Review: Relive (2019 Sundance Film Festival)

Title: Relive
Rating: NR
Director: Jacob Estes
Starring: David Oyelowo, Storm Reid, Brian Tyree Henry
Runtime: 1 hr 47 mins

What It Is: This psychological thriller follows a cop as he tries to make sense of the murder of his niece and her family. When he starts getting phone calls from the deceased, he does everything he can to change the past for a better future.

What We Think: A down to earth twist on an Interstellar-like time warp, sprinkled with a bit of disgruntled LA cop. The film hit the mark on every beat. There was seldom a dull moment as the characters and the audience worked to make sense of the time traveling parallel universe in this. The casting? Great! Pacing? Spot on. The story? Unique. But the dialogue? Kind of stiff. Some phrases felt forced or out of place. We may never know what we’d do in the situation our characters find themselves in, but we can pick up when something just sounds…strange. Regardless Storm Reid and David Oyelowo bring an emotion-filled performance to the screen, capturing grief and confusion to near perfection. Writer/director Jacob Estes claims he wants this film to stress you out, cause a bit of anxiety — the bittersweet ending definitely works out that way. This film felt particularly unique because even without the sci-fi element, a crime story wrapped in drug trafficking, crooked cops, and getting involved with the wrong people keeps the narrative feeling real and relatable.

Our Grade: A, I’m enjoying and hoping to see more of these actors in future films, especially Storm Reid and Brian Tyree Henry. They bring so much to the table in terms of diversity but also seeing fresh new faces that transcend the rabbit hole that is typecasting. This film is a must-see for the new year, this is a chart-topper for psychological thrillers.

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