DVD Movie Guide @ dvdmg.com
Review Archive:  # | A-C | D-F | G-I | J-L | M-O | P-R | S-U | V-Z | Viewer Ratings | Main


Steven Soderbergh
Claire Foy, Joshua Leonard, Jay Pharoah
Writing Credits:
Jonathan Bernstein, James Greer

A young woman is involuntarily committed to a mental institution, where she is confronted by her greatest fear--but is it real or a product of her delusion?

Box Office:
Opening Weekend
$3,762,145 on 2023 Screens.
Domestic Gross

Rated R

Aspect Ratio: 1.56:1
English DTS-HD MA 5.1
English DVS
Supplements Subtitles:

Runtime: 98 min.
Price: $34.98
Release Date: 6/19/2018

• “Unsanity” Featurette
• Previews
• DVD Copy


-LG OLED65C6P 65-Inch 4K Ultra HD Smart OLED TV
-Marantz SR7010 9.2 Channel Full 4K Ultra HD AV Surround Receiver
-Panasonic DMP-BD60K Blu-Ray Player
-Chane A2.4 Speakers
-SVS SB12-NSD 12" 400-watt Sealed Box Subwoofer


Unsane [Blu-Ray] (2018)

Reviewed by Colin Jacobson (June 21, 2018)

When he returned from his four-year “retirement”, filmmaker Steven Soderbergh went with a big project, 2017’s star-studded, multiplex-friendly Logan Lucky. 2018’s Unsane offers a smaller, darker affair.

A couple years back, Sawyer Valentini (Claire Foy) suffered from the intrusions of stalker David Strine (Joshua Leonard). Despite attempts to address this situation and move on, it remains a continuing concern for Sawyer on a number of levels.

Concerned about her mental status, Sawyer seeks counseling, a choice that spirals out of control. She winds up committed to an asylum and stuck in a devolving crisis.

When film buffs discuss Unsane in the future, it will be for one reason: its technical choices, as Soderbergh selected to shoot it entirely on an iPhone. This seems like a gimmicky decision to me, but hey, I’m not the Oscar-winning director.

Along with a funky 1.56:1 aspect ratio, at least the cinematographic side gives people something to discuss, as the movie itself mainly falls with a thud. Soderbergh’s talents manage to keep the movie watchable, but man – what a mess!

Unsane suffers from radical lapses in logic, some of which could make sense in theory. After all, a story about a woman with mental issues can take liberties in that department because they work thematically.

And for the first act, some of this makes sense. Unsane depicts Sawyer as a woman with a questionable grasp on reality, so we can easily view the warps and hiccups as credible from her point of view.

As the film runs, though, it becomes clearer and clearer that the audience should treat the material literally most of the time, not as Sawyer’s delusions. That’s where the bottom falls out of the movie.

What starts as a tale about a woman with a troubled past evolves into a slant on One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest before it moves toward Scorsese’s Cape Fear. These facets don’t hang together well at all, especially because they demand that the audience swallow so many inconsistencies.

Which is why I wish Soderbergh had treated the story as fantasy like I initially anticipated. Face it - Unsane simply works better if it can be viewed mainly through the prism of an unreliable narrator.

When it asks us to accept it on face value, though, it collapses. As mentioned, Soderbergh still delivers some entertainment here, but the movie stretches credulity too often.

Marketing footnote: the Blu-ray’s box art touts it as the product of “the director of Contagion and Side Effects? Really? A filmmaker as famous as Soderbergh gets sold based on two box office mediocrities? And not even as the Oscar-winning director of said mediocrities?

I guess the PR people picked Side Effects and Contagion because those are the Soderbergh films closest in style to Unsane, but it still seems odd. Maybe they were just having a laugh that day.

The Disc Grades: Picture C/ Audio B-/ Bonus D

Unsane appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 1.56:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. Odd aspect ratio aside, the source made this a mediocre presentation.

Though probably better than it should have been, given that the movie used only iPhones. Still, the technology left this as an inconsistent image.

Sharpness varied, and daylight exteriors could look very tight, but other shots tended to be on the soft side. I wouldn’t call them fuzzy, but they didn’t display great delineation and could come across as a bit blocky on occasion.

Some light instances of shimmering and jaggies occurred, but I saw no edge haloes. Print flaws also failed to appear.

Colors went down a stylized path, with a push toward yellow or blue. Normally I’d view these as post-production choices, but in this instance, I think they largely reflected the look that comes with cell phone photography. In any case, the hues seemed somewhat flat and dull most of the time.

Blacks tended to be crushed and inky, while shadows were a bit murky and dense. I’m sure the Blu-ray reproduced the image appropriately, but it still wasn’t a good-looking effort.

Happily, Unsane didn’t rely on cell phone audio recordings for its DTS-HD MA 5.1 soundtrack, so the mix worked fairly well – within its restrained ambitions, at least. The soundscape stayed low-key most of the time, as it only popped open on a couple of occasions. Music offered good presence, though, and used the speakers in an effective manner.

Audio quality seemed adequate, with effects that appeared acceptably accurate and full. Music worked best, as the snatches of score seemed lively and rich.

Speech was fine overall. Some sibilance impacted lines at times, but the dialogue remained intelligible and without major flaws. Given the track’s ambitions, it seemed satisfactory.

Only one extra pops up, a four-minute, 26-second featurette called Unsanity. It mixes movie clips with shots from the set.

These give us a smidgen of insight into the shoot, but the absence of interviews disappoints. A film shot on cell phones that uses some freaky aspect ratio begs for technical discussion, but none comes. This turns into a minor piece without a lot of merit.

The disc opens with ads for Beirut, Disobedience, Papillon (2018), 7 Days in Entebbe, Midnight Sun and Strangers: Prey at Night. No trailer for Unsane appears here.

An odd amalgam of genres, Unsane doesn’t connect. It gets messier and messier as it goes to the point where it collapses. The Blu-ray offers bland visuals along with decent audio and negligible supplements. Here’s hoping Steven Soderbergh bounces back with his next flick.

Viewer Film Ratings: 2.5 Stars Number of Votes: 2
1 3:
View Averages for all rated titles.

Review Archive:  # | A-C | D-F | G-I | J-L | M-O | P-R | S-U | V-Z | Viewer Ratings | Main