User Reviews (281)

Add a Review

  • rk63142 September 2018
    Wow, there are a lot of people who don't like this movie, and moreover, seem to mad that others like it. Some samples:

    "I think people who are giving it high praise believe that's just what their supposed to do but the fact is it's just a dumpster fire of a movie."

    " I RARELY write movie reviews but had to inform people of the facts on this one."

    "The positive reviews are from movie snobs who think they are smarter than everyone else and recognize brilliance in pure garbage."

    You get the point. It's almost like we're all supposed to like all the same things now. (In fairness, there were plenty of other reviewers who didn't like it, but said they're glad others enjoyed it.

    I'm not a movie snob. I'm not a film executive and I have nothing to do with the film except I paid 6 bucks to see it last Tuesday. This is a very surreal satire. It won't be to everyone's liking, but it seems to me that we are getting more and more confused about the difference between fact and opinion. It's not a fact that this movie sucks, any more than it's a fact that this movie is great. These are classically opinions.

    Me, I like movies that start sort of pseudo-normal and go into bizarre. This is right up my alley. It's a Repo Man for our generation. Genetic engineering, dead end call center jobs, megalomaniacal Bay Area billionaires trying to save the world, race relations and post-postmodern art commentary. It's all painted in a crazy, bigger-than-life science fiction brush. Yeah, it's weird as hell, and maybe ends a little weakly (Monty Python and the Holy Grail, anyone?) but has a method in its madness.

    If you don't like absurdist humor, or if you don't like movies that are at least semi-overt political statements (especially if the political statement is opposed to yours. Anti-union, pro-business capitalists with short fuses be warned! You should give it a miss and just read the National Review's Ross Douthat's review. He saved you a lot of time worrying your beautiful mind about it.), and if you don't like a dollop of science fiction every now and then, yeah, you're going to probably hate it.

    But your opinion is still not fact. I liked it. That's my OPINION. Get over it.
  • Sorry to Bother You is a strange, surreal, hilarious satire guided by the intentionally unsteady hand of rapper-activist turned debut director, Boots Riley.

    It dabbles in commentary on media, society, race and working-class issues-so many poignant messages, some more successfully delivered than others. The fearless absurdism will likely distract some viewers from a couple of these messages, but I'm okay with that. I take this wonderful creation much more for its entertainment value than anything else.

    The messages that do resonate should come through clearly. Riley's story doesn't shroud itself in murky metaphors. It tells us exactly how to interpret the bizarre world he has created.

    Rising star LaKeith Stanfield plays Cassius 'Cash' Green, a deep-thinker who lives in his uncle's garage with his artistic girlfriend named Detroit (the invaluable Tessa Thompson). It comes as no surprise that a man who goes by Boots would opt to give his characters unusual names. These two are just the beginning.

    To collect enough scratch to keep up with his rent and put gas in the rusty bucket he drives, he takes a job as a telemarketer. When a wise elder advises him to use "white voice" to improve his sales, Cash starts to rake in the green.

    After he rises the ranks of the telemarketing world, ascending to the divine status of power caller, he attracts the attention of an eccentric, drug-fueled CEO, Steve Lift (Armie Hammer). His company, WorryFree (a place where employees feel anything but) hides a dark new idea. But when the secret leaks to the public, his stock unexpectedly skyrockets, and Lift is declared a pioneering genius.

    The rational-minded public undoubtedly opposed Lift's plan, but big business carried on. As union organizer Squeeze (Steve Yuen) explains to Cassius, "if you show people a problem, but they don't know what to do about it, they just learn to get used to it."

    If you think you have any of this plot figured out, think again. It makes a radical left turn in the third act that will tempt some viewers to jump ship. My advice: stay on board. Even if you don't want to totally buy in, just hang around to see where this new direction leads.

    The film flies along with such easy energy early, then hits turbulence when trying to figure out how to end this thing. Riley introduces so much psychedelic madness that by the end it's nearly impossible to wrap up the story. But at some point, one must come down from every trip.

