Directed by Jon Watts
Two kids find themselves in the centre of a deadly game of cat and mouse after taking a sheriff's cruiser for a joy ride.
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★★★★ review by Eli Hayes on Letterboxd
I really think that they should do a Terminator spinoff with Kevin Bacon, and call it The Baconator; that is a Terminator-franchise film that I would actually consider seeing (so long as it was called The Baconator).
Seriously though, let's make Baconator happen. Let's make it a thing. This needs to be something greater than just a measly sandwich; this needs to be a movement, a revolution.
Oh yeah, and this movie was also really good.
★★★½ review by DirkH on Letterboxd
Simplicity done right can be a real treat.
Cop Car takes an easy premise, paints brush stroke characters and a pretty straight forward plot with a couple of nice surprises and turns all that into a well paced, lean, if a tad insubstantial
thriller, that is two thirds nigh perfect.
Its opening act is simply fantastic. It lures you in with a wonderful 'figure out what's going on' vibe, that's perhaps not always tense, but it sure keeps you invested. It doesn't ease up in the second act, slowly unraveling the plot and successfully attaching you to the two young protagonists. The final act loses steam a bit, but it still wraps up beautifully with a great ending.
Watts gets a lot out of his young stars and Bacon is excellent as usual. Watts impresses by getting a lot out of a little. His scenes seem meticulously constructed, with little to no superfluous excess.
Cop Car was surprisingly enjoyable. Once Watts gets his inevitable super hero movie done, I can't wait to find out what he'll do next.
★★★★ review by Matt Singer on Letterboxd
★★★½ review by Wesley R. Ball on Letterboxd
Jon Watts' Cop Car has all the essential bearings of a post-modernist 80's horror tribute, and yet it chooses to go in a different direction, rather deciding to be an effective crime thriller all on its own. The soundtrack is psychedelic, to say the least, and Kevin Bacon's mustache is the creepiest thing since Elijah Wood ate livers in Sin City. Seriously, I felt that the mustache could've jumped off his face and acted on its own at any given point. It would've seemed fitting with the rest of the weird tone that goes on throughout the film.
Cop Car has a very simple story with a simple, albeit unexpectedly intense, outcome. Its pacing is deliberately slow, as if testing the audience to see how many can last through the dragging dread looming in its atmosphere. I'll admit that it takes some getting used to, especially with that hyper-weird opening intro song. Seriously, what was up with that? I wonder what it would be like watching this movie while high. I'm sure it would be an eye-opening experience.
The two kids are perfect at playing basically themselves: two hapless morons who try to run away from home and don't know the first thing about gun safety. Once they find the "cop car," all bets are off, and they are lead in a downward spiral that will change their lives forever. Cop Car doesn't need a lot of time to unfold its relatively simplistic story, and it loves taking its sweet time in building tension and suspense, but once it gets over that big hill, it turns into a sharp drop into insanity. Admittedly, I thought the ending felt a little rushed for its own good, but the action was a welcome distraction from the slow pacing. Watts even manages to slip in a subtle reference to Spielberg's freshman masterpiece Duel, although that may be just a matter of my opinion.
In essence, Cop Car is a great, unique film that unfolds its story slowly but deliberately. Once you get through the first 30 minutes or so, there should be plenty of well-rounded plot elements that will keep you interested to find out how it ends. I promise that it's worth it.
★★★½ review by Blain LaMotta on Letterboxd
I need an origin story on Kevin Bacon's mustache.
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