Exam (2009) Poster

(2009)

User Reviews

Review this title
206 Reviews
Sort by:
Filter by Rating:
Low-budget gem
imdbbl8 June 2010
Warning: Spoilers
Eight talented candidates have reached the final stage of selection to join the ranks of a mysterious and powerful corporation. Entering a windowless room, an Invigilator gives them eighty minutes to answer one simple question. He outlines three rules they must obey or be disqualified: don't talk to him or the armed guard by the door, don't spoil their papers and don't leave the room. He starts the clock and leaves. The candidates turn over their question papers, only to find they're completely blank. Soon enough, the candidates begin to uncover each other's background, prejudices and hidden agendas. Tensions rise as the clock steadily descends towards zero, and each candidate must decide how far they are willing to go to secure the ultimate job.

Exam is a gem of a film. This low budget psychological thriller is very clever, incredibly entertaining and the production values are all far better then you would expect from such an unknown film. It's tense, mysterious and has a great atmosphere, and more importantly it stimulates your brain. It's impossible to not get caught up in the story and try to figure out just what the hell is actually going on. It couldn't be more engaging.

There's not one well-known actor in this cast and yet, for the most part, the acting was great. One actor, Luke Mably, really stood out though. But what really made the film work was undeniably, the impeccable direction. In conclusion, Exam is a great low-budget thriller that puts many Hollywood blockbusters to shame. Definitely worth seeing and I'll be sure to check Stuart Hazeldine's next project after such a promising debut.

7.5/10
179 out of 216 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
8/10
Exciting!
sofiepeterson13 March 2011
What an exciting movie! I had absolutely no expectations of this film. I had never even heard of it when I came across it. Since I've seen a lot of movies lately that have most often disappointed me, I thought this would be another one. But I'm glad to say it wasn't. I have a hard time concentrating when watching movies, I often turn my attention to something else and because of that I get lost in the plot. Some movies though, manages to keep me focused on the movie the entire time and this was one of those movies. I love a good mystery, where the movie makes you really think. When you try to solve the mystery (this time, the question) yourself. So I stayed focused every minute and it never got boring. It's basically a riddle and if you think you're smart enough, watch it and see if you can come up with the right answer before the characters do! ;)

I would definitely recommend this film to other people. I'd give it a 7 or an 8.
110 out of 147 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
3/10
A film with an interesting concept but fails on so many levels.
Weker10 April 2015
The film opened up giving me high hopes with an enjoyable slice of cinematography that is reminiscent of other films, however as I continued, bit by bit it chipped away my hopes for the film.

During the film rules are quickly set up, making it clear what the characters are able to do with a set of rules and not other outside rules apply. The characters act understandably at first but quickly just seem to ignore what any normal person would do, the characters are all established to be highly intelligent and also deductive but fail to take notice of blatantly obvious things. Characters also quickly establish themselves as arch types. The male characters are quickly shown to have clear personalities however many of the female characters seem to have had little written for them other then one being an information dispenser who for the majority of the film is just a robot. In general it is well acted however the actors seem to have been given both a poor script and directions.

Even with plot holes ignored and the ending, the film is largely just several strong archetypes having very simple mind games with each other. Several times during the film I was able to call out certain outcomes before they happened as the characters are highly predictable. Without my opinion of the awful story I would describe the film as a 4 out of 10 instead, however with it included I would say a 3.

Below is spoilers for the film and where most of the plot holes or just stupidity of the story is mentioned.

What was the answer to the question? Well there was only one question asked during which was "Any question" and so the answer "No" was correct. My eyes practically rolled out the sides of my head in grimace. The statement of there only being one question which can only be seen through two layers of glass with only two people wearing glasses in the room. Many of these plot holes are just a list of question but I feel ultimately show how the film only works because the characters are written to have it work rather then having any sort of understandable logic to it.

