For Reel

99 Homes (2014)
October 25, 2015, 11:49 am
Filed under: Reviews | Tags: , ,

Director: Ramin Bahrani
3.5 Stars
99 Homes99 Homes plays as a sort of gangster saga, with the familiar story of a young, ambitious kid getting in with a charismatic but ruthless boss. In the spirit of gangster films, much of the drama also plays out on the streets–Dennis (Andrew Garfield) starts his career being tasked with odd jobs such as cleaning filthy homes or stealing outdoor AC units, with his small crime eventually giving way to a willingness to participate in more white-collar brands of illegality. It is the focus on the victims that makes 99 Homes unique among similar capitalism-gone-amuck films like Wall Street. Whereas Rick Carver’s (Michael Shannon) philosophy involves him looking at homes as just “boxes” (and the more he owns, the better), director Ramin Bahrani is concerned with what exactly makes a home, what kinds of families occupy them, and what the sentimental attachment to said “boxes” actually is. The film feels a bit too much like a simplistic thesis statement at times, and the melodramatics of the third act actually undermine the film’s ultimate purpose, but 99 Homes is nonetheless a powerfully scathing indictment of Darwinian economics.

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