|Written by||Justin Benson|
|Music by||Jimmy LaValle|
|Distributed by||Well Go USA Entertainment|
|Box office||$1.5 million|
Synchronic is a 2019 American science fiction thriller film written by Justin Benson, who also directed and produced with Aaron Moorhead. It stars Anthony Mackie and Jamie Dornan as paramedics who investigate a series of inexplicable deaths and their connection to a new designer drug.
It had its world premiere at the 2019 Toronto International Film Festival. It was released on October 23, 2020, by Well GO USA Entertainment.
Steve, a ladies' man, and Dennis, a married father, work together as paramedics in New Orleans, Louisiana. They are called out to a series of cases where people are either dead in strange circumstances or whose stories are incoherent. The cases are linked to a new designer drug called Synchronic.
At a domestic abuse call, they find a stabbing victim and an old sword embedded in the wall. While Steve tends to an injured man, he is accidentally stuck by a dirty needle. Being tested for possible infections leads to the discovery of cancer in his underdeveloped and non-calcified pineal gland. The second call, a burn victim, is a completely burned body. The third call is a bite from a venomous snake no longer found in the area.
On a call to a drug party, they find a dead boy, and a girl says there was a third girl, Brianna, Dennis's teenage daughter. The next morning. Steve goes to a local smoke shop and buys all the Synchronic, which he learns is discontinued. As he leaves, Steve declines a man's offer pay triple its worth. The next morning, Steve catches the man breaking into his house. He says he is the chemist who created Synchronic, which alters the pineal gland's perception of time. Children, who have a non-calcified pineal gland, pass through time. Adults seem to only partially move through time like ghosts.
During their next call, a victim of a sword fight dies. Steve, who is a fan of the history of science, quotes Albert Einstein on the meaninglessness of time when faced with his friend's death. Under the stress of Brianna's disappearance, Dennis's marriage deteriorates. When he learns someone has been stealing morphine, he misinterprets Steve's poor health and use of painkillers as evidence he is a morphine addict. The two come to blows while treating a crazed patient.
At home, Steve takes Synchronic, travels back to when the area was covered in a swamp, and is attacked by a conquistador. Steve records his observations, deducing that Synchronic allows traveling backwards through time for seven minutes in the same geographical location. When he travels back to the Ice Age, he realizes that his location when taking the pill determines the destination year.
During his next attempt, Steve takes back his dog, Hawking, to the 1920's where he is chased by the Ku Klux Klan. Moving from the original location while evading the hostiles, he loses Hawking and is unable to bring him back. Taking another Synchronic pill in an attempt to find Brianna at the location where she disappeared, he discovers several tribal men, who chase him up a tree. He realizes that Brianna may have wandered off before taking Synchronic, and that objects from the present can anchor him to the present.
Steve and Dennis talk at a bar. Dennis, who has taken his life for granted, believes he is headed to a divorce. Steve tells Dennis about his cancer, and the two reconcile. Their driver, Tom, was stealing the morphine. At the graveyard of Steve's family, Steve shows Dennis the videos of his time travel, and they deduce that Brianna may have left a message for them to find in the park. Steve travels back to the shore of the Mississippi River during the War of 1812 and sustains a leg injury while searching for Brianna. He finds her alive in a trench full casualties and gives her his last Synchronic pill. They quickly move to the boulder that served as Steve's time-travel entry point but are intercepted by a looter who, believing Steve is a runaway slave, threatens to kill them both. Steve holds the looter's attention, allowing Brianna to safely return to the present, albeit without him. Steve appears ghost-like in the present, shakes Dennis' hand, and fades away.
- Anthony Mackie as Steve Denube
- Jamie Dornan as Dennis Dannelly
- Ally Ioannides as Brianna Dannelly
- Katie Aselton as Tara Dannelly
- Bill Oberst Jr. as The Looter
- Natasha Tina Liu as Christina
- Martin Bats Bradford as Bob
- Adam J. Yeend as Kyle T. Wentworth, III
- Devyn A. Tyler as Danika
- Betsy Holt as Leah
- Shane Brady as Travis
The film had its world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival on September 7, 2019. Shortly after, Well Go USA Entertainment acquired distribution rights to the film, announcing a 2020 release. It was released in theaters on October 23, 2020.
Review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes reports an approval rating of 79% based on 149 reviews and an average rating of 6.8/10. The site's critics consensus reads: "Synchronic sets off on an intriguingly idiosyncratic journey that should satisfy fans of Aaron Moorhead and Justin Benson's earlier work." Metacritic reports a weighted average score of 64 out of 100 based on 23 critics, indicating "generally favorable reviews".
- "Synchronic". Toronto International Film Festival. Retrieved August 13, 2019.
- "Synchronic (2020)". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved August 29, 2021.
- White, Peter (September 17, 2018). "'Captain America's Anthony Mackie & 'A Private War's Jamie Dornan To Star In 'Synchronic' From 'The Endless' Directors". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved August 13, 2019.
- Vlessing, Etan (August 13, 2019). "'The Aeronauts,' 'Burnt Orange Heresy' Added to Toronto Film Fest Lineup". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved August 13, 2019.
- Wiseman, Andreas (October 10, 2019). "Jamie Dornan-Anthony Mackie Sci-Fi 'Synchronic' Sells To U.S. & Major International Markets". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved October 10, 2019.
- Wiseman, Andreas (September 11, 2020). "'Synchronic' Starring Jamie Dornan And Anthony Mackie Gets October Release Date From Well Go". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved September 11, 2020.
- "Anthony Mackie's 'Synchronic' Making SVOD Debut on Netflix in April 2021". What's on Netflix. April 1, 2021.
- "Synchronic (2020)". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved February 11, 2021.
- "Synchronic Reviews". Metacritic. CBS Interactive. Retrieved November 1, 2020.