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Screener Squad: White Noise

White Noise Movie Review


Ever since it was published in 1985, filmmakers have attempted to adapt White Noise, a benchmark in postmodernist literature from acclaimed novelist, Don DeLillo. Despite the book’s reputation for being unfilmable, Netflix gave writer/director Noah Baumbach (The Squid and the Whale, Marriage Story) the greenlight to try, as well as a blockbuster sized budget rumored to exceed $100M. Jack Gladney (Adam Driver) is a college professor who lives in an idyllic Midwestern college town with his fourth wife Babette (Greta Gerwig) and their large blended family. When a train crash releases a deadly chemical into the air, the Gladneys pile into the family station wagon and try to evacuate. Brief exposure to the toxic cloud exacerbates Jack’s mounting fear of death, and spurs his need to uncover Babette’s darkest secret. That being said, both the novel and the film are less about plot and more about examining a wide array of themes through the kaleidoscopic lens of satire: everything from academia, collective trauma, anxiety, conspicuous consumerism, pharmaceutical therapy, environmental pollution, the nuclear family, crowd dynamics, the news media, pop culture icons, simulations vs reality, religion, and more get tossed into this thick stew of darkly funny sociopolitical commentary. It’s no easy task for Baumbach to blend genres, and juxtapose psychological realism onto characters who live in a hyperreal recreation of Reagan era America, and who often feel like satirical constructs designed to communicate in arch, stylized dialogue, dueling academic lectures, and dance routines set to LCD Sound System. No, really. Our reviewers Neil, Beau, and Marco put on their thinking caps and tried to make sense of this epic ode to modern day anxiety. Will contemporary viewers embrace this oddball period piece, or is this a case of too much noise and not enough signal? Listen to our review to find out.


DIRECTED BY: Noah Baumbach

STARRING: Adam Driver, Greta Gerwig, Don Cheadle, Raffey Cassidy, Sam Nivola, May Nivola, Jodie Turner-Smith, André Benjamin, Sam Gold, Carlos Jacott, Lars Eidinger, Bill Camp, Barbara Sukowa, Francis Jue, Henry Moore, Dean Moore, Gideon Glick, Chloe Fineman, Kenneth Lonergan




Marco Noyola (Digital Noise, Highly Suspect Reviews, Screener Squad, Audio Editor)

By day, Marco is a mild-mannered office worker, but by night he is a mild-mannered movie watcher. He does other mild-mannered stuff too.

“You don’t need to follow me. You don’t need to follow anybody!”




Neil Anderson (Screener Squad)

I first got hooked on movies when I saw Star Wars at a drive-in theater as a kid. Growing up in a small, rural town meant not having access to a lot of movies. In college, that all changed. I couldn’t get enough. I love it all — flicks, films, movies, and cinema. I still have that wide-eyed wonder of that kid watching movies from the back of a pick-up truck at the drive-in.




Beau Paul (Highly Suspect Reviews, The Original Gentlemen, Screener Squad)

Beau Paul is an Austin native, an actor, and a writer. Sometimes all at once! Previously he has attempted to be an internet entertainer (the funny ha-ha kind, not the naked moneymaking kind) at, and now here on You can read his pithy witticisms and the retweeted material of funnier, cleverer people on Twitter or Facebook, and can buy him stuff on Amazon.



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