CinemAddicts Ep. 55: ‘They Call Us Monsters’ ‘Detour’ ‘My Father Die’

It’s a great week for CinemAddicts, as Anderson and I lather tons of praise on the new documentary They Call Us Monsters (we both gave the flick five stars!). I also throw in my two cents on two other films (Detour, My Father Die) that are coming out Friday, January 20. More details after the jump.

Anderson opens the show detailing his fixation on the novel The Alienist, which is now being turned into a miniseries. We also managed to squeeze in a few minutes to one of Anderson weekend (and Facebook exclusive) picks – Bug. I still haven’t seen that film since anything dealing with insects or vermin puts me in a queasy state.

They Call Us Monsters, a hard hitting and immersive documentary directed by Benjamin Lear, centers on three youths who are part of the juvenile prison system. Jarad, Juan and Antonio participate in a screenwriting class headed up by Gabriel Cowan (one of the film’s producers). Though each of these teens are engaging and personable in their own right, they are all behind bars for a very good reason. Instead of turning this documentary into an overarching look at a California prison system that tries teens as adults, They Call Us Monsters instead focuses on the intricate details of their lives, and viewers are thankfully not suffocated with a preachy message on what to think or feel.

Written and directed by Christopher Smith, Detour centers on a law student named Harper (Tye Sheridan) who, after a night of drunken debauchery, realizes a grifter (Emory Cohen) and a stripper (Bel Powley) are going to help him murder his stepfather (Stephen Moyer). Unfortunately Harper made that deal while inebriated, and now he can’t back out of the deal. Filled with its share of twists, Detour is a perfect film for cinephiles who love visually arresting and stylized film noirs.

And speaking of stylized, director Sean Brosnan (he’s Pierce Brosnan’s son) makes an auspicious feature directing debut with My Father Die. Joe Anderson is Asher, a deaf and mute man who seeks revenge against the father, aka the killer of Asher’s older brother. Clocking in at 90 minutes, the film doesn’t skimp on the violence, and Brosnan is obviously in love with grindhouse cinema. That being said, the film also features a nuanced performance from Anderson as the dangerous man child who’s more comfortable hunting for gators in the swamps than actually talking to people!

All three films this week are completely under the radar releases that are worth checking out!! Take a listen to this week’s show and feel free to comment below or email us at ourcinemaddicts@gmail.com!

  • justin woods

    The doc sounds so good. I can’t wait for it. Not super intrestes in the Bronson son movie hah, but I try and check out all the movies Greg recommends !

    • It’ll be hard to topple They Call Us Monsters, at least for me, re: top Documentaries of ’17. I know it’s early, but this one’s a keeper..

  • Tam

    Yes, I will definitely look for “They Call Us Monsters” when it is streaming. It sounds like it’s a movie that should be seen.

    • definitely should be seen Tam – It’s not preachy whatsoever – just a very compelling watch from start to finish!