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The Review at a Glance: (max score: 5 )



Audio/Video total rating:

( Max score: 100 )


Studio and Year: 20th Century Fox - 2010
MPAA Rating: R
Feature running time: 91 minutes
Genre: Comedy

Disc Format: BD-50
Encoding: AVC (MPEG-4)
Video Aspect: 1.85:1
Resolution: 1080p/24

Audio Format(s): English DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio, English/Spanish/French/Portuguese Dolby Digital 5.1
Subtitles: English SDH, Spanish, Portuguese, Cantonese, Mandarin
Starring: John C. Reilly, Marisa Tomei, Jonah Hill, Catherine Keener
Written & Directed by: Jay and Mark Duplass
Music by: Michael Andrews
Region Code: A

Blu-ray Disc release Date: December 14, 2010

"Seriously, stay off his mom"

Film Synopsis:

John C. Reilly, Jonah Hill and Oscar Winner Marisa Tomei star in this hilarious story about love, family and cutting the cord. Not-so-recently divorced John (Reilly) thinks he's finally found the perfect woman when he meets the sweet and sexy Molly (Tomei). There's just one problem - Molly's son Cyrus (Hill) clings to his mom like lint on a T-shirt, and he's not about to let another man come between them. It's one hysterically awkward moment after another as John and Cyrus fight for the right to be Molly's #1 man.

My Take:

Cyrus completely passed below my radar prior to receiving it for review. The plot is simple enough and revolves around John (Reilly) a lonely divorcee who has spent the last seven years, since his wife left him, wallowing in emotional self pity and depression. He maintains a close, sister like relationship with his ex-wife Jamie who continually tries to prop him up. When Jamie informs John that she is getting married he doesn't take the news well. At her insistence he agrees to go along with her and her fiancé to a party in the hopes that he might meet someone. John heavily indulges in alcohol and acts accordingly. Just when it seems like he has alienated every woman at the party he meets Molly. She is outgoing and attractive and for some odd reason is quite taken with John and the two completely hit it off. That is until John meets the other man in Molly's life, her 21 year old son, Cyrus (Hill). Cyrus is a budding musician and only child who shares an unusually close relationship with his mother. John notices something odd about Cyrus but also observes that the oddity is something that completely goes unnoticed by Molly. Once John puts things together he finds himself embroiled in a battle of wits with a cunning manipulator who will stop at nothing to ensure that the only love in Molly's life is him.

This is a surprisingly good movie. I especially like how the characters are drawn. They are all noticeably flawed and in most respects lacking in the idyllic qualities we often see in fictional portrayals. This works to the benefit of the storyline especially with regard to the acceptance of picturing a guy like John with a woman like Molly. Her long lasting co-dependent relationship with Cyrus has left her with a limited perspective on romantic companionship and fearful of his reaction to the prospect of her dating. John's vulnerability and candor instantly attract her despite his obvious emotional (and physical) shortcomings. Cyrus is exactly what you might envision when you think about an only child raised by an over indulging and doting mother who believes that the sun rises and sets on her baby boy. Cyrus has had years to become a master manipulator and has expertly kept Molly all to himself. Watching as John enters the fold and slowly begins to realize that Cyrus is really much more than he pretends to be and the back and forth exchanges that ensue as a result is hilarious. When we first meet John the impression is that he will be the film's oddball. Once all of the characters are introduced there are times where he appears to be the normal one. The unusual but genuine portrayal of the interpersonal relationship between John and his ex-wife Jamie is the elephant in the room that integrates so well within construct of the story. I am not really a big John C. Reilly fan although I respect his ability as an actor and there are films of his that I do like. About the only way that I would see him as a love interest for Marisa Tomei would be in a comedy like this.

I think that part of the reason that the film work as well as it does is due to the performances by the three leads. I like Marisa Tomei and am glad to see her working on a steady basis. We got a kick out of seeing the various looks for her hair in the film. My daughter picked up on how it would appear frizzy/out of control whenever Cyrus was up to his shenanigans and wavy/full when she and John would share a romantic moment. I wasn't sure how convincing Jonah Hill was going to be playing a 21 year old but clean shaven with short hair and the pretence of innocence (in the part) went a long way. He seems to keep quite busy. I found this to be one of his better performances as it presented a bit more of a challenge that probably ventured outside of his comfort zone. Cyrus makes for an interesting character study. It is a quirky, honest and funny film that is enriched by the wonderfully portrayed characters in John, Molly, and Cyrus. Kudos to the Jay and Mark Duplass on an intelligently crafted and surprisingly humane comedy, that I found entertaining.

