The Fallout (2021) Poster

(2021)

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8/10
Jenna Ortega Take A Bow
johnnyhbtvs2715 February 2022
A harrowing movie about the aftermath of a high school shooting. Jenna Ortega is outstanding in the lead role and plays it so well in capturing the sadness and also the funny side to her character (like when she tells her mum everything). Megan Park in her directorial debut does a great job in letting the movie flow at it's own pace and doesn't rush anything. A really nice gem that deserves to be seen by a wide audience.
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7/10
Shell-Shocked...
Xstal28 January 2022
The scars of a school shooting weep through a young students actions as she struggles to come to terms with the mental conflict playing out in her mind, with teenage distractions, reactions and inactions all compounding, confusing and amplifying already heightened emotions, devotions and affections. Great performance from Jenna Ortega who delivers a truly believable and sympathetic portrayal of something few of us could ever imagine.
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7/10
A gritty look at the people we often forget about in tragedies
jtindahouse30 January 2022
The opening sequence of 'The Fallout' is very well done. It's powerful, tense and all too real unfortunately. From there the films fall into a quite sombre look at the anxiety and depression caused by such a tragedy. It's a tough watch at times but an important one also.

Jenna Ortega seems to be the "IT" girl at the moment. She's in everything seemingly and it's not hard to understand why. She is extremely likeable and seems to have the full arsenal available in her acting talents. Without a strong lead a film like this could be a very unpleasant watch. She ensured that was not the case.

I love films where the family dynamic is handled in a positive way. I understand not every family out there is as great as we'd like to imagine, and it's often an easy way for a film to create conflict by using a dysfunctional family. However I think the majority of families out there are extremely supportive like the ones in 'The Fallout'. And even when a family is doing everything they can to help there can still be conflict apparent as this film proved.

The ending of this film is a tough one. It's tough and it's heart-breaking but it is also the absolute perfect ending for a film like this because it is real. Any other ending would have been a cop-out.

There are little patches of the film that can come across a little dull and boring and that's one of the flaws of the film. Those scenes are often setting things up for the future though, and also watching a character struggling with depression can't always be a fun or enjoyable ride or else you've portrayed it wrong.

This is a good film. Don't go in expecting anything other than a pretty gritty drama though. There is the odd funny moment but for the most part it's a very serious film. 7/10.
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7/10
breakout role for Ortega
A_Different_Drummer3 February 2022
If you are determined to do a film on the aftermath of an active-shooter incident, one that happens almost right after the credits roll, you could worse than this. Ortega steals every scene and carries the movie. An amazing performance. ((Designated "IMDb Top Reviewer." Please check out my list "167+ Nearly-Perfect Movies (with the occasional Anime or TV miniseries) you can/should see again and again (1932 to the present))
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9/10
A pulsing, terrifying, funny, & infuriating look at a uniquely American trauma.
matthewssilverhammer16 February 2022
I wasn't interested in another gun-violence teen drama. However, 10 minutes in, I was struggling to hold it together. Ten minutes after it ended, I was reeling from a gut-punch ending. Ortega, Ziegler, & Park give an authentic presentation of teendom, like Burnham's Eight Grade, with an intense injection of tragedy. The fact that writer-director Park didn't live through a school shooting shows her innate touch at empathetic filmmaking.
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7/10
What happens after a mass school shooting
paul-allaer29 January 2022
Warning: Spoilers
As "The Fallout" (2021 release; 96 min.) opens, 16 yr old Vada and her younger sister Amelia are at school. During a bathroom break, Vada runs into Mia, one of the "popular" girls. Then the unimaginable happens, as we hear gun shot after gun shot. Vada and Mia hide into a bathroom stall, fearing for their lives... At this point we are less than 10 min into the movie.

