Thelma

June 21, 202470/1006 min
Starring
June Squibb, Fred Hechinger, Richard Roundtree, Parker Posey
Written by
Josh Margolin
Directed by
Josh Margolin
Run Time
1h 37min
Release Date
June 21st, 2024
Overall Score
Rating Summary

Some might say that adventure movies are for the young, but I would disagree. All you have to do is look at Tom Cruise, who is over 50, jumping between buildings and doing a lot of running. Cruise doesn’t have many equals when it comes to doing his own stunts, but coming up slowly behind him is 94-year-old June Squibb, as she uses a particular set of skills in her new movie Thelma.

Who is Thelma (June Squibb), you might ask? She is just your run-of-the-mill grandmother who struggles with modern technology. Luckily for her, she has her grandson Daniel (Fred Hechinger) to help her check her email and drive her around if needed. The love is strong between these two, and that shows when Daniel calls, saying he has been in an accident and is in jail, followed by a number to a lawyer. Thelma follows the instructions and mails ten thousand dollars to a PO Box. Of course, this ends up being a scam, and with the help of Daniel, her daughter Gail (Parker Posey), and her husband Alan (Clark Gregg), they go to the police, who can’t offer any help. That is when Thelma decides to take matters into her own hands and finds the address where she sent the money; now she just needs a way to get there. In comes Ben (Richard Roundtree) and his scooter, setting up the best scooter chase in a hallway that I have seen in a movie. Thelma tries to do it on her own, but Ben convinces her to let him tag along. What follows is pulse-pounding action that includes falling down and not being able to get up and the daunting challenge of stairs. None of this, however is going to keep Thelma from getting her money back.

Written and directed by Josh Margolin, Thelma weaves a breezy story that has drama, comedy, and action, seemingly in all the right portions. It is also a revenge movie unlike any other you have seen, which is not so much about the money as it is about the principle—because scamming someone is not very nice. Thelma is not just a revenge dish that blends action and comedy; it is also a deeply loving ode to our grandparents. Getting older is never fun, and Thelma doesn’t make fun of it but rather points out the difficulties that life presents at an older age.

Thelma is simply a delight and has charm to spare. Squibb, who looks to be having all kinds of fun with this role, is divine and even does her own stunts. Squibb runs away with the movie, but making the perfect running mate is Roundtree, who, in his last role before his death, matches Squibb with every step. It is those two who make Thelma what it is: a real observation of life in our later years, something that we rarely see on screen. You can tell this movie was made with obvious love, and by someone whose grandmother has great importance to him. Thelma is a great crowd-pleaser and gives you the perfect reason to call your grandmother and spend some time with her watching this flick where revenge is best served old.

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