    Even with as jarringly fantastical as it is, in many ways this movie also feels incredibly real. As Riley puts it, he strives to "break down reality to help us better understand it." Mission accomplished.
  • A paean to the proletariat. A pro-union battle cry. An ideological evisceration of late capitalism. A deconstruction of corporate greed and the concomitant commercialisation of self-worth necessary to succeed. A critique of identity politics. An allegory of institutional racism in big business. A lampooning of Silicon Valley bro culture. Sorry to Bother You, the debut feature of writer/director Boots Riley, is all this, and more. Very much in the key of absurdist fiction such as Dino Buzzati's Il deserto dei Tartari (1940) and Ralph Ellison's Invisible Man (1952), as well as race-conscious satirical cinema such as Robert Downey Sr.'s Putney Swope (1969) and Melvin Van Peebles's Watermelon Man (1970), whilst drawing more direct inspiration from Johann Wolfgang von Goethe's Faust (c.1806-1831), Alex Cox's Repo Man (1984), and the work of Spike Jonze, Michel Gondry, and, bizarrely, Ken Loach, Sorry to Bother You is a black comedy/Juvenalian satire/science fiction/horror/magic realist/allegorical character study. In short, it's impossible to classify. Dealing with the obstacles facing African Americans in a white-dominated corporate milieu, and positing that the experience of workers is determined by both labour conditions and race, the film examines labour relations, wage issues, worker solidarity, unionism, mass media, and the dangers of betraying oneself and choosing corporate advancement over friendships, relationships, and personal integrity. Although it's a beat or two too long, and although the spectacularly bizarre left-turn at the end of the second act will surely alienate a lot of viewers, the deconstruction and comic appropriation of code-switching results in a film that is constantly inventive, highly confrontational, and extremely funny.

    Set in Oakland, California in an "alternate present", Cash Green (Lakeith Stanfield) is a telemarketer working for RegalView, who, upon the advice of a veteran co-worker (Danny Glover), discovers his "white voice" and rises to the top of the company's food chain. Gradually, however, he learns that RegalView is selling slave labour to WorryFree, a cult-like company that offers lodging and food in return for a lifetime contract with no wages. Torn between exposing WorryFree and his substantial earnings, Cash's dilemma is exacerbated when WorryFree CEO, Steve Lift (a spectacular Armie Hammer) offers him a $1 million a year contract. However, Cash then makes a discovery that changes everything, not just for himself, but potentially for all of humanity.

    At its heart, Sorry to Bother is an anti-corporate, proletarian rally cry, something with which Riley has been engaged for decades; just listen to "Fat Cats, Bigga Fish" from Genocide & Juice (1994), "5 million ways to kill a C.E.O." from Party Music (2001), or "My Favorite Mutiny" from Pick a Bigger Weapon (2006). However, unlike Sam Levinson's recent satire Assassination Nation (2018), Sorry to Bother You is not especially interested in politics per se, certainly not in the explicit sense of films such as Sergei M. Eisenstein's Stachka (1925), Haskell Wexler's Medium Cool (1969), or Warren Beatty's Bulworth (1998). This is not to say that the film ignores politics completely, rather it approaches the subject obliquely. For example, the country's most popular TV show, 'I Got the S--t Kicked Out of Me', involves people being violently assaulted by family and friends and then dunked in a vat of faeces, with Riley providing little to no contextualisation (think It's Not My Problem! from RoboCop (1987), where Bixby Snyder's (S.D. Nemeth) catchphrase, "I'd buy that for a dollar", is used as a one-size-fits-all response to every situation). This mindless consumption of meaningless and morally questionable content indicates the passivity of the masses, their critical faculties either dormant or absent entirely (an inverse verfremdungseffekt, if you will). Clips of the show feature prominently throughout the film, allowing Riley to depict a milieu where popular entertainment has reached an unimaginable low. Another example of a pseudo-political aspect of the film are the ubiquitous billboards and TV commercials advertising WorryFree, suggesting the corruption or co-opting of mass media. Additionally, Left Eye clearly recalls Antifa.

