Movie Double Take

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Movie Review: High Rise


I have no idea what this movie was about.  It was pretentious and rambling and I literally fell asleep in the theater.  It involves someone savagely maiming and eating a dog.  I did not like it. 

Stars: 0.5 out of 5

Bring with you: Nothing.  Don’t go.

Go watch instead: Another Independent Film Festival Boston movie (see our other review of Boyhood, which was also saw at IFF, here.

Allie during the movie.

Allie during the movie.


Like a college freshman trying to impress a bored peer by quoting Kierkegaard, High Rise is painfully empty of any original ideas and not nearly as intelligent as it thinks it is. The central premise of the film is that residents of a high rise slowly go insane and destroy one another as tensions between upper and lower classes simmer into all-out warfare. While the foundation (adapted from the J.G. Ballard novel) is fine, the result is an incredibly indulgent and shallow movie light on characters, interesting dialogue, and clarity of ideas and heavy on visual flair and little else. 

The characters aren't well developed enough to be considered one-dimensional, and any semblance of social commentary feels like an afterthought, to the extent that it feels like the director added in a line in here in there about capitalism in the second cut, once he realized the film was about nothing at all. High Rise is a half-baked waste of time. 

Bob's Rating: 1/5

How does it compare to other science fiction films about dystopian futures?

Worse than: Soylent Green (and nearly all others).

Better than: 27 Dresses