Suburbicon (DVD) : Review


Suburbicon, an idyllic town, representing the American Dream in 1959s USA. Named after this town, the film is a noir crime thriller, full of mystery, and a story that brings together both the stereotypes of that bygone era, and current issues that still plague the world today.

When a home invasion goes wrong, Gardner Lodge (Matt Damon – Thor: RagnarokThe Great Wall) is forced to deal with his life being turned upside-down when his wife Rose (Julianne Moore – Kingsman: The Golden Circle, The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1) is killed. Yet, not long before, the first African-American family had moved into the neighbourhood, and with all the racial fear that exists with the local townsfolk, they automatically become the prime suspects, and the target of much abhorrent behaviour by the locals.

Suburbicon is one of those nostalgic films, that brings both a hidden message bout pre-judging people based on race, or creed. At its heart, it has a dramatic story of family, and one that draws you in, and then shocks you.

Rewatch value on the film is not too high. After seeing it a few times, the shock value does tend to be diluted, however the story is well portrayed by a talented cast.

Read the full SAMDB review of Suburbicon.


Overall, the disc could be of a better technical quality. Video compression is high, for what seems to be the purpose of fitting the entire film onto a single disc layer, making for cheaper and easier manufacturing. This, however, does impact the visuals. It also means there are no subtitles on the disc, nor any additional soundtracks, other than the original English. Another disc, with issues, from Next.


Video is encoded at a low average bitrate, leaving for a soft over-all look to the image. While the film does fill an entire single layer disc, this was likely done to negate the need for a double layer disc, saving on manufacturing costs, at the expense of quality.

While there are no visible artefacts on-screen, colour do appear subdued in scenes. There is no discernible colour bleed, but a lack of vibrancy.


Audio is presented in either a Dolby Digital surround track, or a stereo downmix. The soundtrack is encoded at a high average bitrate, with dialogue clear via the centre speaker. While the weight of the soundtrack is carried by the front channels, the surrounds are used for both music and larger, busier scenes, serving to expand the on-screen world, and further draw the viewer into the story.


Navigation on the disc is simple, and easy to follow. The main menu has a motion background showing a few clips from the film (some could be classified as spoilers, although there is no context provided). This is accompanied by background music.

There are text links on the main menu to play the movie, scene selection, and setup.

The scene selection sub-menus each have ten small, desaturated, still thumbnails, for a total of twenty chapters. While these are numbered, they are not labelled on-screen, nor in the packaging, meaning that navigation to a particular point in the main feature will require an amount of guesswork.

The setup sub-menu merely has text links to choose between Dolby Surround or Dolby Stereo.

There are no subtitles on the disc, nor a soundtrack option for the hearing impaired.

Bonus Features

There are no bonus features on the disc, not even the usual trailers that autoplay at the beginning of many discs.


Packaging for the DVD is basic, with a poster on the front of the disc, with title and main cast. The back has a short synopsis, and a few small stills from the main feature. There are some of the usual technical details here too.

There is no package insert for the disc, for things such as chapter headings, etc.


By Andrew Germishuys

Founder of SAMDB, Andrew has worked full time in the film industry since the early 2000's. He has trained as an actor, completing his LAMDA Gold Medal, and attending many courses in Cape Town acting studios, with masterclasses with some of the international industries top directors, producers and filmmakers. Working as an actor and armourer in the film and television industry have given Andrew a great balance of skills across the board when it comes to the entertainment industry. Catch him on Twitter: Instagram: IMDb:

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