    Instead of politics, Riley's focus is very much on economic issues, with a lot of the humour derived from pecuniary-based situations. One of the easiest ways to parse the film is to approach it as a parable about selling out, equal parts polemic and acknowledgement that it's next to impossible not to sell out in some way. Indeed, the last act of the film explicitly deals with the literal dehumanisation of the workforce (and I do mean "literal" - to say any more would be a spoiler). RegalView and WorryFree exist in an economic system built upon impoverishing the many for the benefit of the few, with Riley attempting to expose the importance of a poverty line for the continued functioning of late capitalism. Within such a system, he suggests, it is exceptionally difficult for African Americans to succeed unless they are willing to code-switch. In this sense, although the concept of "white voice" does have a practical function within the narrative, its most salient characteristic is as an object of allegorical satire, a hyperbolic caricature of what African Americans need to do to survive in the Caucasian bro-culture corporate ranks of Silicon Valley; they must literally relinquish part of the self and pretend to be something Other.

    Aesthetically, the film adopts a visual style obviously influenced by Michel Gondry, and, to a lesser extent, Terry Gilliam. An especially interesting aesthetic device, as anyone who has seen the trailer can attest, is how white voice is handled - rather than having the actors simply speak in a different voice, Riley instead has the white actors' voices overdubbed; when Salvador (Jermaine Fowler) first hears Cash's white voice, he literally tells him "you sound overdubbed". However, the lip syncing is, presumably intentionally, far from perfect, with the voice not quite aligning with the actors' mouth movements. This throws the scenes "off" ever so slightly, creating an extra layer of surreality, and highlighting just how absurd the whole thing is, drawing attention to the lengths these people have to go to achieve real success. The fact that our culture places such value on "correct" intonation is, in and of itself, absurd, like an extreme version of the phone voice that pretty much everyone has, and by failing to perfectly sync white voice to black actor, Riley is able to deconstruct and draw attention to this absurdity.

    The film's other big aesthetic innovation is having Cash plunge (not especially gracefully) into the living room of the people he calls, desk and all. Obviously, this draws attention to the level of intrusion with which most people greet telemarketers, but, at least in the early stages, it also highlights Cash's own discomfit at being the intruder, seen most clearly when he drops in on a couple having sex. This is an excellently-handled piece of visual shorthand, conveying Cash's internal process, without having him verbalise it at any point.

    Also impressive is the acting. While the standout performances are definitely Hammer and Omari Hardwick, Stanfield certainly holds his own, with his body-language providing a clinic of wordless performing. Early on in the film, he's hunched over and put-upon, his every movement seemingly uncomfortable, as if ill at ease in his own skin. Later on, however, after his promotion at RegalView, his physicality acquires a more easy nature, he carries himself more confidently, as if high-powered telemarketing has helped him to find himself, something which is, in the context of the whole, doubly ironic. And no matter how surreal things get (and trust me, they get very, very surreal), the cast keep everything grounded, as if what they're experiencing at any given moment is the most natural thing in the world.

    Of course, it isn't all perfect. The wildly unexpected plot twist at the end of the second act will be too much for some people (there were multiple walk-outs at the screening I attended). The film is also just a beat or two too long, and the bottom does fall out to an extent before it reaches its madcap dénouement. There's also a mid-credit scene that serves as a kind of epilogue that I'm led to believe was a re-shoot when test audiences found the initial ending too abrupt. For me, however, it doesn't entirely work, and I would have much preferred the original, somewhat darker, ending. Also, with so much satire and humour floating about, almost by definition, not every joke lands, However, the flip side to this is that when Riley's humour does hit the target, it's sublime - Mr. _______ literally beep-denied a name, for example, or Cash's two-word rap being gleefully cheered by Lift's assembled yuppies.

    Sorry to Bother You is as timely and relevant as it is funny and irreverent, as progressive as it is radical, and as inventive as it is confident. Exploring the intersection between race and economics from a wholly satirical point-of-view, the film both condemns and sympathises with those who choose to sell-out in some way so as to climb the ladder of success. Now in his late-40s, Riley is a veteran political protestor, a Chomsky -literate agitator, who is here positing that the most significant divide in the US isn't between white and black, it's between those with money and those without. Suggesting that the desire to cross this divide can lead to a herd mentality, the film argues that the labour force must never forget their collective strength, and must never turn on one another, as in such a situation, management will use workers like horses. A hugely impressive debut, and it will be interesting to see what Riley tackles next.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    I had high hopes for this movie and it fullfills half of it. I saw this at a special screening in Baltimore Parkway theatre yesterday and I still can't believe how strong the first of the movie is and how it gets derailed so quickly.

