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Trespass Against Us Movie Review

It’s time for another movie review presented by our good friends over at FatCats Gilbert on the southwest corner of Greenfield and Baseline! FatCats Gilbert is fun for the entire family with bowling, an arcade, mini golf, delicious food, and the best movie theater in the valley! You won’t find a theater like FatCats Gilbert if you’re looking for comfort and style when you see the biggest movies!

A24 is absolutely killing it right now. I didn’t see all of the movies I’m about to name, but between Moonlight, 20th Century Women, American Honey, Morris From America, Swiss Army Man, The Monster, The Witch, and Green Room, they had an amazing 2016. That doesn’t even account for what they did before 2016. I’ll see anything from this studio, and they’re bringing life to some amazing independent films which is something that needs to be done. Trespass Against Us was also one that had Michael Fassbender and Brendan Gleeson, so I was excited! Let’s talk about the movie!

Trespass Against Us is directed by Adam Smith and stars Michael Fassbender, Brendan Gleeson, Lyndsey Marshall, and Georgie Smith. Chad Cutler is, well, a Cutler. In his little town, that’s just about all you have to say. The Cutlers are well-known for being a family of violent criminals, and Chad is typically at the front of that crime. He doesn’t always want to be a criminal, but he and his family are going to have to pay for what he has done.

In case you haven’t heard this before, Michael Fassbender was excellent. He completely gels with his character, and he’s completely committed. Not that any actor should ever phone a performance in, but it always blows me away when I’m watching Michael Fassbender because he is always giving each role 100%. This isn’t a performance that will see any Oscar nominations, but Fassbender takes on an accent and a way of life in this movie that is so far from the average performance. The rest of the cast is great as well, and Georgie Smith was probably my second favorite part of this film. As a child actor, he’s amazing. He and Fassbender have great chemistry, and their chemistry typically created the best scenes in the film. The final scene was actually probably my favorite, and it was an emotionally driven conversation between Fassbender’s character and Smith’s character. I think the entire cast had very good chemistry, and I bought into this world and this community of people who live a very different lifestyle from the typical viewer. It’s a consistent movie, and the consistency was able to sell me on the community-based living conditions of our protagonists.

Unfortunately, for me, a lot of the great performances were wasted on characters who I absolutely hated. This movie is about as unpleasant as it gets. It’s not a movie I enjoyed, nor is it a movie I would come back to. I couldn’t connect whatsoever to this family or the main character, and that made it hard for me to be sucked into the film. I understood what was happening and I was sold on the fact that this family existed, but they’re all so unbelievably unpleasant. I hated all of them, and none of their traits were relatable. We know that Fassbender’s character isn’t in love with the idea of being the head of a family of criminals, yet he continues to do horrible things that made me stop cheering for him. In fact, at no point in this movie did he do anything that made me think he was actually a decent guy at heart or a good human being who had no way out of this life. He was the one making these decisions, and he should have been punished. I couldn’t get behind him. Fassbender’s character was the lead, so of course he was the main character I was looking at, but the rest of the characters weren’t any better. They all spent the entire movie doing horrible things to each other, treating each other poorly, and talking to each other in a way that wasn’t entertaining, witty, or charming. It’s fun to look at a movie and imagine yourself in the situations characters go through. I would never want to be in this situation because it wasn’t emotionally compelling, testing, or thought-provoking. The film is just a community of characters who treat everyone like garbage and expect care and forgiveness. It isn’t getting those things from me.

Overall, I thought the performances in this movie were good, but they’re completely wasted on characters I hated. I couldn’t stand the way the characters acted or talked to each other, and I had nothing to latch onto in this film. The best thing a filmmaker can do is make an audience care. The worst thing a filmmaker can do is make an audience not care. I didn’t care about these characters, and they have zero redeeming qualities. They do horrible things then ask for forgiveness. They weren’t going to get my sympathy. I love heist movies, but if I start cheering for the characters to be caught, that means that there was nothing for me to latch onto. The police officers do something toward the middle of the film that probably isn’t the most morally stimulating move, but in context, I was happy that they did it. Everything this family and our main character had coming was completely deserved. It sounds eerily similar to a little movie Fassbender and Gleeson did together in December called Assassin’s Creed where I hated all of the characters. Two great actors have made two of these in a row. I’m going to give Trespass Against Us a 3/10.

Will you be seeing Trespass Against Us? Comment down in the comment section and let me know! It will be opening exclusively as AMC Arizona Center this Friday, January 20th, so if you would like to see the film you can do so there! As always, thank you, and keep listening to 88.7 The Pulse!

All images courtesy of A24

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Justin Lyons

Hey, it's Justin Lyons! I am the Chief Film Critic for The Pulse. Have any questions for me? Please feel free to email me at movies@pulseradio.fm