Couple of comments: this is the feature length writing and directing debut of actress Megan Park, and what a debut it is. This isn't the first film about a mass school shooting, but I cannot recall another movie where the focus is strictly on the aftermath of the shooting for the survivors. The film's main character is 16 yr old Vada, who lives a life of privilege, surrounded by a loving family and a range of friends. There are scenes of pure heartbreak, such as late in the film when siblings Vada and Amelia confront their fears together. The movie benefits enormously from Jenna Ortega's performance as Vada, truly a breakout role, and a thankful breather from her many slasher film roles including the current "Scream" and the upcoming "Studio 666" and "X". But in the end, much of the praise is due to Megan Park's direction, as she tackles a difficult topic with empathy, nuance and skill. Last but not least, the film sports a superior original score, courtesy of Finneas O'Connell (Billie Eilish's brother). Along the way, the movie brings a blistering indictment against the never-ending cycle of mass school shootings. When will enough be enough? How will the politicians who fill their pockets with bottomless NRA contributions, be held accountable? Why is it that the phenom of mass school shootings is unique to this country? But those are topics for another day. Meanwhile if you are interested in understanding what surviving a mass school shooting does to a 16 yr old, "The Fallout" will give you a pretty good indication of that.

"The Fallout" premiered at the 2021 SXSW film festival to immediate critical acclaim, and then... nothing. The film finally went wide this weekend as it started streaming on HBO Max, where I caught it. There is good reason why "The Fallout" is currently rated 92% fresh on Rotten Tomatoes. Of course don't take my word for it, so I encourage you to check it out, and draw your own conclusion.
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9/10
Strong movie
nickpedersen19 February 2022
I am impressed by the actors and the characters they play in this movie. They feel very real.

This is a really really good, strong, and emotionally movie.

You dont see the violence, but you hear it, and you feel it together with the characters.

I cant forget the actors. They do a really good job in this one.
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7/10
Solid work all around.. this drama is a must-see! [+74%]
arungeorge131 February 2022
It'd been a while since a teen drama really got me pondering, but then I watched The Fallout. It's a small but profoundly layered film, powered by a solid lead performance from Jenna Ortega. Megan Park's debut feature film is striking and centers around the survivors of a high-school shooting incident. The screenplay works as a contemporary character study, going into the itsy bitsy details of a high-school teenager's life in the aftermath of the said pivotal incident. Vada (Ortega), a tomboy with introverted inclinations, is perplexed at the way everything suddenly changes for her, and the film showcases her struggles (and occasional highs) poignantly. It's almost like Megan Park extensively studied how Gen Z-ers speak, organically incorporating dialogues into the script.

The don't-know-what-to-do mom (Julie Bowen) and bewildered sister characters are also given due importance as they're significant to the progress that Vada makes each day. Their performances are also brilliant. I also enjoyed how Vada has a varying but relatable dynamic between herself and each family member, and writer-director Park ensures she gets very emotional, very grounded scenes with each. Vada's accidental friendship with the uber-popular Mia (Maddie Ziegler) gets the lion's share of the screenplay, showcasing how little joys and wins are so important. In fact, except for the therapy session scenes featuring Shailene Woodley, I wholly enjoyed the film. It was like a breath of fresh air, even though it revolves around a tragedy.
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7/10
Heart wrenching movie
codybarber-8285729 January 2022
This movie explores a ton of problems we're currently having in the United States. It dives deeper into the trauma suffered by individuals and how everyone handles trauma differently. We do not all move at the same pace and this movie does a wonderful job of portraying that.
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8/10
Opening and ending scenes you won't soon forget
JohnRayPeterson31 January 2022
Warning: Spoilers
The topic subject as described in the IMDb synopsis, then the storyline, basically cover what the movie is about and, as my choice for this review's title says, the opening scenes as well as the very last scene will probably make you think long and hard and you will remember those without a doubt.

The main character Vada is played by Jenna Ortega and I wasn't at all familiar with her but I will remember her name when I see it again. She delivered that good a performance. When you consider movies based on who the actors are it means they are good and have convinced you for one reason or another. Ms Ortega did.

A school shooting, in the context of 2021-2022 is a storyline which time has come, given the US leads all countries in mass shootings and especially school shootings. The statistics are incredible, but the experience itself needed to be exposed and the fallout conveyed. The movie's title is perfect. Perfect!

Some might debate the script's middle section, between the opening scenes and that very special last one, but regardless of what you think of the development, little prepares you for either. I'm almost sorry I spoiled it for you. Watch it anyway. Actors Julie Bowen and John Ortiz played Vada's parents and I was happy to see them in those roles, especially a scene with Vada and her dad when he finds the way to reach his lost daughter, who was lost, mentally speaking; it was a touching scene.

