The Oath (R)

Directed by, written by and starring Ike Barinholtz, and co-starring Tiffany Haddish, The Oath tells the story of a family divided over politics and how they survive, or barely survive, Thanksgiving. It’s billed as an action/comedy/drama and contains elements of a thriller that involves politics.

This movie surprised the heck outta me. It was actually pretty good. I was expecting nothing. Like, zero. I had no idea what it was about and hadn’t heard one peep about it before seeing it. Although it is a family comedy set around a holiday like many films before it, The Oath has some originality to it, is weird and funny, not at all predictable and still manages to be somewhat relatable. I didn’t relate to it personally, but I could see the political part ringing true for many people (specifically, the one anti-fill in the blank of any politician against a family full of pro-fill in the name of that same politician). Whether you cast a vote for a Democrat or a Republican, it’s the same scenario when everyone in your family votes one way with the exception of you – and even moreso nowadays.

It was extremely clever of Barinholtz to mix politics and a crime/thriller and not have it turn out to be just another political thriller. The Oath has this present-day, dystopian feel that makes it eerie; particularly when combined with the score (which reminded me so much of The Burbs (1989) and Jaws (1975) (and so many other movies,) and caused me to laugh out loud every single time I heard it). Add the chasm that politics has caused in real life between and among people since we recently moved from a society who at one time didn’t believe in discussing politics at the dinner table, to people who go on line and discuss, debate, argue, name call, work ourselves up into a froth and descend into madness over all day, every day – and it comes together as quite the solid formula. Tsk, tsk, tsk. But for social media… Anyhooo, The Oath is a quaint (in a morbid type of way, if that’s at all possible), violent, funny, entertaining flick. And the special effects and make-up are great.

Billy Magnussen makes for one satisfying villain upon whom you will wish bad things. He made it easy for me to hate him. I didn’t see that movie Haddish recently with that tiny little man, you know, whatshisface, because I wasn’t in the mood to watch those two say ridiculously silly lines to one another. But I decided to give this one a go because it fit into the time I had on my hands before seeing The Hate U Give (review coming up next! Outstanding film, by the way), and this movie managed to keep me engaged. Barinholtz and Haddish do a solid job as a married couple who are impressively in sync with one another. The subtlety of the knowing glances they share mimics the look significant others and besties share when hearing something ridiculous strike their ear, as it escapes some idiot’s mouth. It was brilliant, they did it consistently, and it was funny.

The Oath earned 7 bloops out of 10. It’s a good movie worth seeing. It’s gory, funny, eery at times and never takes itself too seriously. It’s also goofy, amusing satire. The writing and acting are enjoyable and at 1 hour 33 minutes it doesn’t drag on. Of course, it’s not for everybody. Political statements aside, everything isn’t for everybody.

Although it is a Thanksgiving themed movie, if you want to see it in a theater I would advise you to go now – like, today, because I’m certain it won’t last in theaters much longer (due to the influx of alleged Oscar contenders)  unless something very unexpected should happen. Heck, it might be streaming by Thanksgiving as fast as these movies pass through.

Thank you for reading. You can scroll all the way down to the bottom of this page, hit the “follow” button and enter your email address to subscribe to bloopbymimi, and never miss a review; or you can follow me on twitter (which I must get more savvy with and active on!) @bloopbymimi1

Bloops:

1   =   worst ever, avoid at all cost
2   =   very bad, forget about it!
3   =   poor movie, not recommended
4   =   not good, even for free – NO!
5   =   so-so, worth it if you don’t have to pay
6   =   not bad, could have been better
7   =   good movie, worth seeing
8   =   great movie, don’t miss it!
9   =   excellent movie, a must see!
10 =   a masterpiece, go see it now!

What I’m seeing/reviewing next…

I’m behind as usual, but moreso now for two reasons. First, the MNFN MTA has decided to cut my trains on my route on the weekend so my mobility is restricted as far as getting around the city and secondly, my blog was broken for like 10 days and I didn’t even figure it out until day 6 or so! I had been posting content and it wasn’t showing up on my page! At any rate, I’m up and running now. Going to see Halloween tonight. And I’ll let you know how it was after I review The Hate U Give (should be up tomorrow). Unless Halloween is the best Halloween of them all!

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