Writer-director Derrick Borte takes this somewhat clever concept and turns it into a muddled mix of weak social commentary, predictable drama and wan comedy.
| Original Score: 2/5
We know by now that blatant, senseless consumption is bad, harmful even. But the biggest surprise about The Joneses is its skillful avoidance of any meaning or significance whatsoever.
| Original Score: 1/4
Either this is a tragic family or a satirical one, and the film seems uncertain which way to jump.
| Original Score: 2/4
The screenplay goes as limp as a noodle and turns into a long string of clichés. It's sad, really, because the movie begins with so much promise.
| Original Score: 2.5/4
The cons should leave the audience a little breathless; instead, Borte goes for an indistinct tone and suburban-malaise vibe that was dated (as well as patronizing) when American Beauty came out.
Plays it far too safe and ends up not saying anything at all.
Interesting if not entirely successful.
The spot-on cast almost holds the movie together, but whatever potential this timely premise has is wasted on reworking the same gag about overconsumption.
It lures you in with a promise of being a smart, zeitgeist-y satire, but before it can deliver on that promise, it morphs into something more resembling a soap opera.
Keeping up with the Joneses is tough. Derrick Borte should have learned this before deciding to write, produce, and direct his first major film, a slice of social commentary that loses focus as it unspools.
Director Derrick Borte's grasp of the material is shaky, which is revealed in major gaps in logic (how is it possible to keep track of the "sales" the Joneses are credited for?) and, worse, tone.
By the end, The Joneses feels a little too satisfied with its own admittedly clever conceit and for the broad leeway it allows itself in the creative bandying of logos and slogans.
A high-concept premise too-tidily comments on its underlying subject matter in The Joneses.
The film's fatal flaw is Borte's refusal to give his satire the darker, uncomfortable edge it needs to give his lesson some impact.
| Original Score: 3/5
...that most maddening of motion picture paradigms - a great concept badly bungled.
Dawn of the Dead made a savvier commentary on consumerism and materialism.
That the movie is able to suspend disbelief for as long as it does is a testament to David Duchovny's likability as an actor.
| Original Score: 2.5/5
Crass materialism and ridiculous marketing ploys are skewered by writer/director Derrick Borte in this uneven cautionary tale that starts off incisively funny, then devolves into preachiness.
full review at Movies for the Masses
| Original Score: 1.5/5