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Exit Strategy
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Reviews & Ratings for
Exit Strategy More at IMDbPro »

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8 out of 11 people found the following review useful:

Non Black And Light

10/10
Author: blackimconscious from United States
15 March 2012

What's interesting about this film, is that it does not address race. It's not labeled as a "Black movie" and the plot does not have anything to do with race. Weathers and James, both African-American, are the main characters and their issues in the film don't necessarily relate to their racial identities. Also, they each have a diverse group of friends in the film.

Many may argue that the majority of films we see with a Black cast, either harp on stereotypes or focus on an issue dealing with race. While dealing with race is important, are there enough films where we can just be light?

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6 out of 8 people found the following review useful:

Worth The Look

8/10
Author: J SJpopent from PA
14 March 2012

The world is full of low-budget comedies vying for notice. Some of them are worthy; some of them should just disappear.

Exit Strategy is far from a perfect film, but it does have enough good aspects to make it worth the look. And it does hint that star and co-writer Jameel Saleem has the potential to make a very good film down the line. He is not quite there yet, but I bet he'll make it.

Saleem plays James, a lazy, but basically personable guy who works at a second-hand store in LA with his two best friends from college, Carville (Quincy Harris) and Leona (Noelle Balfour). One day he comes home to find out he has been evicted from his apartment.

He tries to hit his friends up, but when they both turn him down he decides to movie in with Kim (Kimelia Weathers), a girl he had been dating a few months. Honestly, it hadn't been going that great, he didn't know her that well and they hadn't even had sex yet. Still, James figures that she'll take him in, give him run of the house, cook for him, clean for him and that sex thing will have to come if they are living in the same house, right?

However, it doesn't turn out quite how he expects. She's a neat freak, has a fetish for pink, expects him to follow her rules of the house – and sex is off of the table until he's ready to consider marriage.

James' character would be offensive if not for the fact that he is lightly mocked by everyone in the film for his character deficiencies. He wants to sponge off of his girlfriend – live in her apartment, eat her food, watch her TV – and yet is horrified to think that she may have expectations from him as well. Or that she does not necessarily want things in her life done her way.

It seems like a reasonable expectation. In fact, though, that is just about the only reasonable thing about the girlfriend, which is by far the film's worst aspect.

That's because his girlfriend is a horror show. I realize that she is way over the top on purpose, for effect, but she is so off-putting that the rest of the film suffers.

It's supposed to be funny, and in some ways it is, but the character is so unbelievable and so over-the-top that you can't buy it. Also, her whims seem to blow with the wind, changing her from sweet to psycho without a moment's notice. She seems bi-polar and you always wonder why he just doesn't leave.

However, he can't move out because his two best friends from college won't let him sponge off them. Hey, here's a thought. Get your own place and then you can live however you want.

Instead, James ends up bitching to his friends, planning his escape and calling Kim out on a radio talk show. Radio personality Big Boy, plays himself in the studio – as well as being one of the film's producers – and for some reason, he and his posse are always filmed in ethereal layered soft focus, making every scene he does feel like a dream sequence.

The story idea is a bit awkward, but on the plus side Saleem and Weathers (who based her character on a stand-up idea she had been working) actually have a really good ear for dialogue. The writing is often much smarter and snappier than the situation it is illustrating.

Therefore, Exit Strategy shows real promise. If Saleem can just get his act together as far as plotting and learn to dump some of the extraneous gutter humor, the guy could be someone to keep an eye on.

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7 out of 11 people found the following review useful:

2 thumbs UP!

9/10
Author: artiesuniversereview from United States
21 February 2012

Built wholly from familiar ingredients, assembled with skillfully and charming performances from Jameel Saleem and Kimelia Weathers, Exit Strategy gives formula a good name with ample laughs and sharp performances.

This anecdote centers around James (Jameel Saleem) who gets evicted from his apartment and moves in with his girlfriend of three months Kim (Kimelia Weathers) and quickly discovers she's everything he never wanted in a woman… Sounds familiar with a twist? There's no denying this film's warm humor and big heart as this generational comedy suffers issues of movement and character development although offering film goers a fine, low-calorie screwball feast containing ugly anachronisms courtesy of high-schooler "Scoop" that prove to enhance it's charm at low moments.

