Acidman (2023)

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Dianna Agron, Thomas Haden Church, Sameerah Luqmaan-Harris
Written by: Alex Lehmann, Chris Dowling
Directed by: Alex Lehmann
MPAA Rating: NR
Running Time: 87
Date: 03/31/2023


By Jeffrey M. Anderson

This low-key familial drama isn’t really about aliens, and not a lot actually happens in it, but our two actors are so fully emotionally invested in their roles that we can feel their shared history.

Maggie (Dianna Agron) tracks down her estranged father, Lloyd (Thomas Haden Church), living in a rundown house in the middle of nowhere, the graffiti “ACIDMAN” scrawled on the side of the house. A brilliant engineer, he lives alone, with his dog Migo, and has been spending his time searching for alien visitors, studying patterns in the sky.

Maggie won’t tell him exactly why she’s there, but they attempt to re-ignite their bond as Maggie spends time there and helps out. One day, convinced that the visitors will be arriving in two days, Lloyd launches a plan to send a signal into the skies.

Directed and co-written by Alex Lehmann, Acidman more or less drifts along through its days, and even the suggestion that there may be something cognitively wrong with Lloyd — he sometimes stares off into space and doesn’t seem to hear anything — never comes to much. And Maggie’s ultimate reason for seeking out her dad isn’t all that interesting either.

But spending time with the two of them is more than enough to make Acidman worth a look. They have a genuine rapport. (“I am you! I do the same things!” Maggie confesses to him, referring to their shared DNA, and we believe it.) The movie slows down when this paired energy splits off into solo scenes, but it always comes back. A climactic scene, in which they attempt to contact the aliens, is really something quite lovely.

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