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The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

Movie Review – Atmospheric film starts soft, ends big

By Jamil Oakford/ editor-in-chief

After an accident, Morgan, played by Anya Taylor-Joy, is confined to a room and left to play chess to pass the time in Morgan. Director Luke Scott, son of Ridley Scott, aims to create a sturdy foundation with his debut. The film also stars Kate Mara as Lee.Courtesy of Scott Free Productions
After an accident, Morgan, played by Anya Taylor-Joy, is confined to a room and left to play chess to pass the time in Morgan. Director Luke Scott, son of Ridley Scott, aims to create a sturdy foundation with his debut. The film also stars Kate Mara as Lee.
Courtesy of Scott Free Productions

Morgan delivers a chilling thriller that starts off slow but ends with a decent payoff.

The film’s plot, both unoriginal and a bit bland on the surface, centers around Lee, a corporate risk assessor, who visits a research facility in the middle of the woods. After a violent accident with a test subject, Lee’s job is to make a judgment for the company whether to keep the research facility going or shut it down permanently.

The first act is slow-paced and dialogue-heavy and works to establish the relationships between the staff at the facility and the test subject named Morgan.

From the moment the audience is introduced to her until her very last frame, the director does a good job of impressing the feeling of danger that Morgan brings.

Even though she’s 5, she’s highly intelligent, able to rationalize after the fact and can easily work her way through anything in front of her. The director shows us in various subtle ways that although intriguing, Morgan is dangerous as well.

In his directorial debut, Luke Scott (son of Alien director Ridley Scott) brings a strong vision. Morgan is sleek with all the visual and atmospheric presence needed to earn the thriller/suspense genre tag.

Kate Mara, who portrays Lee, and Anya Taylor-Joy, who portrays Morgan, are both standouts. Mara shines through her performance as a straight-laced and emotionally stoic character while Taylor-Joy does a great job muddying the audience’s emotions toward her. One moment she’s young and innocent and then in another, the viewer is left to wonder if she’s playing at something more.

In one of the film’s best scenes, Morgan is receiving her psychological evaluation with a corporate-hired psychologist, played by Paul Giamatti.

Both actors play off of each other’s energy, giving a highly dynamic scene that somehow ends up playing with the viewer’s own emotions as well.

While Morgan delivers a powerful and harrowing final act, it’s flat in many places. The film is definitely worth a watch but not worth the price of admission.

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