Precautionary. So this is about a single father that is hurting for work (Andrew Garfield). When the house that he, his son and his mother reside in goes into foreclosure and they are forced to vacate the premises, he is out of options. He starts working for the man who evicted him (Michael Shannon), and he gets a foot in the door of one of the most vilified occupations out there. There’s something you should know about me before I continue. My wife and I recently bought a home as of two months ago. It’s an exciting time, and we are enjoying the place, but everything about the process is all very new to us. When I sat down to watch this, my anxiety shot through the roof, because losing your home and being kicked out onto the streets is one of the absolute worst things that can happen to someone, and 99 Homes never shies away from showing you exactly the extent of how bad it can be.
I vow to never EVER be late on a mortgage payment.
Andrew Garfield hasn’t been this good since The Social Network, and I was impressed with the level of depth he played this character. I’ve been a huge fan of Michael Shannon for quite some time now, and as per typical fashion, he steals the show yet again. He’s playing such a despicable character, but he’s still given great lines of dialogue to deliver, and actually has a nugget of wisdom or two to hand out along the way. For example he has the line, “don’t get emotional about real estate,” which is such a great point, because it’s kind of impossible not to develop some sort of emotional attachment with the place that you live. Even from a personal standpoint, I already love my house, and I’ve only been here for not even 60 days.
Making it hit even harder for me, this takes place in Orlando, the very city where I got married.
This is a very raw and emotional movie, but probably not in the way you’re expecting. The two leads are excellent, but where 99 Homes is the most effective is the no name actors that feel like everyday people, getting evicted from their homes. It makes it seem all too real, and being that everybody reacts differently, it leads to situations that range from tense to absolutely heartbreaking. It’s a complete gut-punch when you get to an entire montage of evictions, and it’s a lot to deal with if you’ve had any relationship with property during your life. 99 Homes gives good insight into the job that positively nobody wants to do, and it will make you want to call your lender as soon as the credits start to roll.
99 Homes (2014) ****1/2
– Critic for Hire
Want to see where this fell in my list of best films of the 2015? See for yourself here.