Movie Review: Green Room (2016)


When a down on their luck band take a gig at a notorious neo-Nazi clubhouse, things were always going to be tense. But when one of the members witnesses a murder in a back room, things go from bad to worse. The late Anton Yelchin stars as Pat, The Ain’t Rights’ bassist, alongside guitarist Sam (Alia Shawkat), drummer Reece (Joe Cole) and Tiger (Callum Turner), with Imogen Poots as Amber, another witness to the murder and Sir Patrick Stewart (yes, THAT  Sir Patrick Stewart) is Darcy, leader of the skinheads. Green Room is a 2016 thriller directed by Jeremy Saulnier.

+ Anton Yelchin is meek and unassuming as Pat, but it is his ‘shock’ when things go bad, and then the way he responds, that seal him as one of the films’ highlights
+ Patrick Stewart in a rare antagonistic role as Darcy, the leader of the neo-Nazi clan. Stewart has such a charming persona that even when he is the film’s antagonist, you feel as if you could trust him
+ the violence is not over the top, and comes across as very realistic, which makes it far more intimidating than various other previous reviews; the blunt whacks will make you wince, and the use of sharper instruments may have you covering your eyes altogether. Often it is the threat of, or the implied, violence which is most effective, just because you know how bad it will be for our heroes
+ the soundtrack of the film is simply fantastic, for those of us whom prefer heavier music. Both The Ain’t Rights’ covers and the background music of the clubhouse speakers is stuff I have been a fan of for years

– the use of neo-Nazis as villains is a somewhat tired concept; basically they are skinheads in name only, and it is just so we don’t feel bad if anything was to happen to them (which, spoiler, it certainly may. Or may not. Watch the movie). It is a rather cheap tactic to use, however effective it may be

> I am struggling to think of any Patrick Stewart roles where he is as villainous as he is here (one or two Star Trek episodes not withstanding). Let me know if there is something I should have seen

Should you see this film: Absolutely. Green Room is one of the most intense films I have watched in years, with perhaps the most effective use of realistic violence as a threat — as well as bloody execution.


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