Don’t Look Up (2021)

Don’t Look Up is a 2021 apocalyptic black comedy film written, produced, and directed by Adam McKay, and starring an ensemble cast including Leonardo DiCaprio, Jennifer Lawrence, Rob Morgan, Jonah Hill, Mark Rylance, Tyler Perry, Timothée Chalamet, Ron Perlman, Ariana Grande, Scott Mescudi (Kid Cudi), Cate Blanchett, and Meryl Streep.

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‘Don’t Look Up’ Posters

‘Don’t Look Up’ Characters Posters

‘Don’t Look Up’ Cast and Characters

  • Leonardo DiCaprio as Dr. Randall Mindy, an astronomy professor at MSU (Michigan State University) and Kate’s teacher
  • Jennifer Lawrence as Kate Dibiasky, an MSU doctoral candidate in astronomy. Lawrence received top billing in the film’s opening credits and was listed first on the call sheet. She recognized that she and DiCaprio shared equal billing, but said that, “maybe somewhere down the line, I kicked the stone further, like, ‘What if it wasn’t equal?'”.
  • Rob Morgan as Dr. Teddy Oglethorpe, head of the Planetary Defense Coordination Office
  • Jonah Hill as Jason Orlean, Chief of Staff and Janie’s son. About his inspiration for his character, Hill wrote, “I thought, what if Fyre Festival was a person and that person had power in the White House”.
  • Mark Rylance as Peter Isherwell, the billionaire CEO of the fictitious tech company BASH and one of Orlean’s top donors
  • Tyler Perry as Jack Bremmer, the co-host of The Daily Rip morning talk show
  • Timothée Chalamet as Yule, a young shoplifter whom Kate befriends
  • Ron Perlman as Colonel Benedict Drask, war veteran and Presidential Medal of Freedom recipient who is sent up with the initial launch to divert the comet
  • Ariana Grande as Riley Bina, an international music star
  • Kid Cudi as DJ Chello, an international music star who becomes Riley’s fiancé on The Daily Rip
  • Himesh Patel as Phillip Kaj, a journalist at Autopsy and Kate’s boyfriend
  • Melanie Lynskey as June Mindy, Dr. Randall Mindy’s wife
  • Michael Chiklis as Dan Pawketty, host of the conservative Patriot News Network
  • Tomer Sisley as Adul Grelio, senior editor at The New York Herald
  • Paul Guilfoyle as US Air Force Lieutenant General Stuart Themes, The Pentagon liaison to the White House
  • Robert Joy as Congressman Tenant, a congressman and follower of Janie
  • Cate Blanchett as Brie Evantee, co-host of The Daily Rip
  • Meryl Streep as Janie Orlean, the President of the United States


Movie info

Kate Dibiasky (Jennifer Lawrence), an astronomy grad student, and her professor Dr. Randall Mindy (Leonardo DiCaprio) make an astounding discovery of a comet orbiting within the solar system. The problem: it’s on a direct collision course with Earth. The other problem? No one really seems to care. Turns out warning mankind about a planet-killer the size of Mount Everest is an inconvenient fact to navigate. With the help of Dr. Oglethorpe (Rob Morgan), Kate and Randall embark on a media tour that takes them from the office of an indifferent President Orlean (Meryl Streep) and her sycophantic son and Chief of Staff, Jason (Jonah Hill), to the airwaves of The Daily Rip, an upbeat morning show hosted by Brie (Cate Blanchett) and Jack (Tyler Perry). With only six months until the comet makes impact, managing the 24-hour news cycle and gaining the attention of the social media obsessed public before it’s too late proves shockingly comical — what will it take to get the world to just look up?!

  • Rating: R (Graphic Nudity | Drug Content | Language Throughout | Some Sexual Content)
  • Genre: Comedy
  • Original Language: English
  • Director: Adam McKay
  • Producer: Adam McKay, Kevin J. Messick
  • Writer: Adam McKay, David Sirota
  • Release Date (Theaters): Dec 10, 2021  Limited
  • Release Date (Streaming): Dec 24, 2021
  • Runtime: 2h 18m
  • Distributor: Netflix

Critic reviews for Don’t Look Up

On the review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes, 55% of 286 critics’ reviews are positive, with an average rating of 6.30/10.

