Review by Camden Ferrell
Lou is a new thriller movie from Netflix from director Anna Foerster. She is a veteran television director, working on shows such as Westworld and Criminal Minds, and this movie marks her second feature film. The movie is written by Maggie Cohn and Jack Stanley and marks both of their feature writing debuts. Despite a cast full of talented actors, this thriller is more passable than anything, featuring predictable beats and less-than impressive action.
Taking place decades ago, this movie follows Lou, a hardened and mysterious woman. While trying to confront her past, a storm rages and her neighbor, Hannah, seeks her help after her daughter gets kidnapped. From here, the two women embark on a journey to save her child while dealing with their own secrets and dark pasts. This premise is simple and familiar to other projects we’ve seen in the past, but these types of movies can still be subversive and exciting if done correctly.
Cohn and Stanley’s script is decent enough. It has the foundation needed to tell a compelling story, but it doesn’t do anything to be memorable or avoid the tropes and pitfalls of this genre. The dialogue isn’t impressive, but it gets the job done. In addition to this, the movie is far too predictable and fails in trying to subvert expectations and catch the audience off guard.
The acting is one of the better parts of this movie while also being one of the most disappointing parts. This movie is led by Allison Janney who is typically an extremely talented actress. Even though her leading performance is solid in this movie, it’s still underwhelming given what we know she’s capable of. She is joined by actors Jurnee Smollett and Logan Marshall-Green who are also good in this movie but not nearly as good as their previous roles.
The nature of this movie makes one think of a film like Nobody. The difference is that this movie doesn’t have the action-packed moments to compensate for its predictable and familiar narrative. There are some decent moments of action, but they’re fleeting. When action is lacking, narrative and execution must pick up the slack but as mentioned before, even that isn’t as great as it could have been.
Lou is competent albeit familiar. There is a great movie hidden within, but due to some standard writing and safe execution, the movie is only just fine. With some more thrilling action or subversive twists, this could have been a great film that shows us a different side of Allison Janney. Unfortunately, we are left with a decent movie that will be forgotten about rather quickly.
Lou is streaming on Netflix September 23.
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