Movie Reviews

Landscape with Invisible Hand Review: A Glimpse into Alien Domination and Teenage Turmoil

In the realm of speculative cinema, where the mundane blends with the extraordinary, Landscape with Invisible Hand emerges as a thought-provoking exploration of societal shifts and the complexity of young love under alien dominion. Directed by Cory Finley, this film delves into the near-future world painted by M. T. Anderson in his 2017 novel of the same name. While offering intriguing insights and a distinct visual style, the movie occasionally falters in its pacing and character development.

Landscape With Invisible hand Review Is Spoiler-Free

Set against the backdrop of a society grappling with the overpowering influence of the Vuvv, an enigmatic extraterrestrial species, Landscape with Invisible Hand takes us on a journey through the eyes of Adam Campbell, portrayed with sincerity and vulnerability by Asante Blackk. The film’s opening sequences adeptly establish the transformed world, where the Vuvv’s technology has both revolutionized and decimated the job market. Adam’s artistic aspirations intertwine with the harsh reality of his family’s financial struggles, providing the foundation for the moral dilemmas that propel the narrative forward.

Asante Blackk and Kylie Rogers in Landscape with Invisible Hand (2023).Kylie Rogers delivers a convincing performance as Chloe Marsh, Adam’s girlfriend and collaborator in their audacious plan to generate income by live-streaming their romantic relationship to the intrigued Vuvv. Their journey from earnest partnership to begrudging cooperation reflects the fragility of young love under the weight of external pressures. However, the evolution of their dynamic sometimes feels rushed, leaving their emotional transformations less impactful than they could have been.

The Good Aspects Of Landscape With Invisible Hand Review

The film’s visual design, spearheaded by Cory Finley’s adept direction, deserves commendation. The portrayal of the Vuvv’s advanced technology seamlessly integrated into the familiar setting creates an eerie atmosphere of coexistence between the human and alien. From the mesmerizing hues of the Vuvv’s communication devices to the sterile grandeur of their towering structures, the visual representation plays a significant role in immersing the audience in this parallel reality.

One of the film’s strengths lies in its ability to draw parallels between the alien invasion and the commodification of human relationships. As Adam and Chloe’s manufactured romance unfolds for the Vuvv’s voyeuristic pleasure, the narrative serves as a cautionary tale about the potential pitfalls of sacrificing genuine connections for the sake of profit. The allegory is potent, echoing contemporary concerns about the monetization of personal lives through social media platforms.

Tiffany Haddish‘s portrayal of Beth Campbell, Adam’s mother, adds depth and emotion to the story. Her fierce determination to provide for her family resonates as she navigates a world reshaped by alien intervention. Similarly, William Jackson Harper‘s portrayal of Mr. Campbell, Adam’s father, injects nuance into the portrayal of a family grappling with strained dynamics and the fading glimmers of a bygone era.

The ensemble cast’s performances undeniably contribute to the film’s authenticity. Brooklynn MacKinzie as Natalie Campbell, Adam’s younger sister, brings a fresh perspective to the narrative, portraying the impact of the Vuvv’s reign through the lens of childhood innocence.

The Bad Parts Of Landscape With Invisible Hand

Asante Blackk and Kylie Rogers in Landscape with Invisible Hand (2023).

Nonetheless, the film stumbles in pacing during its middle act, which feels drawn out and occasionally monotonous. The tension between Adam and Chloe reaches a boiling point, yet the narrative seems hesitant to fully delve into their emotional turmoil. This pacing issue dampens the impact of the conflict, diluting the intensity that should be driving the story forward.

A pivotal aspect of Landscape with Invisible Hand is its exploration of the ethical quandaries that arise from the Vuvv’s presence. The alien species’ role as passive observers turned manipulative benefactors raises questions about autonomy, the price of progress, and the consequences of cultural exchange. The film teases these complex issues, yet the exploration remains somewhat surface-level, leaving audiences craving a deeper dissection of these themes.


Landscape with Invisible Hand offers a compelling speculative narrative that draws parallels between alien occupation and the erosion of genuine human connection in a digital age. Cory Finley’s direction, supported by standout performances from Asante Blackk and Tiffany Haddish, creates a visually arresting depiction of a world redefined by extraterrestrial influence. However, the film’s pacing issues and occasional lack of depth in exploring its complex themes prevent it from reaching its full potential. Despite these shortcomings, it remains an intriguing cinematic experience that invites contemplation on the intersections of technology, capitalism, and love in an ever-changing world. With its strengths and weaknesses, Landscape with Invisible Hand is a hugely respectable effort that leaves audiences with much to ponder long after the credits roll.

Landscape with Invisible Hand Review: A Glimpse into Alien Domination and Teenage Turmoil
  • Acting - 8/10
  • Cinematography/Visual Effects - 7.5/10
  • Plot/Screenplay - 7/10
  • Setting/Theme - 7/10
  • Watchability - 8/10
  • Rewatchability - 7/10
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