Synchronic (2019)
January 13, 2021 1:40 PM - Subscribe

The best time-travel movie theatrically released in 2020 features Anthony Mackie and Jamie Dornan as two grizzled New Orleans paramedics who run across a designer drug linked to a series of spooky deaths.

This is the fourth feature from writer/director/cinematographer team Justin Benson and Aaron Moorhead (Resolution, The Endless, Spring). After premiering at various film festivals in 2019 to generally positive reviews, the film had a brief theatrical release in October 2020 and is now widely available on VoD and streaming platforms.
posted by whir (10 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Don't see this for rent anywhere for me (US) but I would bet this is in my future. I have mixed feelings about Resolution and The Endless but they were worth seeing.
posted by fleacircus at 5:26 PM on January 13, 2021

Looks like it's only available to buy right now. Looks interesting but I'll wait until I can stream it.
posted by octothorpe at 6:20 PM on January 13, 2021

I enjoyed it, interesting set of time travel rules. The brain cancer (revealed very early) first drives wonder, then drives the rest of the plot.
posted by porpoise at 6:44 PM on January 13, 2021

I really enjoyed this and I think it's the strongest of Benson & Moorhead's work. The time travel rules make sense (as much as time travel makes sense) and I appreciated that. Anthony Mackie is great in this.
posted by edencosmic at 3:50 AM on January 14, 2021

Nothing wrong with this movie. I guess that's damning it with faint praise... but really pretty solid, though the stuff with the coffins should have had a bit better payoff. But the movie really goes out of it's way to explain why the lead character does what he does for his friend's daughter. It's enough to hope you get a sequel because Anthony Mackie is a solid hunk of awesome.
posted by Catblack at 8:31 AM on January 15, 2021

I seem to recall that we enjoyed The Endless and Spring, so I suppose we will have to check this out!
posted by turbid dahlia at 2:21 PM on January 19, 2021

The DVD is currently available as a cheap rental at Redbox kiosks.

I found the eerie, fractured setup in the first hour really promising but none of those odd jumpcuts or beautiful galaxy shots paid off in any way at all, and the last 40 minutes were really dull, with Mackie's character behaving in increasingly dumb and inexplicable ways. Not particularly interesting time travel philosophy or insight either, and the rules seemed arbitrary and nonsensical. 7 exact minutes each time? From swallowing a pill that affects the pineal gland? Wha? Why?

Benson and Moorhead's other films were smarter and much creepier than this.

The first 45 min or so are a great odd, moody film but once it abandons the stylistic weirdness and Mackie begins his lonely, reckless experimenting and the buddies devolve into exchanging platitudes about marriage and life I found it hard to care. My least fave of Benson and Moorhead's films.
posted by mediareport at 3:36 AM on January 21, 2021

This movie totally didn’t work for me, stilted acting, though I have enjoyed both leads in other things, and it seemed very amateurish, especially the time travel rules and incredibly clunky exposition about them. Maybe a decent b-movie, but I went into it expecting a real movie and found it disappointing. Very strange that it was reviewed so well. Tenet kinda sucked, but was leagues better in every imaginable way.
posted by snofoam at 4:55 PM on January 22, 2021

I found the slowness of the paramedic scenes very, very affecting. Usually, wherever paramedics are depicted working, everything is frantic and everyone is shouting over each other... The exact opposite depicted here, where everything felt just a tad too calm and too still was very eerie and unsettling.

The rest of the film? Hm.
posted by meese at 9:21 PM on July 30, 2021

Listen: Captain America has come unstuck in time.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 12:05 PM on March 27, 2022

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