Paul Dano and Daniel Radcliffe star in this bizarrely charming dramedy.  Winner of the Best Directing Award at the Sundance Film Festival, the director duo known as the Daniels show incredible vision and creativity in this wholly original film.  What may look like immature humor on the surface actually reveals a brilliant exploration of friendship, loneliness, and self-confidence.


The Good

The Dynamic Daniels Duo

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Best known for their short films and music videos (one of them being DJ Snake’s Turn Down for What), this is the Daniels first feature film, and it is an interesting one to say the least.  If their concept of a suicidal loner befriending an overly flatulent corpse while trying to find his way home from a deserted island sounds crazy, let me assure you, it is!  This movie could’ve been a complete joke, but the Daniels made this film into an absolutely beautiful, hilarious, and emotionally compelling story.  I was completely blown away by the direction of this picture.  Every scene is gorgeously composed and brilliantly edited.  They managed to create the inner thoughts of this over-imaginative character, and it looks fantastic!

The Other Dynamic Dan Duo

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Paul Dano and Daniel Radcliffe show off tremendous talent in this film.  I could not have imagined this scenario, but this is by far my favorite performance from Daniel Radcliffe…ever.  He is pure comedic gold in this movie!  All humor aside though, both of these stars have great chemistry together and give this story so much life and sense of discovery.  For how weird this movie can get, there is still a remarkable amount of emotion between these two.

Emotionally Moving Themes Hidden Behind Humor

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Yes, there is plenty of obvious, immature humor present throughout that may deter people from even finishing this film.  Sadly, I’ve read so many reviews of people hating this movie, calling it “stupid” or “ridiculous.”  In fact, people even walked out of the screening at Sundance, which actually makes me really mad.  This is the first movie that I’ve seen in a long while that took the risk of being original, and we need to commend the Daniels for that!  If you look below the surface you will find a very heart-filled exploration of loneliness and self-consciousness.  As silly as it may sound, behind every fart is a message about letting things go and not letting other people hold you back from doing what makes you happy or being the person you are.  Again, it sounds absurd, but it works so well.  So just give it a chance!


The Bad

An Ending that’s Maybe a Little too Ambiguous

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My only gripe with this film is that the ending gets a little too ambiguous for its own good.  Don’t get me wrong, there’s a certain element of thoughtfulness present, but when you start to add the pieces up it doesn’t completely make sense.  It does make you rethink a lot of moments that lead up to the story’s climax, and not necessarily in a good way.  Does this completely tarnish the movie?  No, but I do wish the ending tied the story up a little neater.


The Tally

Performances: 5/5

  • Daniel Radcliffe gives the best performance of his career.  I’ll say it again, PURE. COMEDIC. GOLD.
  • Paul Dano is fantastic and continues to show us his pure dramatic talent.

Direction: 5/5

  • The Daniels have given us a true gem with this movie and did so in spectacular fashion.
  • Their eye for the camera and ability to create such a world is something to take note of.  I definitely can’t wait to see where their careers go from here.

Production: 5/5

  • The cinematography and editing in this film are magnificent.
  • The visual effects look very natural and service the film tremendously.
  • The set pieces and props are all superbly creative and whimsical.

Writing: 4/5

  • This screenplay is very creative and original.
  • There is so much beneath the surface of this story and is an excellent study of the mind of a social outcast.
  • The ending is a little hard to sort out when you think about it.  Ambiguity is great, but it can hurt a film a little bit if not done properly.

Score: 5/5

  • One thing that I didn’t touch on is the excellent use of a FANTASTIC score.
  • This score is just as imaginative and unique as the rest of this film and captures that tone unbelievably well.
  • Honestly, this is one of the best aspects of the movie, and I 100% believe that it deserves Oscar praise.

Entertainment: 5/5

  • Yes it’s a bit on the immature side, but this film is extremely funny.
  • Between the humor and wildly imaginative set and costume design, this movie is one of the most entertaining films of the year.
  • The concept is beyond strange, but it works so well if you just give it a chance!

Total: 29/30

Final Score: 9.6/10

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This is one of my favorite movies of 2016.  In a world full of sequels, prequels, and universe building, this movie has come along and reinvigorated the hope that there can be great, original films today.  If you give this movie a chance and look past the immature humor, you will not be disappointed.

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