The Details (2012)
After ten years of marriage, Jeff and Nealy Lang (Tobey Maguire and Elizabeth Banks) have an idyllic suburban home... and a relationship on the skids. But, when a family of hungry raccoons ransacks their perfectly manicured backyard, Jeff becomes single-mindedly obsessed with eradicating the pests by any means necessary. Soon the relentless rodents aren't merely uprooting the lawn, but also overturning the Langs' entire bourgeois existence, as the man-versus-beast battle leads into an absurd mess of infidelity, extortion, organ donation and other assorted mayhem. -- (C) Radius TWC … More
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Critic Reviews for The Details
As the title suggests, it's all in the details, which writer-director Estes provides in large if not always convincing doses.
It's hard to make a fine actress like Laura Linney look off-key and shrill, but "The Details" manages to do just that. It's hardly an accomplishment.
"The Details" cancels itself out by being too campy to take seriously and too tragic to laugh at.
"The Details" wears its quirky heart on its sleeve, signaling (and smirking at) its own silliness, at every opportunity, with an intrusively antic score that makes everything sound like a giant joke.
It all adds up to create a dicey morality tale that's as improbable as it is strangely believable.
Despite some tonal stumbles, the film mostly finds its footing and becomes an enjoyable comic enterprise.
The script is somewhat provocative in its examination of relationships during absurd circumstances, but its twists eventually become less compelling.
Estes never seems to find the balance between dark farce and existential drama, and the cast - especially the goofy Maguire - is left trying to sort it all out.
There are a few highlights worth a look and an accomplished supporting cast to ease the oddity along, yet The Details doesn't add up to much despite its rather elaborate design of misery.
It's a Weinstein release, but I don't foresee any big Oscar push for this wacky misfire.
The wacky is forced and unfunny and the misery is nowhere near wretched enough.
Audience Reviews for The Details
Putting my dislike for Tobey Maguire aside, "The Details" remains entertaining despite a constant shift between quirky comedy and thoughtful drama. The question burning on my mind was how Jeff Lang (Macguire) could have gone so long prior to this film's events without messing everything up completely, because "The Details" is that film where the lead character falls down a rabbit hole of mistakes. Sexually frustrated and boyish ignorant, Jeff cheats on his wife twice, gets his neighbor's cat killed, and loses a ridiculous amount of money, all to keep his wife from finding out. The only difference, in this film, is that all the characters are equally bad and the eventual conclusion is original in that most "rabbit hole" films don't take the higher road where those affected understand the predicaments at hand. Elizabeth Banks does a decent job remaining likable as the stuffy stay-at-home mom, Macguire does nothing to change my slanted opinion about him, and in very small roles, Kerry Washington and Dennis Haysbert blow me away with their impeccable ability to embody their characters and instantly garner emotions toward them. Haysbert's character is by far the best thing about the film and produces most of the serious emotions brought on throughout the film, which makes his eventual arc that much more sad and disturbing. Had the entire film focused on a level of emotion like this, it would have completely stood apart from any quirky comedies today. Instead, its absurdity brings it to the same base level that come from most swept-under-the-rug comedies.More
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