NNWIJ: Exam (2009)

Director: Stuart Hazeldine

Notable Cast: Luke Mably, Jimi Mistry

Rating: R

Review:  I’m always drawn to one room films because it takes a lot to create an entertaining experience using just one single setting.  That’s why if done right, it’s all the more impressive.  Exam tells the story of eight prospective employees each vying for the same job, and the intricate  test they must pass.  Given 80 minutes, they must come up with a single answer to one single question.  The only rules are that they may not talk to instructors, may not soil their own paper, and may not leave the room.  When the timer starts, our job hopefuls realize that there is no question to be found on the paper, and their test is more than a simple written answer.  This was an interesting enough concept to keep me hooked, but the bulk of the film was going to rely on exposing the character’s flaws. Obviously, given the situation, it wasn’t going to be a movie about working together and developing team building skills.  One job, eight people, you do the math.  Slowly but surely, minor details started leaking out and characters started revealing details others knew nothing of.  Real personalities started rearing their ugly heads, and you started to realize who was going to take what approach.  As the timer clicked down, options started dwindling, and everyone started getting desperate.  I actually enjoyed Exam more than I thought I would, keeping me intrigued as the characters unexpectedly tripped up or let themselves become vulnerable to the group.  You would think “what could happen next,” and in no less than seconds a new fact is being uncovered.  This thriller had enough to keep you thinking and guessing, with an interesting payoff at the end.  I’ll give Exam a recommendation if you’re in the need of a tight psychological thriller, but can’t bump it to a 4/5 rating.  I wish I could, because a 3.5 fits perfectly.  Sadly, there is no half star rating on Netflix though, so Exam falls to an undeserved 3 stars.

Netflix Rating: 3/5


About Matt Donato

I love all things film. I'll watch any genre, any actor, at any time. This whole film critic thing is a passionate hobby for now which I'm balancing with working in the business world, but hey, someday, who knows?
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