Another actor who's name I knew but not as actor, is co-star Maddie Ziegler. I didn't recognize her, even when a short clip of her dancing today was featured. When I later checked the performers names I thought to myself "What a coincidence!" It wasn't. It's Sia's video dancer acting on the big screen. Good for her, and what a difference a few years make.

I sincerely hope the movie has a social impact; I truly do. If anything, it is an excellent basis for reflection and appreciation for surviving victims' experiences. Dare I say it's a must view? I do.
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6/10
Okay
kphoebs17 March 2022
Very important topic and great lead actress but poorly written dialogues/story progress.

Felt like the writers thought it'd be enough to write about something important, without the effort to make it realistic/deep.
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5/10
Oversimplified trauma
jmalby13 March 2022
It tells an emotionally devastating story in a very simplistic way and comes across very unnatural and shallow. The script deals with a heavy subject matter, but fails to dig deep. There are a lot of things going on that eventually lead nowhere and the whole tone of the movie is very weak. Highlight of the movie is, without a doubt, main character's performance that is very captivating and believable.
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7/10
okay.
moreiradrew-1492127 January 2022
It wasn't a bad movie, but the whole advertisement for the movie was that it was this gen z defining movie and that it's the most real and nature movie of 2022, and honestly it's the same thing over again with the kids acting completely not how teens REALLY act. Which is weird cus the actors are teens themselves. But the story was good and these types of things do happen so which is why i gave it a 7/10.
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8/10
An important experience
guskeller21 February 2022
The Fallout is important. It highlights an urgent (yet neglected) topic responsibly. Nothing is glamorized, sanitized, or insincere. Covering the psychological effects of school shootings, the film focuses on the resulting emotional journeys rather than the violent incident. Subjects of mental health, communication, coping, and support are authentically addressed. This material isn't flashy, but the experience is thoroughly captivating and enlightening. Central to that is the delicate acting of the entire cast (especially Ortega). Nobody is overdramatic, everyone is layered and conflicted, and everything is genuine and natural. Truly, the emotional impact cannot be overstated.

Meanwhile, the filmmaking of The Fallout is grounded, yet lightly artistic. The music is primarily silent, allowing feelings to breathe. The cinematography uses spacing and motion to reflect mental states. The gentle editing emphasizes the acting, yet is stylistic at turning points. The realistic sound carries weight because climatic moments occur offscreen. Lastly, the direction unites the film into a cohesive, bittersweet journey of nuance. Each beat is perfectly placed and each aspect is masterfully measured. The Fallout covers significant ground, but maintains a heartfelt focus. Viewers may not be ready for where it's going, but everyone will grow from the experience.

Writing: 10/10 Direction: 9/10 Cinematography: 9/10 Acting: 9/10 Editing: 9/10 Sound: 9/10 Score/Soundtrack: 9/10 Production Design: 7/10 Casting: 7/10 Effects: 6/10

Overall Score: 8.4/10.
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7/10
Reflects how vulnerable we are
isaacochoterena4 February 2022
This film reflects how vulnerable we are in adolescence.

The film shows the vulnerability of adolescents today, it also shows us how these generations see the world and how they function in their environment. It shows some of their feelings and why they hide them, this is well developed because you empathize and understand why they don't express it. The development of the main character is good, so is the development of the characters that are part of her family, but the rest of the characters that make up the social circle of this character have a very poor development, they do not have the depth that has the protagonist. There are times when the story slows down a bit, but that's understandable because to overcome something takes time, the story is sometimes fun, and the drama isn't overwhelming. The ending seemed unsatisfactory to me since all the characters are not closed, it only implies that at any moment you can break emotionally again if you have not completely healed. The performances are impressive, the direction is good, and the tense moments at the beginning are compelling and well-executed.

