Review: Causeway

While this certainly isn’t a pleasant movie I’d say this film is one of the more pleasant surprises of the year. After seeing the trailer for this one it looked like a pretty standard trauma drama but it ended up being a brilliantly acted and honest portrayal of a topic that easily could have been far more melodramatic. And its Veteran’s Day so let’s dive into Causeway.

The film follows Lynsey (Jennifer Lawrence) as she returns home following a traumatic brain injury in Afghanistan. As she struggles to reintegrate in her childhood home she befriends James (Brian Tyree Henry) who helps her cope with her P.T.S.D. while dealing with his own.

The plot is simple and fairly predictable but what makes this film stand out is great dialogue and understated performances by Lawrence and Henry. This has got to be one of the most grounded performances Lawrence has had in years, maybe even since her breakout role in Winter’s Bone. Over the last decade we’ve become so accustomed to her playing larger than life characters in big productions but this film gives us the exact opposite. It’s a great change of pace and a refresher of just how talented Lawrence can be when given the right material. Part of what elevates her performance is her chemistry with co-star Brian Tyree Henry. Anybody whose seen him as Paper Boi in Atlanta knows he’s a tremendous actor but this is his best work we’ve seen from him to date. His character’s quiet and caring nature is on full display but there are several moments where he’ll absolutely break your heart.

Director Lila Neugebauer, making her feature film debut, does a great job of taking a difficult subject matter and avoiding many of the common tropes we see with trauma and mental health and keeping the film on track. Both characters are broken people united by their need for one another. On paper this isn’t exactly a fun film but often times you can’t find yourself smiling watching Henry trying to make Jennifer Lawrence crack. However the most impactful scene comes in the final act of the film featuring a cameo many fans of Fargo (the series) will get a kick out of.

At just over 90 minutes (we need more of these) the film definitely doesn’t overstay its welcome but the ending does feel abrupt. Lawrence sucks you in early and watching her and Henry develop their relationship is definitely the peak but after that the film does become rather predictable but the juice of the film is in the performances, not the story.

Henry should be in the conversation for Best Supporting Actor this year and Lawrence is definitely in the conversation amongst a loaded field. Most other years she’d likely be near the top of the field. The script’s dialogue might be enough to carry it to the Best Original Screenplay race though I’d say this is more of a longshot. Apple managed to pull off an upset with CODA last year so I’d say anything is possible with the right people backing it.

Again, this isn’t a good time, knock your socks off, popcorn movie. It’s a well acted, quiet, and at times heavy indie drama addressing difficult, but important, issues. Fans of Lawrence and Henry will love this and the film’s shorter run time makes it easier to enjoy. Not to mention, it’s cool to see a story about a female veteran, something we rarely see in film. Give it a shot but don’t come crying to me after I told you what you’re getting into.

Causeway is streaming now on Apple TV+.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Comments (



  1. Casual Recs – November 18th – Too Much Popcorn

    […] can check out my full review of this one here but I wanted to give it another shoutout. Jennifer Lawrence is really good in this and it’s […]


%d bloggers like this: