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7 Movies Like ‘Don’t Look Up’ for More Apocalyptic Political Satire

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7 Movies Like ‘Don’t Look Up’ for More Apocalyptic Political Satire

Adam McKay is continuing his streak of prestige films with his latest big-budget political satire Don’t Look Up. With one of the most impressive list of stars to ever grace the screen with names like Leonardo DiCaprio, Jennifer Lawrence, Meryl Streep, Cate Blanchett, Timothee Chalamet, Jonah Hill, Ariana Grande, Rob Morgan, Tyler Perry, Ron Perlman, Mark Rylance and Kid Cudi, the film has already garnered and will continue to garner plenty of attention with audiences everywhere. The film focuses on two low-level astronomers from Michigan State University, tenured professor Randall Mindy and grad-student Kate Dibiasky, who discover that a comet the size of Mount Everest is set to hit Earth in six months time and will eliminate all life on the planet. The two travel the country to warn the world of its impending doom, but unfortunately, nobody takes them seriously.

McKay is no stranger to the world of satire. Even his Will Ferrell comedies have skewered political issues and made jabs at important public figures and it’s a method he has found great success with. Don’t Look Up feels like an amalgamation of McKay’s earlier work and his more prestigious fare, a film that has taken clear inspiration from other political satires that have come before. So if you were a fan or are interested in giving Don’t Look Up a shot, here are 7 films that you may also enjoy.

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RELATED: ‘Don’t Look Up’ Character Posters Are So Jam-Packed With Stars That Chris Evans Got Left Out

Vice

Much like Don’t Look Up has earned polarizing reviews along with awards attention, McKay’s last film Vice followed a similar path. Vice is a scathing and darkly comical biopic on former Vice President Dick Cheney (played in the film by Christian Bale) who during the Bush administration wielded a great deal of power, getting the US involved in unsavory conflicts overseas in the name of ‘ra-ra Americanism.’ The film doesn’t follow the traditional biopic formula with McKay channeling the style he brought to The Big Short with him to create an oddly entertaining but equally alarming take on the maligned Cheney.


Similar to his most recent film, McKay is not afraid to be vocal about his beliefs on the issues in the film, his storytelling methods prove to be loud and aggressive which will either win over the audience or alienate them. With a terrific ensemble that also includes names like Amy Adams, Sam Rockwell, Steve Carell, Tyler Perry and Jesse Plemons, the film’s strongest area lies with Bale’s transformative performance as Cheney in what is easily some of the best work in his entire career.

Network

Along with addressing political topics, Don’t Look Up also tackles the media in a way that is very reminiscent of Sidney Lumet‘s Oscar-Winning satire Network. The ensemble film kicks off when newscaster Howard Beale (Peter Finch) learns that he’s about to be fired in two weeks’ time leading him to go on air and proclaim that he will kill himself live on television in two weeks. This leads to a large spike in the broadcast network’s ratings as the executives start to take advantage of Howard’s mental health and make him into a media sensation putting the network back on top. Faye Dunaway, William Holden, Ned Beatty, Robert Duvall, and Beatrice Straight also star in the acclaimed film.

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Much like Don’t Look Up, Network is gloriously cynical about the issues it presents, showcasing that the higher powers in the corporate world truly only care about making money and getting attention rather than human lives. Balancing tough issues with a sense of snark, it’s one of Lumet’s finest achievements in his already illustrious filmography. For his iconic performance, Finch became the first actor in Academy history to win an acting award posthumously and deservingly so. Upon watching DiCaprio’s epic rant scene in Don’t Look Up, it’s clear the team was inspired by Finch’s Howard Beale.

Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb

Don’t Look Up analyzes the hot button issues of today much like Stanley Kubrick did in 1963 with his black & white satire Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb. The film, set during the Cold War, finds an unpredictable and unhinged American general (George C. Scott) orders a bomb strike on the Soviet Union thus commencing a series of madcap and terrifying events that will lead to a nuclear holocaust.