The film helps to understand why gen z does not express what they feel, and the adversities they are facing in these times where there is almost always uncertainty about what will happen tomorrow.
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9/10
my own way
ferguson-619 March 2021
Warning: Spoilers
SXSW 2021 Greetings again from the darkness. Megan Park is an established actress with some memorable roles (WHAT IF, 2013), and although she has directed some short films, this is her first feature film as writer-director. Her subject matter revolves around a school shooting and how it impacts students in so many ways. Rather than creating a project focusing on gun control, Ms. Park instead takes on the various emotions that occur after such a horrific event.

Vada (Jenna Ortega, young Jane in "Jane the Virgin") is a 16 year old high school student who is in the restroom when gunfire is heard. We don't see the shooter, and instead director Park sticks with Vada and Mia Reed (Maddie Ziegler) as they hide in the stall, terrified of what's happening. Mia is the school beauty, and one that Vada and her best friend Will (Nick Ropp) would typically make fun of behind her back. While in the stall, a bloody Quinton (Niles Fitch) joins them.

The three students form an unlikely bond after the shooting, as Will finds a new mission in life as an activist and spokesperson. Vada's parents are played by a skittish Julie Bowen and the always dependable John Ortiz. Vada and Mia both struggle with their emotions, and start to depend on each other. Quinton has serious fallout to deal with, though he and Vada get closer as well. Though she is unable to talk to her parents or deal with her younger sister, Vada does see a therapist played by Shailene Woodley.

It's painful to see anyone have to deal with such a horrific event, but it's so much worse when it's kids who simply aren't mature enough or experienced enough to handle such a burden. Wine, sex, and pot all make up the attempts at self-healing by the students, and the film doesn't shy away from the difficulties they face in returning to school - or returning to anything resembling normalcy after attending memorial services for numerous classmates. Filmmaker Park allows us to experience Vada's slow recovery, and then throws in a gut-punch of an ending that is likely to stun many. A terrific performance from Ms. Ortega and strong filmmaking from Ms. Park makes this one stick with us.
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7/10
Genuine representation of phycological trauma
Alice_Lu21 May 2022
The movie focuses on one of the most polarizing topics in United States. I live in Europe and every time I hear massacres in US schools it gives me chills. I am not against gun ownership but how come Switzerland has the highest gun ownership whereas almost no such incidents occur.

About the cinematics of the movie, In my opinion, this movie adequately processes the aftermath trauma and transfers to the viewers profoundly.
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8/10
The Fallout
JoBloTheMovieCritic28 February 2022
8/10 - strong acting performances from Jenna Ortega, Will Ropp, Shailene Woodley (in her two brief but impactful scenes), and the rest of the cast bring to life this gripping, infuriating, and moving story of those affected by school shootings.
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7/10
This theme should be more talked about
leonorscaldeira12 December 2022
Warning: Spoilers
I think this movies represents really well the things that a kid goes through after experiencing something like this, the trauma that stays in the person and it can impact tu de the rest of your life. Besides that, it also talks about how hard it is for a teenager to open up/ fell comfortable with their parents, how messy is a teenage mind and the fear of the american kids . One of the scenes that touched me the most is when vada and her father are screaming. My favorite character is the main one, vada, beacyse I think that she is very well represented and I think that every teenager can relate to her somehow. Recommend this movies and this theme should be more talked abou.
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10/10
Coming-of-Age in the Wake of Tragedy
moviesfilmsreviewsinc7 February 2022
Coming-of-Age in the Wake of Tragedy, The Fallout on HBO Max is a female coming-of-age story after a school shooting. In the United States, there is an unfortunate truth: the threat of school shootings within American schools is on the rise. In 2021 alone, there were forty-two acts of gun violence, which is the highest number recorded since 1999. The previous record was thirty shootings in one year, and it is estimated that 34,000 students, from kindergarten to high school, were exposed to gun violence. Survivors have used their grief as a force for change, but many students still struggle with the aftermath of what they lived through. The Fallout seeks to contextualize the trauma and violence imposed by the survivors, thus making something beautiful, raw, and emotional out of a horrific tragedy. The movie premiered in 2021 at South by Southwest in 2021, and it was a hit with critics. There, at the festival, it won the Grand Jury Prize and Audience Choice Award in the Narrative Film Competition, and the Brightcove Illumination Award. The wide release was delayed until its launch on HBO Max in January 2022. The movie's haunting score was created by Finneas O'Connell, the brother of the singer Billie Eilish. The Fallout may be Megan Park's directorial debut, but it engages with a depth of emotional maturity and authenticity that more seasoned directors may struggle to replicate in their work. When a school shooting occurs, it affects everyone affiliated with the school, whether parents, students or an entire community. Grief and coping cannot be contained to one singular mode or method, and when empathy fails, relationships come and go. It may be difficult to try and move on, but it will be a lifelong journey of healing, not something that can occur in a month. As days, months, and even years pass by,Perhaps The Fallout is a movie that engages and embraces the experiences and fears of Generation Z, although many in this cohort may not have been personally touched by gun violence. There is, however, the pervasive fear of what can happen, and that is what does happen in this film. These girls survived the unthinkable, but what comes after, the guilt of surviving and finding out how to navigate this new world, is unfathomable. Park gave a voice beyond the shooting, offering life and recovery in the face of hardship.
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6/10
Genuinely scared / genuinely hurt
rafamiko20 July 2023
Warning: Spoilers
I'm gonna start this review saying I don't live in USA nor I'm american; also, school shootings are not common thing in my country; however, during the shooting scene I was completely terrified, the camera team and the actors made such a good job, I actually couldn't breathe. That scene almost made me throw up, it was amazing.

