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Blu-Ray : Highly Recommended
Release Date: December 24th, 2021 Movie Release Year: 2021

Don't Look Up - Theatrical Review

Overview -

Big, action-packed disaster films have been a staple of Hollywood since the 1970s. This genre had a big resurgence in the '90s, but it's been a while since aliens, an earthquake, a volcano, or an asteroid threatened all life on Earth. That is until now with Adam McKay's Don't Look Up that throws away the standard Hollywood blockbuster fare of big romantic kisses against a fiery sky and action-packed escapes from a mile-high wave that will cause total devastation. Instead, McKay gives a fictional, yet all-too-real look at what the world, superficially the USA would do if a giant comet was going to hit Earth in six months. The results are darkly funny and scary-as-hell that is led by a top-notch catch full of brilliant performances and a witty and smart screenplay that will no doubt anger the idiotic right-wing arena. Don't Look Up is equal parts hilarious and frightening as f*ck. Highly Recommended!

Streaming on Netflix on December 24th. Now In Theaters - Order Your Tickets on Fandango!


Highly Recommended
Rating Breakdown
Tech Specs & Release Details
Release Date:
December 24th, 2021

Storyline: Our Reviewer's Take


It's difficult to call Don't Look Up a satire because it's all too true and real. These elements of how the public and social media would handle such a catastrophic planet-killing event are just too scary and realistic in this movie that to call it a satire just doesn't do it justice. The sequences in films like Armageddon, ID4, or even Deep Impact are there for entertainment and act more like a superhero type of film where there is a clear hero who will save the day with a few lucky people. That's not Don't Look Up.

While there are some extremely funny moments throughout, the realistic actions are taken from the real world that happened over the last couple of years. With the last person in the office, along with the insurrection and the pandemic, it was clear that half the USA was not on board with getting better with a variety of topics. It went further as to not even acknowledge what was happening right in front of their faces until it was too late. All of these true incidents make up this fictional situation of a comet coming to Earth where a few scientists try to get the word out and nobody listens. Again, this is all too real.

McKay got his start with Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy that led to Step Brothers and a smattering of other Will Ferrell collaborations. But somewhere down the road, McKay started making more serious films with some dark humor such as The Big Short that tackled the housing and financial industry, where he followed that movie with a humorous biopic on one of the evilest people in history - Dick Cheney with Vice. Those two latter films serve as the template of tone for Don't Look Up in that while there are some laughs to be had, the true-to-life stories that make up the narrative are so corrupt and maddening, that it's a terrifying situation to watch unfold on screen.

Don't Look Up follows a doctoral astronomy student named Kate Dibiasky (Jennifer Lawrence), who one slow night discovers a big comet. Her professor Dr. Randall Mindy (Leonardo DiCaprio) confirms the finding and with some math, realizes this city-size comet will hit Earth in a matter of months. Even Dr. Clayton Oglethorpe (Rob Morgan), the head of the Planetary Defense Coordination Office (a real-life place and job) confirms this comet as well, which lays out a path for this trio of scientists to get the word out and hopefully deflect or blow this comet up before impact. Like in real life though, most people don't want to hear the truth and there aren't good leaders in charge so nothing gets done unless it financially benefits those leaders.

The White House with President Janie Orlean (Meryl Streep) would rather have sex scandals and seek out money than deal with the comet, where Sir Peter Isherwell (Mark Rylance), whose character is a mix of Steve Jobs, Elon Musk, and Jeff Bezos put together, uses his tech company to postpone any real activity to get rid of the comet, and instead see his company can profit off the comet by any means necessary. Even the fictional daytime talk shows and news programs can't hide from McKay as The Daily Rip with Brie and Jack (Cate Blanchett and Tyler Perry) play the Kelly Ripa and Michael Strahan personas who try desperately to keep things light and funny, while never really paying attention to the scientist's plea of diverting that comet and the real danger everyone is in. It's all funny and truly horrifying at the same time.

What works so well in McKay's script is those little human moments of love and compassion, usually between Dr. Mindy and Diabiasky, amongst a few others who really care about what they're doing and show those signs of the act of trying to get the truth out. Those silly, humorous moments also bring a lighter side to such serious consequences, specifically with Jonah Hill playing the President's jerk of a son, who is constantly trolling people as the White House Chief Of Staff. Also a welcome, but short cameo is that of Yule (Timothee Chalamet), a young punk kid with a heart of gold and has some of the film's funniest lines, including one about fingerling potatoes.

Everyone turns in fantastically wicked performances here as well. Ones that are layered that weave in and out of redeeming qualities and more turbulent personality traits. It's so nice to see such depth in characters in these types of movies because it makes everything seem more realistic in a rather outlandish plot. And finally, DiCaprio is allowed to shout from the rooftops what he's wanted to say for many years regarding his excellent views on the climate and bettering the planet. The score and music selections are wonderful and funny with some original songs sung by Ariana Grande which are quite memorable.


Video Review


Audio Review


Special Features


Final Thoughts

With true-telling takes on the damage that the news and social media do to the public on a daily basis, Don't Look Up perfectly captures what half the population will do if a comet is on a collision course with Earth, a zombie apocalypse starts up, or a deadly pandemic comes to fruition. Wait...that last one already happened, and Adam McKay took note and made this movie. Don't Look Up is amazingly fantastic, funny, and scary as hell. Highly-Recommended! 

Streaming on Netflix on December 24th. Now In Theaters - Order Your Tickets on Fandango!