Parental Guide:

The rating is for language and some sexual material.

AUDIO/VIDEO - By The Numbers:
REFERENCE = 92-100 / EXCELLENT = 83-91 / GOOD = 74-82 / AVERAGE = 65-73 / BELOW AVERAGE = under 65

**My audio/video ratings are based upon a comparative made against other high definition media/blu-ray disc.**

(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)

Audio: 76

  • Dynamics:

  • Low frequency extension:

  • Surround Sound presentation:

  • Clarity/Detail:

  • Dialogue Reproduction:

Video: 88

(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)

  • Resolution/Clarity:

  • Black level/Shadow detail:

  • Color reproduction:

  • Fleshtones:

  • Compression:

Cyrus comes to Blu-ray Disc from 20th Century Fox featuring 1080p AVC encoded video that has an average bitrate of 20 Mbps and lossless DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio sound that has an average bitrate of 3.5 Mbps.

This is a great looking video encoding from Fox that has a clean, polished look that falls just shy of the definitive delineation offered by the best high definition available on Blu-ray Disc. Images onscreen exhibit plenty of fine rendering and crisp definition that on occasion rises to higher levels especially during close ups which can be very revealing. Long range shots appear resolute with good dimensional depth and notable object detail. Bright onscreen images are punchy with crisp dynamic whites and appreciable texture. Colors aren't overly engaging as many segments are intentionally imbued with a sepia toned cast that when coupled the limited palette and drab secondary hues don't offer much to catch the eye. Rendering is excellent though and the balance is kept in proper focus which mates well with the films overall visual perspective. Fleshtones are tonally divergent and appear lifelike in depiction. Blacks are respectable for the most part but appear a bit inconsistent as depth can be scene dependent. Shadow detail is quite good and reveals plenty of visible delineation in dark backgrounds and low lighting. I didn't detect any deleterious artifacts or other video related anomalies.

The lossless DTS-HD Master Audio mix handles this predominantly dialogue driven soundtrack with uncompromising competence. Vocal reproduction is crystalline with discernible intonation and descriptive character. The bulk of the audio is reproduced by the front three channels with the surrounds providing ambient extension. Clarity is excellent which reveals lots of subtle nuance and low level detail in the soundtrack's recording.

Bonus Features:

  • (HD) 2 deleted scenes with optional introduction by Jay and Mark Duplass

  • Q&A with Mark and Jay Duplass - 8 minutes

  • (HD) Music mash up with John C. Reilly and Jonah Hill - 3 minutes

  • (HD) Behind the scenes at SXSW Film Festival with Jay and Mark Duplass - 3 minutes

  • Fox Movie Channel presents: In character with John C. Reilly - 4 minutes

  • Fox Movie Channel presents: In character with Jonah Hill - 3 minutes

  • (HD) Theatrical trailer

Final Thoughts:

Cyrus is a quirky, honest and funny comedy that makes for an interesting/rewarding character study thanks to a strong script, apt direction and solid performances from leads Marisa Tomei, John C. Reilly and Jonah Hill. Its high definition presentation from Fox on Blu-ray looks great although I found the bonus content to offer little in the way of meaningful extras. If you're a fan feel free to pick this up as it will probably hold up under repeat viewings. At a minimum it is a worthwhile rental when you're up for a little quirky man-child humor.

Ralph Potts
AVS Forum Blu-ray Reviews

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1,190 Posts
Not a big fan of John C. Reilly but this movie was just awesome! Thought Marisa and Jonah did a pretty good job. There were certain scenes that were awkward but overall i'd watch this again.


6,950 Posts

Originally Posted by JamE55 /forum/post/19647600

Not a big fan of John C. Reilly but this movie was just awesome! Thought Marisa and Jonah did a pretty good job. There were certain scenes that were awkward but overall i'd watch this again.


Agreed, some awkward scenes to watch, but overall a good flick. Some of the banter was hilarious.

7,884 Posts
Great review Ralph. I agree with you 100%. I love how the characters weren't "Hollywood-ized" and depicted people who may live down the street from you. I also liked the dynamic of John's relationship with his ex-wife was very similar to Molly's and Cyrus'. There are quite a few laughs, but some of them are of the uncomfortable variety (I almost felt guilty laughing.)
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