Sorry to Bother You Aims To Make You Laugh (And Blow Your Mind!)

Reviewed by Kristy Puchko

You’ve never seen anything quite like Sorry to Bother You. The provocative feature debut of rapper-turned-writer/director Boots Riley tackles race and capitalism with a ferocious and fantastical sense of humor that will have audiences alternately gasping and scream-laughing.

Lakeith Stanfield stars as Cassius Green, a young black man struggling to make his way at a shady telemarketing firm in Oakland. To show his discomfort in this gig, Riley throws his hero full-bodied into this interruptive workflow. When Cassius places a call, he and his desk are literally dropped into strangers’ homes, crashing into their family dinners, tearful moments of solitude, or frenzied sexual trysts. His girlfriend Detroit (Tessa Thompson) has no qualms about her survival job; she spins signs by day so she can make political performance art by night. But Cassius grows frustrated making little money in a job he feels gives him no purpose. That is until a long-timer (Danny Glover) offers a crucial tip for success: “Use your white voice.”

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Lakeith Stanfield and Tessa Thompson in Sorry to Bother You.

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RIOT MATERIAL is LA’s premier literary-cultural magazine with an eye on art, word, and forward-aiming thought. Check out our gallery on IG: @ riotmaterial.

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