Metacritic, which uses a weighted average, assigned the film a score of 49 out of 100 based on 52 critics, indicating “mixed or average reviews”.

Don’t Look Up shows us what happens if we wait too long to interrogate our culture and ourselves, lose sight of truth, and fail to take action. Full Review

Amari Gaiter – Autostraddle

Ultimately, Don’t Look Up is more than just mean-spirited and smug. It’s aggressively those things — that is, until that sentimental coda. Full Review | Original Score: 2/4

Max Weiss – Baltimore Magazine

McKay’s movies are not particularly pointed in their satire and, as time has gone on, have increasingly settled into their preferred form of a harangue. Full Review

Alison Willmore – New York Magazine/Vulture

Despite a to-die-for cast and a seemingly can’t-miss premise, Don’t Look Up is a failure on too many levels and, although the viewing numbers may satisfy Netflix, it’s a shock to see such a high-profile film self-destruct. Full Review | Original Score: 2/4

James Berardinelli – ReelViews

Very silly, yet undeniably urgent. I loved every second. Full Review | Original Score: 4/5

Linda Marric – The Jewish Chronicle

Please ignore that instruction – or else you’ll miss out on a so-sharp-it-hurts satire that skewers our current state of politics, technology and celebrity culture within the context of an asteroid headed to Earth. Full Review

Mara Reinstein – Us Weekly

Don’t Look Up is a blunt instrument in lieu of a sharp razor, and while McKay may believe that we’re long past subtlety, it doesn’t mean that one man’s wake-up-sheeple howl into the abyss is funny, or insightful, or even watchable. Full Review

David Fear – Rolling Stone

“Don’t Look Up” makes a few decent points and gets a chuckle or two, but mostly, it is leaden when it could be farcical, sluggish when it could be screwball. This end of the world comedy should have just been more fun. Full Review

Gary M. Kramer –

The premise is squandered in a slapdash, scattershot sendup that turns almost everyone into nincompoops, trivializes everything it touches, oozes with self-delight, and becomes part of the babble and yammer it portrays. Full Review

Joe Morgenstern – Wall Street Journal

The black comic aspects of this gloomy paradox are never fully realised. I kept wishing that it had fallen into the hands of Armando Iannucci (The Death of Stalin, Veep), a social satirist with all the gifts to make it work. Full Review | Original Score: 3/5

Sandra Hall – Sydney Morning Herald

In the end, McKay isn’t doing much more in this movie than yelling at us, but then, we do deserve it. Full Review

Manohla Dargis – New York Times

There’s nothing more excruciating than watching very famous people work entirely too hard to be funny. Full Review | Original Score: 1.5/4

Robert Levin – Newsday

The Adam McKay film stays true to the writer-director’s signature style. It’s star-studded, and the edits often wink at the audience, but it’s not so fun being in on the joke this time around. Full Review

Becca James – Chicago Reader

“Don’t Look Up” is good, but it could have been so much better. Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4

Randy Myers – San Jose Mercury News

As much as I have the same political inclinations as Adam McKay and these liberal movie stars, I don’t think I want to watch a movie that is presenting me with all of my personal points of views…  And poking at everybody else. Full Review

im Cogshell – FilmWeek (KPCC – NPR Los Angeles)

This is a broad, crass, scattergun comedy, but one that fairly reflects the age of distraction being so grimly targeted. Full Review

Anton Bitel – Sight & Sound

‘Don’t Look Up’ takes aim at plenty of ills, but a smug, self-satisfied approach proves insufficient at addressing the legitimate woes at the core of this picture. Full Review

Tim Grierson – Screen International

An ensemble cast stacked with A-listers is no guarantee of a good time. Neither is McKay’s bombastic, shake-you-by-the-shoulders direction. Full Review | Original Score: 2/5

Simran Hans- Observer (UK)

There’s something oddly satisfying about the way McKay’s film lets us laugh at our own doom. Full Review | Original Score: 4/5

Clarisse Loughrey – Independent (UK)

The film may not be as fabulous as its star-studded cast suggests, but it’s still exactly what you expect it to be, and I quite like that, a slightly sly but broad satire. Full Review

Mark Kermode – Kermode & Mayo’s Film Review

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