A Quiet Place has a premise to die for. It’s the story of a family isolated in the wilderness trying to survive while being hunted by creatures who navigate by sound. Thus, their life is a life of enforced silence. It’s the stuff of a taut, gripping thriller; it already kind of has been actually if you remember a little movie called Don’t Breathe. Krasinski does a good job as director, building tension through silence; the film opens with a lengthy prologue that is deathly quiet and at one point an audience member down the row from me took a drink and I literally heard the ice rattle in his glass; in a movie theater these days that kind of quiet is astounding. The cast is very good. Emily Blunt is predictably terrific and Millicent Simmonds is very good as the hearing impaired daughter. Krasinski is mostly good, but he fumbles a couple of significant moments, unfortunately one of them is in the climax of the film, so that’s not really good. But then he is directing himself, so, you know. The film deserves a lot of praise for going in some unexpected directions. The film has the nerve to break one of the fundamental rules of blockbuster filmmaking in its very first sequence and right the **** in front of you, right in the foreground of the camera frame. This gives the rest of the film a more unnerving feeling since, while you can make your guesses and probably be right, you can never be quite sure what the filmmakers are going to be willing to do next. Still, though it has flaws, it’s still a really masterful achievement; with a tiny cast and a small setting, it still manages to build a compelling world and maintain interest, which is also due, I think, to its restrained running time. Some people would have bulked this up to two-and-a-half hours in order to feel suitably epic, but Krasinski recognizes the power of a simple premise simply told and it’s just right at ninety minutes. It’s a load of fun and, for a blockbuster that wants to be a load of fun, it’s also surprisingly risky and smart. 4 stars.
tl;dr – great premise simply & briskly explored; it has its flaws, but not that many, and the pleasures are too numerous to count. 4 stars.