SUBURBICON Cert 15 Running time 104 minutes Stars 3

George Clooney drives his directorial career further into a cul-de-sac with this misfiring comedy thriller.

Putting the con into the suburbs, Clooney takes a dark thriller from the comic pen of Fargo creators, the Coen brothers, and clumsily uses a smathering of sentiment to stick it to a serious tale of 1950’s racial prejudice.

By failing in marrying these halves of two very different films together, Clooney loses the intended social commentary in the chasm between them. Meanwhile the clashing tones drown out the great production design and excellent performances.

While the family home of Matt Damon’s office worker suffers a violent break in, across the garden fence the arrival of an African-American family into the all-white neighbourhood results in the formation of an angry mob who terrorise them.

Damon, Julianne Moore and Karimah Westbrook keep us interested, though it’s Oscar Isaac who barges in and steals the film as an impertinent insurance claims adjuster.

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