Red Rocket

Director: Sean Baker Run Time: 128 min. Release Year: 2021

Starring: Bree Elrod, Ethan Darbone, Shih-Ching Tsou, Simon Rex, Suzanna Son

Please Note: All in-person screenings at the Brattle require proof of vaccination or a negative Covid-19 test as of 10/1/2021.

Adding to his gallery of jet-fueled portraits of economic hardship within marginalized pockets of the U.S., director Sean Baker (TANGERINE; THE FLORIDA PROJECT, IFFBoston Screening Series 2017) trains his restless camera on an unforgettable protagonist. Mikey, a wildly narcissistic former porn star fallen on hard times, has returned from L.A. to his depressed, postindustrial hometown of Texas City, reconnecting with his skeptical, drug-dependent estranged wife and mother-in-law, and using his wily charms to ingratiate himself into a community of people he couldn’t care less about. As played by a brilliantly cast Simon Rex (a star MTV VJ in the ’90s), Mikey is a charismatic force of nature—and destruction—who exploits the innocence and goodwill of everyone around him. Pointedly set against the backdrop of the 2016 presidential election, RED ROCKET is an aptly steamed-up depiction of contemporary America as a playground for hustlers and con men.

—New York Film Festival guide

Trailer