DENNIS SCHWARTZ Movie Reviews

99 HOMES (director/writer: Ramin Bahrani; screenwriters: story by Ramin Bahrani and Bahareh Azimi/Amir Naderi; cinematographer: Bobby Bukowski; editor: Ramin Bahrani; music:  Matteo Zingales /Antony Partos ; cast: Andrew Garfield (Dennis Dern), Michael Shannon (Rick Carver), Laura Dern (Lynn Nash), Tim Guinee (Frank Green), J.D. Evermore (Mr. Tanner), Clancy Brown (Mr. Freeman); Runtime: 112; MPAA Rating: NR; producers: Ashok Amritraj/ Kevin Turen/Justin Nappi/ Ramin Bahrani; Broad Green Pictures; 2014)

"A sizzling right-on morality story pleading for justice for the vulnerable workers who lose their homes."

Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz

A sizzling right-on morality story pleading for justice for the vulnerable working-class who lost their homes during the housing meltdown. It tells its story about the corrupt One Percent privileged acting against the interest of working-class Americans during the recent housing crisis. The pic focuses on the terrible actions by a ruthless 'get rich quick' real estate agent. It's set in 2010, in Orlando, Florida. The socially-conscious provocative film is hard-hitting and wants blood from the greedy and heartless real estate predators who ripped off their clients in their pursuit of unwarranted wealth.  The Iranian-American director Ramin Bahrani ("Man Push Cart"/"Chop Shop"/"Goodbye Solo") is good at presenting the issues, but goes off the rails with a ridiculous third act. 

Dennis Nash (Andrew Garfield) is a construction worker who loses his job and is not able to find other work. Dennis is unable to provide for his 9-year-old son (Noah Lomax) and the boy's mother (Laura Dern). In desperation he makes a deal with the devil and works for the scummy real estate agent Rick Carver (Michael Shannon), who makes out like a bandit working for the banks to repossess homes at bargain rates on those who fail to pay their mortgage. Carver is the scumbag who evicted Dennis.

Bahrani is good at exploring the issues around America's financial crisis. The American meltdown plays out from a personal view, as an opportunistic man with no problem hurting people who are down is opposed by a good man with a conscience. The opposites both offer strong performances, in a disturbing drama about America in a free-fall for the middle-class.

REVIEWED ON 12/14/2015       GRADE: B-

Dennis Schwartz: "Ozus' World Movie Reviews"

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