Based on the hashtags #woke and #metoo, this in-your-face, self-consciously edgy satire deals with a town called Salem that goes witch-hunting after everyone’s online accounts are hacked and their secrets (and nude pics) are exposed. The primary target of everyone’s ire is Lily (Odessa Young), an above-it-all high-schooler who’s blamed for the hack, but she and her friends are merely scapegoats. Some of what happens is harrowingly plausible—especially when it comes to police behavior and mob rule—and writer-director Sam Levinson (Another Happy Day) adeptly captures the dark side of a weaponized internet on his way to delivering a Tarantino-style bloodbath. But Levinson also loves to point the camera at girls’ butts while having those girls decry the male gaze, and he’s eye-rollingly gleeful about alerting us to the movie’s “trigger warnings,” which appear on the screen in red, white and blue lettering. (You can tell he really wanted to squeeze the word “American” into the title but couldn’t find a way.) The movie is raucous fun and occasionally suspenseful or horrific, but not nearly as insightful as it thinks it is.
Director: Sam Levinson
Producer: David Goyer, Kevin Turen, Anita Gou, Matthew Malek, Manu Gargi, Aaron Gilbert, Jason Cloth, Steven Thibault, Andy Pollack, Mike Novogratz, David Gendron, Ali Jazayeri, J.E. Moore and Will Greenfield
Cast: Odessa Young, Suki Waterhouse, Hari Nef, Abra, Bill Skarsgård, Bella Thorne, Joel McHale, Anika Rose, Colman Domingo, Maude Apatow, Cody Christian, Kathryn Erbe, Danny Ramirez, Kelvin Jr., Noah Galvin, Joe Chrest, J.D. Evermore and Lukas Gage