IF | Picturehouse Recommends

From the imagination of John Krasinski comes a Spielberg-meets-Pixar fantasy for the whole family.

Hannah Strong

15 May 24

John Krasinski

Release Date
17 May


Ryan Reynolds, John Krasinski, Cailey Fleming, Fiona Shaw, Steve Carell, Phoebe Waller-Bridge, Louis Gossett Jr., Emily Blunt, Matt Damon, Maya Rudolph, Jon Stewart, Sam Rockwell


Running Time
104 mins

From the imagination of John Krasinski comes a heart-warming adventure that the whole family can enjoy, starring fantastical creatures that plenty of us will remember from childhood: imaginary friends.

Film fans might know Krasinski best as the filmmaker behind the hugely successful horror films A Quiet Place and A Quiet Place Part II, but he's trading scary monsters for not-so-scary friends in this comedy, which centres on a young girl who discovers she has a very special gift.

Young Bea (Cailey Fleming) is going through a tough time at home, but her life changes for the better when she gains the ability to see peoples' imaginary friends (known as IFs), who have been abandoned as the kids who created them grew into adults.

She soon realises that she shares her gift with her curmudgeonly neighbour, The Man Upstairs, played by Ryan Reynolds (known for his roles in Deadpool, Free Guy and Pokémon: Detective Pikachu).

After some gentle persuading, Bea convinces The Man Upstairs to join her and her new friends Blue (voiced by Steve Carell, who plays Gru in the Despicable Me franchise) and Blossom (voiced by Fleabag and Indiana Jones And The Dial Of Destiny's Phoebe Waller-Bridge) on a mission to reunite the IFs with their now grown-up friends. At the same time, they'll have to work together to stop the threat of some evil IFs, who have turned against humans after years of neglect.

Joining Fleming and Reynolds are some impressive names, including the legendary Fiona Shaw as Bea's Grandma, Oscar winner Louis Gossett Jr., Minari and Theater Camp's breakout star Alan Kim, and Saturday Night Live's Bobby Moynihan.

There are also some incredible actors lending their vocal talents to the cast of IFs, with Matt Damon, Emily Blunt, Maya Rudolph, Vince Vaughn, Awkwafina, Sam Rockwell and Richard Jenkins all on the list.

There's also some heavy-duty behind-the- scenes talent, in the form of composer Michael Giacchino, who is best known for his work on Pixar films including Up and Ratatouille, and Steven Spielberg's regular cinematographer Janusz Kamiński, who won an Academy Award for shooting Schindler's List. This means that not only will kids be delighted by IF 's playful story and menagerie of magical creatures, but there's plenty for adults in the audience to appreciate too.

Harking back to classic family films including E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial and Monsters, Inc., Krasinski has crafted a highly imaginative fantasy story for the young and the young at heart.

"Imaginary friends are not just these adorable creations, they are time capsules for our hopes, dreams, ambitions. I wanted people to leave this movie believing in something bigger and believing in something beautiful. It's very real, and it's very possible," Krasinski said of the film at CinemaCon.

We caught our first glimpse of the wonderfully wacky IFs in a "screen test" featurette released by Paramount, which included a sheet ghost with a crown, a red panda with sunglasses and a cape, and a large anthropomorphic red and yellow flower in a fetching suit, plus the larger-than- life Blue.

If you want to meet all the IFs, you'll just have to catch them at the cinema – and prepare for the adventure of a lifetime.  Hannah Strong

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