What was the purpose of hiding "Question 1." on the paper when they already said there was one question? Why make it so difficult to see? What would have happened if White stabbed Black in the eye with a pencil to kill him rather then man handling the guard to shoot him? Why would they destroy not only the lights but also the emergency lighting before checking the clock, one of the only clear objects in the room with two distinctive buttons? Were they meant to discover who Deaf was so they could tell him no? They were given no way to reply unless they knew as they were not allowed to communicate with the invigilator. Would Deaf be revealed at the end if they had all just waited and then expected to answer? How did everyone ignore deaf fiddling with the clock, if it did not at least draw attention should they at least be concerned about him messing up the test for them? What would have happened if anyone answered no to the question before the test started? Would it not count as the test had not started yet? Would they be removed for communication with the invigilator even while giving the correct answer?
79 out of 104 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
5/10
Good buildup but badly concluded
zarajasmin158630 July 2012
Warning: Spoilers
The movie was really solid in the first half but continues to try my patience the closer it gets to concluding. The plot is not entirely original but well-executed. The concept was interesting and as the story progresses, you start to care about what happens to the characters as much as what the answer to the question is.

I don't know if it's because the genre is psychological thriller which made me pay more attention to the nuances or if they've failed in being subtle but I figured out the answer (and what the question is) almost immediately. Still, I did hope that the ending would prove me wrong because it couldn't really be THAT simple (but I was right). So for me, the core of the movie (what is the question?) failed to intrigue. Indeed, it only served to disappoint so that's a mark against it for me.

How about the ending itself? The revelation of the magic pill was a little too scifi-y for my tastes. Also, I feel dissatisfied with how the person won since 1)the CEO cheated by messing with the timer and 2) the winner was mostly passive and in the end seem to win through sheer luck.

What I do like about it are the characters and the pacing. I like the fact that you get to see layers of the characters being peeled off and revealed as the story progresses. They start off as being stereotyped (quite literally, in fact) but as the saying goes, there is more than meets the eye and you realise that as soon as you think you've got one character pegged, s/he surprises you again. The pacing was good too, since it keeps your attention even though everything happens on one location only.

Overall, it was a good movie but sort of crashed and burned at the end.
53 out of 69 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
2/10
Far not as smart as it presumes to be.
furfur-120 October 2015
First the good points. I enjoyed the great idea and was expecting something like the cube. The music was pretty good the setting. Visuals and acting are moderate to good.

The movie pretends to be really smart with smart people acting smart. But this is not true. Basically the characters are pretty stupid and act respectively. But I could live with this discrepancy. A bigger problem is that the movie let you think of a smart storyline with smart evolving and maybe some genius plot twists. Basically just the Idea is not evolving at all till after the end of the movie. The characters just do "stuff" all the time. It is not like "the cube" when characters push a mystery along the story. The mystery stays till the end. The revelation of the "mystery" is really poor and is just working in an artificial setting without normal acting Characters.

I think this movie is far away from what it pretends to be and could not recommend it.
44 out of 58 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
An amazingly clever psychological thriller
Gordon-1112 June 2010
This film is about eight candidates who are in the final round of selection for a prestigious job. They have to answer one question in eighty minutes, but the question sheet they have is blank.

The whole film has the same setting and characters throughout, but it is never boring. Not even for one minute. With every single minute, it gets more suspenseful and engaging.

It is such a superb character study, focusing on what people do in stressful, confusing and even helpless situations. it really gets you to think what is the question, which is so painfully obvious once you realise what is the question.

The best thing is that, there is no flaw in the plot. It is not easy to come up with such an intelligent plot. "Exam" has to be one of the most suspenseful, intriguing, clever, well written and thrilling film I have seen in a long time.
154 out of 221 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
7/10
Reasonably Good Psychological Mystery
supadude20047 June 2010
Take "Saw" and remove approximately 95% of the torture element, then take 8 candidates, sit them in a room and give them an exam presided over by a security officer who oversees all, as they seek to find the answer to the question that they've been asked by the invigilator of a surreptitiously successful organization. Of course, once they actually find the question first that's easy, or... is it?

To some people this movie will be an absolute bore. To others it will be an enjoyable psychological mystery - albeit more 'who wins the job?' than 'whodunnit?'

