Synchronic (2020)

Two paramedics are on the scene as people using a designer drug are seeing some interesting side effects that cause one of the paramedics to look into things.

As with any film by directors Aaron Moorhead and Justin Benson, with Benson writing, the least known about the story going in, the better as their films are made to be unraveled as they are being watched. That being said, this film is right up their usual alley of great filmmaking and fascinating storytelling. The writing here is strong and the directing is what fans of their work have come to expect. Here, they seem to perhaps have a bit more budget than before and they clearly know how to use it. The film has that particular style that has become theirs and it is mesmerizing to watch.

The leads here are filled by Anthony Mackie and Jamie Dornan, giving the film that better-known look. Their work here is great and Mackie is downright fantastic in the part of Steve, a man with more interest in the situation than originally seems for reasons that develop throughout the film and resonate. His take on the material sells it perfectly. His work here is more than enough reason to watch Synchronic, the other cast members add to this. The performances are strong and somber from everyone and they make this film one that pulls the viewer in beyond the story and directing.

As seems to be tradition with films by Benson and Moorhead, they each take on more than one job on the production and here Moorhead did the cinematography and both were involved in the editing with Michael Felker. This leads to a film that feels like it has a single vision even though it’s from two men. The fact that these two work together so often and seem to turn out quality films time and time again is showing that they have a winning team here. The look of the film is coherent with the story and helps create the overall feel everything. The editing and cinematography play a large role in that and it all comes together with the special effects to bring the film into a complete experience that is something to experience.

As with Resolution, Spring, and The Endless, the filmmaking duo of Aaron Moorhead and Justin Benson scores another homerun with Synchronic, another film that feels like it’s the in the same universe again, but this time majorly extended. It’s a film about so much and it gains from going in knowing as little as possible. It’s a must see and seeing it in the right mood and atmosphere will help, but honestly, it doesn’t need much to set the tone before going in. It’s a fantastic film filled with atmosphere, images that stick with the viewer, strong performances, writing, direction, and cinematography. All around, it’s one of those films that will gain from being watched over and over again.

In Theaters & Drive-Ins October 23rd.