Brigsby Bear

"Excellent"

Brigsby Bear Review


Director Dave McCary makes a superb feature debut with this offbeat black comedy, which explores the experiences of a young man rescued after years in captivity. The darker emotions are here, but that's not the focus of this film, which instead playfully keeps the audience laughing as it cleverly weaves a tale that will resonate in unexpected ways. And the fanboy-style premise makes it wonderfully timely.

This is the story of 25-year-old James (played by cowriter Kyle Mooney), who was kidnapped as an infant and raised in a bunker by Ted and April (Mark Hamill and Jane Adams), who claimed to be his parents and told him the air outside was unbreathable. Over the years, he gets his education from weekly videotape episodes of the children's show Brigsby Bear, made by Ted specifically for him. Then when he's rescued and reunited with his real parents (Matt Walsh and Michaela Watkins), they're strangers to him. As is his spiky little sister Aubrey (Ryan Simpkins). To make sense of this big new world, he gets help from a cop (Greg Kinnear) and a therapist (Claire Danes). But he longs to revisit Brigsby's world. So when Aubrey's friend Spencer (Jorge Lendeborg) shows interest in the furry character, James launches an epic plan to make a movie to bring the TV series to a conclusion.

Obviously, all of this is working as a kind of rehabilitation for James, and the film is smartly assembled to bring the audience into his quirky perspective. We've seen an episode of Brigsby, so we understand how it has charmed him with its nutty sci-fi superhero action. And it's hilarious to see James thrown into our world when his only cultural references relate to Brigsby. Meanwhile, Mooney underscores James' obsession with a bright sense of curiosity that's infectious both for the other characters in the story and for us watching it.

All of these people are superbly fleshed-out by the actors, with the standout being Kinnear, a cocky detective with acting ambitions. And the casting of Hamill is a stroke of genius. Each person is so richly detailed that we wouldn't mind seeing another movie about them. Every scene is packed with witty touches that are both funny and meaningful. And the story's message is powerful without ever being pushy, as everyone discovers that they need to stop forcing James to react in the expected ways. They want him to be the person he should have been all along, but now they need to embrace the person he actually is.



Facts and Figures

Genre: Comedy

Production compaines: Sony Pictures Classics, 3311 Productions, Lord Miller, Kablamo!

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 4 / 5

Cast & Crew

Director: Dave McCary

Producer: Phil Lord, Christopher Miller, ,

Starring: as James Pope, as Clare, as Ted, as Detective Vogel, as Eric, as Greg Pope, as Louise Pope, Chance Crimin as Logan, as Aubrey Pope, Jorge Lendeborg Jr. as Spencer, Beck Bennett as Detective Bander, Alexa Demie as Meredith, Kate Lyn Sheil as Arielle Smiles, Kiera Milan Hendricks as Young Smiles Sisters, as April, as Actor in film, Nick Rutherford as Brigsby Bear fan

Also starring:

Contactmusic


Advertisement

New Movies

Star Wars: The Last Jedi Movie Review

Star Wars: The Last Jedi Movie Review

After the thunderous reception for J.J. Abrams' Episode VII: The Force Awakens two years ago,...

Daddy's Home 2 Movie Review

Daddy's Home 2 Movie Review

Like the 2015 original, this comedy plays merrily with cliches to tell a silly story...

The Man Who Invented Christmas Movie Review

The Man Who Invented Christmas Movie Review

There's a somewhat contrived jauntiness to this blending of fact and fiction that may leave...

Ferdinand Movie Review

Ferdinand Movie Review

This animated comedy adventure is based on the beloved children's book, which was published in...

Brigsby Bear Movie Review

Brigsby Bear Movie Review

Director Dave McCary makes a superb feature debut with this offbeat black comedy, which explores...

Battle of the Sexes Movie Review

Battle of the Sexes Movie Review

A dramatisation of the real-life clash between tennis icons Billie Jean King and Bobby Riggs,...

Shot Caller Movie Review

Shot Caller Movie Review

There isn't much subtlety to this prison thriller, but it's edgy enough to hold the...

Advertisement
The Disaster Artist Movie Review

The Disaster Artist Movie Review

A hilariously outrageous story based on real events, this film recounts the making of the...

Stronger Movie Review

Stronger Movie Review

Based on a true story about the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing, this looks like one...

Only the Brave Movie Review

Only the Brave Movie Review

Based on a genuinely moving true story, this film undercuts the realism by pushing its...

Wonder Movie Review

Wonder Movie Review

This film may be based on RJ Palacio's fictional bestseller, but it approaches its story...

Happy End  Movie Review

Happy End Movie Review

Austrian auteur Michael Haneke isn't known for his light touch, but rather for hard-hitting, award-winning...

Patti Cake$ Movie Review

Patti Cake$ Movie Review

Seemingly from out of nowhere, this film generates perhaps the biggest smile of any movie...

The Limehouse Golem Movie Review

The Limehouse Golem Movie Review

A Victorian thriller with rather heavy echoes of Jack the Ripper, this film struggles to...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.