If you’ve seen director Yorgos Lanthimos’ other films—like Dogtooth or The Lobster—you should enter this movie braced for uncomfortable hilarity with touches of deadpan violence. In that respect, Lanthimos does not disappoint. With regular co-writer Efthymis Filippou, the Greek absurdist here presents what might be his darkest morality play yet, involving heart surgeon Steven Murphy (Colin Farrell), his wife (Nicole Kidman), their two children and a 16-year-old boy named Martin (Barry Keoghan). Martin, a squirrelly, messy kid whose father was a patient of Steven's, ingratiates himself with the Murphys, befriending teenage daughter Kim (Raffey Cassidy) before finally spelling out his intentions (which I won’t spoil). What follows is a perverse Twilight Zone-esque scenario about an impossible choice, made grimly funny by everyone’s stilted delivery—as if they’re bored with a very un-boring situation—and Lanthimos’ commitment to his premise. I wish it ended with more of a flourish instead of simply resolving the plot; on the other hand, Keoghan (recently seen suffering a head injury in Dunkirk) gives a performance of remarkable subtlety and creepiness.
Director: Yorgos Lanthimos
Producer: Ed Guiney, Yorgos Lanthimos, Andrew Lowe, Daniel Battsek, Sam Lavender, David Kosse, Nicki Hattingh, Amit Pandya, Anne Sheehan, Peter Watson and Marie-Gabrielle Stewart
Cast: Colin Farrell, Nicole Kidman, Barry Keoghan, Raffey Cassidy, Sunny Suljic, Alicia Silverstone and Bill Camp