Green Room – ****OUT OF 4
Director-Screenwriter Jeremy Saulnier is an NYU film school graduate whose sophomore feature, “Blue Ruin” premiered at Cannes in the 2013 Directors’ Fortnight and won the FIPRESCI Prize. His latest offering explores the esoteric music subculture called punk rock and a band that defines existentialism.
A punk band named “The Ain’t Rights” are booked into a club deep in the Pacific Northwest woods owned by a right wing skinhead played coolly by Patrick Stewart. Anton Yelchin plays the binary opposite of the skinhead and acts as the soul of the punk band.
What sets the story on fire happens as the band finishes its set. The band’s bass player, Pat, played by Yelchin, returns to the Green Room for his forgotten phone and discovers a dead woman with a knife in her brain. Management observes the situation and decides to lock up “The Ain’t Rights”in their green room until they can sort out the mess.
What ensues reveals no easy way out and sets up an ultra- violent siege thriller. We have a group of neo-Nazis do battle with DIY Punks. It turns into compelling and engaging cinema.
With his third feature film under his belt, Jeremy Saulnier has established himself as “the bad ass of American Independent Film” This film will open wide for A-24 and was among the ten best I saw at the 2016 Sundance Film Festival. It has a superb cast (Anton Yelchin, Imogen Poots, Mark Webber and Patrick Stewart) who revel in material that most of them are playing against type.