Nerve Review

Nerve movie posterSynopsis
Nerve is an online game where “watchers” create dares for the “players.” Vee (Emma Roberts) joins the game and meets Ian (Dave Franco). As the game goes on, Vee realizes there is a sinister secret to Nerve.

Nerve is a movie that is an interesting place. It portrays anonymity on the internet, online fame, and the power of social media, something that is very present in society today. The commentary is relative to the explosion of the internet and increase in popularity of social media websites like Facebook and Twitter. It knows the message it wants to get across and for most of the film, it is woven into the story well. However, once the movie begins to ramp up to the conclusion, it gets heavy handed, really driving home what it’s trying to convey. Up until then, it was enjoyable. As someone who is constantly on the internet, knowing the basic premise of the film and its look at online culture was enough to get me interested in the film. Yet it took a little while for me to get into the characters. It’s not until the middle act of the movie that things get engaging.

Emma Roberts as Vee was a different role than I’m used to seeing her in. Normally, she plays the snotty or mean girl. But here, she plays a more shy and reserved type of character and she has no problem pulling it off. Dave Franco is a fun complement to Roberts. The two of them together mesh well and their relationship feels believable. The other characters serve little more than to act like different perspectives into the movie’s social commentary. As a result, they get little screen time as the movie focuses mainly on Roberts’ and Franco’s characters.

I thought Nerve was OK 😐 While Emma Roberts and Dave Franco are an entertaining pairing, it took a little too long for me to really get into the film. Then just as it was hitting its stride, it slaps you over the head with its social commentary. Despite that, I really enjoyed the message of this cautionary tale.


Cast & Crew
Henry Joost – Director
Ariel Schulman – Director
Jessica Sharzer – Screenplay
Rob Simonsen – Composer

Emma Roberts – Vee
Dave Franco – Ian
Emily Meade – Sydney
Miles Heizer – Tommy
Juliette Lewis – Nancy
Kimiko Glenn – Liv
Colson Baker – Ty
Brian Marc – JP
Ed Squires – Chuck

Now You See Me Review

In the summer of 2013, I watched six films in around eight weeks at the theater. Seeing that many movies in the theater that close together was not something I had done before.  I knew that if I was going to start a blog, I wanted to have several reviews ready.  This amount of movie going was the final step that made me decide to begin blogging.  These six reviews are what I tend to call my “original six.” Actually, these aren’t the first reviews I wrote when I began thinking about blogging but I forgot about a few of my earlier reviews until after I already started.  I feel like my writing has grown since 2013 and also that I have found my writing groove.  As part of my Anniversary Week celebration, I will repost these first six reviews throughout the next few days.  Other than updating them to my current format, the reviews will remain unchanged. First up is my review of Now You See Me.

Now You See Me movie posterSynopsis
Four street magicians (Jesse Eisenberg, Woody Harrelson, Isla Fisher, and Dave Franco) are recruited by a mysterious man to perform heists during their performances. A skeptical FBI agent (Mark Ruffalo) and an Interpol detective (Melanie Laurent) must work together to track the magicians down before they perform their biggest heist yet.

Now You See Me is labeled as a thriller, but at its core it is a heist movie with thriller elements. Heist movies are some my favorites, so this film was enticing to me. Magic is all about misdirection, and many heist movies use misdirection (see the Ocean’s series) to perform the heists, so what would happen if a magician used their skills in misdirection to rob a bank? The result is a very entertaining piece of cinema.

This film does a great job of keeping you on the edge of your seat. Every time you think you have it figured out, something happens that makes you rethink you rethink it all over again. In the film it is repeated several times “The closer you look, the less you’ll actually see,” and this applies to the story as well. Since the main characters are magicians, it’s best to not think too far ahead and predict what will happen, because most of the time you will be wrong.

Because of the nature of the movie, a good rule of thumb is to go with the opposite of what you think. However, I think it is best to not try to predict the movie and just enjoy it as it goes. For me, this makes any movie more entertaining. There was something that kept nagging me about one of the characters and during one of the final reveals, I felt like the jaded moviegoer in me should have seen the reveal coming. But the fact that I was still taken by surprise says a lot towards the film.

With Stars like Jesse Eisenberg, Woody Harrelson, Michael Caine, Morgan Freeman, and Mark Ruffalo, there was no way this movie was going to disappoint. Now You See Me as one of the best casts of any movie in recent memory and bringing together such an all-star group of actors paid off in spades. I don’t think I can pick a stand-out performance because all members of the cast were perfect.

Now You See Me is a great heist move wrapped in a thriller. Its always shifting elements always keep you rethinking about what will happen next. Add an A+ cast list and you have one of the best movies of the summer.



Cast & Crew
Louis Leterrier – Director
Ed Solomon – Screenplay
Boaz Yakin – Screenplay / Story
Edward Ricourt – Screenplay / Story

Jesse Eisenberg – J. Daniel Atlas
Woody Harrelson – Merritt McKinney
Isla Fisher – Henley Reeves
Dave Franco – Jack Wilder
Mark Ruffalo – Dylan Rhodes
Melanie Laurent – Alma Dray
Morgan Freeman – Thaddeus Bradley
Michael Caine – Arthur Tressler
Michael J. Kelly – Agent Fuller
Common – Evans
David Warshofstky – Cowen
Jessica C. Lindsey – Hermia
Caitriona Balfe – Jasmine Tressler