Direction, screenplay and acting are all admirable. Oh and lest I forget, the Chinese girl "Gemma Chan" is mega yummy - what a stunning girl indeed!!!

Overall this movie's a 7/10. Definitely worth a watch *if* you like to keep guessing... But if you like your guessing to remain on autopilot throughout a movie's duration, then I'd advise you to avoid this movie.
77 out of 119 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
2/10
Fails and Fails Bad
sriramchandrasekhar10 June 2015
Warning: Spoilers
I don't actually understand the level of awe bordering on worshiping the movie in these reviews. I tried to like the movie. Really. But it didn't set my pulses racing, nor did it appear remotely interesting any which way.

The characters' tension seemed forced, their suspicions and insecurities only appeared like contrived plot devices, with no organic flow of events in the storyline. One character after another seems to court trouble to plod the movie along a further 20 minutes. The bit about the Indian guy going berserk was especially hilarious. You would expect some consistency in the way characters behave, but this one was like really stupid. Watch the movie to know what I'm talking about.

And the denouement? Like seriously, what the heck were they thinking? For a company that claims to have invented a way to live forever, it's ridiculous to not expect them to also find a way to have the 'magic bullet' produced abundantly. I could go on and on. It was a waste of 90 minutes. If only they asked the right question on why this movie should be made at all, maybe we would have been spared this drivel.

3 is only for the concept. They got that right at least.
12 out of 15 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
2/10
An exam in stupidity
quinnox-111 April 2011
Warning: Spoilers
Wow I'm amazed this movie has managed a score above 6, this was awful.

Let me save anyone interested the time to watch this dreck. The big mysterious question all the candidates try to figure out for the whole movie turns out to be "Any questions?" The instructor asked it after giving the rules for the exam. Yup, it was an idiotic trick question. So superficial and lame. And what happens to get to this point is so forced and ludicrous.

This movie sucked, and the ending was not worth waiting for. I want to give the movie makers an exam. With one question - Where did you get the harebrained idea this would make a good movie?
50 out of 76 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
10/10
exciting, topical thriller
sparkytb29 July 2009
I had the pleasure of seeing this pic at the recent Edinburgh Film Festival and it is certainly not The Apprentice. More like 12 Angry Men meets Cube.

Photographed in the impressive cinemascope screen shape and very sharply edited, the director takes us on a psychological journey where the characters, who are at first cagey, gradually open up to reveal their true identities. This manifests itself in various ways as the candidates gradually step up to bat and take each other on in a variety of ways. Some good, some bad, some horrific - but always interesting.

Perhaps a tad talky in the centre section but it builds to an exciting and clever climax that wields a distinct note of hope and positivity.
106 out of 173 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
2/10
The plot makes absolutely no sense
cathey-1278 January 2017
Warning: Spoilers
1. Why would anybody go to these lengths for a stupid interview??? Some of them are infected or have family members that are infected, but so what? It's not like you can't buy the drug? Is this worth killing for? Why would a real company ever want to hire murderers?

2. They have passed previous rounds. How? White is a total sociopath. They didn't weed him out in the previous rounds? Brown is totally unlikable too.

3. What's spoiling paper? If writing on it with pencil is, how come making it wet isn't? How come so many people are willing to try with their own paper?

4. Even if anything's within the rules, this is an interview process. These people couldn't figure out that assaulting (almost sexually assaulting) women won't make a good impression?

5. The plot twist at the end makes no sense whatsoever. At least be something of actual substance. "Any questions?" Really?

6. The security measures are insufficient. What if they shoot someone in the head? They'd die for sure. Regenerating tissue won't work. What if someone stabs someone to death with a pencil? What if they beat each other to death with a chair / their belts or suffocate someone with their ties? What if someone tries to kill the security guy?

7. How come white is the only person who needs to take the pill during the process?

8. What if white actually died?

9. Blond is worth hiring? How? Because she managed to get the pill out with her hairpin? Black also tried?

10. Even if nobody noticed deaf tampering with the timer, how come nobody tried to see what the other button on the timer did?

