TIFF portrait studio
Credit: Jerome Corpuz

If you're in the mood for something heavy but culturally relevant check out 99 Homes. You'll see Mr. Amazing Spider-Man Andrew Garfield in a completely new way when he ditches the Spidey-suit to play construction worker Dennis Nash in the film, which shines a light on the harrowing story of the mortgage and financial crisis in America. You don't see many movies on this topic—even though it's something that has had an effect on every American—and this movie confronts the issue head-on.

In the film, Garfield's single-father character, his mother, and his son lose their home thanks to Michael Shannon's demonic Rick Carver, who evicts people one after another and collects paychecks thanks to their setbacks. Then, in a strange turn of events, Garfield becomes the problem by turning into one of Carver's lackeys, and a new series of misfortunes unfolds.

The film has made the rounds at festivals for quite some time, including stints at the Toronto International Film Festival and the Sundance Film Festival. We first caught up with Garfield about it last year when he and the cast were in Toronto to promote it. "I connected with this story because I think we’ve all been affected by a need to survive in some way," he told InStyle.

"We’ve all seen our parents vulnerable to the forces at play in the universe, or in the economic structure," he explained further. "Growing up, I think we’ve all experienced some kind of like that transposed fear as children. We’ve all thought, 'Am I gonna be able to get the sneakers I want? Or am I getting Christmas presents this year? Or are we gonna get a house or can I see my friends this weekend?' It's a story, even if you didn't lose a home, one can relate to," he said.

Ultimately, playing this role and filming in New Orleans proved to be a challenge. "I find this work very hard in the best possible way," he said. "I care a lot. It was impossible at times." And it's true: The movie is saddening and disheartening, but also very real and powerful. When you walk away from the theater, you're going to want to think about how you can make a difference.

99 Homes is in theaters now. Watch a trailer for the film here: