Andrew Garfield is no longer Spider-Man. Watching his next steps is going to be fascinating. He never quite worked as Peter Parker, but it wasn’t his fault. He was charismatic and entertaining, but he never felt like the Peter Parker we know from the comics, maybe because he had too much confidence. Garfield has shone in other non-franchise films, like The Social Network and Never Let Me Go, but it doesn’t get much more non-franchise than Ramin Bahrani. Bahrani started out directing small independent films focusing on Americans, especially immigrants, on the fringe of society struggling to make ends meet. In Chop Shop, Man Push Cart, and Goodbye Solo, he got at the ways that American society builds walls around itself that are hard to break down if you don’t start out inside of them.
Bahrani and Garfield teaming up is a good look for both of them, especially after Bahrani’s last movie, At Any Price, flopped with critics and Garfield’s Amazing Spider-Man movies flopped with fans. 99 Homes looks fantastic, both bigger than Bahrani’s usual fare and more honest than what Garfield is used to. It helps that established actors like Laura Dern and Michael Shannon signed on. With them on board and a trailer this strong, it gives me confidence that both Bahrani and Garfield can get back on track.