11. What's the point of even tampering with the timer? And couldn't you do it more elegantly? Connect it to a computer outside and drop 5 minutes from it?
18 out of 25 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
6/10
Terrific filming, a small-budget conceit, and a plot stretched to the breaking point
secondtake6 February 2011
Exam (2009)

What a bizarre movie. It's so beautifully filmed, almost virtuosic in its use of focus and close up and light, you almost forget that the plot is a highly contrived package of clever ideas. When you do think about the plot, and the various holes that open up in the logic of it, you are almost forced to enjoy it for the visuals. And for the acting, which has some real high points.

You also marvel at how the entire movie is shot in a single room (with a glimpse of hallway a few times). I suppose you might bow to the film's makers for pulling off so much with so little. The result is intelligent and a little bit suspenseful at its best moments. When it begins it is absolutely fascinating, from the opening scenes establishing the characters to the first laying out of the rules (although there is a drama that reminded me for some reason of "Deal or No Deal" at its tackiest). Then some of the characters break out of the futurist mode and we have normal people vying to win the game, the contest to be hired by the mysterious health products company behind the scenes. (This part will remind everyone of a stylized and a bit false seeming "The Apprentice" even to the point that you might wish for a Donald Trump to appear from behind the dark screen and prod them along.)

By the end, I think most people will either be a bit tired of it all, or mostly incredulous. It pulls out lots of tricks, and we are inevitably a little surprised by the final turns of events. But I'm not sure it lives up to the high standards set at the start. Get sucked in, sure, but be prepared to stick it out with effort.
48 out of 76 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
9/10
Impressive movie!
ronnelmoreno26 April 2012
I'm very excited upon seeing the film and sitting through it, for I expected that it would give me an impressive outcome, and I have to say, It did deliver. Exam is a low-budgeted film, which has 8 main character, a guard, and an invigilator. Despite of the said budget, It was able to give me a solid plot, awesome acting and great ending. Though the movie do not have a lot of gore scenes (I guess none at all), nor lots of screaming and killing. It was still great. It will keep you guessing and guessing and, simultaneously discovering the characters background, this movie is not boring at all, It'll keep you thinking and wait to see if your guess is right. This movie, only proved that budget is not a major factor in creating a ground-breaking movie. Exam is one of a kind and I wish to see more of this. 9/10.
48 out of 77 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
8/10
psychological study of competition, stress, anger, and ambition
blanche-23 October 2015
"Exam" is a wonderful psychological study of eight people who are the top candidates for an important job with a high-level corporation.

The time period is some time in the future. Eight candidates are put in a windowless room, and an Invigilator (Colin Salmon). They have 80 minutes to answer a question. There are four rules: don't talk to him, don't talk to the guard, don't leave the room, and don't spoil the piece of paper in front of them.

The candidates find the sheet in from of each of them blank.

One tries to write on the paper and is ejected immediately. After a time, one person figures out that they can talk to one another, and they attempt by various means to see what's on the paper.

Lights, liquids, nothing works. Slowly as the clock goes down, the real personalities of the candidates begin to emerge, and we learn more about them.

One of the features aggravating the situation is that there is a plague, something like AIDS, that is killing people, and this company has come up with medications that can help and are working toward a cure. One of the women has a partner who cannot afford the medication, which is why she is applying for the job. One of the candidates has the disease.

The stress becomes worse and worse as people not only seek to find out the question, but "White" (Luke Mably) tries to manipulate people to break a rule so they can be eliminated.

This is an excellent film, though one has to take into account that it is happening in the future. At least in the present, no one would go through what these people did for a job, especially with a selection process like that. I would have left after the Invigilator talked. So we don't know what's going on in the world.

The film presents a real puzzle, and getting to the solution is a fascinating process for the viewer.

The acting is very good and intense, with Luke Mably having the showiest role. Colin Salmon, the Invigilator, has one of the best voices in the world and has an incredible presence.