Customary cynicism is leavened here by "tender" humor, "dry" romance, and genuine pathos with perfectly light, romantic comedy kept afloat by Michael Whitton's unobtrusive direction and sharp performances from Q Deezy (Carville) and cameo via "it" comedian Kevin Hart.

Rarely does an unrealistically funny comedy connect with audiences but the exploration of gender roles and the limits of relationship with a mixture of sensitivity, raw honesty and wit between the two main characters actually work abetted by the sharp interplay between Big Boy and supporting cast.

While the editing isn't parallel with timing of the comedy which affects it's pace, Exit Strategy is a hilarious, poignant and refreshing look at the rigors of tolerance bearing, with savvy script writing that is ably acted and directed.

I enjoyed and I believe you will also. 2 thumbs UP!

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9 out of 15 people found the following review useful:

High Quality On A Low Budget

10/10
Author: shaywanting
21 February 2012

I took a chance on this "indie" film one night (playing AMC Philly) and left with not only a new opinion about indie films in general and specifically the urban romantic comedy genre, but I walked out with a smile. No bombs, no nudity, no kids out of wed lock, no dirty language, and amazingly - for urban - no drugs and guns. And yet, still very relate-able, honest -- and great acting (full cast) and unnoticeable directing by Michael Whitton. I really admired his choices, both for the actors and camera angles: unlike most independent flicks I see, which are often overbearing artistically and aesthetically too artsy -- Exit Strategy surpassed my expectations of first-time filmmaking. I'd like to see Whitton helm a 50 million dollar machine. Apparently, from what I read, it was made on a scant budget, but it didn't look like it at all. A solid visual movie feel to it. The editing was unique... very -- for a romantic comedy, but I must say it surprisingly worked quite nicely. Right to the point. Smash flashbacks and forwards made it exciting to watch. Very creative. Very. I wish more films came out like this. This film is raw, funny, complex, and mirrored real life entertainingly. Low budget doesn't mean low quality with this film.

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2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

Current and Relatable

Author: c-shoeandmad from United States
19 June 2012

Loving to see a black film that doesn't treat it's brothers and sisters like trash. Unknowns Jameel and Kim are so good in this flick. They are going to have a kick start to their career after this one. Hoping for the best. Kevin was funny as usual, but usual. You get my drift. Q Deezy is a comedic up-and-comer as well as the kid who played Scoop. All such good actors. Looking forward to more flicks they are in. The film was shot low budge but who gives a hoot! The story has depth, unlike most black comedies or any comedy for that matter -- exit strategy is current -- relatable and down right fun to watch. Relationships are hard and I thought the director did a fine fine job molding that on screen. Believable and honest. Thank god for these kind of filmmakers, because this subject matter is rare in film especially a black one. But black it's not. And that's what I appreciated the most. Again, brothers and sisters are treated like real human beings in real situations (or so it seems) which makes for a real good laugh. Excellent.

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4 out of 6 people found the following review useful:

Wow

1/10
Author: jaylove02 from United States
27 June 2012

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

People who are giving this two thumbs up... did we watch the same movie? Now I love all types of movies. I like independent films, sci fi, mysteries, rom-coms, low budget, I like them all. But this was just... trash. The girl was horrible, she over-acted everything (maybe she was supposed to) and every 5 minutes my cousins and I found ourselves groaning out of the stupidity and frustration. Every time Kim was on scene, I cringed. Her dad? Seriously? The fact that they hadn't had sex yet, were dating for three months, and slept in the same bed? I hardly know any man that would stand for that. And he was good looking! I understand movies are movies.. but my goodness - this was bad. Thank God for the guy's best friend - he provided the most comedic relief! Kevin Hart couldn't even salvage this. I don't like how people are giving this good reviews because it wasn't a stereotypical black movie and what not.. it was just awful.

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5 out of 8 people found the following review useful:

Funny For The Masses

Author: anaeykacolbins from BevHills
12 March 2012

I totally giggled watching this movie. The chemistry between the main characters is beautiful to watch. Their sense of comedic timing made it all the more enjoyable. I brought my boyfriend to see this at the rave theater and he liked it too - but still won't admit that he laughed just as much as I did. The colors were fun - the pink was all too familiar with me and my girlfriends. I just love pink pink pink. Kevin hart was super laughs of course, but not any more than the other actors, which says a lot. The party scene by the pool was my favorite. The editing made me excited and wanted to be there with them. They must have had a good time making this. I recommend this movie because it's definitely outside the box of the typical rom-com, or should I say, un-rom-com - Nice to see a movie like this rise above all the Hollywood studio flops. You can make funny and inexpensive entertainment for the masses. Exit Strategy is proof.

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

who could possibly think this is a good movie??

1/10
Author: samuerle from United States
4 November 2012

Literally batshit crazy. The entire movie is just bizarre... The summary I read was completely wrong. This is a movie about a pathetic guy who can't get his life together and wants his girlfriend to break up with him, instead of him doing it, because somehow he thinks that means he'll still get to mooch off of her and get to still sleep on her couch. But she's a complete lunatic, how he didn't know that in the 3 months prior to moving in, who knows, but she's the type of girl you'd run away from 5 minutes in to the first date. So the entire movie is just a crazy pathetic mess. It's not worth the dollar I rented it for. complete waste of time.

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Laughability vs. Absurdity-Who Wins Out?

4/10
Author: Monica
26 December 2013

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

There were quite a few scenes in this that made me laugh. I could identify with the awkwardness of sharing space, especially when you've grown accustomed to living on your own. I think it is definitely tougher on a guy to adjust to living with a female.

The scenes that stuck out the most were the following:

1. Kim (the girlfriend)decided to use James' hand as the sink while she was brushing her teeth. 2. Kim wanted James' to take out the trash, even though there was only a paper towel and a banana in the trash can 3. The absolutely worst proposal ever that was still accepted. 4. The mannequin head guy scene: simply because it was so absurd and featured Kevin Hart

However, there were a few things that were touched on that I wanted to see some type of closure on but it never quite came to fruition.

Loose ends (or things that make you go Hmm): 1. Why exactly did James get evicted? It looked like he was still employed. They kept hinting he was spending all of his money to impress his girlfriend, but it still didn't quite add up to me. 2. What was the deal with the baseball card? There was this guy that kept coming in the store wanting to buy it, but James refused to sell it. Even after the guy volunteered his services to help James out of his situation, we still don't know whether James decided to let go of the baseball card. 3. After the guy Leona was dating gave a big speech to James about "age ain't nothing but a number" (aka defending their relationship), the guy turns around and breaks up with Leona not too long after he and James have the conversation. 4. The scene where James kissed Leona: just seemed very awkward and forced. Especially when Carville and Kim try to become part of the kiss scene. 5. Did Big Boy really have to be sprinkled all through the movie? I could understand maybe here and there, but on some parts, it just really didn't make sense. 6. After seeing Kim's erratic behavior, why would James still want to sleep on her couch? In some cases, it's just better to be homeless or better yet, sleep in the back room of the Stuff Shop.

Is this a movie that will make you laugh? Yes.

Is this a movie you can look at and can relate to, as it pertains to relationship dynamics and living situations? Yes, particularly if the relationship is new.

The comedy of this actually saved the rating from being much lower.

Is this a movie I would spend money on? No, I actually wouldn't. The comedic bits aren't enough to bypass the absurdity of some parts and the non-essential nature of other parts. I would not have watched this in the theater. It's highly unlikely I would even purchase the DVD.

One's best bet is to do what I did and just look at it on instant stream on Netflix.

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Did not get it?!

1/10
Author: Nans Kay
10 October 2012

I am normally partial to any genre an was excited to see what this film entailed after reading the reviews.

As it turns out, I should have put my trust in the readers stars! The awkward and constant pauses were painful to watch, the acting was horrible and the plot did not make sense at all!

And as for the ending? I wouldn't know, I couldn't get through it! It is regrettable because the general plot, or the idea seed that was planted would have been good with a better script, better direction, & better acting.

I was very confused that this was labeled a comedy also. I mean, I would normally watch an entire movie, then pass my personal judgment, like/hate/in-between. I really hoped it would pick up but didn't. Sorry to be harsh, & yes this is my personal opinion. So in my personal opinion, if you are looking for laughs, a good time, an entertaining plot, or an enjoyable watch, I would do one thing:

Avoid.

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