when an African American family moves in to the neighborhood. It doesn't prove very consequential, but that's not to say it doesn't add some much-needed dimension to the story.

Suburbicon moves into the neighborhood sporting a razor-sharp and pristine 1080p transfer, nicely highlighting the 1950s-era production and costume design. Colors are vibrant, which bodes well for the green lawns of Suburbicon, even though flesh tones are a tad on the pink side. And contrast is punchy, which is especially important since the latter half of the movie is quite dark, and we're not talking just figuratively. The sound design is primarily dialogue-driven, but the rioting of angry mobs, an explosion and a violent car crash add some scope to what is an otherwise fairly docile and domesticated DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track.

Elevation Pictures' single-disc Blu-ray release includes an iTunes digital copy and the following Blu-ray extras:

  • Welcome to Suburbicon (29:50) - A look at the real-life events in 1957 Levittown, New York that are portrayed in the film, how the movie relates to the current sociopolitical state in America today, the production design and costume design, and the cinematography.
  • The Unusual Suspects: Casting (12:48) - A look at the casting of Matt Damon, Julianne Moore, Glenn Fleshler, Alex Hassell, Gary Basaraba, Karimah Westbrook, Leith Burke and Noah Jupe.
  • Scoring Suburbicon (7:55) - Composer Alexandre Desplat talks about his work on the film.
  • Audio Commentary - Director George Clooney and co-screenwriter Grant Heslov bring some dry humor to their discussion about the making of the film, which touches on the actors' performances, the visual effects, the score and more.

Suburbicon is available from Elevation Pictures as of February 6th, 2018. The Blu-ray features English and French DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 tracks and English SDH subtitles. The total runtime is 1 hr. 45 min.

* Reviewer's note: Portions of this Blu-ray review were adapted from my TIFF review of the film, published on September 7th, 2017.

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