Combustible Celluloid Review - The Tutor (2023), Ryan King, Jordan Ross, Garrett Hedlund, Noah Schnapp, Victoria Justice, Jonny Weston
Combustible Celluloid
With: Garrett Hedlund, Noah Schnapp, Victoria Justice, Jonny Weston
Written by: Ryan King
Directed by: Jordan Ross
MPAA Rating: R for language, some violence and sexual material
Running Time: 93
Date: 03/24/2023

The Tutor (2023)

2 Stars (out of 4)

Lesson Pan

By Jeffrey M. Anderson

The thriller The Tutor attempts to subvert the old "stalker/psychopath" subgenre, but, saddled with two deeply unsympathetic characters and moving in odd, baffling rhythms, it ultimately frustrates and annoys.

Ethan (Garrett Hedlund) has it pretty good. He makes a decent living tutoring rich teens, and his girlfriend Annie (Victoria Justice) is pregnant. He lands a high-paying job tutoring a troubled teen named Jackson (Noah Schnapp). Before long, Jackson begins acting a little clingy and rather strange.

At first Ethan finds photos of himself and Annie on Jackson's computer, but things escalate when Ethan finds himself drugged and dumped in a lake. Before long, it's Jackson who is claiming to be the victim, causing Ethan to lose his job. But there are yet more secrets to be revealed.

Garrett Hedlund acts his heart out in service of The Tutor, but it's all in vain, given that his character — supposedly a well-educated tutor — says and does so many dumb things. He's frequently abrasive and confrontational, and his dialogue, which is supposed to be cagey, is merely befuddling.

Meanwhile, poor Noah Schnapp seems stuck in a restrictive role, a character held captive in tight turtlenecks and with a short, plastered haircut, and has little to do but act creepy. Victoria Justice has even less to do, other than be married to the main character, be pregnant, and occasionally ask him where he's been.

These flat characters aside, The Tutor ultimately squanders its one good idea. It flounders in its attempts to get to its big reveal, and then, when the idea has been used up, it simply turns into a waste of time.

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