Movie Review: Collateral Beauty

Movie Review: Collateral Beauty

From its trailer, Collateral Beauty looked like it would be an interesting and different sort of film. After the movie begins, it appeared that its trailers were a bit misleading; however, near the end of the movie, we find that they actually were not.

We open with Howard (Will Smith) giving an inspirational speech to his PR firm's employees, including his friends Claire (Kate Winslet), Simon (Michael Peña), and Whit (Edward Norton). Fast-forward three years later, and Howard is a completely different man; he's depressed and withdrawn, due to the death of his young daughter. He shows up for work every day only to waste hours building domino structures, and then he heads home. His friends (who are also the founders of the PR firm) are worried about him, and also about some of their client relationships, which are failing because Howard was the "face" of those relationships. They decide to band together to help Howard, and they learn something interesting about themselves in the process.

This movie had a great cast chock-full of A-listers, including the four core members listed above, as well as Keira Knightley, Helen Mirren, Naomie Harris, and Jacob Latimore, as actors whom the PR people hire. The cast all turn in good performances, as well, but the film does move a bit slowly, which is why my rating for it is maybe a little lower than it should be; at times, the pace felt very slow.

Yes, see this movie, and bring tissues for the end of it. Although the film was different than what I thought it would be, there was a good twist at the end that I didn't see coming - two twists, to be exact - which definitely intrigued me. This movie should do well at the box office over the holidays solely based on its star power, but overall it's a good choice if you're looking for a film that captures the 'human condition,' and centers on themes of loss, love, and friendship.

Collateral Beauty
is in theaters today, December 16th, and is rated PG-13 with a runtime of 97 minutes. 3.5 stars out of 5.

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