One of the most intriguing aspects about satires is that they’ll either farcically reenact true life events or paint a picture of a possible and terrifying future under the lens of black comedy. It’s a film that is unapologetic in transforming bleakness into comedy and letting the audience know that the only people responsible for preventing this kind of situation from happening, isn’t the audience, but the ruling class. Making tragedy into comedy is already a mighty task to tackle but Kubrick proved to be more than capable of telling the scarily funny story.

Seeking A Friend For The End Of The World

Making a comedy about the end of the world is surprisingly common, This Is The End, The World’s End, and Zombieland are just a few examples, but much like Don’t Look Up, Lorene Scafaria‘s Seeking A Friend For The End Of The World really captures the dread along with the laughs. In the film, it’s revealed that a mission to stop the planet-killing asteroid ‘Matilda’ has failed and that it will make impact in three weeks. Upon hearing the news, Dodge (Steve Carell) finds himself abandoned by his wife Linda. Feeling a sense of emotional numbness, Dodge plans to spend the rest of his days sulking, until he finds his neighbor Penny (Keira Knightley) crying over her recent break-up and the fact that she has missed her last chance to see her family. The two end up forming a bond and going on a road trip to find Dodge’s high school sweetheart and maybe, just maybe give Penny a chance to see her family again.

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Seeking A Friend For The End Of The World has its fair share of raunch as well as a sense of sweetness. It focuses on people who have no control over the fate of humanity and over the course of its runtime you get the sense that the end is inevitable. It’s equal parts haunting as well as charming and it’s one of those films that may leave you misty-eyed by the time the credits roll.

Team America: World Police

Matt Stone and Trey Parker are satire veterans thanks to their animated series South Park, a series which became a cultural phenomenon, so leave it to them to make a satirical comedy about celebrity politics and world affairs using marionette puppets. Team America: World Police is a parody of the 60s puppet show Thunderbirds and focuses on Gary Johnston, a Broadway star who is recruited by the elite Team America to use his impressive acting skills to infiltrate a terrorist plot involving Kim Jung-Il.

Team America is smarter than it lets on and much like Don’t Look Up, it skewers society’s obsession with celebrities. Throughout the film, the titular team of puppets is at odds with a group of actors (the name of the organization will not be listed here, for reasons) who are against their “world-saving” ways. With memorable and hilarious songs, puppet sex, and Stone and Parker’s trademark humor, Team America still remains one of the best political satires of the 21st century.

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Wag The Dog

Barry Levinson has a fascinating career as a filmmaker from directing the Best Picture winner Rain Man, comedy classics like Good Morning Vietnam, and for the past decade he has been dipping his toes into making indie films, HBO movies, and miniseries. Wag The Dog still remains a favorite and has become a staple in the genre of political satire, using big stars like Dustin Hoffman and Robert De Niro to tell a story that shows just how much the government can spin the media narrative. In the film, a sex scandal puts the president in hot water and causes his re-election chances to plummet to rock bottom. Spin doctor Conrad Brean (De Niro) is brought in to take the media’s attention off the scandal and works with Hollywood producer Stanley Motss to create a fake war that only the president can end.

Much like how Don’t Look Up takes aim at how the US government can distract people from very real issues that paint them in a negative light, Wag The Dog uses this as its basis and takes no prisoners. Relentlessly funny but also acting as a warning, Wag The Dog has inspired many of the satires that have come after it and still remains relevant today.

Greenland

Unlike the other films on this list, Greenland is neither a political satire nor is it a comedy; it’s a disaster movie, but one with more brains than you might expect. Like Don’t Look Up, the cause of the apocalypse is an asteroid, but instead of looking at scientists or the government themselves, Greenland follows an average American family as they try to reach a safe haven as cities become levied by the asteroid’s impact.


With the themes of mass panic, denial, seeking safety, and unity, Greenland is far different than what most may expect out of a film starring Gerard Butler. It’s an intense experience and instead of primarily taking place before doomsday, Greenland is set in the midst of it. It’s terrifying and even unpredictable and was a big surprise to many when it hit theaters last December.