    The movie is about Cassius Green, a man who gets a telemarketing job and rising to the ranks using his "white voice". The concept alone lets people know the film deals with themes of identity. But this theme is tarnished by the big plot twist.

    SPOILER ALERT:

    The big twist is that the telemarketer's goal is to mutate workers into horse like beings in order to use them as labor and control them by making them snort this capsule that can be mistaken for cocaine. Sounds silly right? Because it is. None of that made sense literally came out of left field and you have to deal with for the last 30minutes - hour of the movie. And the ending has Cassius turn into the horse like being and come and destroy the big bad guy's mansion. It totally ruins the previous themes and becomes a weird, forced sci-fi movie. It's as if the director wanted to mash Get Out with District 9 together. It just doesn't work.

    The movie overall is hilarious. Literally the movie is PACKED with jokes from start to finish. The dubbing of the "white voice" is odd as sometimes the actors expressions and the voice don't match up. The animatronics are horrendous like TMNT 3 Bad. But the real crime is how they ditched this really thematic angle of the story dealing with identity crisis and how Cassius is selling out to "the man" due to his greed and traded it for a weird sci fi scene about mutation and how they're making slaves out of us.

    Although creative, the film suffers from its storytelling and for that it gets a 6/10. There's much to enjoy but you'll end up confused in the end.
  • I won't give anything away, but just prepare to be shocked and a little messed up by this movie. It's an understatement to say that it's not the movie you think you're gonna see. With that being said, it's got plenty of humor and we really liked it...but it definitely messed us up a little. You're gonna want to phone a friend after the movie ends so you can re-adjust to the real world.
  • Good: The concept was original and different and the first two-thirds of the movie were interesting/engaging. The film is filled with talent from Tessa Thompson to Armie Hammer. But the true standout is Lakeith Stanfield's character who is relatable with his struggles and goal in life of making a difference and mattering in the world. I do like the themes the film tackles like the corruption of big companies with its hunger for power and money.

    Bad: The film bounces around too much with its subplots. Near the end, the story goes for more of a shock value and the social problems it started to develop gets lost in a bad acid trip. Some of the ideas and characters were not fully developed as a result of the film being fast paced and messy. I personally did not find the jokes funny, but my audience was laughing for the most part.

    Overall: This film is a political satire so it is not for everyone, however I believe there is a certain crowd that will absolutely admire this film and praise it for its originality and humor. The film juggles too much, but I appreciate Boots Riley's first time directorial debut ambitions.

