started it all and won an Academy award for best picture with four
separate vignettes, all of which came together at the end. This is the
same style, telling about an ambitious attorney who spends more time on
his cell phone than with his family, a married couple who is the victim
of identity theft, a widowed former policeman with an adventurous son
who cyber bullies a classmate, and a journalist consumed by ambition who
wants to establish a reputation by reporting about a teenager who
performs on an adult only website.
directed by Henry-Alex Rubin from a script by Andrew Stern, the ensemble
cast is led by Jason Bateman, who foresakes his heretofore comedic
reputation to act in a straight drama. He is joined by a good cast of
supporting players, like Michael Nyqvist, who played the lead in the
Swedish (and better) version of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
(2009), Hope Davis, Frank Grillo, Alexander Skarsgård, and
others, all of whom perform at a high standard. Special mention must go
to 16-year-old Colin Ford, who plays Grillo’s mischievous son who causes
huge problems. He displays admirable range in a difficult role.
a movie with mounting tension, not an easy one to watch. Especially
difficult is the cyber bullying segment; difficult and very well done.
It shows the thoughtlessness of teenagers, how they pick on people who
are different with no thought to the consequences, and it shows the
consequences. This is the kind of movie that can have a beneficial
effect if enough teenagers watch it.
to admit, however, that I thought it ended with a thud. Maybe that’s the
way life is. Even so, this isn’t life, it’s a movie! Rubin should have
worked to get a better ending. Up until the last five minutes, though,
this is thoroughly engrossing.