"Arcadian" makes the post-apocalyptic genre look cool again

Arcadian (2024)

Any incoming genre film with a post-apocalyptic setting is bound to be overlooked and just seen as derivative. Debuting director Benjamin Brewer’s "Arcadian" may look like a smaller-scaled "A Quiet Place" at first glance, but it’s the strength of the performances, an emotional rooting interest in the characters, and some truly menacing monsters that make this worth a look. 

Stop me if you’ve heard this one before: it’s the near future, and some kind of unexplained disaster has taken out most of the human race and spawned some monsters. 15 years into this new normal, patriarch Paul (Nicolas Cage) has raised his two sons, Thomas (Maxwell Jenkins) and Joseph (Jaeden Martell), to live off the land and scavenge for supplies during the day. Thomas, the more outgoing boy, spends his days helping at the wealthy Rose family’s farm and to flirt with Charlotte (Sadie Soverall). At night, they fortify their home from the creatures that roam the earth. Of course, one of those days, Thomas doesn’t come home before dark and Dad must go out for look for him. 

What life was like for Paul before this apocalypse doesn’t really matter to the story. There’s no mention of his sons’ mother; it’s now just a father and his boys being raised as men. If one is hoping to witness another bonkers performance from Nicolas Cage, his work as Paul is more restrained and no-nonsense, and it works for this kind of story. Maxwell Jenkins and Jaeden Martell are strong as very different brothers who often resent each other, and writer Mike Nilon makes the correct choice in centering on their relationship and how it evolves. Read the full review at GuyAtTheMovies.com

Grade: B

RLJE Films released "Arcadian" (93 min.) in theaters on April 12, 2024.