Best of Netflix: ‘Green Room’ review

A tense siege film featuring the late Anton Yelchin, available on Netflix

A siege film similar to “Assault on Precinct 13,” “Green Room” features Patrick Stewart as a neo-Nazi. That could be all you say about the movie and I’d be interested, but there is much more to it. “Green Room” has a simple premise, as a punk band play at a backwoods gig and get themselves locked in a room with neo-Nazis intent on killing them, and that premise is one of the film’s biggest strengths.

Directed by Jeremy Saulnier, from “Blue Ruin” and “Murder Party,” also being available on Netflix, and starring Anton Yelchin, Alia Shawkat, Imogen Poots, Eric Edelstein and Patrick Stewart. “Green Room” offers a brutality and intensity that comes out of nowhere. You can’t help but feel for a band just scraping by, inadvertently digging themselves into a cramped, Nazi-filled hole.

However, the film isn’t politically charged, as in a punks vs. Nazis affair. That would work in a tongue-in-cheek sort of movie, but “Green Room” is more of a serious crime thriller, making the Nazis believable villains that aren’t spouting some insufferable belief system every moment.

 In the midst of the chaos, there are some great performances. Anton Yelchin’s Pat is a lovable dude, like the rest of the band, Alia Shawkat, Joe Cole and Callum Turner, who are also likable characters. To increase tensity, it is quickly established that plot armor is thinner than not, adding some weight to the inevitable death. For some reason, the deaths hit hard too.

The only real problem I have is Patrick Stewart’s character, which doesn’t necessarily deter from the experience the film delivers. While definitely a role I haven’t seen him in, he isn’t really used all that much. He is balanced between being extremely intimidating, a sort of evil in a scary old business man sort of way, but he doesn’t get that much screen time.

While Stewart is a great addition, the film still holds up on its own. The characters are written so well that they feel real. Pat, the protagonist, is just sort of there, and I really appreciated that. Not everyone is “Evil Dead’s” Ash Williams, most are just terrified humans.

The only problem I would have to say the film has is that sometimes the film drags in parts. This is more subjective because I have seen reactions of the film with no mention of this, but there were indeed points that slowed down too much for my liking.

While not quite horror, and still having inevitable flaws, “Green Room” is a solid siege thriller that is worth spending a couple hours. The believability it has heightens the intensity, not to mention the claustrophobic, secluded setting with some truly threatening villains and a likable, relatable bunch of main characters that are just as believable as everything else.