Focus - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Focus Reviews

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February 3, 2016
I finall y understood why my grandmother said, "We got a good name" meaning it was not a Jewish name..I finally understood how my grandfather. was intimidated into closing his store in Queens in the '40's, why my parents searched for a neighborhood with Jewish names on the plat and without restrictive covenants in the deeds and how people even in the 50's and 60's were fired if their boss found out they were Jewish.
December 28, 2015
"Focus" tells of a bland and nonconfrontational man (Macy) who buys a pair of eye glasses which make him look Jewish after which be becomes the object of antisemitic hostility, etc, blaa, blaa. A kind of lame attempt at revealing antisemitism in America during WWII, the film features solid performances by Macy and Dern though no chemistry exists between them...or anywhere else in the film. Generic, staged, and pale in comparison to many better films about hatred in American, "Focus" is marginal entertainment at best and a very meager history lesson. Passable stuff.
January 18, 2015
Buenas actuaciones , pero muy lenta , me aburrió.
October 12, 2014
I was mesmerized by this movie - the acting, the directing the photography - all shed a light on that 1940's era and brought it home as a powerful montage of our behavior when under duress and scrutiny. William Macy was superb along with Laura Dern who is always a marvel. Meatloaf portrayed the large mouthed bigot effortlessly. Anti Semitism is one of the worst kinds of bigotry - since the reasoning behind it is always obscure without basis. "You people have all the money". "You people cheat in business" You people have all the big businesses" - I cried during this movie, especially during the fight scene with the baseball bats - two men swinging bats to defend themselves against brainless thugs. See that movie and look for that which is not obvious - Andi
½ February 20, 2014
There is a lot to like and even chew on in this racial period piece set around a street in Brooklyn during world war 2. The fact that the jewish are terrorised from within a country who are meant to be standing up for the attrocities going on in europe and the classic case of mistaken identity being torn apart or abused because of their appearance makes them look Jewish. The cast is superb as well, William H Macy makes a strong lead with the material he has and Laura Dern, as always, is hypnotizing. Even Meat Loaf comes across perfectly realized as the suspicious racial neighbour. The problem lies within the directing, the scripting (In places) and the cinematography. The scripts length is shorter than it needs to be to get all of these themes across, to a pace where they grow and unsettle you, dont get me wrong, seeing the abuse go on is hurtful but with so many avenues to explore we're left rushing through it. The director also cant seem to lock into a style, one minute its all sound of music, next were thrust into a coen brothers movie, before momentary lapses of obscurity break through, its unfocused and just jerks at the whole experience. The camera work also, it tries to aim for a voyueristic approach, which is the right approach, but deals with it with a horrible amount of zoom shots into zoom shots that it just looks unprofessional and lazy. Which is a shame because as you sit watching this film you cant help but feel, if this was in the right creative hands we could have something a lot stronger, a lot more focused and enthralling. Instead were left with good looking sets and locations with good actors doing the best they can with a script and director that just cant seem to lock their vision in. Its a shame really because there is a lot to like here. I would urge you to watch it for the themes and performances but thats all the meat of this product.
October 31, 2012
I felt it was an allegory of Nazi Germany, made even more poignant as a result of the time and place of the setting. It has a dream like stagey feel that I think suits the seriousness of the content.
July 21, 2012
Quality performance from William H Macy in this quiet little sleeper.
½ May 1, 2011
Interesting story. Could this be true? Glasses can change your image that much? Well, I guess those glasses work on Superman/Clark Kent.... here it was a much sadder and poignant story, where there was so much bigotry and stereotyping. That all exists now. Why can't we just all be friends?
½ February 13, 2011
Important prejudice parable based on the Arthur Miller novel. Despite its giant plot holes, fine performances create a thought-provoking study of dangerous cultural tribalism.
Super Reviewer
February 8, 2011
This movie was so true to the book that I felt like I had seen it before. The book was a little more detailed, so I have to say I liked that better. However the movie was very well acted and captured the right feel and emotion.
November 15, 2010
This movie is worth watching for the realization that societies change a great deal over a couple generations' time, and its useful to be shocked at what used to be taken for granted. Its also worth considering how shocked we might be a decade or two down the road by things we have been taking for granted, such as a ban on serving openly in the military based on sexual preferences. The sets are stage-like and some of the lines, like the characters, are delivered with great effort and brevity, as they might be on a stage. This adds to the sense of unreality, of the breach between the fantasy-like appearance of things and the dark undertones.
Super Reviewer
½ October 12, 2010
I think that they need to show this movie in every Sociology class. It's a perfect example of how, for example, Hitler's Germany was even possible. It shows how easily people can be manipulated and influenced by hateful thinking in society. It was an apalling thing to watch unfold, and intensify, but it was at the same time an amazing thing to watch. Scary, but amazing. ..On a side note, William H. Macy was fantastic, as usual.
September 8, 2010
when the trailer came out i was like, this might be the dumbest movie ever created but i was a kid... still am, but i now give it a chance and will watch it for the hell of it :P
½ August 25, 2010
Focus would have been a great Twilight Zone.


It is a great story and a morality play. Suspense is here and the cinematography will keep you watching.

I highly recommend Focus if you wonder what happens to good people in an era of conformity. The lead character seems like a wimp, but he isn't. He's a veteran that doesn't want to talk about the horrible past he's had.
He's got more guts than anyone else in the film.

If you have ever had overbearing neighbors that bully you or ever had anyone bully you, in school or elsewhere....... catch this movie.

If you ever liked deep movies, thought provoking movies.... get this movie.

Highly recommended. Oscar material. Just remember though, one man's treasure can be another man's trash.
August 19, 2010
Everybody should watch this movie &&& realize this type of HATE has happened in all centuries (since the beginning of time.) There has always been "people" that are filled w/ HATE to judge, hurt, torture, and kill other human beings. Whether its by race, religion, sexual orientation or whatever. True Christians would LOVE one another and never judge no matter what!
August 14, 2010
Gave this a re-watch. William H. Macy, Meat Loaf, Laura Dern and David Paymer show respect for Arthur Millers revered material with some knockout performances in a pot-boiler that only just transcends it's stage trappings. The message is heavy-handed but a necessary reflection of the period in 1940's America where paranoia is bursting at the seams. Some strange angles and editing are jarring at times, but it is still a solid piece of work from first timer Director Neil Slavin.
August 14, 2010
Gave this a re-watch. William H. Macy, Meat Loaf, Laura Dern and David Paymer show respect for Arthur Millers revered material with some knockout performances in a pot-boiler that only just transcends it's stage trappings. The message is heavy-handed but a necessary reflection of the period in 1940's America where paranoia is bursting at the seams. Some strange angles and editing are jarring at times, but it is still a solid piece of work from first timer Director Neil Slavin.
July 4, 2010
Its fine cast, particularly Mr. Macy, lift it above its limitations and lend grace to its once-again timely message that tends to be delivered with a heavy hand.
May 22, 2010
Brilliant, one of Macy's best performances. And, Laura Dern is fantastic as always
February 12, 2010
Thought provoking movie around the time of WWII. A couple is mistakenly by the neighborhood as being Jewish. They are ignored, shunned until it escalates into violence. I was taken aback because I did not think they looked like Jews. Maybe I just don't know too much of what it is like in the East Coast where the movie takes place in that period of time. It was hard to relate to any of the characters, but not to the discrimination and violence. i liked the dialog between Macy and Paymer characters on why Macy hated Jews.
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