6.6/10
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Nerve (2016)

PG-13 | | Adventure, Crime, Mystery | 27 July 2016 (USA)
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A high school senior finds herself immersed in an online game of truth or dare, where her every move starts to become manipulated by an anonymous community of "watchers."

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(novel), (screenplay)
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294 ( 57)
2 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Vee
...
Ian
...
Sydney
...
Tommy
...
Nancy
...
Liv
...
Wes
...
Ty (as Colson Baker)
...
J.P. (as Brian Marc)
...
Chuck
...
Bergdorf Salesman
...
Dirt Beard
...
Hype Boi
...
Bergdorf Sales Lady
...
Gatekeeper
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Storyline

'Nerve' is about an online dare game, in which people give participants anonymous dares for money. The participants compete with each other to win the grand prize as the dares get tougher. Things get worse when the tasks get increasingly dangerous and lives are at stake. Written by Keith Francis

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

We dare you. See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for thematic material involving dangerous and risky behavior, some sexual content, language, drug content, drinking and nudity-all involving teens | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

27 July 2016 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Nerve: Un juego sin reglas  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Budget:

$20,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$9,445,456 (USA) (29 July 2016)

Gross:

$38,562,379 (USA) (30 September 2016)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(DTS: X)|

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This movie contains a scene with Dave Franco's character on a merry-go-round. The same can be said about Now You See Me (2013) See more »

Goofs

At one point, Ian weaves in and out of the traffic whilst blindfolded, steering left and right to avoid the cars, without any audible instructions from Vee. But he clearly states a couple moments before that she is in charge and to lean into turns. So she didn't have to voice him verbal directions, she was controlling the motorcycle. See more »

Quotes

Vee: [singing Wu Tang Clan] Dollar... dollar bill you all
Vee: [On her older brother] In the fall I'll be older than my older brother
See more »

Crazy Credits

In the closing credits, at 01:28:39 It says "Based on the novel by Jeanne Ryan". They then show the first several paragraphs of Dickens' "Great Expectations". See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Cinema Snob: Grease 2 (2016) See more »

Soundtracks

Since I Don't Have You
Written by Jimmy Beaumont (as James Beaumont), Wally Lester (as Walter Lester), Joseph Rock, Jack Taylor (as John Taylor), Joe Verscharen (as Joseph Verscharen), Janet Vogel
Performed by The Skyliners
Courtesy of The Bicycle Music Company
See more »

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User Reviews

 
At last, a summer film with some originality
10 August 2016 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

With great internet power comes great irresponsibility. This is the premise behind "Nerve", a film whose producers must have wet themselves with excitement that the Pokemon Go craze aligned so nicely with the release of their film. I was delighted that at last this summer there is a film with a modicum of originality I can enthuse about.

'Vee', short for Venus (Emma Roberts, niece of Julia Roberts) is an NYC teen living in the shadow of a family tragedy and the claustrophobic presence of her over-protective mother (Juliette Lewis, "Cape Fear"). Always timidly in the shadow of her best friend – the extrovert Sydney (Emily Meade) – Vee pooh-poohs Sydney's compulsion with the new viral internet game 'Nerve': a social media 'Truth or Dare' ("but without the truth") challenge game where you can either be a "Player" or a "Watcher". In real time, Watchers set Players with challenges they have to complete for ever-escalating financial rewards… but "Bail" or "Fail" and you lose all. And "snitches get stitches".

With their friendship at breaking point, Vee is provoked into playing the game by Sydney and teams with fellow gamer Ian (Dave Franco, younger brother of James Franco) – someone with a history that could bring Vee into great danger. However, Vee's geeky wannabe boyfriend Tommy (Miles Heizer) is on the case….

What is so impressive about this film is that the screenplay by Jessica Sharzer (based on a novel by Jeanne Ryan) is genuinely original and is delivered with style and good humor. Sure, you can draw parallels for any film with many other sources: in here there are traces of Hunger Games/Allegiance; the "Simon Says" portion of Die Hard 3; perhaps a soupçon of "Gladiator" and Schwartznegger's "Running Man" in the mix. But this is a novel approach to a teen flick, bang on the topical money in bringing in the frenetically viral nature of social media and aspects of the 'dark web', cyber security and open source programming.

The film manages to generate significant credibility about the impact that a game like this would have among a teen audience. And there is a telling message in the finale: that it is easy to be a troll without responsibility hiding behind an internet ident, but when the masks come off and the message back becomes personal then your responsibilities as an individual human can come home to roost.

The film is delivered with style and verve as well, with innovative graphics (a great title and end title design) and an 'augmented reality' overlay of the action showing Players and Watchers across the city. Many of the challenges are executed really well, with a few seat-clenchingly tense moments, particularly if you have a poor head for heights.

But with all this potential it unfortunately fails to be a 10* classic, smelling at times of 'B' movie. Which is a great shame. Emma Roberts is fine at what she does, but at times I longed for the dramatic depth of a Shailene Woodley or Chloe Grace Moretz, with the scenes with the under-used but excellent Juliette Lewis rather highlighting this differential.

The otherwise excellent script is – for me – let down by a scene of male-on-female violence which I found both distasteful and unnecessary. And a coding 'geeks shall inherit the earth' moment towards the end is a little too glib for my liking.

But overall the directors Henry Joost and Ariel Schulman ("Paranormal Activity 3" and "4") have done a fine job with a $20M budget.

Regular readers of my blog (bob-the-movie-man.com) may recall my use of the "BvS quotient" – the number of films that could be made from the budget of "Batman vs Superman": this one has a BvS quotient of 8% meaning you could make over 12 of these instead of the superhero dud. Yes please! Although if they had doubled the budget and rounded off some of the sharp corners, this could have been a true classic. It's still recommended for a memorable movie experience though, and probably makes it into my draft movies of the year list so far.

(For the graphical version of this review and to comment, please visit bob-the-movie-man.com. Thanks).


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