July 13, 2018

Sorry to Bother You is in select theaters on July 6th, 2018.

In an alternate present-day version of Oakland, black telemarketer Cassius Green (Lakeith Stanfield) discovers a magical key to professional success, which propels him into a macabre universe of "powercalling" that leads to material glory. But the upswing in Cassius' career raises serious red flags with his girlfriend Detroit (Tessa Thompson), a performance artist and minimum-wage striver who's secretly part of a Banksy-style activist collective. As his friends and co-workers organize in protest of corporate oppression, Cassius falls under the spell of his company's cocaine-snorting CEO Steve Lift (Armie Hammer), who offers him a salary beyond his wildest dreams.

Sorry to Bother You is the outstanding directorial debut of Boots Riley. And I can’t make it clear enough, he absolutely killed it. This film is going to be very hard to review, because I have not had enough time to let in sink in and marinate. But to start with the cast, Lakeith Stanfield (previously seen in “Get Out” and “Straight Outta Compton”) was perfect as Cassius Green. He added depth and reality to the character going through so many life changes. Honestly, after all of his previous supporting roles and this I think he will be blowing up in a few years. And of course Tessa Thompson (previously seen in “Creed” and “Annihilation”) was absolutely fantastic. Her chemistry with Stanfield was so natural. It was also nice seeing Steven Yeun (previously seen in “Okja” and “Mayhem”) dive into a more experimental indie film.

But now that I have gone past all the performances let's get to the real star of this film; Boots Riley. He was able to come up with such an ambitious and original project, it blew me away. I have not seen something this refreshing in a while. And he really goes for it, I would recommend avoiding all marking for this film and going in 100% open minded. Things get wild. The comedic timing was fantastic, the script was brilliant and the pacing/editing was stellar. Some of the transitions between scenes had my mind blown. But the social commentary going on in this film is insane. Riley is really trying to present some deep stuff in a very experimental and out there way.

Overall, I can’t praise this film enough. If you have any interest in art films, experimental films, indie films, heck even comedies check this film out as soon as you can. Just seeing Riley’s insane vision brought to screen is mind blowing. And with such great performances countering these fresh ideas, it’s a must see. Also as a side note, I really tried avoiding any spoilers so thats why this review may seem vague.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5

Cabell Cabell (Senior Contributor) is a filmmaker from Tampa, Florida. He will watch just about any film but when he's not reviewing the latest hits he spends time directing films of his own.
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