SPIDERHEAD (2022) Reviews of Chris Hemsworth, Miles Teller Netflix movie

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‘How far would you go to fix human nature?’
Spiderhead is a 2022 American psychological thriller about a brilliant visionary who runs a state-of-the-art penitentiary.

Directed by Joseph Kosinski (Top Gun: Maverick; Tron: Legacy) from a screenplay co-written by Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick adapted from George Saunders’ New Yorker short story ‘Escape from Spiderhead’. Co-produced by Tommy Harper, Chris Hemsworth. Oren Katzeff, Eric Newman, Jeremy Steckler and Geneva Wasserman.

The movie stars Chris Hemsworth, Jurnee Smollett, Miles Teller and Mark Paguio.


Plot synopsis:
In a state-of-the-art penitentiary run by brilliant visionary Steve Abnesti (Chris Hemsworth), inmates wear a surgically attached device that administers dosages of mind-altering drugs in exchange for commuted sentences. There are no bars, no cells, or orange jumpsuits.

In Spiderhead, incarcerated volunteers are free to be themselves. Until they’re not. At times, they’re a better version. Need to lighten up? There’s a drug for that. At a loss for words? There’s a drug for that, too.

But when two subjects, Jeff (Miles Teller) and Lizzy (Jurnee Smollett), form a connection, their path to redemption takes a twistier turn, as Abnesti’s experiments start to push the limits of free will altogether…

Spiderhead contains a fascinating high-concept sci-fi premise, but even with an extraordinary cast, it falls short of its narrative potential […] Eventual revelations and twists are somewhat inconsistent but undeniably impactful.” Grade: B-, First Showing

” …it’s begging for a nastier and more sadistic treatment without sacrificing the dark humor. The film consistently goes out of its way to soften our perception of the protagonists, with entire scenes dedicated to explaining how everyone else here is far more despicable, rather than allowing viewers to be challenged on something more morally uncomfortable and bold.” 2.5/5 Flickering Myth

“A nice, creepy performance from Hemsworth, with Teller gamely going along with the script, but having stretched out the story idea to feature-film length, the film doesn’t really give the sense that it knows where it is going.” The Guardian

” …a movie that doesn’t have much new to add to Saunders’s favoured themes of societal despair and the emptiness of modern labour. Perhaps sensing that the film needs all the toe-tapping energy it can get, Spiderhead’s cast make the most out of their thin material. Teller, partnering with Kosinski for the third time […] finds genuine torment in Jeff…” The Globe and Mail


“The film doesn’t fully succeed in navigating its stylistic twists and turns, feeling all too familiar by the time it reaches its action-packed final act. But it’s imaginative fun along the way, thanks to the audacious premise and a clever screenplay by Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick (Deadpool, Zombieland) that doesn’t take itself too seriously.” The Hollywood Reporter

Spiderhead can be entertaining as long as you don’t probe too deeply. Like many recent Netflix originals, it’s neither essential or singular enough to merit much attention beyond its first weekend of release — just another sci-fi thriller with a nonchalant antagonist.” The Wrap

Spiderhead will be available for streaming on Netflix on June 17, 2022.

Cast and characters:
Chris Hemsworth … Steve Abnesti
Miles Teller … Jeff
Jurnee Smollett … Lizzy
Nathan Jones … Rogan
Tess Haubrich … Heather
Charles Parnell … Knowles
BeBe Bettencourt … Emma
Daniel Booko … Air Traffic Controller
Angie Milliken … Sarah
Daniel Reader … Ryan
Joey Vieira … Miguel
Elke Hinrichsen … Best Friend
Sam Delich … Adam
Ron Smyck … Dave
Angelo Montano … Inmate
Mark Paguio … Verlaine
Rachel Forsyth … Inmate
Stephen Tongun … Ray

Filming locations:
Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia



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