Those who would rather experience the movie cold should duck out at the end of this paragraph and return later.
The racial overtones of these excursions have no real connection to the story of a terminally sick man searching for a meaningful appreciation of the present, but there’s a pointed irony to a Black paramedic — who’s mistaken for a criminal during one of his shifts and almost shot by a police officer — looking for answers in America’s past. It may be a tad early for the multihyphenate duo to have their M. Night Shyamalan moment, in which the bag of tricks suddenly looks empty, but they’ll get past it. But after Dennis' oldest daughter disappears, Steve stumbles upon a terrifying truth about the supposed psychedelic that will challenge everything he knows about reality -- and the flow of time itself. This isn’t the first film to broach the subject (“Men in Black III” and Martin Lawrence’s “Black Knight” are just two of the more famous examples), and yet few of them have been as pointed or philosophical about the relationship between race and nostalgia.
Their new movie, “Synchronic,” is inspired, at least to some extent, by the wreckage wreaked by designer drugs of dubious legality (the ostensibly synthetic marijuana called K2, for instance). But if “Synchronic” is by far the starriest and most expensive movie that Benson and Moorhead have made to date, that turns out to be as much of a trap as it is an opportunity: These two are never going to have enough money to keep pace with their unchecked creativity, and yet — for the first time in a filmography that should only continue to grow more interesting from here — they seem to have lost sight of their own strengths. Dennis and his wife Tara (Katie Aselton) are good, attentive parents, but their daughter still did a drug that could cause her death.
“Synchronic” had to be set in a pocket of America with a certain kind of history — a place that has played host to conquistadors in one century, slave owners in another, and catastrophic flooding in a third. And its climactic act of heroism doesn't quite feel as grand as it should, because the relevant character's backstory has been explained to us without letting us really feel it, from the inside out. These guys have cultivated a small but loyal following on the backs of some go-for-broke indies that texture familiar human terrors with creative horror tropes (“Spring” might reductively be described as “Before Sunrise” with monsters, and “The Endless” as NXIVM in actual purgatory instead of just Albany), and even their less successful meditations on lost time offer compelling evidence that a decent budget is no match for a boundless imagination.
and to receive email from Rotten Tomatoes and Fandango. Last year’s enigmatic inner-/outer-space journey “The Endless” seemed to place them on the cusp of mainstream breakthrough, although that promise looks a little less bright for the arrival of “Synchronic,” which rather than being a leap forward offers a bit of a stumble. Synchronic, the duo’s latest, adds two new elements to the Benson/Moorhead formula: movie stars and a Hollywood ending. When Dennis’ daughter Brianna (Ally Ioannides) disappears on a synchronic trip, Steve, who’s been diagnosed with an inoperable and fatal brain tumor, resolves to rescue the teenager, but to do so he has to figure out how to exert some kind of control over synchronic’s effects. 0. It’s rare that very brainy sci-fi packs a genuinely emotional, or even just sensationalistic, wallop. Two New Orleans paramedics' lives are ripped apart after they encounter a series of horrific deaths linked to a designer drug with bizarre, otherworldly effects. Coming Soon. Moorhead and Benson don’t overlook the more amusing aspects of the scenario: The expressions Hawking makes each time Steve goes into the past are droll, for example. Interviews with leading film and TV creators about their process and craft. As new movies open in theaters during the COVID-19 pandemic, IndieWire will continue to review them whenever possible. Please reference “Error Code 2121” when contacting customer service. All rights reserved. It’s hard to imagine how that kind of news might come with a silver lining, but Benson and Moorhead find one so contrived that you aren’t sure whether to roll your eyes at them or golf clap at their gall. It never resorts to having characters explain how stuff works when it can visualize the process by having people perform actions. With Jamie Dornan, Anthony Mackie, Katie Aselton, Ally Ioannides. But to its credit, the script doesn't lean on that cliche.
It’s clearly the director duo’s step into the big leagues – bigger stars, bigger concept and bigger pay off.
While it offers some gripping and/or darkly beautiful images, it's ultimately more about ideas than spectacle. |. With total command of their brilliant premise, Benson and Moorhead have created one of the best time travel stories in recent memory while still packing an emotional wallop. Sidney Poitier’s 7 Most Memorable Performances, All Harry Potter Movies Ranked Worst to Best by Tomatometer.
But the filmmaking team of Justin Benson and Aaron Moorhead are working up an impressive batting average in this department. Tribune News Service | Oct 20, 2020 at 12:00 PM .
Can we feel them even when they aren't there? This tale of enhanced perception, relativity, time, luck and fate is far from perfect.