    3/5
  • From seeing the first trailer for this movie, I thought that this movie looked insanely original, funny, and somewhat straightforward. I was correct on all but the straightforward part. This movie moves in directions that you would never see coming, and I truly mean this in the best way possible. The acting in this movie is top notch, from even the smallest of characters. Lakeith Stanfield and Armie Hammer are the two actors that really stood out to me, however, this is not saying to discredit any of the other actors involved. This movie is strange and extremely fast paced. The directing style is unlike any movie I have ever seen, and it moves just fast enough to keep you on your toes while not moving too fast for you to comprehend. There are so many themes within this movie, and all of them are shown within either a comedic context, a darker context, or both. All in all this is a movie about capitalism and how companies are driven to make money rather than care about the well-being of their workers. This is shown through more extreme absurdist examples as the movie goes on, and it just works. The movie is quirky, and there are moments that will have you laughing out loud just at the pure absurdity of what you are witnessing. The writing for this movie is EXTREMELY witty and snappy. Even Terry Crews, who played a very small role, had some great lines. All in all, this movie is extremely unique, it takes huge risks from a directing standpoint, almost tempting people not to like it. It is just so different from any other movie that you can watch that some people will be instantly turned away. For me though, everything in this movie just worked, and I have to say there is a new contender for best movie of the year, in my opinion. Outstanding movie and hope to see much more from Boots Riley (the director) very soon.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    Sorry To Bother You is certainly bold and original, and there are good elements, but the third act just makes it feel absurd. The humor is the best part - there are several laugh out loud moments, and the humor intelligently uses the societal backdrop to great effect in its comedy. I was really enjoying it through the first two acts - Stanfeld is very good, and the symbolism of the society in the movie and themes of exploitation and unionization were really well done. As Stanfeld learned more about the society and continued to struggle between his moral values and individual success, the details of the world unfold and the viewer has a lot to contemplate. Unfortunately, the good build of the first two acts comes crashing down in the third act, which completely comes off the rails and cheapens the emotional and intellectual investment of the first two acts. Obviously the idea of horse people and the way it was presented was totally insane, but what really did it for me was Riley's failure to engage the audience in any way with Cassius' attempt to fight back against the company. All of these wild developments happen... and literally nothing changes? On top of being clearly unrealistic, the third act showed enormous inconsistencies in Cassius' character, WorryFree's structure, and the state of society as a whole. The final two scenes in which Cassius becomes a horse really sealed it for me as just completely ridiculous. There are many good ideas worth considering and it's relatively effective as a comedy, but the third act is far too incoherent for it to be a truly enjoyable experience.
  • I walked into this movie at an advance screening expecting something unique, but nothing could have prepared me for the sheer brilliance of this satirical masterwork. Hilarious from beginning to end while also subversive, this film joins some of the finest satires of its generation--from "South Park" to some of the best episodes of "Saturday Night Live" to "Wild Tales."

    The story follows Cassius, an African-American telemarketer in Oakland. When told to use his "white voice" on the job while making calls, he quickly rises through the ranks of his profession--and ends up getting a hefty promotion. All of a sudden, things start to spiral out of control. I definitely won't give anything else away, as doing so would spoil what clearly must be experienced for oneself. The film's script is incredibly strong and is consistently hilarious. I laughed more while watching this film than any other movie in recent memory. Its dialogue is not only humorous, but incredibly frank and on-the-nose in its brutal honesty. The film's social consciousness and commentary intersect in ways that are thoughtful, snappy, and deeply rooted in (often unfortunately) a sense of genuine realism. Yet the film's image of the world is not equal to our society with microscopic precision, as its humor often tends to look at current societal issues with the mirror of a macabre fun-house.

    Performances in the film are outstanding throughout, and the film is incredibly engaging throughout its run time. Free of pacing issues, it moves at a fast pace and twists and turns so unusually that one will never know what could happen next. This erratic nature is truly part of the film's genius. If such a style of narrative filmmaking was attempted to be used as a technique in almost any other film, it would fail miserably, but Boots Riley was able to commendably stay one step ahead of audiences while making them laugh profusely and question why and how our society may be in deep-seated decline. Also noteworthy is the film's soundtrack, which is a superb mix of rap and pop. The movie can often be strange, but viewers will be all the more thankful for its genuine audaciousness upon the film's conclusion.

    Riley's ambitious filmmaking has a variety of possible influences (Spike Lee, Jordan Peele, Alejandro Inarritu, Charles Kaufman) yet feels wholly original--and genuinely, howlingly funny and socially relevant despite being so unconventional--from beginning to end. Very highly recommended. 10/10
  • Ok so I literally created an account just to review this movie let's go

    I saw this movie last night with a few of my friends. None of us knew anything about this movie going in other than it had something to do with telemarketing and was highly rated online. Afterwards, we had to go get some ice cream and sit down for a bit to scream and process what the hell we just watched.

    This movie is a surreal fever dream that has a few great scenes and something interesting to say about the socio-political atmosphere of the US right now, but is mostly just a total mindscrew of a movie with no real purpose or direction. The whole movie is confusing, feels like it's 4 hours long, and the goddamn horse-people freaked me out so much I felt like I was gonna have nightmares.

    I'm honestly really conflicted about this movie because it took some really interesting risks and clearly had some thought put into it, but it took such a bizarre turn that I genuinely feel like I can't understand what just happened. Obviously, it wasn't my kind of movie but if you go into it expecting a wild, nonsensical LSD trip then go for it, I guess.

