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A Quiet Place Movie Review

A Quiet Place Movie Review
Scream it Loud: "A Quiet Place" Rules

We are going to keep it brief here because watching John Krasinski's "A Quiet Place" is a staggering treat and a fun way to begin the second quarter of the movie-going year.

In a brilliant cold open, director Krasinski establishes the post-apocalyptic wasteland that has plagued the not-too-distant future. Storefronts have been busted in, their interiors raided for supplies. Lee (Krasinski), his wife Evelyn (Emily Blunt) and their children (Noah Jupe and Millicent Simmonds) are scavenging for some basic necessities, without making a sound. Evelyn has to retrieve pills for her son but does so like she is dismantling a bomb. The mood and atmosphere suggests any loud sound could be their downfall.

Some 400 days and a devastating family tragedy later, the family is still trying to survive in their house without making much noise. A great deal of "A Quiet Place" is effectively done as a silent horror film, using soft but punctuated music cues to ratchet up the tension. Since the movie is being sold as a horror film, it's easy to infer what might be going on in this family's world. The ingenious ways the family comes up with to survive is part of the film's fun, so why are you still reading this? Go see the movie.

Nothing in Krasinski's career points to "A Quiet Place," but after two textbook Sundance films, he has taken on his first genre film with an alarming ease. He knows exactly where to put the camera, when to close in and pull out, capturing the rhythm of each scene. There's not a wasted moment in "A Quiet Place." He uses instances of tried-and-true distractions and red herrings but comes full circle on some of them, making them feel less cheap than an average movie.

Real-life spouses Blunt and Krasinski give "A Quiet Place" a realistic sense of needing to survive and protect your family. Their performances and Krasinski's direction find an authentic, well-earned balance of family drama and thrills and chills.

Working from a screenplay he co-wrote with Bryan Woods and Scott Beck, Krasinski continues to try new things with his post-"The Office" career. It's often hard for actors to shatter the image they created over a variety of seasons, but "A Quiet Place" dares you to refer to him as Jim Halpert ever again.


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