Review: The Oath

Title: The Oath
MPAA Rating: R
Director: Ike Barinholtz
Starring: Ike Barinholtz, Tiffany Haddish, John Cho
Runtime: 1 hr 33 mins

What It Is: When the President decrees that Americans must pledge an oath to their country it divides America betwixt those who will and those who will not. One of those people firmly against signing this oath is Chris (Barinholtz), a news freak who refuses to sign…and who’s driving his loving wife Kai (Haddish) insane. With the due date for signing (Black Friday) on the horizon, it’s about to be  Thanksgiving and his family are coming in including his dimwit brother Pat (played by Barinholtz’ actual brother Jon) his family focused account sister Alice (Carrie Brownstein) and Pat’s controversial girlfriend Abbie (Meredith Hagner).

What We Think: Barinholtz has never been behind the camera for a motion picture. I can kinda see why. It seems to have all been a bit too much for him and leaves the film unattended at times. There are funny moments but really it’s just unflinching screaming and yelling. None of the characters, by films end, are likable. Everything is so hit you over the head with its message that it is irritating. Subtlety would not have killed you, Ike.

Our Grade: C, There are some things here that kind of work. There are just more here that do not. It’s too little too late for motivations in regards to Billy Magnussen’s character of Mason. Why is he the way he is? Ike has proven he’s quite capable of being funny in things like Blockers, or Neighbors. Let’s hope he can get back to things like that. Tiffany Haddish is, of course, funny, if underutilized. I will give this film a slight recommendation, but it just isn’t good enough. Check it out if you’re interested in seeing Barinholtz’ directorial debut if not there are better films out there.

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