Really enjoyed this.
21 out of 31 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
2/10
Not one you'd want to sit through
Leofwine_draca25 July 2011
Drawing on all manner of films that have come before – I'm thinking of the likes of 12 ANGRY MEN as well as more recent fare such as CUBE – EXAM wants nothing more than to be a taught little thriller with an intriguing premise: eight candidates in a room, taking an exam that consists of a blank sheet of paper. The movie takes place in real time, inside a single room, with the utter exclusion of special effects, focusing solely on the character interactions that take place. With such a premise, you know that the plotting and the scripting better be darn good, and unfortunately in EXAM's case, it just isn't.

The main problem for me is that the stakes just aren't high enough. It's like watching the first episode in a new series of THE APPRENTICE – you don't know or particularly like any of the characters, so whether they win the job or not just doesn't matter. At least films like BATTLE ROYALE upped the ante by killing off the candidates who lose but there's no sense of that drama here, just a bunch of bickering characters you couldn't care less about. And it doesn't help when the entire cast are all so unlikeable, sharing such characteristics as smugness, arrogance and a sense of their own superiority. Chukwudi Iwuji is the only one I had the slightest interest in and that's thanks to the strength of his performance.

Admittedly, it's not all bad, with things picking up around halfway through for some pretty intense drama during the "paper cut" sequence. Sadly, it slides back into boredom after this, and finishes up with a lengthy and pretentious explanation which turns the whole film into one big joke. Add in some entirely cheap sci-fi staples (including some nonsense about a "virus") and you have a film which could have offered a lot but which ends up as virtually nothing.
40 out of 65 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
1/10
Horrible
vosnescis28 December 2019
One of the worst movie's I've seen. Where to begin with the plot holes? The complete lack of realism? Oh man. Almost 7 out of 10 people have zero sense of reality or taste it seems, not to sound high on myself, but wow if this gets more than a 1/10 then I know I'm not living in the right era of humanity.
8 out of 10 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
3/10
Failed psychological film
roger-firpo17 December 2010
Warning: Spoilers
I watched this film hoping this was a remake of 'El método', an adaptation of the brilliant play 'El mètode Grönholm' of Jordi Galceran. But it resulted to be a failed thriller, uninteresting and predictable.

That play was a criticism of the random and cruel selection processes in some corporations.

In this movie the responsible for the selection process is redeemed at the end. We see violence, torture and murder, being every single one an accomplice. But at the end all this is justified because it serves a better good. What a childish, happy ending.

The movie presents an unlikely selection process, with non-credible stereotypic characters. The acting is not very good either, with uninteresting dialog, and a shallow approach to the problem. The resolution is poor at most, and the surprise element, not shocking.

With many interesting psychological trailers around, I would recommend you to avoid this film.
20 out of 31 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
1/10
The real TEST was sitting thru this
e_pipersberg110 December 2016
This was right up there with one of the worst movies of all time. It beggars belief how it rated 6 plus on IMDb. It started with an interesting pretense but it went from bad to worse very quickly. Characters you wouldn't give two hoots about. Pothole after pothole in the story and the most ridiculous reveal in the history of film. How on earth this piece of garbage was given one cent towards its production is beyond me. I should contact the money people and ask them to finance a film about me wiping my backside as that would be more interesting and easier to watch. I hope all involved in the making of this film change vocations quickly.
12 out of 17 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
4/10
Dumb and derivative
Groundhog113816 May 2014
Warning: Spoilers
"Any questions?" "Yeah, I've a question." End of the exam. End of the movie. And imagine this was answered by White or Brown. Great! You've just hired a murderer/a torturer as your new assistant, Mr. Smart. And, unless they lied, they didn't even have to apply.

By the way, answering the question IS communicating with the "invigilator", which breaks the rules. Writing the answer spoils your paper, which breaks the rules too.

Four of them vote to break the lights in the room (including Blondie). And what if there was no emergency lighting? 60 minutes in the dark? Why not wait and try that later? As a CEO, I would never hire such a bunch of idiots.

They find a lighter and the first thing they try is to simulate a fire? Any kid in the world would have tried to warm up the paper to check for invisible ink. But, no. Complicated stuff first, right?

