Netflix Now: I Don't Feel At Home In This World Anymore (2017) - Reviewed

First things first, the theme of this movie and how it relates to modern society is fantastic. This movie demands you take the reins of your existence and try and make some sense in the madness of this world. The day to day soul draining monotony of life is on full display in this film. 

When Ruthie’s (Melanie Lynskey) house gets robbed, it’s the last straw in her ever increasing disgust with the world. After years of playing polite, she suddenly takes control and makes it her mission to find the person who robbed her home! And the damn dog that’s been leaving dumps in her yard! Ruthie is easy to relate to. We all have grievances, and in the grand scheme of everything wrong in the world they may seem irrelevant. Yet that is the message in I Don’t Feel At Home In This World Anymore. You shouldn’t feel selfish about trying to make the world a better place on a personal level. Why not? No one else is going to do it.

Elijah Wood is epic as Tony, a neighborhood loner who is reminiscent of any weightlifting dude from the ‘80s who thinks he’s training to become a ninja. Tony and Ruthie make a magical team. In many ways each character is awakened by the other, motivating each other to fulfill their potential in the world. Make no mistake, as enlightening as this film is, it does highlight much that is wrong in the world and the sinister people that keep the ugly wheels turning. Sadly, the disgusting nature of the world is a secret we all try to ignore. The most disheartening of all is the disregard many people have considering the well being of another. Perhaps this is writer and first time director Macon Blair’s message, to highlight the ugly truths. Yet then again, there is so much more to this film than just the already conscious spotlight on the shortcomings of society. At its heart, At Home highlights a charming “take a stand” storyline that has a dark sense of humor. The righting of one wrong can be an addictive and dangerous thing. 

At Home is a great look at the quirky behavior of loneliness. It also is a reminder that even in the big picture of the world, each of us are important. Ruthie is the hero we all want to be, the person who wakes up and says the things we want to say after years of being too considerate. Part Michael Douglas’s Falling Down, part Forensic Files, and part Kung-Fury, this film is a reminder that everyone is capable of making a change. The film premiered at the 2017 Sundance festival and went on to win the Grand Jury Prize in the U.S. dramatic competition. After the festival, the film was quickly picked up by Netflix, who have been expanding their interest in independent arthouse films as of late.

Melanie Lynskey shines as Ruthie. Her beat down and frustrated performance echoes a tired and lost generation. Life isn’t suppose to be easy, but it shouldn’t seem impossible and without purpose. Ruthie is the everyday silent hero who endures with a polite demeanor. Yet every once in awhile that burden can become too much, and I Don’t Feel At Home In This World Anymore is the perfect example of what happens when society pushes a person beyond the levels of courtesy.


-Lee L. Lind