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Stars: Matt Damon, Julianne Moore, Oscar Isaac, Glenn Fleshler, Alex Hassell, Marah Fairclough, Megan Ferguson, Noah Jupe, Michael D Cohen, Jack Conley, Diane Dehn, Tim Neff, Gary Basaraba, Emily Goss

Director: George Clooney

Back in 1988 Clooney (who made his name on the small screen with E.R. and is scheduled to return to television with the miniseries Catch-22) was unforgettable co-starring with animated vegetables in Return of the Killer Tomatoes.

The Coen Brothers began writing this satire - Clooney's latest big-screen directorial stab - back in the 1980s, pitching it to him a few years later when the project was mothballed.

Perhaps it should have stayed that way.

Here Clooney, reworking the original screenplay with his fellow producer Grant Heslov and also directing, delivers a full-fat turkey which offers few if any, opportunities for audience thanksgiving

The most impressive aspect of the story is the evocatively-realised all-American Saturday Evening Post-style community against which the dual story of duplicitous Damon, whose wife (Moore) is killed by home invaders, unfolds.

Her place in the household is taken by her sister Margaret (also played by Moore) and events take on a darker hue - she dyes her hair - and become more sinister when she starts to mirror her sister, and she and Damon have sex. After which, the mock-Hitchcockian storyline becomes even more feeble and mocks the audience's patience.

The parallel story of the racial tension, catalysed by the African-American family who movie into Suburbicon, has potential for social commentary which, however, is not well served by Clooney and never really melds into a single narrative.

Damon does as well as he can, given what he has to work with, Moore matches the demands of her increasingly predictable characterisation and Isaac makes the most of his role as a sneaky insurance investigator who smells a rat.

And the final verdict? Very occasionally a nice try but definitely no cigar,

Alan Frank

UK/USA 2017. UK Distributor: EntertainmentOne . Colour.
102 minutes. Widescreen. UK certificate: 12A.

Guidance ratings (out of 3): Sex/nudity 1, Violence/Horror 2, Drugs 1, Swearing 2.

Review date: 06 Apr 2018