White tried sooner to pee on the Asian woman's copy, and not risk disqualification, but, apparently, he doesn't care about wetting his OWN paper anymore.

The only thing wrong White did before the end of the movie is to make two candidates disqualify themselves. Is it worth death? Black seems to think it is, since he takes away his pill without remorse. Wow! Three men, three criminals. We're in good company... (By the way, if you had such a sickness that you have to take a pill every hour, would you carry only one with you?)

Let me tell you : if anybody is threatening my life or my physical integrity, I'm out of here. I don't care about their stupid test.

There's no reason for the second button of the clock to be pushed by Deaf, or even to exist. Except to play with us, the audience.

Why do they keep their names a secret? Just because it sounds cool? "Reservoir Dogs" anyone?

There's a lot more, but you get the idea : dumb script trying to be smart. Still, good acting, interesting premise, sustained tension. Not TOO bad.
13 out of 19 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
5/10
Any questions?
Abominog29 July 2010
Warning: Spoilers
The set-up is obviously borrowed from a vastly superior Italo-Argentinian-Spanish co-production "The Method": a number of carefully selected candidates gathered in a secluded room are supposed to hold a tricky qualification test. The sole winner that complies with stringent (yet noticeably weird) restraints and finds the right solution to an obscure assignment will eventually grab a high executive position with a company (noone is aware of).

Capable cast, credible acting, elaborate and well thought-out dialogs, promising start, gradually elevating suspense and tension among the candidates will maintain interest throughout (almost) the entire length of the film.

I only have a minor question: Would you believe that such minuscule and perhaps insignificant detail as nonsensical ending (based on a ludicrous resolution worthy of kindergarten) may be so dumb that it can easily betray high expectations and completely ruin initially positive impression?

Any more questions?
32 out of 54 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
7/10
Suspenseful Use of the Storyline of "El método" (2005) Combined with the Violence and Tension of "Das Experiment" (2001)
claudio_carvalho11 April 2014
In a near future, eight candidates are in the final stage for the position of CEO's assistant in a pharmaceutical corporation. They are locked in a room and the invigilator tells them that they have eighty minutes to answer one question only. He explains that in the lawless space there are only three rules to be followed otherwise they would be disqualified: they should talk neither to him nor to the armed guard; they should not spoil their piece of paper; and they should not leave the room. He starts the chronometer and leaves the room. Then the candidates discover that they have a blank piece of paper with their numbers only. One woman starts writing on the paper and is removed from the room for spoiling the paper. The other candidates figure out that they are allowed to talk to each other and they need teamwork to discover the questions. As far as the time runs out, the tension increases.

"Exam" is a low-budget movie with an intriguing psychological thriller and great direction and performances. The suspenseful story uses of the storyline of "El método" (2005) combined with the violence and tension of "Das Experiment" (2001). However it fails for not providing the big picture of this society with infected people and why the group wishes so bad the position in the corporation. My vote is seven.

Title (Brazil): Not Available
25 out of 41 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
8/10
absolutely brilliant!
amalh9 September 2010
well, i was reluctant to this film at first, thinking ...entire film taking place in a close room, 8 people chit chat their way to success - doesn't sounds too appealing. TW (time wasting) alarm? it couldn't be further far from the truth. this film rocks!! not the typical interview i suppose, more like a socio-metric test for the ultimate assistance. how would i do i kept asking myself. i sort of films like that, CGI and special effects are put aside, what makes the film in A: Directing B: acting (and of course - a good script to back it up). and this film did marvelously well! acting is superb by all. Casting made sure to put the right face to the each character, and WHITE and BLACK out-act them all with probably their best role to date. Sit tight and enjoy this mind-toggling film.
50 out of 90 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
1/10
Movie played out in the same room through the whole time with characters hard to like or understand.
Jonteboi_Vlab18 July 2013
Warning: Spoilers
Not often you get to hate each and EVERY character and see them in a single room for a whole movie. I learned nothing, gained no pleasure, thrill, excitement, thoughts nor did my friends - who both where very varied in their movie taste. Almost everything fails here, even the initial 25 minutes of "horror movie" music intended to build up excitement is out of sync. The whole movie is built on surprises that are pretty predictable and just keep having plot twists "Oh my god, the sisters brother is the sisters sisters who are both brothers but wait… the brother is the sister". Characters and especially "White" (Luke Mably) are one of the worst I ever seen. It is disappointing to see Jimi Mistry and Colin Salmon here since they are better actors in my opinion.
22 out of 37 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
1/10
A sh*t list of bad arrogant characters..
mugen-is-here9 November 2014
This movie has an awesome plot line spoiled completely by the overly arrogant, rude, egoistical personalities that are portrayed. I wonder whether the author of the story ever wanted such characters.

