By tying thousands of balloons to his home, 78-year-old Carl sets out to fulfill his lifelong dream to see the wilds of South America. Russell, a wilderness explorer 70 years younger, inadvertently becomes a stowaway.
At a fast food restaurant, the manager, Sandra, is having a bad day. Suddenly, she gets a phone call from a man claiming to be a police officer who has a complaint that one of her young female employees has stolen from a customer. At the orders of this authoritative sounding stranger, Sandra takes the apparent accused, Becky, to a back room to search her before she is picked up. Once there, the phone scammer manipulates the gullible personnel into participating in Becky's sexual humiliation that grows more twisted with every new sucker on the phone. Only when one final person has the conscience to revolt do they realize the crime they were tricked into, which the real police are hard pressed to solve. Written by
Kenneth Chisholm (email@example.com)
This is the type of movie that will really leave a lot of viewers feeling disgusted and 'dirty'! It had that effect on me and many others, as there have been reports of multiple viewers walking out on screenings of the film (frustrated and appalled by what they were seeing). I was utterly depressed after watching it and felt that way (on and off) for several days after viewing the movie because of it. To me that's the sign of a well made film. It doesn't mean I liked or enjoyed the movie, those are entirely different things, but I do respect it as the quality dramatic thriller that it is.
The story is based on true events in which a prank call leads to the manipulated sexual harassment (and more) of an employee at a fast food restaurant in a small town. The prank caller (Pat Healy) pretends to be a police officer and convinces the manager of a ChickWich chain restaurant (Ann Dowd) that one of her employees (Dreama Walker) has stolen money from a customer's purse. He then convinces the manager to strip search the employee and get other employees involved. The situation continues to escalate and become more and more disturbing as new people are brought in and manipulated throughout the day. It's based on a series of nearly 60 similar crimes around the US (believed to be perpetrated by the same individual), most specifically the McDonald's case in Bullitt County.
The movie is extremely shocking and at times the actions of the characters seem too unbelievable to be true, but they are, which makes the movie all that harder to watch. Some have called it the 'most disturbing movie ever' but unlike something like 'THE HUMAN CENTIPEDE' this movie actually has a point and something to learn and take away from it. It's a fantastic character and psychological study and the performances are all exceptional. Ann Dowd is particularly impressive in the lead but if there is one weak link I'd say it's Dreama Walker (I wasn't entirely convinced by her at times). For the most part the characters are very believable and feel like people we all really know. It's the writer and director's, Craig Zobel, second film and he really seems like a filmmaker to watch for. Like I said it's definitely a hard film to watch and since it does do it's job right it should leave you feeling sad and disgusted. To be an honest critic you can't judge a movie on how much you liked it, or base your review on other personal biases, you have to rate it on how well it does what it set out to do. This is an exceptionally well made film!
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