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Room (2016)

A great film with a very powerful performance by child star Jacob Tremblay. You see the world for the wonder that it is through his eyes. Wonderful film.

Was it any good?
Yes, it was very good. You see everything in wonder through the eyes of the youngest star. Parts are horrible, but there is beauty on the other side of the wall.

Who was in it?
Brie Larson, Jacob Tremblay, and Sean Bridgers

Should I see it on the big screen or should I wait to rent it?
See it in theaters, if you can. The wonder is best seen on the big screen.

Should I see it one of the premium formats?
Standard format is fine.

All I can say is, “Wow.” The best movies to me are the ones that make you sit and think afterwards. A good action/adventure movie is good, but a really good drama can really hit you.

A girl is kidnapped at 17 and forced to live in a locked garden shed. Now it’s 7 years later and she has a boy (played by Jacob) who just turned 5. To ease his life, she has led him to believe that their “room” is all that there is to the world and reality.

They do eventually get out. That’s not a spoiler, because the trailers and even the movie description says so. Don’t worry, that’s not ruining the ending. Though exciting and suspenseful, it’s not the end of the movie. Imagine writing a review for The Great Escape without dropping the bombshell that the prisoners escape at some point. Spoiler Alert.

The best part of the movie is in the acting, particularly the young Jack (played by Jacob). You see a full range of emotions in him that would be expected on an older actor, yet at the same time he is innocent, as a boy should be. You see fear, anger, and best of all wonder. You can see when he’s trying to puzzle out an idea. You feel triumphant with him at times. The movie makes you want to cheer out loud at parts. There were even some scenes were I wondered if the young Jacob would be able to pull off the needed performance. He does, and quite well.

And then you can feel the tragedy in the whole situation. Young Jacob isn’t the only top-notch actor here. The mother and the entire supporting cast are quite good. The movie shows wonder when it needs to show wonder and it shows pain when it needs to hurt.

The cinematography is wonderful. Most scenes are shot from the young Jack’s view, sometimes too close, off-angle, or slightly out-of-focus. Here it adds to the emotions that Jack is showing.

I don’t know about a “feel good” movie, but it is certainly a “feel” movie.

Can I take my kids?
Some themes would be rough for kids. There is some suspense, the boy and his Mom are in peril most of the time. Their “prison guard” is menacing. Even the idea that this kind of danger “actually exists” might not be a message you want your kids to see. I mean, it does, but maybe you want to find out about that as an adult. Language is medium. There is no nudity, but sex does happen. There’s the whole question of “Where did Jack come from?” to answer. I’d leave the kids with a sitter for this one.

R | 1h 58min | Drama | 22 January 2016 (USA)