The plot line and the puzzle solving goes to hell as the characters keep belittling other people. I'm glad that I watched this flick on my PC at home because I could keep skipping every few seconds to get past the bad acting.

Another thing that I found really bad in the movie script is the way a particular character is treated. I shall not name that character to spoil the movie but I just couldn't relate at all to any of characters at all. If someone is shouting you quietly listen to him and focus on his content? Really? I would challenge that rude behavior and ask him to speak properly or get the hell out.

Then about the script. By the end of the movie you'll realize that the plot line was really stupid. The actual answer(s) expected for that exam was illogical and out of context.

Plus the way the characters solve the quiz and arrive at the ending. It looks like jumps and plot holes to me. And then there are logical inconsistencies too where a rule gets applied to one candidate but later on doesn't get applied to another candidate.

Overall: A piece of sh** not worth wasting your time on.
9 out of 13 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
EMBA team-building session, the first half at least ?
harry_tk_yung19 June 2010
Warning: Spoilers
While most comparisons of this British movie are made with various TV drama series and contest game show like The Apprentice, the survival aspect being dominating, it is in some ways not unlike a team-building session in an EMBA program, at least the first half of the movie. Then it does become more and more like one of those "and then there were none" survival sequences. One more point by way of general background, there is lurking in the bigger backdrop a spreading contagious virus which reminds you of another British movie "28 days later". When did the Brits become so epidemic-paranoid? While similar to the Canadian movie "Cube" where everything happens in a closed space, "Exam" has different premises: 8 candidates competing for a most lucrative job offered by a dream company. They are locked in an exam room furnished in Spartan simplicity for 80 minutes (with a countdown digital time device), accompanied with an armed guard. The exam paper is a single sheet with the candidate's number and nothing at the back. They have to prove that they are the best man or women for the job, and heaven knows how.

Most of the fun of this movie comes from the invigilator's meticulous instruction delivered at the beginning ("I'll only say this once, so pay attention"). As the movie unfolds, the audience is well entertained by the play on the precision in the use of language, often in the form of "what has not been said rather than what has been" as one candidate shrewdly points out. For example, being told that any attempt to communicate with the guard mean instant disqualification doesn't mean that they can't communicate with each other. Nor does it mean that they cannot search the guard's pocket as long as they treat him like a dead object to which no communication is meaningful. This is just one example. The entire movie works on this concept, with regular black-and-white flashbacks one of the invigilator's many instructions.

The candidates comprise a wide racial and visual representation which they use conveniently to identify each other (e.g. the men are "Black", "White", Brown" while the women "Blonde", "Brunette", "Dark" etc). As the events in this enclosed room unfold, while the primary premises I would say is a mind game, there is no shortage of visual and physical excitements, suspense and thrills. While none of the twist and turns is exceptionally brilliant, there wouldn't be any thing that will make you demand a refund, and that goes for the ending. All told, this is good entertainment for a bit less than two hours. To say more would spoil the fun. Maybe just one more: the delightful British "accent" (it always sounds so strange to use this word in this context) adds to the pleasure of viewing this movie.
15 out of 25 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
An error has occured. Please try again.

See also

Awards | FAQ | User Ratings | External Reviews | Metacritic Reviews


Recently Viewed