The Automatic Hate
Directed by Justin Lerner
When Davis Green's (Joseph Cross) alluring young cousin Alexis (Adelaide Clemens) appears on his doorstep one night, he discovers that a side of his family has been kept secret from him. Against his father’s wishes, Davis travels to rural, upstate New York to meet his other cousins. While wrestling with a taboo attraction to one another, he and Alexis attempt to reunite their families, uncovering the reasons behind a long-standing rift and the shocking secret that tore their fathers apart. Together, their discoveries force them to confront the temptation to keep their familial grudge going rather than end it.
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★★★★ review by Manny Humphrey on Letterboxd
Let me just start by saying that you should definitely go into this one blind because whew boy
As far as random Netflix watches go, The Automatic Hate is one of the better ones available. I don't want to get too much into it because, again, going into this with very little knowledge is best. Just know that at the very least, this movie will surprise you.
★★★★ review by Michael Schutz on Letterboxd
I can't figure out why this movie is titled The Automatic Hate. I liked this one, though it's not executed that well: strained dialog, awkward transitions, iffy acting moments. The casting of Richard Shiff and Ricky Jay as brothers was truly inspired. Joseph Cross was weirdly wide-eyed through a lot of this movie. The big reveal is a good one, but if comes and goes so fast. It would have been more interested to learn what happened early, and the movie is about decisions and regrets and hope vs lost hope in the mental aftermath of the knowledge.
★★★★ review by monirom on Letterboxd
An intense drama about two brothers that so hated each other for what happened one summer, that their respective children grew up never knowing their respective Uncles and cousins. What unfolds is shocking and a little twisted. Drama at its finest by some of the unsung actors of our time. Engrossing.
★★★½ review by Keith Watson on Letterboxd
Often, hearing someone talk about his family’s history is like hearing someone talk about his dreams: it’s not terribly interesting unless the story is really crazy. And, to Lerner’s credit, the story here is pretty wild, and therefore deliciously satisfying. Lerner has cooked up a steamy Southern Gothic family psychodrama, transplanted it to New England, and directed it all in the plainspoken style of an earnest Sundance drama. Even though all these elements are in tension, the results are remarkably gripping. At times, it’s hard not to wish that Lerner had adopted a more extravagant style befitting the baroque nature of his story, but, in the end, it’s hard to argue with the way Lerner teases a sincere tale of self-discovery only to side-swipe us with a twisted melodrama straight out of Tennessee Williams.
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★★★★ review by Julius Kassendorf on Letterboxd
It's best to go in to this almost blind, as there are some severe tonal shifts. A young man is confronted late at night by a woman claiming to be his cousin...except his dad is an only child. It's a helluva lot of fun.
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