Us ★★★★½

This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.

This review may contain spoilers.

"This is not who we are."

America's Trump-era mantra, repeated ad nauseum by well meaning liberals as a means to ignore the past, ignore what's going on right in front of them and insist it'll pass, because this isn't us. We don't do this. We don't condone fascism, except we do and always have, we're just more obvious about it now. We don't praise rapists, except we do and always have, we celebrate their art and let them serve on our courts and elect them as our leaders. We don't separate children from their families, except we do and always have, or have we forgotten because we murdered so many Native Americans that there aren't enough left to remind us? No more Shaman's Spirit Quest, we rewrite that history and many more, because we picked ourselves up by our bootstraps and never looked back, never looked down to acknowledge those of us who failed to stumble into privilege through some venomous cocktail of dumb luck and bloodlust. At least those who were born into it have the excuse of their ignorant bubble.

Adelaide knew everything and said, "this is not who we are," knowing it was a delusion and not caring until they came for her and hers. Us is an indictment of us all, an ambitious swing that's so blinded by anger it sometimes misses, it's swinging way too far to indulge pedantic minutiae like where did they get the jumpsuits? or what did the rabbits eat?, as if those answers are going to save us from ourselves.

What Jordan Peele has accomplished with just two films is incredible. They've been marketing a Twilight Zone revival on his name alone since before this release. We're witnessing the rise of someone who will rightly have his name grace the same sentences as Craven and Carpenter and Romero if he keeps it up, which is so, so exciting. Even the awkward exposition dump is engaging to look at, Peele the writer somewhat floundering can't disguise that this is a step forward for Peele the director, most people would be lucky to create a handful of iconic images their entire career, and he's got at least half a dozen between the two. And he has at least three left? Bring em on.

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