    But beware the horses. I'm scared to sleep
  • I would definitely classify this movie as artsy. By that I mean that the writer tried to convey a message in an indirect and flamboyant manner.

    The appropriately named Cassius Green (Lakeith Stanfield) is a struggling, unemployed young man who wants to do something big with his life. He gets the opportunity when he's hired on at a telemarketing company. As he makes one sale after another he is offered the dream gig of being a PC (power caller). As a power caller he can change his life for the better but at what moral cost?

    The first half of the movie was really good. It had a good flow to it, the humor was funny, and the plot was clear. The last half of the movie was different, almost like two different people wrote and directed the first and second half. The flow of it seemed to taper off, the humor waned, and the message became almost abstract. As it was I was trying to fully understand all of the visual and verbal non sequiturs but then I became a bit bewildered with the direction the film went. It sort of devolved into something crude and crass. I'm sure there was a point in that but I didn't see a need.

    This was Boots Riley's writing and directorial debut. There was some promise here but I think it missed the mark. I hope he gets another shot to do another project and--whereas I don't want him to dumb it down or make it commercial--I'd like to see a more palatable movie.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    I saw "Sorry to Bother You", starring Lakeith Stanfield-Atlanta_tv, Get Out; Tessa Thompson-Westworld_tv, Thor:Ragnarok; Danny Glover-Proud Mary, the Lethal Weapon movies and Armie Hammer-The Birth of a Nation, Mirror Mirror. This is a weird movie. Now, I like weird but it has a lot of symbolism-which I'm not too fond of-and it is not like it is being advertised. From the trailers, it looks like a comedy about a telemarketer that finds a way to make money, and that is part of it, but then it goes into some really weird ......stuff. Lakeith plays the telemarketer trying to make a living-unsuccessfully-that gets tips from his co-worker, Danny, on how to use his 'white voice' to get more sales. FYI: David Cross does Lakeith's white voice, Patton Oswalt does another character's voice and Rosario Dawson does the voice of the elevator. Tessa plays Lakeith's girlfriend, who is an anti-establishment radical type. The other telemarketers decide to go on strike, just as Lakeith gets promoted and moves upstairs. That is where Lakeith meets Armie, the boss that is against unions-Duh!-and heads a separate company called 'Worry Free Living' that provides food, security and health care for anyone that will work for free. Then, there is the horse/human hybrids that are used as slave labor. Remember, I said weird. Forest Whitaker does one of the voices of the hybrids. This movie is not for everyone. It's directed by first timer Boots Riley, who is in a rap/hip hop group called 'The Coup'. It is different and if you like social satire and symbolism, you may enjoy it more than I did. It's rated "R" for language, drug use and sexual content-including nudity-and has a running time of 1 hour & 45 minutes. I would not buy it on DVD. I wouldn't rent it, either-unless I was high or something. If you really wanted to see it, I'd wait until it comes to cable.
  • 'SORRY TO BOTHER YOU': Five Stars (Out of Five)

    A sci-fi comedy about an African American telemarketer who begins using a white person voice in order to get ahead in his job. It was written and directed by debut feature filmmaker Boots Riley. The film stars Lakeith Stanfield, Tessa Thompson, Jermaine Fowler, Steven Yeun, Armie Hammer, Omari Hardwick, Terry Crews, Danny Glover and the voices of David Cross, Patton Oswalt and Lily James. It's received nearly unanimous rave reviews from critics, and it's also a modest hit at the Box Office as well. I absolutely loved it.

    The film is set in an alternate version of present day Oakland, where Cassius Green (Stanfield) has had a really hard time finding a good paying job and making a living. He's living in his uncle's garage, with his girlfriend Detroit (Thompson), when Cassius first gets a job as a telemarketer. He at first has a lot of trouble making sales while doing this job, until he learns the secret to success is using a 'white voice' (Cross). Cassius's problems quickly disappear as he gains more and more success doing this, but so do his morals as well.