Other positive aspects of the movie are how sad it is, the character played amazingly by Jenna Ortega is so sad but in such a subtle way it's actually so believable, she's an amazing actress truly fit to play teenage characters because she just has that aura. She speaks, behaves, hide things from her parents, make fun of things and is constantly doubting herself and her feelings just like a real teenager. Also the scenes with her little sister broke my heart, that's real siblings behavior right there, and it reminds me of all these times one is mean to their siblings and that affected me incredibly, I cried a river in the scene the 2 of them finally talk about what happened.

I don't lie when I say this movie is extremely sad, I don't recommend it if you can't handle the depression theme. Also an amazing view on how this massacres affect everyone, not only the families who lost their children but every single person surrounding the event, a movie that will definitely change your vision of life and what we think safety is.
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5/10
Good but not great
looby-236084 February 2022
I wanted to love this film and there was definitely a lot to like but as the film ended with unanswered questions - I felt cheated. Firstly let me say the lead character was a delight- very talented actress that I hope to see in future films. So the questions I wanted anserweing- what happend with her and Nick? What happened to her and Quinton? The ended was so abrupt I actually thought I'd missed a big chunk of it. I had felt connected to some of the characters yet didn't have any closure at all. I would have also liked some more screen time with her therapist . Don't get me wrong I did enjoy the film just felt it could have been so much more.
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6/10
An interesting perspective of trauma.
swkvyjrw28 December 2022
I was very eager to watch The Fallout. The previews and trailers all looked promising, and after watching it I wasn't entirely disappointed. The movie in whole is an excellent way to describe how trauma can affect people, with several ups and downs. The story line was good and didn't drag on for too long. It was a surprise to see that this movie wasn't about the school shooting itself, but the trauma that comes after an experience like it. The movie had good actors that all had decent chemistry, and the relationships formed were all realistic. The only thing that bothered me a bit was the shaky camera work, and the outdated and sometimes cringy scripting.
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8/10
This is what happened in real life.
hollowmothman6 February 2022
I can't imagine how scary and traumatize it is for teenagers these days to go to school, especially in America. School should be a safe place for everyone. These children should not living in fear everytime they went to school.
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7/10
How does one process a school shooting?
balthesaur4 March 2024
Trigger Warning: This film is based on a school shooting.

---

Vada (Jenna Ortega) is an average 16-year-old high school student, but one fateful day in the bathroom, the sounds of screaming and gunfire can be heard echoing through the halls. Taking shelter in a toilet stall, Vada and another girl, Mia (Maddie Ziegler) spend the longest six minutes of their lives trying to stay as calm as possible. What happens after is 'The Fallout'.

Well written and acted drama about a serious and recurring issue in American culture. Without diving into politics or other divisive story arcs, this film focuses on the life effects of Vada for the month after the incident.

Well worth a watch!
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