Movie Review: The Lookout

Chris Pratt (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) was a popular kid in high school. Surrounded by friends and the star player of a hockey team in his small Midwestern town. But a traumatic car accident left Pratt with a type of brain damage that makes the littlest everyday situations challenging (opening a can of soup for instance).

Based on ritual, patterns, and repetition, Chris records everything in a pocket notebook, to help him remember and sequence events and information. Unable to live on his own, he boards with smart wisecracking independent blind man, Lewis (Jeff Daniels). Befriended by Gary Spargo (Mathew Goode), a manipulative acquaintance from old days that helps revive Chris' shattered confidence, while devilishly recruiting him to help rob the bank where he works as an overnight janitor.

"I just want to be who I was."

The Lookout is a refreshingly entertaining heist thriller from Scott Frank, the Oscar-nominated writer of Out Of Sight who makes his directorial debut. Pratt's brain damage is not just a quirky character trait; it is the driving force of this consistently fascinating and compelling story. The Lookout is not a passive experience. You are sucked into the inner-workings of Chris' damaged mind. You aren't just watching him, you become him. You root for Chris to make the right decisions, but totally understand when he doesn't.

Jeff Daniels is nothing less than brilliant as the dream-filled cynical blind best friend. Joseph Gordon-Levitt continues to improve, delivering deeper and more believable performances. And Isla Fisher delivers a surprisingly different take on the stereotypical stripper girlfriend character.

/Film Rating: 7.5 out of 10