Keep up-to-date on your favourite artists and movies, track gig and release dates, and join in the conversation.
SEARCH RESULTS FOR
With this year's Jewish International Festival underway, SWITCH has checked out the program - click here to read our reviews.x
review, Strange but True, Strange, but, True, film, movie, latest movies, new movie, movie ratings, current movie reviews, latest films, recent movies, current movies, movie critics, new movie reviews, latest movie reviews, latest movies out, the latest movies, review film, latest cinema releases, Australian reviews, cinema, cinema reviews, Amy Ryan, Nick Robinson, Margaret Qualley, Greg Kinnear, Connor Jessup, Brian Cox, Blythe Danner, Mena Massoud, Rowan Athale, Drama, Thriller film rating

STRANGE BUT TRUE

★★★

ALL-STAR CAST SAVES THRILLER FROM BEING A TOTAL MISFIRE

THEATRICAL REVIEW
LATEST REVIEWS
By Chris dos Santos
27th September 2019

Since 2015’s ‘Gone Girl’, the resurgence of the psychological thriller has blossomed. Year after year, studios still seem to be attempting to reclaim David Fincher's success with films like ‘The Girl On The Train’ and ‘The Snowman’. All these films have had various degrees of success but most fail, especially critically. ‘Strange but True’ adds its name to this ever-growing list.

Five years after the death of Phillip’s (Nick Robinson, ‘Love, Simon’, ‘The Kings of Summer’) brother Ronnie (Connor Jessup, TV’s ‘American Crime’), his girlfriend Melissa (Margaret Qualley, ‘The Nice Guys’, ‘Once Upon a Time in Hollywood’) shows up, almost nine months pregnant and claims it’s Ronnie’s. Of course, Ronnie’s whole family takes this as a shock and his mother, Charlene (Amy Ryan, ‘Birdman’, ‘Late Night’) immediately calls her ex-husband Richard (Greg Kinnear, ‘Brigsby Bear’, ‘Little Miss Sunshine’) to help get to the bottom of the mystery, though tension still lies between them. Meantime, Melissa is living with an older couple, Gail (Brythe Danner, ‘Meet the Parents’, ‘The Chaperone’) and Bill (Brian Cox, ‘Her’, ‘Pixels’), who also have secrets of their own.

'STRANGE BUT TRUE' TRAILER

On paper, the film sounds really fascinating, but after the initial reveal of the pregnancy, the film instantly loses steam... and that’s the opening scene of the film. The major problem is that there are way too many characters for this story to pan out in an interesting way. The focus should be on Ronnie’s immediate family but they bring all of these outside players in - first the older couple who are both hiding things from each other, then you also have Phillip seeking out Ronnie’s friend Chaz (Mena Massoud, ‘Aladdin’), and also a storyline about how Charlene was fired from the library and the tension she has with the staff there. These subplots make sense in a novel - which of course this film is based on - but here it just bogs down the film's short 90-minute run time and makes it feel unfocused.

On paper, the film sounds really fascinating, but after the initial reveal of the pregnancy, the film instantly loses steam... and that’s the opening scene of the film.

Melissa, the catalyst for the plot of the film, is instantly lost and is forced to sit in the wings as the film falls apart around her. A large portion of the film is dedicated to the older couple she lives with and their own personal drama, which is just a very odd choice for this story. The film stops becoming about how did she get pregnant with a man who has been dead for five years and instead chooses to focus on whether this couple still loves each other. The parts that focus on Ronnie’s family are quite enjoyable and captivating, but they get lost in the overall narrative. The third act of the film does get a little wild and while I can see some not enjoying it, the cast is extremely strong and does a really good job of keeping you invested in the film's final act. Robinson once again proves he is an extremely talented and capable actor, he just needs to pick stronger films.

As someone who has sat through a lot of ‘Gone Girl’-lite films, ‘Strange but True’ is far from the bottom of the barrel; it sits perfectly in the middle. While the film loses itself in its narrative, the cast is definitely great, and it's worth checking out even just for the wild third act.

FAST FACTS
RELEASE DATE: 17/10/2019
RUN TIME: 1h 40m
CAST: Amy Ryan
Nick Robinson
Margaret Qualley
Greg Kinnear
Connor Jessup
Brian Cox
Blythe Danner
Mena Massoud
DIRECTOR: Rowan Athale
WRITER: Eric Garcia
PRODUCERS: Fred Berger
Brian Kavanaugh-Jones
Christina Piovesan
Deepak Nayar
SCORE: Neil Athale
TOP-RATED REVIEWS
Knives Out - The smart, star-packed whodunnit
TRENDINGWIN KNIVES OUTThe smart, star-packed whodunnit
Flack: Season 1 - Anna Paquin's darkly comedic drama
TRENDINGWIN FLACK: SEASON 1Anna Paquin's darkly comedic drama
Mrs Lowry & Son - Vanessa Redgrave & Timothy Spall's moving portrait of an artist
TRENDINGWIN MRS LOWRY & SONVanessa Redgrave & Timothy Spall's moving portrait of an artist
The Expanse: Season 3 - The terrifying next phase
TRENDINGWIN THE EXPANSE: SEASON 3The terrifying next phase
Suzi Q - Celebrating a female rock icon
TRENDINGSUZI QCelebrating a female rock icon
The Furies - A bloody well-executed gorefest
TRENDINGTHE FURIESA bloody well-executed gorefest
Vivarium - What makes a house a (horrific) home?
TRENDINGVIVARIUMWhat makes a house a (horrific) home?
Color Out of Space - A messy fusion of sci-fi, horror and comedy
TRENDINGCOLOR OUT OF SPACEA messy fusion of sci-fi, horror and comedy
God of the Piano - A tale that tickles the ivories
TRENDINGGOD OF THE PIANOA tale that tickles the ivories
Dark Place - An unsettling Indigenous horror anthology
TRENDINGDARK PLACEAn unsettling Indigenous horror anthology
The Operative - Finding the humanity in espionage
TRENDINGTHE OPERATIVEFinding the humanity in espionage
Jewish International Film Festival 2019 - The reviews
TRENDINGJEWISH INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL 2019The reviews
And Then We Danced - A passionate and remarkable classic in the making
TRENDINGAND THEN WE DANCEDA passionate and remarkable classic in the making
Stupid Young Heart - Irresponsible teens with no consequences
TRENDINGSTUPID YOUNG HEARTIrresponsible teens with no consequences
The Captain America Trilogy - The finest films in the Marvel Cinematic Universe come to 4K UHD
TRENDINGTHE CAPTAIN AMERICA TRILOGYThe finest films in the Marvel Cinematic Universe come to 4K UHD
NT Live: Fleabag - The birth of Phoebe Waller-Bridge's masterwork
TRENDINGNT LIVE: FLEABAGThe birth of Phoebe Waller-Bridge's masterwork
Bangla - A truly beautiful mess
TRENDINGBANGLAA truly beautiful mess
Judy & Punch - A dark fairytale from a fresh Australian voice
TRENDINGJUDY & PUNCHA dark fairytale from a fresh Australian voice
Gallipoli - A powerful and important film remembered
TRENDINGGALLIPOLIA powerful and important film remembered
River's Edge - The kids aren't alright
TRENDINGRIVER'S EDGEThe kids aren't alright
© 2011 - 2019 midnightproductions
All rights reserved

Support SWITCH | Disclaimer | Contact Us