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Review: SAMARITAN, A Sly Stallone Superhero Stumble

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Review: SAMARITAN, A Sly Stallone Superhero Stumble

Hitting the three-quarter-century mark usually means a retirement home, a nursing facility, or if you’re lucky to be blessed with relatively good health and savings to match, living in a gated community in Arizona or Florida.

For Sylvester Stallone, however, it means something else entirely: starring in the first superhero-centered film of his decades-long career in the much-delayed Samaritan. Unfortunately for Stallone and the audience on the other side of the screen, the derivative, turgid, forgettable results won’t get mentioned in a career retrospective, let alone among the ever-expanding list of must-see entries in a genre already well past its peak.

For Stallone, however, it’s better late than never when it involves the superhero genre. Maybe in getting a taste of the MCU (Marvel Cinematic Universe) with his walk-on role in the Guardians of the Galaxy sequel several years ago, Stallone thought anything Marvel can do, I can do even better (or just as good in the nebulous definition of the word).

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The property Stallone and his team found for him, Samaritan, a little-known graphic novel released by a small, almost negligible, publisher, certainly takes advantage of Stallone’s brute-force physicality and his often underrated talent for near-monosyllabic brooding (e.g., the Rambo series), but too often gives him to little do or say as the lone super-powered survivor, the so-called “Samaritan” of the title, of a lifelong rivalry with his brother, “Nemesis.” Two brothers entered a fire-ravaged building and while both were presumed dead, one brother did survive (Stallone’s Joe Smith, a garbageman by day, an appliance repairman by night).

In the Granite City of screenwriter Bragi F. Schut (Escape Room, Season of the Witch), the United States, and presumably the rest of the world, teeters on economic and political collapse, with a recession spiraling into a depression, steady gigs difficult, if not impossible, to obtain, and the city’s neighborhoods rocked by crime and violence. No one’s safe, not even 13-year-old Sam (Javon Walker), Joe’s neighbor.

When he’s not dodging bullies connected to a gang, he’s falling under the undue influence of Cyrus (Pilou Asbæk), a low-rent gang leader with an outsized ego and the conviction that he and only he can take on Nemesis’s mantle and along with that mantle, a hammer “forged in hate,” to orchestrate a Bane-like plan to plunge the city into chaos and become a wealthy power-broker in the process.

Schut’s woefully underwritten script takes a clumsy, haphazard approach to world-building, relying on a two-minute animated sequence to open Samaritan while a naive, worshipful Sam narrates Samaritan and Nemesis’s supposedly tragic, Cain and Abel-inspired backstory. Schut and director Julius Avery (Overlord) clumsily attempt to contrast Sam’s childish belief in messiah-like, superheroic saviors stepping in to save humanity from itself and its own worst excesses, but following that path leads to authoritarianism and fascism (ideas better, more thoroughly explored in Watchmen and The Boys).

While Sam continues to think otherwise, Stallone’s superhero, 25 years past his last, fatal encounter with his presumably deceased brother, obviously believes superheroes are the problem and not the solution (a somewhat reasonable position), but as Samaritan tracks Joe and Sam’s friendship, Sam giving Joe the son he never had, Joe giving Sam the father he lost to street violence well before the film’s opening scene, it gets closer and closer to embracing, if not outright endorsing Sam’s power fantasies, right through a literally and figuratively explosive ending. Might, as always, wins regardless of how righteous or justified the underlying action.

It’s what superhero audiences want, apparently, and what Samaritan uncritically delivers via a woefully under-rendered finale involving not just unconvincing CGI fire effects, but a videogame cut-scene quality Stallone in a late-film flashback sequence that’s meant to be subversively revelatory, but will instead lead to unintentional laughter for anyone who’s managed to sit the entirety of Samaritan’s one-hour and 40-minute running time.

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Samaritan is now streaming worldwide on Prime Video.

