DVD Review: Brad’s Status

STUDIO: Universal | DIRECTOR: Mike White | CAST: Ben Stiller, Austin Abrams, Jenna Fischer, Luke Wilson, Michael Sheen, Jermaine Clement, Shazi Raja
RELEASE DATE: Jan. 2, 2018 | PRICE: DVD $12.96, Blu-ray $15.49
BONUSES: featurettes
SPECS: R | 102 min. | Comedy-drama | 2.00:1 widescreen | Dolby Digital 5.1/DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1

RATINGS (out of 5 dishes): Movie   | Audio   | Video   | Overall

A sleeper that deserves a look after a brief theatrical run, Brad’s Status is a funny, touching and insightful study centering on Brad Sloan (Ben Stiller, While We’re Young), a married middle-aged man reflecting on his place in the world as he takes his musically gifted son (Austin Abrams, Paper Towns) on a tour of potential colleges. Their trip to the Boston area leads the Sacramento-based Sloan, who runs a small non-profit, an opportunity to evaluate his former classmates whom he considers more successful than himself.

Written and directed by Mike White (writer of Beatriz at Dinner and School of Rock), the film looks at Stiller’s misanthropic malaise with humor and perception. This is clearly one of his best performances, and the unsteady relationship with his son (the excellent Abrams) rings true.  The supporting cast playing Stiller’s school chums, sometimes featured in offbeat fantasy sequences, scores as well in brief moments.

There’s a Big Chill quality of the “time has passed me over” theme throughout, brought home powerfully with the eventual reunion of Stiller and his best-selling author acquaintance (Michael Sheen, Beautiful Boy) who has ties to Harvard where his son may want to study. Like the rest of the movie, this section smartly walks the tricky line of serious stuff and subtle humor, both leading to emotional impact.

Brad’s Status is a winner that deserves discovery in its post-theatrical world.


Buy or Rent Brad’s Status

About Irv

Irv Slifkin has been reviewing movies since before he got kicked off of his high school radio station for panning The Towering Inferno in 1974. He has written the books VideoHound’s Groovy Movies: Far-Out Films of the Psychedelic Era and Filmadelphia: A Celebration of a City’s Movies, and has contributed film reportage and reviews to such outlets as Entertainment Weekly, The Hollywood Reporter, Video Business magazine and National Public Radio.