For days, Jordan Peele’s acclaimed “Get Out” enjoyed a perfect 100 percent score on Rotten Tomatoes. But that’s over now, thanks to contrarian film critic Armond White.
In his review of the film for the conservative National Review, White called “Get Out” a “get whitey” film that is “tailored to please the liberal status quo.” He criticized director Peele and actors Daniel Kaluuya and Lil Rel Howery for their portrayal of the protagonists, Chris and Rod, calling them “attitudes, not complex beings.”
“Get Out” is a horror film in which a black man (Kaluuya) visits the mysterious family estate of his white girlfriend (Allison Williams). White sad that “Kaluuya’s dark-skin/bright-teeth image inadvertently recalls the old Sambo archetype… Peele seems too caught up in exploiting modern narcissism to notice old repulsion.”
This isn’t the first time White has given a negative review to a film with near-universal acclaim. He knocked Pixar’s “Toy Story 3” and “Up,” saying the latter “domesticates and homogenizes animation.” He also drew headlines in 2014 when he was kicked out of the New York Film Critics Circle and accused of heckling “12 Years A Slave” director Steve McQueen — which he denied.
White wrote of Peele’s film: “‘Get Out’ does not rank with America’s notable race comedies — Brian De Palma’s ‘Hi, Mom!’, Ossie Davis’s ‘Gone Are the Days! (Purlie Victorious)’, Robert Downey Sr.’s ‘Putney Swope,’ Melvin Van Peebles’s ‘Sweet Sweetback’, Hal Ashby’s ‘The Landlord,’ Rusty Cundieff’s ‘Fear of a Black Hat,’ or any of the genre spoofs by the Wayans family, … or the recent Eddie Murphy films that are so personal and ingenious, they transcend racial categorization.”
(You can read his full review here.)
Moviegoers gave “Get Out” an A- on CinemaScore, and on its opening weekend it earned just under $34 million at the box office, well above analysts’ expectations. The film also increased its daily box office totals from Friday to Sunday, something that almost never happens for a horror movie.