    The movie is refreshingly original, I'd even say it's one of the most original (and bizarre) movies I've seen in years. It's also very funny, witty and extremely insightful; with spot-on social commentary throughout. Stanfield is great in the lead, and I think Boots Riley really makes a name for himself here. I can't wait to see what he does next.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    This richly inventive satire may have been 10 years in the making but it speaks trenchantly to our moment. The title is the telemarketer's opening gambit, but it also works as a pseudo-apology to the film viewer for interrupting his entertainment-time with a rude awakening to our harsh social reality. The profit-uber-alles ethos is propelling us into a fascist state. The initial satire targets corporate salesmanship. Management create an illusion of "family" and "team" to harness their commission-only drones selling delusions of success through unnecessary products like encyclopedias. (There's an endangered species.) This is a sad view of our gig economy. But the telemarketer's prime customer has a larger humanity to numb. They offer Worry-Free Living, a sweeping assurance policy that will guarantee its clients a life of work, "security," minimal comfort, in short, an updated version of slavery. Company head Steve Lift carries the promise of improvement in his name. Even its glossy commercials reveal the system's total abandonment of privacy, of individual living. In exchange for guaranteed - i.e., unending - labour the clients enjoy living in rooms full of bunk beds, with drab uniforms and meals of slop provided. This is the no-worry life that can seduce individuals to resign their humanity. In offering to meet all its workers' earthly needs, that company seems to promise a kind of socialism. Instead it delivers a tyranny, a total reduction of its workers to a brutish life. Here the film parallels the conversion of the pretence to populism in America and Europe into right-wing fascism. Company head Lift takes his dehumanizing one step further. He is using a drug to turn his serfs into equine-sapiens, humans with exploded muscle strength but with the heads of horses. This brutalizing makes human labourers all the more efficient. For a saving grace, they get the horse's schlong too. Every cloud.... Our nebbish hero Cassius Green grabs the telemarketing gig as a last resort. His surprising flair gets him promoted to Power Caller, which llifts him to meeting the impressive Steve. Having succeeded as seller, Cassius is now converted to product. Lift offers him $100,000,000 to undergo the horse change and work as the company's agent in the workers' union for five years, after which a serum will - hopefully - return him to human normalcy. He gets to keep the schlong. Instead of accepting Cassius tries to expose Lift's nefarious scheme. But the company's spectacular profits valorize even that evil practice. Money talks; who knew? Only by submitting himself to painful abuse and humiliation on TV can Cassius air his scandalous revelation. The film's activism is encapsulated in Cassius's girlfreind, Detroit. She swings a sign-company's advert on a street corner, but her real calling is politically driven art. In addition to her paintings and sculpture, she does a performance piece in which she also maintains dignity in the face of the audience's (invited) abuse. That anticipates Cassius's strategy. Detroit's very name evokes the America of economic and racial injustice. In his name Cassius combines the "slave name" of the revolutionary fighter Mohammad Ali with the society's hunger for the long green, which also reduces Cassius to Cash. The central characters may be black but in the film's major concern race gives way to class. The traveling labour organizer Squeaze is Chinese. This struggle is not black vs white but Haves vs Haven'ts. In their speech Cassius and Detroit have left behind their street-smart. They speak white like Will Smith. But Cassius's sales success lies in his affecting an even whiter tone, the voice of the Privileged/Confident/Carefree. That's economic not racial. That voice sells and makes him a huge success-only to doom him to fulfill his user's baser intentions. Cassius's success not only pulls him away from his striking colleagues but dooms him to his boss's designs. This dystopian Oakland satires sends a clear message. Voters of the West unite. You have nothing to lose but tyranny.
  • I'm not sure that I have seen the same movie as most of the people who rated this title.

    The trailer for the movie was promising, but the movie was not interesting for me. As many wrote that is movie is not for everyone, it seems that I'm in that group. The first 20 minutes were OK, but after that period the movie was very boring for me.

    I think that the main character just jumps into the next chapter in his carrier without any reason or without natural progression. The other characters don't have any depth.

