Rated on a 5-star scale.

I went into the theater for Greta with no knowledge whatsoever about the movie. That’s a good thing because if I went into it expecting it to be a good movie I would’ve came out of it pretty disappointed.

Chloë Grace Moretz as [insert lead character name] | © 2019 Focus Features

Greta follows Frances (Chloë Grace Moretz), who finds a handbag on a New York City subway and returns it to its owner, an older woman named Greta (Isabelle Huppert). The two develop an unlikely friendship. Greta’s behavior, however, soon becomes obsessive and leads Frances to try to end the relationship before it gets out of hand.

Greta is an incredibly bland and uninteresting movie. It is not unique. It brings nothing new to the table. It is a by-the-books thriller and I’m positive you can call out story beats tens of minutes before they occur on screen.

The film seems to take itself too seriously at certain points. It tries to play itself off as a horror film many times, with jump scares and attempts at suspense, but it just doesn’t work because the story just gets more ridiculous as the film progresses. Greta’s obsessive actions become somewhat silly at around the halfway point and it just isn’t scary at all. I don’t care about the characters in danger and I’m not afraid of the villain, which means trying to make the film scary just doesn’t work.

“Let’s go see Greta!” “No thanks.” | © 2019 Focus Features

Most of the characters are just cardboard cutouts of typical archetypes. Frances is the hard-working, down-to-earth protagonist, still affected by the death of her mother. Frances’ roommate, Erika (Maika Monroe), is the goofy, fun-loving friend who tries to get Frances to enjoy herself for once. Think Lynda Van Der Klok from Halloween (1978).

Greta is by far the most interesting character in the movie, but even then she’s fairly flat. She’s the crazy old woman with the accent. There you go. I do think Isabelle Huppert’s performance as Greta is probably the best aspect of the movie, though, which is saying something.

Greta is watching. | © 2019 Focus Features

The cinematography, editing, music – bland, bland, bland. Let me be clear, though, these aspects of the movie are not bad. I admit, the film is adequately made. But they do not stand out at any point. They are just adequate – nothing more, nothing less. I can’t genuinely recall a single shot of this movie. Except for maybe the ridiculous shot of Greta standing in the middle of the street staring into the camera.

Greta does nothing special. It takes no risks. It’s as if the filmmakers said “let’s make a thriller!” and then followed an instruction manual to make it. Nothing is expressed here. I walked away from this movie with nothing. I learned nothing. I remember nothing about it. It’s a forgettable experience from start to finish. And giving viewers nothing to think about or remember after having them sit through an hour and a half of your movie is one of the biggest mistakes a movie can make.

The Verdict

Is this surprise? Confusion? Shock? Hard to tell. | © 2019 Focus Features

Greta is a forgettable, by-the-books thriller that does nothing interesting or engaging with the genre. Its characters are dull, its story is asinine, and its visuals, though decent, lack any semblance of uniqueness. If you’ve got nothing better to do and you’re willing to waste money and time on a movie that you won’t remember anything about when you wake up the next morning, check this one out.

My Rating


Rated on a 5-star scale.

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