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Nerve (2016)

PG-13 | | Adventure, Crime, Drama | 27 July 2016 (USA)
Trailer
2:36 | Trailer
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."

Writers:

Jessica Sharzer (screenplay by), Jeanne Ryan (based on the novel by)
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1,621 ( 623)
5 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Emma Roberts ... Vee
Dave Franco ... Ian
Emily Meade ... Sydney
Miles Heizer ... Tommy
Juliette Lewis ... Nancy
Kimiko Glenn ... Liv
Marc John Jefferies ... Wes
Machine Gun Kelly ... Ty (as Colson Baker)
Brian Marc ... J.P.
Ed Squires ... Chuck
Rightor Doyle ... Bergdorf Salesman
Josh Ostrovsky ... Dirt Beard
Eric D'Alessandro ... Hype Boi
Arielle Vandenberg ... Bergdorf Sales Lady
Jonny Beauchamp ... 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:

Do you dare? Do you have the nerve? 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:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

27 July 2016 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Nerve See more »

Filming Locations:

New York City, New York, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$19,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$9,445,456, 31 July 2016

Gross USA:

$38,583,626

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$85,251,425
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

DTS (DTS: X)| Dolby Digital | Dolby Atmos

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Sydney's phone says "Teenage Dirtbag," a song by Wheatus released in Summer 2000. See more »

Goofs

When Vee addresses the email to the college near the beginning of the film, she doesn't use the correct format of capitalization for the opening. See more »

Quotes

[repeated line]
Gas Mask WatcherWatcherWatcherWatcher: Are you a Watcher? Or a Player?
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

References Mad Max (1979) See more »

Soundtracks

Percussion Music For Film
Written by Jose Luis Diaz, Jr.
Performed by The Wagner College Seahawk Marching Band
Courtesy of Wagner College Athletic Department
See more »

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User Reviews

 
At last, a summer film with some originality
10 August 2016 | by bob-the-movie-manSee 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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