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The Mitchells vs. the Machines poster

The Mitchells vs. the Machines (2021)

A quirky, dysfunctional family's road trip is upended when they find themselves in the middle of the robot apocalypse and suddenly become humanity's unlikeliest last hope.
4.3 / 5
INCLUVIE SCORE
4.5 / 5
MOVIE SCORE
Representation
Black
LGBTQ

Incluvie Movie Reviews


Bianca Sbrocchi
December 21, 2021
4 / 5
INCLUVIE SCORE
4.5 / 5
MOVIE SCORE

The Mitchells vs. the Machines is a Comedic Heavy-Hitter with Heart

The Mitchells vs. the Machines wins big in every category: it’s visually interesting, includes full and abundant characters, spirited commentary,  but mostly it is laugh-out-loud funny. Writers/Director Michael Rianda and Jeff Rowe created a true ‘film for all ages’ that has been running circles through my mind since its Netflix release in April of this year. After listening to these two writers chat about their inclusion of a gay character on the podcast Script Apart, my interest was peaked once again and I gave this film a much-deserved re-watch with a new appreciation for the harmonies at play in this feature.  A family-centric coming-of-age story, The Mitchells vs. the Machines follows a charismatically dysfunctional family in the midst of some growing pains. Teenage Katie is gearing up to fly the nest and move across the country to attend film school and find the people she feels will truly understand her. While it’s obvious there’s a lot of love in the Mitchell family, there is also a lot of discourse that makes Katie feel as though she’ll never be understood by them. Her father especially, who shows little interest in the short films she uses to express herself or the youthful, unconventional way she likes to communicate. Just like many parents, he falls into the trap of not being able to see past everyone’s fixation with technology. When tensions boil over and Rick Mitchell fears he may lose his daughter forever over this rift, he plans a cross-country road trip to drop her off at college and mend their broken relationship. The odds are definitely not in his favour to begin with, but when the robot apocalypse strikes and it’s up to this barely-functioning band to save the whole human race, well, that’s when their bonds are tested and they must work together- playing into all of their strengths and overcoming their weaknesses. This film manages to be simultaneously topical and timeless. Without being preachy, it highlights society’s flawed relationship with tech. These days, the parent and child dynamic will often be affected by their understanding of how a phone or laptop fits into thier life. However, the core of this story never settles for simply battling over the blanket-statement argument: ‘is technology good or bad?’ This is accomplished by way of favouring character growth over tired tropes of a smartphone-fearing, stubborn Boomer figure. Instead, the timeless aspect of the story is that a family unit isn’t always the easiest team to be on, but when the love is there and active steps are taken to value your loved ones for who they are- that is when you can be at your strongest. Together or apart. 
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Daleyna
June 1, 2021
4.5 / 5
INCLUVIE SCORE
4.5 / 5
MOVIE SCORE

'The Mitchells vs. The Machines': Creative Kids vs. Practical Parents

Netflix’s recent hit The Mitchells vs. The Machines tells the story of Katie and her slightly dysfunctional family on a farewell road trip as she leaves for college. There’s some family drama going on between Katie and her dad, but nothing that can’t be solved with the help of a machine apocalypse.  Katie is a classic Gen-Z kid: she’s attached to her phone all the time, even telling her dad at one point that seeing the world through a screen is “how I experience things.” She watches videos that look similar to TikToks and expresses her creativity through videos uploaded to her channel on YouTube. She wants to pursue film as a career, a goal that’s affirmed once she’s accepted into the college of her dreams. She’s excited to get away from home where she has no friends because of her quirky personality and because her peers simply don’t understand her interests (or her sexuality, as it’s implied.) In contrast, the people she’s met from college online already love her for who she is and share her interests.  Meanwhile, Rick is like a lot of real life dads: he likes to fix things, he likes nature, he’s practical about everything in life and thinks his kids should be, too. The problem with that thinking is most kids are not carbon copies of their parents. They’re going to be different, which Rick has trouble understanding. So, we reach the main conflict of this movie (beyond the robot apocalypse): the universal struggle between the older, practical generation and the younger, creative generation. And seemingly worsening that divide is modern-day technology, the Internet, and social media. Katie, like so many people who have dreams of going into the arts, has a parent who doesn’t believe she will succeed. Rick tells her, “Do you really think you can make a living with this stuff?” and later, “Failure hurts, kid. I want you to have a backup plan.” Of course, this is the eternal anxiety that plagues any person pursuing creative endeavors as a career. But Katie never gives into fear. Katie is unapologetically confident in herself and her dreams for her future. It’s refreshing to see a character like Katie never doubt herself. I was worried the premise of this film might center on Katie debating her goal to pursue film, but the real conflict follows Katie and her dad reconciling their differences.  The main thing that stands between them is technology. Katie can’t part with it but that’s all her dad wants her to do. Screens constantly separate them. When Katie shows her family a video she made the night before leaving for college, all her father can see is a barrier. He doesn’t comprehend that this is how Katie is expressing her love for her family. He doesn’t see the effort she put into it. And Katie doesn’t understand her father’s dislike of technology and art or his love of nature. The two are polar opposites, but as the movie goes on, Katie’s mom points out that the two are very alike. They’re both stubborn, quirky but self-confident, and Rick even loved a form of art once too: he built a cabin for himself to live in, but the rest of his dream didn’t work out. Katie’s mom says he was probably afraid the same thing would happen to Katie.  After hearing all of this, Katie becomes more understanding of Rick. She can respect where he's coming from. Over the course of the film, Rick understands Katie’s interests more, too. When she uses art to camouflage their car from robots, he notes, “I didn’t know art could be useful.” 
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Pictures and Videos


Movie Information


A quirky, dysfunctional family's road trip is upended when they find themselves in the middle of the robot apocalypse and suddenly become humanity's unlikeliest last hope.

Rating:PG
Genre:Animation, Adventure, Comedy
Directed By:Michael Rianda
Written By:Jeff Rowe, Michael Rianda
In Theaters:4/22/2021
Box Office:

Runtime:110 minutes
Studio:Columbia Pictures, Sony Pictures Animation, One Cool Film Production, Lord Miller Productions

Cast