Movie review: “Get Out”

Brad Keefe

The “Moonlight” Best Picture shocker wasn't the only development in the movie world that made me happy last weekend. I was nearly as excited to see “Get Out” debut at No. 1 at the box office.

It made $30 million last weekend, and based on the word-of-mouth coming out of theaters, I wouldn't expect much of a decline in its second weekend. It's the rare movie getting praise from both critics and audiences. Its perfect score on Rotten Tomatoes is down to a 99 — there's always one, huh?

Here's the thing: “Get Out” is that good. Believe the hype, and go see it. I'm staying spoiler-free here, so this review won't join the myriad of think pieces, although I encourage you to read those after you see it.

Chris Washington (Daniel Kaluuya) is about to take that big step in a relationship, meeting the parents of his white girlfriend, Rose (Allison Williams), on a weekend in their affluent community. When Chris asks if her parents know he's, you know, black, Rose calmly assures him that her father “would have voted for Obama a third time if he could.”

So Chris meets the parents (a perfectly cast Bradley Whitford and Catherine Keener) and things go well. But something is unnerving about both of Rose's parents and their smiling, white liberal community.

“Get Out” is a hell of a feature film debut for a director, and for Jordan Peele, it's a somewhat unexpected turn. As half of the comedy duo Key & Peele, you expect this to be funny — and it is — but the comedy is relief, not the main attraction.

But don't mistake this for a horror-comedy that borders on spoof. “Get Out” is sharp, effective and scary. Its blend of adrenaline-jolting jump scares and effective slow-dawning terror is the best of both worlds. Horror fans, this is must-see stuff.

If you come for the laughs and the scares, it's the biting social satire that sticks with you. Peele skewers the idea of post-racial America to eye-opening effect, but never bludgeons the audience politically — although your Trump-voting uncle will surely find something to hate here.

The racial discussion that “Get Out” invites is amazing on its own, but I realize that's not going to get some of you to the theater, so here's why you should go. It's a great, smart, wildly entertaining movie. Period.

“Get Out”

Now playing

4 stars out of 5