Samaritan

Cast
  • Sylvester Stallone
  • Javon ‘Wanna’ Walton
  • Pilou Asbæk

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Matt Shakman Is In Talks To Direct ‘Fantastic Four’

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According to a new report, Wandavision’s Matt Shakman is in talks to direct the upcoming MCU project, Fantastic Four. Marvel Studios has been very hush-hush regarding Fantastic Four to the point where no official announcements have been made other than the film’s release date. No casting news or literally anything other than rumors has been released regarding the project. We know that Fantastic Four is slated for release on November 8th, 2024, and will be a part of Marvel’s Phase 6. There are also rumors that the cast of the new Fantastic Four will be announced at the D23 Expo on September 9th.

Fantastic Four is still over two years from release, and we assume we will hear more news about the project in the coming months. However, the idea of the Fantastic Four has already been introduced into the MCU. John Krasinski played Reed Richards aka Mr. Fantastic in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness. The cameo was a huge deal for fans who have been waiting a long time for the Fantastic Four to enter the MCU. When Disney acquired Twenty Century Fox in 2019 we assumed that the Fox Marvel characters would eventually make their way into the MCU. It’s been 3 years and we already have had an X-Men and Fantastic Four cameo – even if they were from another universe.

Deadline is reporting that Wandavision’s Matt Shakman is in talks to direct Fantastic Four. Shakman served as the director for Wandavision and has had an extensive career. He directed two episodes of Game of Thrones and an episode of The Boys, and he had a long stint on It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia. There is nothing official yet, but Deadline’s sources say that Shakman is currently in talks for the job and things are headed in the right direction.

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To be honest, I was a bit more excited when Jon Watts was set to direct. I’m sure Shakman is a good director, but Watts proved he could handle a tentpole superhero film with Spider-Man: Homecoming. Wandavision was good, but Watts’ style would have been perfect for Fantastic Four. The film is probably one of the most anticipated films in Marvel’s upcoming slate films and they need to find the best person they can to direct. Is that Matt Shakman? It could be, but whoever takes the job must realize that Marvel has a lot riding on this movie. The other Fantastic Four films were awful and fans deserve better. Hopefully, Marvel knocks it out of the park as they usually do. You can see for yourself when Fantastic Four hits theaters on November 8th, 2024.

Film Synopsis: One of Marvel’s most iconic families makes it to the big screen: the Fantastic Four.

Source: Deadline

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Dan Aykroyd, Chevy Chase Star in ‘Zombie Town’ Mystery Teen Romancer (Exclusive)

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Dan Aykroyd and Chevy Chase have entered Zombie Town, a mystery teen romancer based on author R.L. Stine’s book of the same name.

The indie, now shooting in Ontario, also stars Henry Czerny and co-teen leads Marlon Kazadi and Madi Monroe. The ensemble cast includes Scott Thompson and Bruce McCulloch of the Canadian comedy show Kids in the Hall.

Canadian animator Peter Lepeniotis will direct Zombie Town. Stine’s kid’s book sees a quiet town upended when 12-year-old Mike and his friend, Karen, see a horror movie called Zombie Town and unexpectedly see the title characters leap off the screen and chase them through the theater.

Zombie Town will premiere in U.S. theaters before streaming on Hulu and then ABC Australia in 2023.

“We are delighted to bring the pages of R.L. Stine’s Zombie Town to the screen and equally thrilled to be working with such an exceptional cast and crew on this production. A three-time Nickelodeon Kids Choice Award winner with book sales of over $500 million, R.L. Stine has a phenomenal track record of crafting stories that engage and entertain audiences,” John Gillespie, Trimuse Entertainment founder and executive producer, said in a statement.

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Executive producers are Trimuse Entertainment, Toonz Media Group, Lookout Entertainment, Viva Pictures and Sons of Anarchy actor Kim Coates.  

Paco Alvarez and Mark Holdom of Trimuse negotiated the deal to acquire the rights to Stine’s Zombie Town book.

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