March 9, 2018: Thoroughbreds Premiers, Movie Review

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A Brief History

On March 9, 2018, a major motion picture written and directed by Corey Finley makes its debut across the United States, a movie touted as “Heathers meets American Psycho.”

Theatrical release poster

Thoroughbreds is a film about 2 teen age girls that form an unlikely duo plotting the murder of the rich girl’s stepfather. We thought it was more of a “Heathers meets Heavenly Creatures meets Wild Things.” We really do not get the American Psycho analogy, but what do we know?

Digging Deeper

A comedy/suspense/drama film, the movie only lasts 90 minutes, which is plenty of time to tell what it needs to tell without getting ponderous. Obviously the formula worked well, because the audience loved it and Rotten Tomatoes gave it a whopping “86% Fresh” rating with 81% audience approval.

Thoroughbreds explores teen age angst, the loss of a parent, the loss of a beloved horse, the moral struggle over euthanasia (for an animal), drug use, relationships, mental illness, privilege, and of course, murder. The two main characters, Lily (the rich girl with the unloved stepfather) and Amanda (the quirky, possibly mentally ill outcast), provide excellent foils for each other, and as the film progresses we find out different aspects and depths of each girl’s character and personality.

Anton Yelchin makes his final movie appearance in Thoroughbreds, a reminder of how much the movie going public lost when this fine young actor died tragically in 2016. Yelchin died a short time after filming Thoroughbreds wrapped up, and his portrayal of a goofy drug dealer with lofty plans for a future as a crime lord is perhaps the most memorable part of the movie. His performance is excellent and convincing, and we predict an Oscar nomination for Best Supporting Actor.

The girls are played convincingly by Anya Taylor-Joy (Lily) and Olivia Cooke (Amanda), both ideally cast in their respective roles. Cooke (remember her from Bates Motel on television?) quickly makes her mark as a personality deficient strange person, but the more subtle revelations about the depths and depravity in Lily’s character are also brilliantly portrayed by Taylor-Joy, who also happens to be beautiful. The stepfather is played to a “T” by Paul Sparks, a decidedly unlikeable creep that you want to hate, but can only find superficial reasons for hating him. His ability to generate the needed audience hatred while still leaving doubt as to whether or not he really is the villain is a tribute to his performance.

Despite the “R” rating, the film does not have nudity or more than a little profanity, and there is no graphic gore. Perhaps the rating stems from the idea that pre-adult teens could plot a murder. Still, we would recommend parents consider the maturity of their children less than 17 years old before taking them to see Thoroughbreds.

Excellent casting, superb performances, and subtle nuances throughout the film make Thoroughbreds an intriguing film, a great change of pace and a movie we enthusiastically recommend for a wide range of movie goers. Please let us know in the comments down below what you thought of the movie!

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Historical Evidence

For more information, please see the film’s official site.


About Author

Major Dan

Major Dan is a retired veteran of the United States Marine Corps. He served during the Cold War and has traveled to many countries around the world. Prior to his military service, he graduated from Cleveland State University, having majored in sociology. Following his military service, he worked as a police officer eventually earning the rank of captain prior to his retirement.