For Ma (Brie Larson) her whole life revolves around her 5-year old son Jack (Jacob Tremblay) who despite their situation goes above and beyond to not only give him a full life but protect him. But their situation is anything but normal as they are prisoners in a room no more than 10 feet by 10 where many years earlier Ma had been taken to when she was kidnapped. With Jack becoming increasingly inquisitive and Ma's resolve weakening she tries to come up with a plan for them to escape. Trouble is that whilst their situation is not good what awaits them in the outside world maybe a whole lot worse.
Every now and then you hear a story on the news of a person being found locked up in a basement having been abducted years earlier and kept as a sex slave by someone, even having a child by them. Well this is the set up of "Room" as Ma is a woman who was abducted and made a sex slave, having her kidnapper's child who she tries to give a normal life to despite their small living space and reliance on the kidnapper to bring them food once in a while.
The thing is that whilst the first third of "Room" is about the set up and how Ma copes the real story is what happens when they escape and Jack finds himself in a world he has never experienced before. As such we get to experience the confusion and horror of it all for the young boy with relatives he has never met and things such as stairs he has never encountered as well as none of the rules they lived by. But we also get to see how people relate to him and how Ma's father struggles due to Jack being the son of the man who abducted her. You really do get a full picture of a unique situation and what it might be like for those going through it including the media buzz.
Here is the important thing about "Room", it is a movie which you need to stick with as whilst the set-up scenes are certainly powerful the real power comes in the aftermath of their escape. It is then that we get to see the full effect of the situation from Jack's insecurity and neediness to Ma beginning to wonder whether what she did was right for him. I won't go in to any more detail but will say that when you do give the movie a chance to really reveal itself it is then it grabs you even if you are not a fan of these sorts of character based dramas.
What this all boils down to is that "Room" ends up a very powerful and effective drama which to be honest I found not so enthralling when it started. As such whilst I know this isn't going to be a movie for everyone it is one which if you wonder why it is rated so highly give it a chance as it definitely grows.