Ben’s review published on Letterboxd:
You think your family is quirky? Well get a load of the Mitchells: The dad doesn't fully understand technology, the mom can’t take her eyes off another family's instagram, the daughter is so weird and artsy that she draws eyes on hamburgers, and craziest of all, there is a little boy who is interested in dinosaurs and struggles to talk to girls his own age. I know! How did they even conceptualize such a unique family?
Even though the characters are so off the wall quirky, the audience can still love them because the parents are so crippilingly insecure that the mom is actively ashamed of them, and the father needs to regularly have his ego stroked by his kids. Relatable and lovable.
This movie also has a really fresh message that I’ve never seen before: balance between technology and reality. Can you even fathom that?! Most movies dont have the stones to touch a topic this hot, but not the Mitchells vs the Machines.
If that wasnt cutting edge enough, this movie makes some pretty immortal pop culture references. Kids today will adore the references to a toy that was last predominant in 2001. They’ll love the reference so much that the directors had the shrewdness to make it a major conflict in the movie.
Spoilers from here down, so stop here if you want to watch this once in a lifetime movie.
The stakes in this movie get pretty high as the world gets taken over by machines. Nothing can stop these mechanical beasts, except for the mom when she remembers she loves her children. Not only does she suddenly love them, that love gives her the strength to beat these robots with her bare hands. I know the US military cant stand up to a moms love, but apparently all mothers cant possibly love their children as much as Mrs. Mitchell. A woman who at the beginning of the movie cant even muster the strength to raise her children the way she knows is right, because her husbands mopyness is such a force. NOW THATS CHARACTER GROWTH.
The dad character, PHEW, this guy has as much moral fortitude and unconditional love for his children as Buck Cluck from Chicken Little.
Sure the daughter character has the gall to follow her dreams and undeniable talent, but really you just spend the movie hoping that she’ll see passed all that bullshit so she can take into account her dads feelings. And remember this guy is so emotionally strong that he puts all of his familys’ lives at risk when he finds out that his daughter blew a little smoke up his ass to pull him out of his depression. Most dads are so hardened to their feelings that they would keep it together in a life threatening situation, but not mr mitchell, he had the strength to let his daughter know she hurt him. Safety be damned!
A tour de force.