86 MELROSE AVENUE (2021) Reviews and overview


86 Melrose Avenue is a 2021 American thriller about an ex-Marine suffering from PTSD who takes people hostage at an art gallery.

Written, produced and directed by Lili Matta, the movie stars Dada Elza (Mystery Incorporated), Jim O’Heir (Parks and Recreation), Anastasia Antonia, Gregory Zarian, Terri Ivens, Langstone Fishburne, Michael Polak, Andy Evans, Richard Sabine, Helen Kennedy and Gary Sturm.


A diverse group of people at an art gallery opening is taken hostage by an ex-Marine suffering from PTSD and forced to confront their cultural differences, their pasts, and their looming mortality as time ticks away…

Reviews [click links to read more]:

“This movie may be triggering to some who have experienced similar situations, as the flashbacks are depicted in an emotionally charged way. There is some clunky exposition in the film, but where the movie excels is within the emotions of each character. Some moments delve into esoteric thinking, while other parts really hone in on the current state of the world today.” 519 Magazine

“Unfortunately, the performances vary in believability.  Too many, including Elza, are overwrought and with misplaced intensity, and the film is not stereotype-free in several instances.  Nevertheless, there is some very good reaction work which adds considerably to the tension.” Reviews by Judith and Friends

“There are a few scenes which tell us the backstories of some of the characters. These are quite nicely done and manage to avoid the overly heavy-handed way that this sort of thing is sometimes. Other scenes are slotted in later on to give the remaining characters some context, none of which seem too out of place.” Run & Pee

” …when I sit down to a film that claims “action has a new address” a serious, and seriously talky, film isn’t likely to satisfy me. Matta obviously has a lot to say about mental illness, gun violence, acceptance and trauma. Things that should be dealt with. But trying to pass the film off as something it’s not isn’t going to get her points to a receptive audience.” Voices from the Balcony


In the USA, Gravitas Ventures released 86 Melrose Avenue on April 20th 2021.

Cast and characters:

Dade Elza … Travis
Anastasia Antonia … Nadia
Gregory Zarian … Avi
Jim O’Heir … Detective Philips
Terri Ivens … Detective Garcia
Langston Fishburne … Dwayne
Michael Polak … Ross
Andy Evans … Nick
Richard Sabine … Craig
Helen Kennedy … Cathy
Gary Sturm … Bill
Jessica Lea Risco … Fiona
Kambra Potter … Madeline
Jake Red … Dallas
John Marrs … Marine Gunnery Sergeant