'99 Homes' Is a Blood-Boiling Thriller
Based on true events about the home foreclosure crisis, this movie will have your blood boiling and you gripping the arm rest in anger knowing people really were losing their homes left and right -- and given only minutes to vacate them.
"99 Homes" centers on a greedy, heat-packing real estate broker (Shannon) who makes money by evicting people from their foreclosed homes. He shows up with sheriff's deputies and a lock smith, and gives people two minutes to pack up all their worldly possessions and get out. Most people are stunned and still on the phone with their lawyers or their banks, trying to modify their home loans but to no avail. One of his evicted victims, Garfield's Dennis Nash, is jobless and so desperate that he goes to work for the man who evicted him and starts making money doing the same dirty deed to others. Together they steal, pillage, and forge legal documents to make more and more money evicting hard-working people. Eventually, Garfield's conscience catches up with him.
"99 Homes" was written and directed by Ramin Bahrani, who also directed "Good Bye Solo" and "Man Push Cart." While you've likely never heard of those movies, "Homes" will have you hooked by the trailer and talking about it days after you leave the theater. In 2009, legendary film critic Rodger Ebert declared Bahrani "the new great American director," and this movie shows that he's earned that title.
Everyone should see "99 Homes," if not for the amazing filmmaking then to better learn how banks caused the housing market crash that devastated so many Americans, and the greed and profiteering that followed.
Wendell Escott is a student at El Camino Community College and a contributor to Moviefone's Campus Beat.