Indie Gems: We Don't Belong Here

Ground yourself.

Nancy Green (Catherine Keener) is no stranger to mental illness. Not only does she show signs of it, so do 3/4 of her children. Madeline (Annie Starke) is the well adjusted one. Elisa (Riley Keough) is estranged from her mother and has gone on to become a famous singer. The only daughter still living at home, Lily (Kaitlyn Denver) whose not taking her meds. When her only son Max (Anton Yelchin) goes missing, Nancy begins to re-evaluate her life. 

There's no way around this, We Don't Belong Here is technically not a good movie. The dialogue is full of platitudes. It feels like it was hacked apart in the editing room and the side stories don't mesh well. But despite that, I enjoyed watching this.

I always feel like I'm drawn to stories where the main character feels uncomfortable. I don't know why, but that describes Lily well. Her therapist says she's bipolar, but she doesn't want to be on medication. She's the one sibling linking Max and Elisa back to the family, and Denver is a great actress. I think she carries this film well. The acting across the board is excellent, Anton was heart breaking, Riley (and Kaitlyn) both have lovely singing voices that I didn't know about. And Maya Rudolph and Molly Shannon even show up too.

I just wish this film was better. I feel like director Peer Pedersen chose to shoot this like a music video instead of focusing on the core plot. Because of that, we drift from scene to scene, then abruptly cut away. Then an elaborate dream sequence throws everything out of whack for a minute. I really did like this movie, it kept my interest, but I can't ignore the editing here. It just didn't work.

And ugh, I miss Anton. 

Grade: C+

Watched on: Netflix DVD

Memorable quote: "I love you, so I'll take you home." - Elisa (Riley Keough)


  1. I forgot about this one. Can't say I'm terribly interested after your review. Sounds like a pass from me.

    1. I mean, I'm glad I watched it, but it's definitely not something anyone needs to rush out and see. The other Anton film I just reviewed, Thoroughbreds is far better.

  2. Well now I'm conflicted, sounds like a not great movie but I'm missing Anton too lately and it's hard not to just scoop up everything you can.

    1. I still watch his films even if I haven't heard great things about him. Porto is one I want to see, and I've heard that's quite awful.

  3. What a shame when such an interesting plot and film direction falls flat in the editing and direction. I wish this was a better film for Anton

    1. I do too, but at least Thoroughbreds is out now and that's a better film.


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