Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?


GREEN ROOM (review)

Review by Sharon Knolle
Produced by Neil Kopp, Victor Moyers, Anish Savjani
Written and Directed by Jeremy Saulnier
Starring Anton Yelchin, Imogen Poots, Alia Shawkat,
Joe Cole, Callum Turner, Patrick Stewart, Mark Webber

Jeremy Saulnier follows up his impressive debut film Blue Ruin with a taut and brutal thriller that’s one of the best films of the year so far.

The Ain’t Rights — fronted by Amber (Alia Shawkat) and Pat (Anton Yelchin) — are about ready to pack in their dwindling tour, but decide to take on one last decidedly sketchy gig at an out-of-the-way bar in Oregon.

They’re not thrilled it’s a Neo-Nazi hangout, but they figure they can do the gig, get paid and get out. Unfortunately, a quick show turns into all-night fight for survival after they witness a murder.

Now the band is trapped in the green room with a corpse, her best friend (Imogen Poots), and an oversized skinhead with a shotgun. On his way is club owner Darcy (Patrick Stewart), who knows he can’t let these witnesses go, at least not alive.

Although Stewart has played villains before (in Conspiracy Theory and Masterminds), it’s a shock to see him playing such a ruthless character.

At first, he seems almost fatherly to the band. He’s just trying to make sure they’re all right. Everything will be fine. The police are on their way. Of course that’s what they want to hear, but they know better than to trust him.

That’s when the skinheads make a tactical error that, frankly, doesn’t make any sense (the film’s only real flaw), but it evens the playing field, at least momentarily, for the band.

To call what follows “a game of cat and mouse” would be a gross understatement.
While Blue Ruin was a slow burn with quick bursts of violence, Green Room is a rapidly escalating battle with scenes that had the audience gasping and covering their eyes.

For such a limited concept — a band trapped in the green room of a club — the film delivers a surprising amount of well-plotted intensity. As in any good thriller, the ordinary joes prove surprisingly resourceful in this life-or-death game, just as Blair did in Blue Ruin. And there’s a dark sense of humor underlying even the most violent scenes and that’s a tricky thing to pull off.

Part of the humor is due to the underdog punkers Shawkat (who was so good in The Final Girls) and Yelchin, who doesn’t seem much older than the teen he played in Alpha Dog. Starting off their set with The Dead Kennedys’ “Nazi Punks Fuck Off” for an all-skinhead audience is obviously not a smart thing for their characters to do, but it is funny.

The star of Blue Ruin, Macon Blair, has a much smaller role here as a skinhead trying to earn his red shoelaces. He’s almost unrecognizable as the shambling hero of Saulnier’s first film, but he proves to be a pivotal player.

Saulnier is carving out a niche somewhere between Martin Scorsese’s brutal mob dramas and the darker side of the Coen Bros,’ where the hero’s survival is never a sure thing. He’s becoming one of my favorite directors and I can’t wait to see what he does next.

Rating: 4 1/2 out of 5

Click to comment

You must be logged in to post a comment Login

Leave a Reply


Forces of Geek is protected from liability under the DMCA (Digital Millenium Copyright Act) and “Safe Harbor” provisions.

All posts are submitted by volunteer contributors who have agreed to our Code of Conduct.

FOG! will disable users who knowingly commit plagiarism, piracy, trademark or copyright infringement.

Please contact us for expeditious removal of copyrighted/trademarked content.


In many cases free copies of media and merchandise were provided in exchange for an unbiased and honest review. The opinions shared on Forces of Geek are those of the individual author.

You May Also Like


Beverly Hills Cop (1984) is a perfect film: an inverse of the “country bumpkin coming to the big city” trope that goes back to...


As far as horror films go, Longlegs has been one of the most anticipated horror films of 2024, not least thanks to its enigmatic...


As we close out the 60s, there seems to be no end to the Cold War. The current stakes are literally to the moon...


Shout! Select proudly presents the Jody Hill comedy Observe and Report on Blu-Ray this August 18. The comedy arrives at the scene with a...