Movie Review – ‘Room’

“Room” is one of this year’s best films. Brie Larson achieves her most profound film endeavor to date—easily the best female lead performance so far in 2015.”

– Patrick King, REEL BRIEF


As we get closer to the annual Academy Award and Golden Globe award nominations, “Room” is one powerful film to keep a close eye on. A fascinating drama about a teenage girl abducted and held captive with her son, this movie combines daunting societal isolation with the need for long-term coping mechanisms. The young mother, Joy “Ma” Newsome, raises her 5-year old son Jack in captivity until the time comes to try an escape attempt.

Based upon the international best-selling novel “Room” by Emma Donoghue, Ma and Jack must coexist in the only world the young boy knows; a 10-foot by 10-foot windowless shed containing a modest bed, toilet, bathtub and small kitchen under an overhead skylight.

“Room” is an engrossing film that gets stronger and more compelling with each passing minute. Viewers are given a look inside the appalling and cruel circumstances not reported in our 24-hour news cycles. Beyond the shocking living conditions, we find a physically abusive relationship between Ma and her captor–nicknamed Old Nick. Deprived of all but their most basic human needs, Old Nick can’t strip away the pair’s imagination and hope.


With an extraordinary cast and riveting storyline, “Room” is one of this year’s best films. Brie Larson, as Ma, achieves her most profound film endeavor to date—easily the best female lead performance so far in 2015. Additionally, there’s no drop-off in talent from the supporting cast members.

Matching Larson’s exceptional effort is the work of costar, Jacob Tremblay, who magnificently portrays her 5-year old son, Jack. Look for “Room” to be both Larson’s and Tremblay’s career ground-breaking moment. Supporting firepower is provided by Academy Award nominees Joan Allen and William H. Macy–both playing Jack’s grandparents.

This is a chilling tale because it takes moviegoers behind shocking newspaper headlines. What starts off as a mother and son survival drama methodically transitions into a story of a daughter and grandson attempting to reintegrate into society. Tremblay’s impressive depiction of Jack’s overstimulation to his surroundings packs an emotional punch.

However, it’s Larson’s astonishing and heartfelt role that carries this top-shelf film. Larson’s amazing transformation from adolescent teen daughter to hostage, and then from young mother to survivor. With stellar acting from both Larson and Tremblay in particular, “Room” captivates and grips the audience. Furthermore, it should also net the pair–and this film–numerous award nominations in the coming months.

Grade: A

“Room” is rated R for language.  Its running time is 1 hour and 53 minutes.

© 2015, Patrick. All rights reserved.

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