99 Homes – Movie Review

99 Homes99 Homes – R
Release Date: Fri 09 Oct 2015

99 Homes was directed by Ramin Bahrani and stars Andrew Garfield and Michael Shannon. Garfield plays Dennis Nash, a single father living with his son and mother (Laura Dern) until they are rapidly evicted from their home by greedy real estate mogul Rick Carver (Shannon.) Nash desperately tries to find work and legal help to get his home back and in a strange turn of events ends up working for Carver himself where Nash begins to learn how to game the housing market crash for his own profit.

The story feels dated, and although it only just arrived in theaters it seems to have been delayed from coming out. The events in the story take place in 2010 and this may have been a more discussed, raw film closer to the peak of the housing crash. At the same time, the screenplay feels under-cooked. Garfield and Shannon do their best with the script that is there, but Carver makes some silly decisions toward the end that don’t hold up to scrutiny and Nash’s struggle with doing the same horrible thing to people that was done to him never seems to quite motivate him into any sort of calculated vengeance.

Instead, the action feels reactionary and the emotional core boils down to “Can you believe they’re doing this?” rather than something more profound in exploring homelessness. Nash spends the bulk of the movie lying to everyone, so we don’t get much of a look at his private thoughts apart from his expression and occasional excessive drinking. It felt like the movie was missing a romantic interest for Nash that he could confide in and give us more information on his motives.

Instead, 99 Homes gives you about as much story as it’s trailer and treads a lot of ground that at this point is more of a time capsule than a full exploration.

Amber, Aaron, Mark and I saw it in the theater and had a discussion in the car:

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