    Sorry, it was boring.
  • jctillery20 July 2018
    Warning: Spoilers
    How did this movie ever get made!! This movie was barely "ok" then took a serious plot plummet with the horse people. I'm not kidding. Worse 2 hours I've spent in a long time. Maybe ever!
  • I wanted to like this movie, and it DID have a few admirable features, but the great bulk of it was squandered potential. I've seen articles about Riley's political philosophy -- which is fine. Unfortunately, he doesn't know how to write a script that will deliver on that promise. In the future -- if there is one -- maybe he'll develop some chops that will help him to focus and edit his story ideas.

    Some people will like this picture, and to them I say: Great. Wonderful. Glad you had that positive experience.

    I wish I had one of those. For me, though, it was just the opposite. I got bored after the first act and stopped rooting for the protagonist. After that point, I felt trapped.

    All I can say is: Thank God for Movie Pass. I would be really bummed if I had spent my own money for this show. As it was, I "only" wasted 105 minutes of my life.
  • Its quirky exterior (love that soundtrack and those earrings) fits the story on first blush (the telemarketing bosses provide lots of laughs; Cassius is a loveable existence-pondering lead) but then through the indie candy coating burst some terrifying plot points (see the final riot through the crack) and provoking and poignant thoughts on capitalism and the normalizing of evil-all of it creating this quasi-surrealist sort of tone that's highly discomforting in how ultimately real it feels. 8.5/10
  • Pros: the movie is a unique piece of B movie art.

    Lakeith Stanfield is a great actor.

    Tessa Thompson was a really interesting character.

    The movie was hilarious.

    Cons: It felt like the director was unsure on how to end the story, the protest scenes lingered for far too long.
  • If you want to spend two hours of your life wondering why you're sitting through such a horrendous film, then this is the perfect movie for you. The movie had immense potential as a comedy about telemarketers, but instead took a turn for destruction when they decided to turn it into a sci-fi film about corporate oppression. Great potential, storyline ruined it. Do not waste your money on this movie. Apologies to every critic that enjoyed this film, but it left me befuddled.
  • Sorry to Bother You is phenomenal and will surely become a cult classic. No spoilers but although it was clumsy in some spots the satirical take on current events will leave you with your mouth wide open...Additionally, it will make you think. It makes both a political and cultural statement. I highly recommend. No kids though...no grandparents either!
  • Warning: Spoilers
    Cassius Green (Lakeith Stanfield) cash-is-green lives in his uncle's garage with his girlfriend. He recently got a job as a telemarketer but can't make a sale unless he uses his "white voice." His goal is to be a power caller, ride the gold elevator and make the big money. Meanwhile, there is a company called "Worryfree" which has workers sign lifetime contracts for three squares and a cot, i.e. legalized slavery.

    The film is an Orwellian/Swift satire of society that wasn't well focused. It made points but failed to capitalize on its potential, by not creating a big picture. Was it about black people who sell out their race and act white, or was it about wage slaves? or temps? Is it about people who are willing to swap freedom for security? It seemed to be all that and more.

    Guide: F-word, sex, brief nudity.
  • I went into this movie with high Hope's. The trailer looked great and the reviews were high. I left dissatisfied. I just couldn't get interested in anything and found myself bored the whole movie. It was marketed as a comedy but I only half laughed at a few jokes. Most jokes just didn't land with me and felt forced. Its political commentary was interesting but didn't make the movie interesting at all. Also, the ending was just wierd and very "lol random." I expected some cool editing and cool shots through the whole movie, but only some shots where somewhat interesting and mostly bland. If you enjoyed this movie then more power to you. I really wish I did too
  • One of the smartest films I've seen. A lighthearted comedy turned thriller. It tackles all kinds of issues about unions, racial discrimination, systematic oppression, even microagressions. If you want to be a woke folk go see this film with your minority friends. It opens a platform for some great discussions.
  • SScout9825 July 2018
    Boots Rileys directorial debut is a triumph. Sorry to Bother You is a social dystopian film set in Rileys hometown of Oakland CA. A longtime activist and lead for the rap group The Coup, he brings messages of wealth inequality, the dangers of corporatocracy and prison labor to the film. Despite these potentially heavy themes the film is crazy and fun with a surprisingly impressive starring cast. The message and themes matter but so does the characters in this uniquely original film. In a movie landscape of predictable and cliche offerings this is the one to see.
An error has occured. Please try again.