Sorry to Bother You

Rated 4.0

First-time writer-director Boots Riley, leader of musical group the Coup, creates one of the craziest movies you will see this—or any—year with Sorry to Bother You, a hilarious, nasty and even scary showcase for the talents of Lakeith Stanfield and Tessa Thompson. This is comedic satire at its screwiest, with sci-fi, fantasy and horror elements inserted in such a way as to completely shatter the rules of conventional filmmaking. Stated simply, there are tons of “what the fuck?” moments in this movie. Cassius Green (Stanfield) is living in his uncle’s (Terry Crews) garage, looking for a better life and a job. His performance-artist girlfriend, Detroit (Thompson), encourages him to pursue whatever but not to lose his sense of self. After procuring a job at a telemarketing agency, Cassius finds himself striking out call after call. It’s here that Riley employs an ingenious visual trick, with Cassius physically showing up in the lives of the people he interrupts with his telemarketing nonsense, dropping his desk into one situation after another (people having sex, people mourning, etc.). This does a solid job of conveying the intrusiveness of that particular sales tactic. Thanks to a seasoned coworker (Danny Glover), Cassius is advised to use his white man voice (supplied by the great, and very white, David Cross). This brings immediate success and catapults Cassius up the ladder to the hallowed upstairs office where the “power callers” reside. The road to success involves him becoming more of a douchebag and, ultimately, a revolutionary.