Green Room

Movies, Thriller
4 out of 5 stars
3 out of 5 stars
(3user reviews)
Green Room

Violent skinheads attack an unsuspecting punk band this grim indie thriller.

The Ain’t Rights are the fictional punk band at the heart of Jeremy Saulnier’s defiantly unmusical yet gripping indie thriller, and the group’s members seem scrappy enough. They siphon gas from strangers’ cars for their dilapidated touring van and sulk their way through podcast interviews. Onstage in an Oregon shithole of a bar, they antagonize the skinhead crowd and flee to their backstage dressing room.

That’s when things get interesting in Green Room, a smart movie that’s obliquely about the rage that can fuel violence as well as art. It’s a thin line between the two, represented by the locked door to the band’s private space, one that feels increasingly fragile. The club’s proprietor, played by a malevolent Patrick Stewart, turns out to be a white supremacist of scary authority; before he even needs to say “Make it so,” minions assemble to take out the group, for no just reason at all.

Special mention should be made of the absolutely disgusting gore effects—arm slashings and belly slicings—achieved by a makeup department clearly in thrall of old-school craft. This is a brutal movie that finds unusual freedom in limitations, as do wiry bassist Pat (Anton Yelchin) and bleach-blond concert attendee Amber (Imogen Poots), who both turn out to be pretty handy with weapons. Chalk it up to their killer instincts.

Follow Joshua Rothkopf on Twitter: @joshrothkopf

By: Joshua Rothkopf

Posted:

Release details

Rated:
R
Release date:
Friday April 15 2016
Duration:
94 mins

Cast and crew

Director:
Jeremy Saulnier
Screenwriter:
Jeremy Saulnier
Cast:
Anton Yelchin
Patrick Stewart
Imogen Poots

Average User Rating

2.7 / 5

Rating Breakdown

  • 5 star:0
  • 4 star:1
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  • 2 star:2
  • 1 star:0
LiveReviews|3
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I was very excited to see this film. Heard great reviews. It's mostly an attempt to create a "new" film about ruthless neo-Nazi baddies who run a club with drug distribution and shoot it in a gritty environment. But this is rehashed slash and burn film nonsense you've seen before dressed up with a punk rock band. And baddies who are as stupid as they come. If you can't take down 6 people in a locked room with your army of skinheads then you must be in movie land. There was nothing ingenious about the battle. There shouldn't have been one. Everything was contrived with the stuff of bad straight to cable movies.


As to the script being clever. I couldn't hear most of what was said. Visuals were sometimes as bad, very difficult to see. Terrible audiovisual mix. Alexandra L is right on target - lazy script. Little is explained why who is doing what. Just stuff about "the red laces" and that is supposed to be cooooool. Patrick Stewart utters some ruthless lines and the fanboys just gush over the cool factor. After a decent first 20 minutes that has nothing to do with the rest of the film, it becomes nothing more than a bad survival film. Oh, I hope our nutty band of small petty thieves can take care of those really bad skinheads. Meh.


There is sadly nothing to see here. All the talent is wasted. Poots tags along to be the pretty face. Instantly forgettable and don't believe the discussion of the depth and angles to this film. There aren't any. The usual circle jerking done within the movie community.

Tastemaker

This is a brutal film. Violent & bloody, there are scenes that made draw breath sharply and look away quickly. Despite those not being characteristics of the sort of film I normally beeline for, ‘Green Room’ is something that I’d been excited to see and had spent time actively searching for in London – clearly its lack of superheroes or franchiseability deemed it unworthy of being in the chain cinemas for over a week – so I was thrilled to see the ever dependable and always cool Prince Charles Cinema showing it long after it had vanished from sight elsewhere…


…the thing is, after all that time looking for it and all that build-up of anticipation around watching it, I found myself thinking one thing and one thing only at the end of it…


’meh’.


Was it worth it? Sadly for me, no. Was it a good film? It was ok. It wasn’t by any means the worst movie I’ve seen this year but neither was it anywhere near as good as it should have been or as the trailer made you believe it was going to be. This was the first of director Jeremy Saulnier’s films that I’ve seen and, despite my boyfriend’s assurances that his earlier work was better, it might well be the last.


The cast wasn’t bad, some of them were even pretty good; Imogen Poots and Alia Shawkat were both impressive and it was good to see strong female leads but Patrick Stewart was totally wasted in a role that could have been played by any one of his peers, Anton Yelchin wasn’t given enough to work with, script wise and Macon Blair’s ‘thug-with-a-heart’ made little sense to me; I’m afraid there were very few members of the band that I didn’t find annoying and when you cannot empathise with the people on screen, it’s hard to care whether or not they live or die…there was a sense of dread and tension built up at some points but overall, frankly, I was more concerned for the dog. The script was lazy at points, never stopping to explain or even invite us to wonder why these people were the way they were and I was tired of them by the end of the mercifully brief 95 minutes running time.


Visually it was quite beautiful in some of the early & later scenes that bookended some graphic moments of violence that were unexpected and nauseating; Portland looked dark & clean & fresh & green and it was nice to see a US based film taking place somewhere other than New York or Los Angeles but these points in its favour weren’t enough to save it for me as I found myself yawning throughout the latter half. I can appreciate the attempt at trying something new and I applaud anyone who makes original cinema that isn’t a sequel but unless you have seen and loved all of Saulnier’s earlier movies, I just don’t think I can bring myself to recommend it.