Netflix’s Lou starts off as an intense thriller but eventually crosses the line into more of an action film.
If you are looking for a great thriller, Lou might not check all of the boxes as it dips into more of an action film towards the end, however this Netflix movie does still bring a lot to the table. There are jump scares, great sound design choices, and a whole lot of twists and turns that will come as a complete surprise.
Lou starts off as most movies like this do, on a dark and stormy night. Hannah (Jurnee Smollett) ends up in desperate need of help from her landlady Lou (Allison Janney), who is a bit of a recluse. Her daughter, Vee, has been kidnapped and she doesn’t know who else to turn to in this time of need. The two women don’t really get along, but are forced to join forces for the little girl’s sake. What follows is an intense journey through an unforgiving forest where the two not only end up bonding, they share their deepest darkest secrets.
As a parent, the most terrifying part about this movie is the kidnapping. Smollett does a fantastic job at delivering the heartbreak, panic, and dread that any mother would feel in this situation. It is easy to see on the screen and in turn, it will make the audience feel like they are right there with her – heart pounding and all.
It is easy to understand the willingness to do anything to save your child. To protect them from danger. So much of the movie is based on this and the believability of it is largely in part due to Smollett’s performance.
When it comes to Lou, she is very much a loner. We find her in a vulnerable position at the start of the story though, and her character arc is interesting and captivating. The more we learn about her, the more intriguing she becomes. Janney is a phenomenal actor so it should come as no surprise that she adds layer upon layer to Lou, giving her the depth necessary to keep us caring about this movie as it goes on.
There are quite a few fights in this movie and the choreography is fantastic. The fact that the lead actors all did the majority of their own stunts is very impressive as well — especially when you take the rain and wind into consideration. Not only are the characters badass, the women behind them are too.
Lou is just an hour and forty-seven minutes and while it doesn’t ever get to the point where you are checking your watch, wishing for it to end, it does start to drag on a bit in the end. This is mostly during the transition part where it switches from thriller to more of an action movie. Not necessarily a bad thing, but it should be mentioned.
The stakes feel high thanks to the performances, even if the writing has some issues here and there. As the movie starts to draw to a close, things get pretty intense and exciting. You might even consider the ending a bit of a cliffhanger, as it leaves the door open for more.
Overall, Lou is an action packed thriller that will have audiences invested in how things are going to end up for Hannah, Lou, and Vee. It has its lulls and dips, but they are carried through thanks to the extraordinary actors.
Rating: 3 out of 5
Thinking she’d put her dangerous past behind her, Lou (Allison Janney) finds her quiet life interrupted when a desperate mother (Jurnee Smollett) begs her to save her kidnapped daughter. As a massive storm rages, the two women risk their lives on a rescue mission that will test their limits and expose dark and shocking secrets from their pasts.
Academy Award winner Allison Janney and Emmy Award nominee Jurnee Smollett star in Lou, alongside Logan Marshall-Green and Ridley Asha Bateman. The film is directed by Anna Foerster from a screenplay by Maggie Cohn and Jack Stanley, with Bad Robot’s JJ Abrams, Hannah Minghella, and Jon Cohen producing.
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Tessa Smith is a Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer-approved Film and TV Critic. She is also a Freelance Writer. Tessa has been in the Entertainment writing business for almost ten years and is a member of several Critics Associations including the Critics Choice Association, Hollywood Critics Association, and the Greater Western New York Film Critics Association.