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on 17 August 2010
This film is for anyone who likes a film to keep them guessing right until the very end. You will never guess the ending. I thought it was superb. If you enjoy this , then get The Hide, another classic in this mould.You wont be disappointed with either. Five stars from me !
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on 10 June 2010
'Exam' is a British psychological suspense thriller that released theatrically in 2010. It premiered at the Edinburgh Film Festival in 2009 and was met with favourable reviews.

The movie tells the story of eight candidates who have reached the final stage of a selection process to join a mysterious organisation. The final stage consists of an exam where the candidates must answer one question within eighty minutes and at the same time obeying certain rules.

I agree it's interesting and exciting, which the film is at times. It starts off in an intriguing and stylish way and really gets you thinking. But the problem for me was the middle portions of the feature where the momentum nosedived due to a lack of progression and gripping moments. The movie does get back on track towards the end with a build up of tension and then climaxes with an unpredictable twist. The twist was good, however the end result was too easy for an exam that was made out to be a complex one.

The DVD cover indicates that the movie is going to be a violent and gory affair, which is not the case. The cover is what made me rent the DVD as it grabbed my attention.

All actors perform well but the show-stealer is John Lloyd Fillingham whose character is called Deaf.

The direction provided by Stuart Hazeldine is impressive as the suspense was fine. He could've worked on the middle portions of the movie to make it more exciting.

Though the movie is British, it has an American feel to it.

The background music score provided by Stephen Barton and Matthew Cracknell is perfect for the feature.

The 'Exam' is worth sitting but is passable (I failed).
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on 4 June 2010
I wont bother detailing the films plot or the extras on the disc as the amazon synopsis tells you everything you need to know going into the film, and to go into any more detail may end up spoiling this excellent little british thriller.
I rented this from work because the sleeve design and a quote on the back led me to believe this is along the lines of saw, however that would be misleading as this is a much smarter film than thatand while becoming fairly brutal in places features non of the over the top gore of that franchise, if anything this feels more like the cube films, which is to say intelligent and gripping, a film which certainly keeps you guessing right up until the end (which was a slight letdown after everything else in the film but not enough to ruin things.)
The print is razor sharp on blu-ray, but as a film with a group of people in a room for an hour and a half you may wonder if the added expense of blu-ray really is worth it, the disc is great however and does not seem that much more expensive than regular dvd so i may just splash out as I really enjoyed this film, and its the kind of film i really wish we made more of in britain.
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on 7 February 2012
I always hated exam time; the stress, the revision, filling my brain with information I will never use again. If I thought my GCSEs were bad, they have nothing on Stuart Hazeldine's `Exam', a film about 8 people in the near future all going for one job. Sounds reasonable? Except for the fact that they have a sheet of paper they must write an answer on, but no question. What follows is a `Lord of the Flies' like experience as the power dynamics shift in the room, who will left standing and get the job?

For a film set entirely in one room `Exam' is impressively engaging. The rules of the film are set out early; letting the characters and the viewers know exactly what is, and is not, allowed. What really adds to the sense of tension in the room is the slight science fiction elements hinted at - a strange disease that affects pockets of the population, a large corporation that no one knows who runs. There is a sense of mystery in the film that is supplied by more than just Jimi.

It is writer/director Hazeldine who should get the most credit for the film; he makes one room, 8 people and 8 pieces of paper work for 90 minutes. The tight budget of the film is clear by the one room scenario, but it does not suffer because of it. The one element of the film that is a let-down is some of the lesser actors in the film. The main cast are strong, but several of the smaller roles are not performed well, constantly reminding you that the film is low budget and set in a single room. There are also one or two lulls in proceedings that just prevent `Exam' from being a must watch.

Due to budget and space restraints the DVD version of `Exam' is perfectly acceptable. BluRay does not add a huge amount.
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on 17 September 2015
I had never even heard of the film Exam until very recently when a friend recommended it as "my type of film". He was dead right for once.

The film is set entirely in one room with 8 candidates with different ethnicities, backgrounds and personalities competing for one job. There is one question and the candidates appear to have 80 minutes to find out not just the answer but the question too.

I have to say, with the exception of the invigilator I had never seen any of these actors before and I was astonished at how spot on most of the acting was and the character development and suspense kept me excited throughout.

As with most of these films the ending was slightly disappointing but that didn't take away the fact that this film is a hidden gem, full of suspense and intrigue. Imagine the cleverness of the first Saw movie without the blood and gore of the others and with some much better acting (lets be honest that's not hard) and you're halfway there.

Don't miss this film it is definitely worth at least a rental although I have added it to my collection.
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on 25 June 2015
I thought this was a really clever film and I am somewhat disappointed by the other reviews. British films are often underrated, I think because they are too subtle for some audiences, and this one is no exception. It starts off eerily enough, so you know that this is not going to be just any old exam, and it doesn't disappoint. After one candidate is disqualified soon after the start, the others realise that this is going to be a tough one to solve and come up collectively with some logical (if wrong) solutions. But the atmosphere gradually degenerates as suspicions are aroused about the genuineness of some of the candidates and the whole thing is brought to a head just as the exam time period expires. I particularly liked the fact that it is filmed in real time - the exam lasts 80 minutes and that's what you get, plus some topping and tailing. For those like me who have sat many exams in the past, it is difficult to make the time fly by as quickly as it does in the film, and that is no mean feat.
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on 4 August 2013
HAts off for this mix of Cube & The Apprentice. It rally keeps you stuck on the screen with ust few actors in a room. Call it theatre or whatever, to me it's just great cinema and script. Had it not ended like that, it could have been a hopeless pamphlet on the dark greedy side of manking and capitalistic society. It almost hit the point: maybe they wanted it to end more in a hollywood way than in a disenchanted cinical british one. What a pity!
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on 14 May 2015
This worked well as a thriller with a difference. Initially slow burning as the audience was introduced to the finalists, with a couple of characters who it was hard to fathom as having made it to this final selection. That it was based in the future with the issue of a self healing product was quite novel. Overall, a good watch!
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on 24 May 2014
The concept is not entirely original, but it's fresh enough to be interesting. There is only one familiar face in the cast, but the standard of acting is still very good. Although we can imagine this was a small budget production (small cast, one set) it never looks cheap or amateurish. I'm only giving two stars because the underlying story was flawed. And the action climax towards the end had a serious problem and contradiction which made little sense. So not great, but not terrible... probably worth a look.
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on 8 December 2014
8 candidates are desperate to be successful in a tough interview selection process. Their final challenge is to complete an "exam" and they only have 75 minutes to figure out the answer. The problem is, the question isn't at all obvious.

Should they work together to figure out what the invigilator wants them to do? Or figure out each others weaknesses to exploit them for their own gain?

This film has a slight sci-fi premise which is revealed gradually throughout the film and goes some way to explain why the candidates act the way they do (Hint: the candidates who feature on the the BBC TV show "The Apprentice" seem all rather humble and cooperative compared to this lot).

Overall, I really liked the concept but feel that some parts were a bit over the top. However plus points for imaginative uses of paper as a weapon.
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