starring Daniel Kaluuya, Allison Williams, Catherine Keener, Bradley Whitford
written and directed by Jordan Peele
by Walter Chaw It's the easiest thing in the world to make a movie about bigots; it's a lot harder to make a movie about liberals who mean well, but are feckless elites who not only don't make things better, they actually, through their platitudes and paternalistic attitudes, make things worse. It's about money. If anything has been confirmed beyond a shadow of a doubt, it's that everything's about money. The villains of Jordan Peele's directorial debut Get Out aren't white people--they're rich white people. (Its closest analogue is Brian Yuzna's Society.) A movie about white privilege, it's a comedian's film in that, like the best comedians, it recognizes some awkward truisms and makes them manifest in a situation that builds on itself. This is a great set. It gets on a roll. Its central riff is a complicated one: rich white liberals are so detached and alien that through their best intentions, they're actively responsible for the continued oppression of minorities in the United States. There was a string of films in 2016 that raised this as a possibility (I Am Not Your Negro and OJ: Made in America high among them), but in Get Out the idea finds its natural home in the horror genre. The bookend to Romero's Night of the Living Dead, it even shares the same set-up for a radical "down" ending. The decision Get Out makes at that terminal crossroads says everything. It's a challenge to the audience to check their own attitudes about how black men are demonized in our culture: abusers of white women, sexually threatening to white men, and murderers of both; angry and bestial.