top of page

George At 

The Movies

Love movies? Lets be friends 

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Instagram
  • Pinterest

Join The Club & Never Miss A Review! 

Featured Movie Reviews

The Humans

Adapting his own Tony Award winning play for the screen, Stephen Karam creates a claustrophobic, unpleasant Thanksgiving dinner with nasty family secrets as side dishes.

The six characters that join hands around the dinner table are all flawed New Yorkers, dealing with a post 9/11 holiday stewing with tension.

Beanie Feldstein (Booksmart, Lady Bird) is Brigid, who's just moved into a decrepit Chinatown apartment with her boyfriend Richard (Stephen Yeun from "The Walking Dead").

They're excited about their new home and know it needs work. Water stains and loud noises lurk like the signs of a haunting in a Blumhouse movie.

Brigid's sister Aimee (Amy Schumer) arrives for the holiday meal, lurking on her iPhone and informing all that her stomach issues might keep her in the ancient bathroom for most of the day.

Their dad Erik, played by the terrific Richard Jenkins (The Shape of Water, Nightmare Alley) seems nervous, worried about the apartment being in a flood zone and physically picking at everything that needs fixed. Caulking seems to be his go to for most of the issues. Beers are consumed.

The always great Jayne Houdyshell (Only Murders in the Building) plays their Mom, Diedre. She won a Tony for the role on Broadway and she brings a deep well of unspoken emotion to the part. Watching her reactions as secrets are shared and walls break down offers a powerful window into this family.

Lastly, June Squibb (Nebraska, About Schmidt) is Momo, the wheelchair bound, mostly mute grandmother, whose eruptions are nonsensical, save one well timed moment of awareness around the blessing.

If this is what my family Thanksgivings were like, I think I'd hide in my house and watch the Macy's parade all day. No one arrives without an agenda, a tale they need to tell, or past history that will weigh in as the day proceeds.

Karam has no intention of making the play more screen-friendly, nor should he. But he also is committed to letting much of the dialogue be everyday chatter. I often felt like I was just observing a family on a random day, not at a time of any consequence.

It's very slow, but not without pull.

It feels like the FAR superior "August, Osage County" with one tenth the story and ten times the jump scares. Light bulbs pop off, roaches appear, massive machinery in the building is constantly revving up and their are more bumps in the walls than Amityville.

But the only thing scary is the family conflict.

Jenkins and Houdyshell are both great, internalizing so much pressure you feel like they're going to explode. Feldstein is terrific, going with the flow 90% of the time as the daughter who always seems to get what she wants. Schumer is a weak link. She's not bad, she's just so far below the rest of the ensemble in acting talent that she always seems to be reaching upward to create an authentic character.

If you like serious family dramas loaded with angst and long measures of silence, you're going to really enjoy THE HUMANS. If not, this may be the longest meal of your life.

I missed this during it's run in New York, where I feel like it was probably very powerful in the intimate setting of a small Broadway stage. It's less so in its film adaption, but still earns a B-.

Recent Posts

See All


Rated 0 out of 5 stars.
No ratings yet

Add a rating
bottom of page