Cruise doesn't make enough fun films. I didn't care for the handheld style a great deal of the time, but still an effective narrative. If you're going to ape The Big Short's style, you also need to adopt the pace. By the end the film feels about 30 minutes too long.
Beautiful film. Sneaky concept and realist approach. Once the drama starts heightening you start to feel the reality of the narrative slip but the resolution delivers exactly what is needed to overcome that curious slipping. Jason Reitman loves stories about struggling with adulthood, making peace with your choices, and responsibility.
This film is a text book, bottle thriller. The tension and plot development mostly occurs at one location around a single room. Fantastic character definition and narrative movement. Also, excellent use of keeping the audience guessing as to what will happen next and how each character plays into the plot.
Beyond that it is also one of the most attainable features you could possibly watch as an upstart filmmaker. The writing and direction is spot on and the cinematography never gets pushed into impossible. Loved it.
Remember seeing E.T. opening night of the release with a bunch of other excited kids who grew up on the film. I remember wondering how many other people in the audience were scared of E.T. when they first saw it on VHS as a kid back in the 80s. Easily my top three Spielberg films.