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Exam
Runtime: 1 h 41 min
Rated: Not Rated
Released: 17 Jun 2010
Director: Stuart Hazeldine
Writer: Stuart Hazeldine, Simon Garrity
Actors: Adar Beck, Gemma Chan, Nathalie Cox, John Lloyd Fillingham
DVD release: 16 Nov 2010
Box Office: N/A
Company: Bedlam Productions
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Tomato user meter: 57%
Tomato consensus: N/A

Exam

2009
Mystery, Thriller
The final candidates for a highly desirable corporate job are locked together in an exam room and given a test so simple and confusing that tension begins to unravel.
6.8IMDB
63%Rotten Tomatoes
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    REVIEWS:
    • Low-budget gemEight talented candidates have reached the final stage of selection to join the ranks of a mysterious and powerful corporation. Entering a windowless room, an Invigilator gives them eighty minutes to answer one simple question. He outlines three rules they must obey or be disqualified: don't talk to him or the armed guard by the door, don't spoil their papers and don't leave the room. He starts the clock and leaves. The candidates turn over their question papers, only to find they're completely blank. Soon enough, the candidates begin to uncover each other's background, prejudices and hidden agendas. Tensions rise as the clock steadily descends towards zero, and each candidate must decide how far they are willing to go to secure the ultimate job.

      Exam is a gem of a film. This low budget psychological thriller is very clever, incredibly entertaining and the production values are all far better then you would expect from such an unknown film. It's tense, mysterious and has a great atmosphere, and more importantly it stimulates your brain. It's impossible to not get caught up in the story and try to figure out just what the hell is actually going on. It couldn't be more engaging.

      There's not one well-known actor in this cast and yet, for the most part, the acting was great. One actor, Luke Mably, really stood out though. But what really made the film work was undeniably, the impeccable direction. In conclusion, Exam is a great low-budget thriller that puts many Hollywood blockbusters to shame. Definitely worth seeing and I'll be sure to check Stuart Hazeldine's next project after such a promising debut.

      7.5/10
      show full movie reviewsource7/10
    • An amazingly clever psychological thrillerThis film is about eight candidates who are in the final round of selection for a prestigious job. They have to answer one question in eighty minutes, but the question sheet they have is blank.

      The whole film has the same setting and characters throughout, but it is never boring. Not even for one minute. With every single minute, it gets more suspenseful and engaging.

      It is such a superb character study, focusing on what people do in stressful, confusing and even helpless situations. it really gets you to think what is the question, which is so painfully obvious once you realise what is the question.

      The best thing is that, there is no flaw in the plot. It is not easy to come up with such an intelligent plot. "Exam" has to be one of the most suspenseful, intriguing, clever, well written and thrilling film I have seen in a long time.
      show full movie reviewsource5/10
    • Exciting!What an exciting movie! I had absolutely no expectations of this film. I had never even heard of it when I came across it. Since I've seen a lot of movies lately that have most often disappointed me, I thought this would be another one. But I'm glad to say it wasn't. I have a hard time concentrating when watching movies, I often turn my attention to something else and because of that I get lost in the plot. Some movies though, manages to keep me focused on the movie the entire time and this was one of those movies. I love a good mystery, where the movie makes you really think. When you try to solve the mystery (this time, the question) yourself. So I stayed focused every minute and it never got boring. It's basically a riddle and if you think you're smart enough, watch it and see if you can come up with the right answer before the characters do! ;)

      I would definitely recommend this film to other people. I'd give it a 7 or an 8.
      show full movie reviewsource8/10
    • exciting, topical thrillerI had the pleasure of seeing this pic at the recent Edinburgh Film Festival and it is certainly not The Apprentice. More like 12 Angry Men meets Cube.

      Photographed in the impressive cinemascope screen shape and very sharply edited, the director takes us on a psychological journey where the characters, who are at first cagey, gradually open up to reveal their true identities. This manifests itself in various ways as the candidates gradually step up to bat and take each other on in a variety of ways. Some good, some bad, some horrific - but always interesting.

      Perhaps a tad talky in the centre section but it builds to an exciting and clever climax that wields a distinct note of hope and positivity.
      show full movie reviewsource8/10
    • Eight people sitting through testing times.It's often the simplest concepts that can make for the best movies and with Exam everything boils down to one little piece of blank (?) paper. It doesn't get much simpler than that.

      Eight job applicants enter a room where they are told a few rules before they begin and then left to figure out the answer to the one and only question that matters. Doing so will land them the job. Of course, answering the question is only possible when they figure out what the question actually is.

      Written and directed by Stuart Hazeldine (from a story by Simon Garrity), Exam is a fantastic example of just how to achieve great results from a low budget paired up with an intriguing concept.

      The cast, playing characters simply labelled according to certain attributes "dark", "chinese", "blonde", etc, all do very well. Jimi Mistry is probably the most recognisable face on screen but Luke Mably is great, Nathalie Cox stands out and then there's the presence of Colin Salmon, who may not be around for long but who certainly makes his presence felt throughout. Chukwudi Iwuji may be relatively unknown to many but he also manages to make quite an impression with his character. The cast is so small that I now feel bad if I don't namecheck Adar Beck, Gemma Chan, John Lloyd Fillingham and Pollyanna McIntosh. Oh, and Chris Carey stands and looks focused as the guard.

      While there are moments here and there when the economy of the movie starts to encroach on your thoughts it's surprising just how much tension and enjoyment can be wrung out of the material. Ironically, it's only in the final few minute when too many answers are provided that the movie really disappoints. Up until then we get a fine mix of psychological mindgames, some nice wordplay and a fair bit of deceit being used to pare down the competition.

      Hazeldine may have some way to go before he proves his worth but this film makes for a fine calling card and certainly puts him on the list as "one to watch" in British cinema.
      show full movie reviewsource7/10