Exam (2009) starring Adar Beck, Gemma Chan, Nathalie Cox, John Lloyd Fillingham, Chukwudi Iwuji directed by Stuart Hazeldine Movie Review

Exam (2009)   4/54/54/54/54/5

Colin Salmon in Exam (2009)

This Could All be a Distraction You Know

8 strangers enter a room for a prestigious job, a guard and an Invigilator enter the room with the Invigilator explaining the rules; no one can talk to him or the guard, no one can leave the room, no one must ruin their piece of paper in front of them and the have 80 minutes to answer the question in front of them except the paper is blank other than for the word candidate and their number. After one candidate is quickly expelled from the room for writing on their paper the others sit in stunned silence until one, White (Luke Mably) realises they can talk and must talk as they need to work together to work out what the question is to find the answer before 80 minutes is up.

"Exam" is a one time only movie, a movie which plays out in real time and so puts the audience in the room with these candidates and asking what is going on. You want to know what the job is they are going for, what the question is, what the answer is and so watching it for a second time will never be as good as the first time. For that reason I will say now that stop reading this review or looking for other information elsewhere and watch "Exam" as the less you know the more entertaining it is. If you do read on I will say that there are spoilers in this review.

Still here, so as I said this is a one time movie and it is a clever one for those who enjoy mysteries where you start with just one or two clues and slowly piece together a bigger picture as it plays out in real time. But then like my days at school where we were told to read the question once and then again in exams this is a movie which if you don't pay attention during the first few minutes you will miss some obvious clues, clues which make you think you know what the question is even though there is a lot more mystery going on.

What this all boils down to is that "Exam" is a clever movie, an almost Sudoku like movie where you start with the minimalist amount of information and slowly a bigger picture starts to form. But whilst clever it is not only a movie which only really works when you watch for the first time but the sharp eyed watchers may spot the obvious clue right from the word go as to what the mystery question is.