A LOT OF NOTHING is a new satirical thriller (or even thriller-comedy, if you will). It’s both a little crazy and strong as well as deeply fascinating. Unfortunately, it’s also desperately relevant these days – or years rather. Read our full A Lot of Nothing movie review here!
A LOT OF NOTHING is a genre-hybrid labeled as being both thriller, drama, and comedy. The niche genre of “satirical thriller” is probably the most accurate in many ways. I do think it’s just a little too long and would’ve benefitted from having a 90 minutes runtime. The runtime is 1 hour and 44 minutes which is longer than it needs to be.
Especially because a few scenes does make you a bit irritated with the characters. They move slowly or take too long when they should be trying to hurry up. This is key for the story at that point in time and I would rather not have been getting irritated with the characters. I get why it’s done this way, but still think a tighter storytelling would’ve benefitted it.
Continue reading our A Lot of Nothing movie review below. Find it in Theaters and on VOD from February 3, 2023.
Do not miss out on this satirical gem!
Even if I think A Lot of Nothing could’ve been better with a shorter runtime, I still want to very much recommend watching it. The story and core messages are important beyond anything I can articulate here.
You do have to sit back and appreciate that you may not relate to all the characters equally. But this is good, as part of the point is that we have to make room for all of us.
The story in A Lot of Nothing does begin in an extremely dark and much too familiar way; A black couple is half-watching the news when a story breaks about yet another person killed by a cop. This time a young person, referred to as a kid or child. The cop who took the shot (and the life of a kid) is their white neighbor.
Realizing this, the two find themselves in different versions of shock. They also have quite opposing viewpoints on how to address the issue. Or rather, if anyone will do something to make him pay. This results in them embarking on a highly combustible journey to “do something” about it.
A small but strong cast
The micro-aggressions during the first half-hour or so are tangible in an insane way. Any woman or minority of virtually any kind will recognize what’s happening in these scenes. Oh, it’s nothing, some might say. Others will recognize that when it is a whole lot of “nothing” all the time, it sure does amount to becoming something.
Also, the story at the heart of everything is (unfortunately) as relevant as ever. Yet another person (Tyre Nichols as this review is being written) just lost their life at the hands of police officers.
It’s one hell of a task for the cast of this movie to help everything come across the right way. In the lead as the perfect couple – happily married, successful, and comfortable – we see Y’Ian Noel (Insecure) as James and Cleopatra Coleman (The Last Man on Earth) as Vanessa. These two have to lay the groundwork for everything else that comes. And they do!
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Their next-door neighbor, the cop who just shot and killed someone, is portrayed by Justin Hartley (This Is Us). His character as the cop Brian is wonderfully nuanced. One second he seems genuine and honest. The next moment he begins a sentence by saying “you people”.
Also, we have Jamal and Candy, the brother of James, along with his very pregnant fiancé, Candy. They end up right in the middle of James and Vanessa “doing something about it” with their neighbor, Brian. The always amazing Shamier Anderson (Awake, Stowaway) plays Jamal with Lex Scott Davis (The First Purge) as Candy.
Watch A Lot of Nothing in theaters or on VOD
A Lot of Nothing was directed by Mo McRae with the screenplay also written by Mo McRae & Sarah Kelly Kaplan. This is the directorial feature film debut of Mo McRae who has mostly been directing shorts and TV series as well as acting. You may know Mo McRae as an actor from his roles in The Flight Attendant, Big Little Lies, Sons of Anarchy, and The First Purge (2018).
You really should watch this movie. But when you do, it’s important to appreciate the satirical approach that focuses on some very real problem in a very real way. This is a very strong movie that is well-paced and has a damn strong story. A little too long for my liking. However, it’s nothing that takes away from the overall qualities of it.
A LOT OF NOTHING opens in Theaters and on VOD on February 3, 2023.
Director: Mo McRae
Writers: Mo McRae & Sarah Kelly Kaplan
Cast: Y’Ian Noel, Cleopatra Coleman, Lex Scott Davis, Shamier Anderson, Justin Hartley
James and Vanessa seem to be the perfect couple – happily married, successful, and comfortable. One night, their lives are rocked to the core when, after watching a tragedy play out on the evening news, they realize their neighbor was involved. In a state of shock, and with opposing viewpoints on how to address the issue, they embark on a highly combustible journey to ‘do something’ about it.