Watch Under the Silver Lake
- 2 hr 19 min
Under the Silver Lake is a neo-noir thriller from the visionary director David Robert Mitchell. This sprawling mystery, set against the sun-kissed backdrop of Los Angeles, stars Andrew Garfield as a hapless slacker named Sam who becomes embroiled in a surreal and sinister conspiracy after his neighbor, played by Riley Keough, disappears without a trace.
Sam spends much of the movie stumbling around LA, following obscure clues and tangents, and encountering a bizarre cast of characters along the way. At first, he's driven by a mix of curiosity and attraction to the beautiful woman who lived next door, but as he dives deeper into the rabbit hole, he begins to realize that there's something much more sinister and far-reaching going on beneath the surface of this seemingly idyllic neighborhood.
As Sam's investigation unfolds, the film takes on a dreamlike, meandering quality that feels both disorienting and fascinating. Mitchell expertly weaves in nods to classic movies and literature, making Under the Silver Lake feel like a love letter to the entire genre of off-kilter mysteries. The cinematography is lush and entrancing, capturing all the sunny, seedy glory of LA with a moody, artful touch.
Garfield delivers a standout performance as Sam, imbuing the character with a shaggy, restless energy that's both endearing and exasperating. He's the ultimate stoner-cum-detective, a man who seems to be only partially aware of the danger he's putting himself in. Keough is equally captivating as the enigmatic neighbor who serves as Sam's initial obsession, painting her character with layers of vulnerability and strength.
Supporting roles are filled out by a host of notable actors, including Topher Grace as an insufferable hipster millionaire, Callie Hernandez as a Hollywood starlet with a connection to Sam's search, and Jimmi Simpson as a conspiracy theorist who may or may not be on to something. Together, they create a wondrously weird world that's both familiar and unsettling.
At its core, Under the Silver Lake is a rumination on the power of storytelling and the ways in which our culture creates its own myths and legends. Sam's journey is one of self-discovery as much as anything else, and the film deftly explores themes of loneliness, nostalgia, and myth-making. While the story can feel messy at times, particularly in the final act, it's ultimately a deeply satisfying tale that rewards viewers who are willing to take the ride with its charismatic protagonist.
Overall, Under the Silver Lake is a brilliantly crafted, often bewildering masterpiece that showcases Mitchell's unique vision and Garfield's tremendous range. It's a movie that begs to be parsed and analyzed, and one that leaves a lasting impression long after the credits roll. Whether you're a fan of neo-noir or simply looking for a hypnotic, engaging mystery, this film delivers in spades.
Under the Silver Lake is a 2019 crime movie with a runtime of 2 hours and 19 minutes. It has received moderate reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 6.5 and a MetaScore of 60.