Sorry to Bother You (2018)

sorry to bother you poster 2018 movie
8.0 Overall Score
Story: 8/10
Acting: 8/10
Visual: 8/10

Interesting and different

Going completely absurd by the end was distracting

Movie Info

Movie Name:  Sorry to Bother You

Studio:  Significant Productions

Genre(s):  Comedy/Drama

Release Date(s):  January 10, 2018 (Sundance Film Festival)/July 6, 2018 (US)

MPAA Rating:  R

sorry to bother you cash cassius green lakeith stanfield telemarketer

Life is making concessions…

Cassius “Cash” Green (Lakeith Stanfield) needs to turn his life around. His girlfriend Detroit (Tessa Thompson) is demanding a change, and Cash just wants to get out of his uncle’s garage. When Cash signs up to work at the telemarketing giant RegalView, he learns a secret from a coworker (Danny Glover)…using a “white voice” will get you sales. As Cash rises through the ranks, he finds his friend Salvador (Jermaine Fowler) and coworker Squeeze (Steven Yeun) are trying to help the workers while Cash sells out…and Cash must “stick to the script”.

Written and directed by Boots Riley, Sorry to Bother You is a comedy satire. The film was released to critical acclaim and positive reviews.

sorry to bother you detroit earrings tessa thompson

Detroit has style

I wasn’t too impressed with the trailer for Sorry to Bother You, but I heard good things about the movie. As I watched the film, I was heavily reminded of Being John Malkovich which had Spike Jonze turning the absurd into a compelling story. While I was with Sorry to Bother You for a while, I found myself drifting off a bit at the end when the extreme becomes the absurd. A ******spoiler alert****** exists for the rest of the review.

The movie is largely social commentary. You have a character who realizes pretending to be someone else is what society wants him to do. When he does this, the people he hurts are those around him who he further subjects just to get ahead…he wants to play from the sidelines as a non-active voice which doesn’t solve anything.  He wants acceptance and is will to sell out to do it (like his rap at the party).

sorry to bother you cash rap party lakeith stanfield

When you realize your “friends” only want a stereotype

The problem I have is when the script goes for a more science-fiction allegory type story by literally having the characters being turned into “work horses” for an Amazon like company known as WorryFree. It takes the message to the extreme, but it also feels more alienating than the previous part of the movie which took an absurdist, but “real” approach to the theme.

Lakeith Stanfield is a good lead as Cash who just wants to have a better life while Tessa Thompson (a sign spinner for a sign store) is constantly bucking the system. David Cross and Lily James provide the “white voices” for Cash and Thompson while Patton Oswalt is the voice of Omari Hardwick’s Mr. ________. Danny Glover and Terry Crews have small roles Steven Yeun plays the union instigator and Armie Hammer is the leader of WorryFree. Forest Whitaker is a horseman and Rosario Dawson is the elevator voice.

sorry to bother you horse men

Ok…didn’t expect it to go this far…

The movie is smartly edited and looks good. Riley shows a lot of skill in this category and the film almost seems to mock other genre-based films by playing up stereotypes in an almost blaxploitation style that is also anti-blaxploitation at the same time.

Sorry to Bother You is a film worth checking out simply because it is unusual and different. It is a movie that shows you don’t always have to like everything about a movie to still like it (there were definitely parts of Being John Malkovich I didn’t love, but I liked that movie as well). The movie presents a lot of views of our society which is getting more and more like the world of the movie. I look forward to seeing if Boots Riley’s future endeavors and find he could be an interesting new voice in the film world.

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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