Tribeca Film Festival 2024 ‘Restless’ Review – Next War Neighbor

Lyndsay Marshal as Nicky in Jed Hart's dramatic thriller Restless.
Lyndsay Marshal as Nicky in Jed Hart's dramatic thriller Restless.

Writer and director Jed Hart’s dramatic thriller Restless is a relentless war between two at-odds neighbors. Nicky (Lyndsey Marshal) is a caregiver. Work is currently understaffed as more and more of her coworkers give notice.

After tending to old people all day and working long hours, Nicky just wants her home to be as quiet as possible so she can relax. Her father used to live in the flat next to her, but he passed recently and it’s been empty — until a new neighbor named Deano (Aston McAuley) moves in.

Deano likes to play loud music late at night and party with friends until the early morning. The two end up at each other’s throats due to their differing views of relaxation and what they think they’re entitled to.

(L to R) Lyndsey Marshal and Aston McAuley as Nicky and Deano in Jed Hart's dramatic thriller Restless.
(L to R) Lyndsey Marshal and Aston McAuley as Nicky and Deano in Jed Hart’s dramatic thriller Restless.

The film opens with Nicky frantically getting into her car, driving into the forest in the middle of the night, and burying something in her trunk. Restless then backtracks a week to tell its story.

Classical music and opera reveal the mindset of certain characters or further establish the film’s tone. Nicky listens to classical music to rewind after a long day or relax when anxious. Opera heightens the revenge aspect of the film; it is loud and boisterous like a battle cry shouted when you’re charging into war.

Deano and Nicky lower themselves to surprising lows to try and get the other to give in to their demands. Deano’s behavior isn’t unexpected since he isn’t a great person to live next to from the start. He crosses the line a time or two, but Nicky initially seems sweet and understanding. Deano’s refusal to do something as simple as lower his music late at night drives Nicky over the edge — leading her to break the law on multiple occasions. Her brownies are a wild choice, as is her treatment of Deano’s speakers. The two throw everything at each other, but neither ever really gets the upper hand.

Jed Hart writes Restless in a way that has little things that start as minor annoyances but eventually escalate into a situation where either Nicky or Deano must pack up and leave. Their rivalry only gets more cutthroat the more you watch the film. Restless is a thriller that only amplifies the agitation between its two main characters the more they interact with one another.

Lyndsey Marshal as Nicky in Jed Hart's dramatic thriller Restless.
Lyndsey Marshal as Nicky in Jed Hart’s dramatic thriller Restless.

From one perspective, the ending is brilliant, as it brings this vengeful warpath to a definite end. It’s unbelievably satisfying, and you can’t imagine the film successfully ending any other way. However, the ending does come out of left field. It involves a character barely mentioned or seen early on in the film, with little or no backstory until the finale. Another scene teases what happens at the end early on, but the other character it relates to isn’t fully named until the film’s climax.

Kevin (Barry Ward) is a traffic cop Nicky knows from her past. Their relationship in the film is weird. Nicky doesn’t seem interested in him and only asks him out on a date to go to his place and get a good night’s sleep. He seems oblivious to everything going on. The story seems to try to give him a loveable doofus status, but he never achieves the loveable part. Seeing how he’s tied into the ending in some capacity is disheartening.

Restless is like a humorless and more severe version of the 2014 film Neighbors starring Seth Rogen and Zac Efron. But Restless is an exploration of the extremes someone would go to de-stress. Nothing at home should make one’s life hectic or leave them feeling nothing but desperation.

The film’s strongest aspect is the volatile relationship between Nicky and Deano. Lyndsey Marshal’s performance creates a scary sense of hopelessness, as you’re never sure where the line she won’t cross lies. Restless is loaded with tension and anxiety, which makes you incapable of breathing a sigh of relief until one of these characters finally finds peace.

NEXT: ‘Inside Out 2’ Review – Emotion Overload

Restless (2024), HAUS Pictures



  • Chaotically crafted agitation.
  • The two leads are mesmerizing.


  • The ending is great, but has no buildup.
  • Disposable secondary characters.
Mentioned This Article:

More About: