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The Belko Experiment | 2017 | R | - 2.10.10

One day at a Bogota office, 80 employees led by three individuals (John Gallagher Jr., Tony Goldwyn and Adria Arjona) are forced into a social experiment: Trapped inside their high-rise, they are ordered by a voice over the intercom to murder two co-workers within 30 minutes or die themselves. Also with John C. McGinley, Melonie Diaz, Josh Brener and Michael Rooker. Directed by Greg McClean. A few lines of dialogue are spoken in Spanish without translation. [1:28]

SEX/NUDITY 2 - A man and a woman kiss passionately for a few seconds. A man and a woman kiss passionately for several seconds as they embrace.
 A woman unbuttons her blouse and we briefly see her bra, cleavage and abdomen and she makes a sexual offer.
 An older man looks through the window of a younger woman and leers as she looks disgusted.


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VIOLENCE/GORE 10 - Eighty-five men and women are murdered with automatic guns and rifles, knives, a sword, an axe and explosives implanted in the backs of their heads (many in close-ups with far-reaching spurts of blood and gore splatter on walls, chairs and floors); we see several medium-length shots of people's heads spurting blood upward and out onto walls, chairs, and other people as the victims scream and fall onto their faces in pools of blood. A man gathers people into the lobby of an office building where he separates the men and women who are 60 and older, makes them kneel facing a wall and shoots all of them in the back of the head (we hear all the shots and see four in close-up as blood spurts from front and back of each head); the man chooses other people to shoot and lines them up (we hear several shots and see a few people with blood spurting) as the lights go out and the man continues to shoot in the dark (we see the silhouettes of people falling dead). A man sitting against a wall slides sideways as the back of his head explodes, leaving a wide bloody smear on the wall and a woman near him screams as blood splatters her.
 Two men with handguns confront each other, shoot, and then fistfight, using punching, wrestling, throwing, and pounding a head with a heavy phone base; one man pounds the other's head with the phone base several times below the screen, as blood splatters upward and we see the second man's mouth, ears, and eyes bleeding as he dies. A man in a basement hits another man in the forehead with a metal cylinder leaving a deep dent and 4-inch red wound as the victim mumbles and slides against a wall, dead. A man grabs a woman and slams her against a wall, choking and hitting her as she kicks him into another wall, and he is impaled on something, and his mouth fills with running blood before he falls dead onto his face in a longer shot. A man strikes another man unconscious with a metal cylinder and a third man stabs a security guard in the stomach (he slumps to his back and blood runs out of his mouth as the knife handle sticks out of his stomach); he dies covered in blood and we see him later covered with a larger amount of blood.
 A man is shot and falls face down toward the camera with blood on his back. A woman wearing a headscarf shouts to stop and a man shoots her in the face, drawing blood as she falls off-screen. A man and a woman hide on top of a stopped elevator car; she jumps to a ledge and he is smashed against the roof of the shaft (we see blood fill his mouth as he convulses and dies). A man throws a flaming Molotov cocktail and ignites a floor and a stairwell, where people run and scream. A woman with a sword under a desk slashes the legs of a passing gunman, who falls and begs for mercy as she slashes his arm and hand (blood flows) before lowering the sword.
 A man points a handgun at a woman who walks forward, unbuttoning her blouse and crying (please see the Sex/Nudity category for more details); when close enough, the man twists her head 180 degrees toward the camera and she drops dead. A man in a washroom strikes a cleaver at someone in a stall and we see blood spatter and a clump of gore on a wall. A man with a cleaver chops at the chest of a dead man, drawing blood; a woman shoots him, he falls with blood on his upper chest, and she rams him with a desk so he cannot move and she chops into his face several times with an axe (we see two of the strikes in close-ups of his mangled face and blood). A woman rides an elevator to the lobby of an office building, the door opens, and a man shoots her between the eyes (we see a large bleeding hole in her head as she drops off-screen, dead). A man and a woman hide in an elevator and blood seeps through her blouse; her eyes become vacant and she dies. A man strangles another man, a woman beats a man with her fists, and a woman stabs a large knife at someone off-screen.
 Three soldiers are shot to death in a hut and fall off-screen (we see no blood). Three men sitting together are thrown off-screen or fall below the frame as explosives in the pocket of one of the three men kills them. A man shoots an automatic rifle into the face of another man, below the screen; the shooter is shown with a bloody cut on his forehead and the back of his neck and his shirt are splotched in blood.
 A few men and women fall dead as blood spurts from the base of the skull and a close-up of the back of a dead man's head, cracked open and bleeding; a man pokes at it with a fountain pen and says there is an exploding implant in the head. Three men have explosives go off at the base of their skulls, spurting blood, and fall dead, face down, in pools of blood and two other men drag them away, leaving blood trails.
 Four men and women on a rooftop yell to a soldier to help them, but he does not; a shot rings out and a woman falls with blood on her chest and back, landing face down in a large pool of blood where she stays and we see her again in another roof scene, this time with more blood under her. Men and women run to a rooftop where soldiers shoot at them; a man is struck in one hand and we see a lot of blood as he shouts and grimaces.
 Two men use an axe to remove marble-sized bombs from dead men's heads and we see blood smeared on hands, floors, and the mangled backs of heads. A man runs into a washroom with a box cutter and cuts the implant out of his head while grimacing and we see blood on his hands until a voice over the intercom tells him to stop or die; he stumbles out of the washroom with the back of his shirt bloody and a woman sews up the wound with a needle and black thread as he grimaces (we see the thread moving but cannot see the wound).
 A voice over an office intercom tells employees, "In eight hours, most of you will be dead," and that they must murder two employees of their choice within 30 minutes or 30 others will die; two people are killed and the intercom voice orders 30 more murders in two hours or 60 will die as explosives go off in people's heads (72 people die in all); the intercom voice announces that the survivor killing the most people at the end of the day will live.
 Two scenes show an office building lobby with the floor covered with dead bodies, mostly face down in pools of blood and with blood on their backs; two blood-covered bodies appear outside an elevator door on another level. We see large blood smears on the floors of a lobby and the cafeteria. A man has yellowish, wrinkled, burn-scarred facial skin. A woman washes blood spatter off the head of a man. We see a close-up of raw chops in a market stall. A dog eats a little raw meat from a curb. Two young boys wearing masks punch at each other in a street. We see a close-up of an ant farm and later hear that an ant is dead (we do not see it).
 We hear that eighty employees in an office building were forced to accept implants at the base of their skulls (we do not see any of the procedures). A woman says, "We're all gonna die." Men argue about whether to choose coworkers to kill. Men and women shout in fear. Later, they scream and run.
 A man tries to use a blow torch to open a weapons locker room, but another man points a gun at him; a third man takes the gun and shoots off the controls and spigot on a canister of blow torch fuel. A man passes out handguns to several men and a woman. Men struggle and wrestle over drawers of kitchen knives in a cafeteria, then split up the knives for weapons as men and women shout. A man sets off the fire alarm for help that never comes. A man cries at his desk as another man walks around the floor, pouring all the water cooler water onto the floors, saying it is poisoned with drugs. A man kicks a metal plate covering an entrance door, grunts and cannot move it; a blow torch does no damage to it. Cars are stopped by armed soldiers as they enter the parking lot of a high-rise office building and the soldiers search car trunks. A man loudly breaks a few dishes in anger. An older woman pretends to be dead in a stairwell but stands up and screams. A man holds a cleaver to the throat of a woman, but releases her. We see dozens of surveillance screens displaying men and women killing others in grainy footage, holding guns to their own heads, pointing high powered rifles off-screen, or screaming into a camera lens.


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LANGUAGE 10 - About 61 F-words and its derivatives (one is read in a text message), 1 obscene hand gesture, 5 sexual references, 8 scatological terms, 8 anatomical terms, 11 mild obscenities, name-calling (sucker, crazy, stupid, foolish, ugly, pervert, flirtatious demon), exclamations (shut-up), 6 religious profanities (GD), 11 religious exclamations (e.g. Jesus, Holy [F-word deleted], I Swear To God, Oh My God, Oh God, Our New God, Jesus).


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SUBSTANCE USE - A man lights and smokes a large marijuana cigarette in close-up, a man smokes a marijuana cigarette on a rooftop and a woman takes it (we do not see her smoke), and a woman criticizes the use of marijuana (a man says it is not strong because it comes from Panama).


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DISCUSSION TOPICS - Government corruption, human experimentation, workplace safety, elder discrimination, sexual harassment, the value of lives, murder, torture, revenge, fear, mistrust, helplessness, courage, working together, survival, justice.

MESSAGE - Unsupervised scientists can destroy corporations, communities, and human rights.

CAVEATS

Be aware that while we do our best to avoid spoilers it is impossible to disguise all details and some may reveal crucial plot elements.

We've gone through several editorial changes since we started covering films in 1992 and older reviews are not as complete & accurate as recent ones; we plan to revisit and correct older reviews as resources and time permits.

Our ratings and reviews are based on the theatrically-released versions of films; on video there are often Unrated, Special, Director's Cut or Extended versions, (usually accurately labelled but sometimes mislabeled) released that contain additional content, which we did not review.


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