Film, Romance
3 out of 5 stars
4 out of 5 stars
(2user reviews)

A young woman gets drawn into a dangerous online world in this enjoyable thriller

A shy student gets drawn into an online reality dare game in this cyberthriller based on the 2012 young-adult novel by Jeanne Ryan. Emma Roberts stars as teenager Vee, who is goaded into trying out the app, in which an underground community of players perform dares in return for cash. This proves to be surprisingly lucrative for Vee, though she’s actually more interested in impressing fellow player Ian (Dave Franco), a guy she partners up with one night in New York City. Mild challenges such as ‘kiss a stranger’ escalate to life-threatening tests like ‘motorbike blindfolded’. Then things go too far.

As for the machinations of the game itself, what begins as faintly unlikely becomes flat-out preposterous, but there’s entertainment value along the way. Directors Henry Joost and Ariel Schulman (‘Catfish’) make the most of the suspenseful set-up, and Vee has enough likeability that you’ll be rooting for her. Roberts and Franco share chemistry, while Emily Meade is enjoyable in the slutty-best-friend role (though poor Juliette Lewis is wasted in another anxious-mom part). Other films – including David Fincher’s ‘The Game’ – have done this better. But with its engaging story, energetic soundtrack and slick production values, ‘Nerve’ is an easy watch.

By: Anna Smith


Release details

Rated: 15
Release date: Friday August 12 2016
Duration: 96 mins

Cast and crew

Director: Henry Joost, Ariel Schulman
Screenwriter: Jessica Sharzer
Cast: Emma Roberts
Dave Franco
Emily Meade

Average User Rating

3.3 / 5

Rating Breakdown

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Cyber thriller, truth or dare. Increasingly risky dares for more money. Watchable but not really anything more than a nothing better on a rainy Sunday kind of a movie. Emma Roberts (Scream Queens) does a nice job as Vee. The ending was good but all in all it's a bit preachy.


I really liked the concept of this film. Billed as a game of truth and dare without the truth it focuses on a group of teenagers drawn into a game of increasingly risky dares. 

Obviously as this is a film about teenagers (played by actors in their 20's and 30's but Dave Franco is pretty easy on the eye so I hold no grudges)  there is angst involved.

Angst aside, I thought that it was a well thought out, well acted and entirely plausible story with a good (not entirely) surprise twist at the end.


It might have been the couple of gin and tonics that I had consumed beforehand but I found Nerve a thrilling and enjoyable film. Exploring the dark side of the internet and social media, and how far young people will go for fame and fortune, Nerve is a stylish thriller that is slightly let down by it's far fetched ending. Emma Roberts, quite lately playing mostly narcissistic Queen Bee roles, is the likeable lead Vee who has great chemistry with the ever charming Dave Franco. I would have to agree with Time Out in that Juliette Lewis is wasted in one of her straightest roles ever as Vee's Mum. With a box office that is currently dominated by sequels, Nerve provides a fast paced, nicely shot alternative with a dose of social commentary thrown in for good measure.