Us and Them
Directed by Joseph Martin
Working class Danny aims to kick start a revolution by turning the tables on the establishment with a deadly game of chance.
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★★★½ review by collin on Letterboxd
I get the comparisons to Ben Wheatly, Guy Ritchie and Quentin Tarantino but besides all those obvious influences Us and Them has style and substance all on it's own. Such a unique home invasion film that relies more on dark comedy rather than thrills.
Joseph Martin is a director to look out for. He's got a nice energy to his filmmaking without coming across as too flashy. The loose structure and time jumps help the film reveal it's clues piece by piece. The commentary on the rich vs. poor has been done so many times but it's just as relevant as it's ever been so I can't criticize that. Overall I really enjoyed this, I think it benefits from being so short and to the point.
★★★½ review by Ari on Letterboxd
Easily dismissed as a derivative pastiche of Trainspotting-era Danny Boyle with a dash of Tarantino filtered through Michael Haneke's Funny Games. But it's far better than how that sounds, especially in how it captures contemporary working class rage so well and riffs on 60s left-wing agitprop at a time when working class rage has been largely coopted by fascist-tinged right-wing nationalistic populism (and as such harkens back more to films like Lindsay Anderson's If....) . The third act falls apart but I can forgive that. And, damn, I had no idea that Tim Roth's kid could act (or even that he had a kid who is an actor). Besides being his doppelgänger, he's got the same nervous energy of his father in his younger years. Damn, he's good.
★★★★ review by Billy Langsworthy on Letterboxd
Us and Them can be boiled down to ‘if Guy Ritchie did a home invasion movie’, but it’s also really good.
There’s lairy intertitles, a great soundtrack, style to burn and bombastic dialogue that only occasionally clangs. I had fun.
★★★½ review by Camilla on Letterboxd
Really didn’t think I’d like this but I was into it. Very fun movie—not really Tarantino imo, and I mean that in a good way.
★★★★ review by Kelly Konda on Letterboxd
It’s virtually impossible to watch Us and Them and not think of Quentin Tarantino. Or Edgar Wright. Or Ben Wheatley. Or Guy Ritchie. Or even, if you want to really, really stretch it, Michael Haneke's Funny Games. This is a film which proudly wears its cinematic influences on its sleeves. So, yes, Tarantino flourishes abound, like non-linear storytelling, title cards, deceptively erudite speeches about pop culture, a killer soundtrack, swirling cameras, and sporadic split-screens. However, rather than serving this all up as an exercise in pure cinematic cool writer-director Joseph Martin aims for some 99% vs. 1% social commentary. Thus, Us and Them ultimately marries the bluntness of The Purge with the style of early Tarantino and registers as an intriguing “eat the rich” story in an era sadly overflowing with worthwhile targets.
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