After establishing the properties of the title substance—a mind-altering designer drug in pill form, sold in single-dose packets that look like condoms from a distance—it lets Mackie's bitter, intellectual, self-negating main character, Steve, figure out what it does. There are no featured audience reviews for Synchronic at this time.
| Rating: 7/10 Copyright © Fandango. Get The Latest IndieWire Alerts And Newsletters Delivered Directly To Your Inbox.
Dennis envies Steve the bachelor life of one-night stands he’s actually weary of, while Steve envies the settled home life with wife (a barely utilized Katie Aselton) and kids by which Dennis feels trapped. Coming Soon, Regal Sidelining Dennis from the narrative for a long stretch, “Synchronic” turns into a kind of time-travel “Altered States,” its bad-trippiness of a historical nature: Dropped randomly into his present location’s backpages, Steve experiences the Ice Age, meets a Spanish conquistador and on more than one occasion is reminded that being a lone black man among white strangers was a highly dangerous thing until quite recently (one hardly needs argue that it still is).
One of the key components about most time travel stories is about the element of control leading to a loss of control.
‘Synchronic’: Risky time-travel drug keeps two EMT’s busy in a gritty indie A great buddy relationship is at the center of a film full of big ideas and psychedelic journeys.
Steve is a semi-permanent bachelor who busies himself with empty sex because he’s too caught up in the conditional tense to even think about commitment.
See Movies in Theaters. "Synchronic" keeps going right up to the edge of being scathingly political and anti-racist, only to stop short; but the present-tense references to Steve being unwelcome in certain city neighborhoods, and the various bigoted whites in the time-travel set-pieces—including hooded Klansmen, and a Confederate infantryman who thinks Steve is his slave—confirm that we're not reading too much into this aspect.
We won’t be able to verify your ticket today, but it’s great to know for the future. Their nightly work rounds are hardly cheering, as they deal with overdoses and victims of violence.
Still, the movie’s fantasy logic and character writing are both so poorly developed that this resolution too ends up seeming rather arbitrary and preposterous.
| Rating: 5/5 The movie has a very predictable ending, but the story is immersive, the acting is very good, and it's worth checking out if people are interested in a well-paced and intriguing sci-fi/horror flick. Cinemark By opting to have your ticket verified for this movie, you are allowing us to check the email address associated with your Rotten Tomatoes account against an email address associated with a Fandango ticket purchase for the same movie. There are no approved quotes yet for this movie.
Reviews Synchronic Matt Zoller Seitz October 23, 2020. “Synchronic” is easy to applaud for being what Steve might describe as “brain damage orangutan fucking crazy,” but Benson and Moorhead’s ode to the present doesn’t leave you with a newfound appreciation for the moment at hand, so much as with a supercharged nostalgia for their previous work, and some hope for a future that might see them fulfill their potential on a scale worthy of their imagination. So let’s concentrate on the movie stars for now. Leading with that statement raises the question of why anyone would read this review.
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While there are flashes of Benson and Moorhead playing with chronology and editing, they wisely choose to avoid confusing their audience. By Katie Walsh. |, October 26, 2020 Posted by Maria Lattila Published . ‘Synchronic’ Review. ‘Synchronic’ Review: Anthony Mackie Gets Unstuck in Time in a Messy but Fascinating Temporal Thriller.
| Rating: 3/4
I'm being vague here because I enjoyed having no idea where "Synchronic" was going, what motivated the two main characters, whether it would turn out be an action film, a horror film or some kind of metaphysical mystery (it's a bit of all three), even what the title meant (turns out it's an allusion to both drug slang and an aspect of one theory of time).
Eventually, Synchronic hits the same rut the rest of their work does, where the character interactions become somewhat rambling and repetitive, but placing an onus on small character beats in a project like this is a forgivable indulgence.
Filmmakers Justin Benson and Aaron Moorhead are great ideas guys. |, October 22, 2020 Our editorial content is not influenced by any commissions we receive. ‘Halloween’ Movies Ranked from Worst to Best, After Wrapping ‘Uncharted’, Tom Holland Teases the Start of ‘Spider-Man 3’ Filming, The 9 Best New Movies on Amazon Prime Video in October 2020, ‘SNL’: Adele Hosts, Sings on ‘The Bachelor,’ and Then Sells Perfumed Jeans, ‘No Time to Die’: $600 Million Sale to Streaming Explored for Next 007 Movie. The percentage of users who rated this 3.5 stars or higher. AFI Fest 2020 Closes Out a Season of Reimagined Online Film Festivals, Bright Wall/Dark Room October 2020: I’m Happy To Disappoint You: A Gen X Girl’s Undying Love for Ellen Ripley by Kali White VanBaale, Memory House by Brazilian Director Joao Paulo Miranda Maria Wins the Roger Ebert Award at the 56th Chicago International Film Festival.
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