written and directed by Ramin Bahrani
by Angelo Muredda Where was there to go for Ramin Bahrani after the ghastly critical Americana of At Any Price--complete with race cars, ominous cornfields, and home movies--but a wildly over-cranked story about the housing crisis? Another silly, histrionic look at America Today, 99 Homes continues Bahrani's curious late run as the unaccomplished middlebrow answer to Nicholas Ray. It stays afloat where his last sank, though, largely thanks to some inspired scenery-gorging by the perpetually-vaping Michael Shannon, playing slick Rick Carver, a side-armed real estate broker who makes his bones seizing other Floridians' foreclosed houses and flipping them to the banks that probably shouldn't have given them a loan in the first place. Enter Andrew Garfield as working-class angel and struggling single-dad Dennis, who cedes his keys to the devil in the tan jacket only to go to work for him for a shot at getting his family home back. What are the odds he'll keep his house and, more importantly, his soul?