A family is menaced by its evil twins.
Jordan Peele has done it again, said Justin Chang in the Los Angeles Times. Two years after Get Out, a debut feature that won an Oscar for its deft blend of horror and social satire, the comic actor turned director has created another “tour de force,” a movie that “weaponizes our chuckles against us and reminds us that laughing, screaming, and thinking are not mutually exclusive pleasures.” While staying in a vacation home in California, a family of four is terrorized by a quartet of doppelgängers, who for some reason wield large golden scissors and wear matching red jumpsuits. As the explanations slowly accumulate and the jump scares start building, Lupita Nyong’o gives “a performance for the scream-queen history books.” Whether she’s playing the traumatized mother or her twisted counterpart, “there isn’t a moment when she doesn’t have Us in her grip.” Not all of the movie qualifies as peak Peele, said Stephanie Zacharek in Time. “There are stretches where it’s plodding and dour,” weighed down by the director’s desire to say something profound about race and class without knowing who or what the doppelgängers represent. Are they the Other? Are they us? Are they many things at once? “Sometimes great movies are ambiguous, but ambiguity resulting from unclear thinking makes nothing great.” Even so, Us “proves that Get Out was no fluke,” said Adam Epstein in Qz.com. Peele is such a strong filmmaker, with such an eye for the iconic moment, that “every other scene, line, image, and music cue seems destined to live on in the collective cultural psyche for years to come.” On Twitter, viewers have begun calling Peele the next Spielberg or a Hitchcock for our time, but neither comparison is quite right. “There has never been anyone like this in Hollywood before. The real question is which filmmaker will be the next Jordan Peele.” ■