Critic Consensus: Though Adam Rifkin's voyeuristic film sometimes feels like only a clever gimmick, it's for the most part a compelling thriller with political overtones.
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as Tony Gilbert
as Barry Krebbs
as Sherri Van Haften
as George Higgins
as Anne Krebbs
as Mr. Bates
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Critic Reviews for Look
The performances feel natural, improvised, and it's easy to believe this is the world we inhabit.
If the idea is that we're always being watched, why does it seem that in this movie, no one's really paying attention?
There are some funny moments, plus occasional nudity and sex, but the joke quickly wears off. What might have worked as a half-hour TV show doesn't suit itself to a feature-length film.
With its emphasis on its interweaving stories, the movie offers no commentary on the phenomenon of increasingly pried-apart privacy, positive or negative.
Look, an unsettling, rudely funny but not entirely credible feature by the writer and director Adam Rifkin, is an ensemble narrative for the age of public surveillance.
Audience Reviews for Look
Pretty good, but sometimes I think the techniques end up making it feel even more setup than a normal movie and kind of pulls you out of it. I get the point Rifkin is making with the cameras everywhere, but sometimes that looming message doesn't give the story enough room.
The stated intention of "Look" is to show how much time we spend being captured on cameras, by staging the action as if it was being filmed by security cameras. So far, so good. But the movie cheats by including dialogue that would not normally be taped, robbing the movie of any ambiguity that the far superior "Red Road" developed wonderfully. What actually happens with "Look" is that the cameras show how much we lie during the course of a day while the cameras show what the truth is. All the while, we have to ask is anybody watching these images. Probably, since they are occasionally fastforwarded, indicating somebody somewhere is getting bored. The focus of a series of interlocking melodramatic storylines is a shopping mall where Sherri(Spencer Redford) and Holly(Heather Hogan), a pair of vapid teenagers, are trying on clothes in a department store where Tony(Hayes MacArthur), a store manager, is intent on having sex with anything that moves. Sherri will be content with shoplifting and and seducing her English teacher, Mr. Krebbs(Jamie McShane). As bad as some of that sounds, there are worse scenes that are almost impossible to watch while there is one perfect scene in the film that involves a car crash. All of which is emblematic of a low view of human nature with a few exceptions.
Short Cuts with surveillance cameras. Unfairly overlooked writer/director Rifkin creates a fascinating film by following multiple characters stories using only footage of them from various forms of video surveillance (I had no idea so much video surveillance cameras recorded audio, but I'm willing to overlook that nitpick because I enjoyed the film so much). Some stories are horrifying and some simply tragic, but all of them are entertaining and well performed. It's a shame this movie never got a decent release, but much like Rifkin's best films, will eventually become hidden gems. And for Dark Backward fans, check out the advertisement on the bus!
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