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Action / Drama

Rotten Tomatoes Critics - Certified Fresh77%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience - Upright76%
IMDb Rating7.21020179

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Plot summary

Uploaded by: FREEMAN

Top cast

Ethan Hawke Photo
Ethan Hawke as Vin
Uma Thurman Photo
Uma Thurman as Amy
720p.WEB 1080p.WEB
797.8 MB
English 2.0
23.976 fps
1 hr 26 min
P/S 0 / 2
1.45 GB
English 2.0
23.976 fps
1 hr 26 min
P/S 1 / 2

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by film-critic8 / 10

Past ignited in motel room....

This film took me two days to decide whether I liked it or not. When the final credits rolled, rather creatively at that, I couldn't figure out if this was pure brilliance on the part of Richard Linklater, or if it was nothing more than a group of friends trying to make an independent film. I could not decide. I even listened to the audio commentary of Ethan Hawke and Richard Linklater to see if I could capture their mood of the film to hopefully influence mine. While it was a very interesting audio commentary, it only provided more indecisiveness. After thinking about this for two days, I finally thought about it long enough and realized that if a film makes you think for two days after viewing, there has to be something spectacular about it, and there was. After two days I was able to put my finger on it. You had a very chilling story, a deeply disturbing confession, a powerhouse of acting by Robert Sean Leonard and Uma Thurman, and then there was Ethan Hawke. I put him aside because it was his acting, his portrayal of Vince that took away the inches of film that nearly made it into perfection. Let me explain.

This is a story, that on the surface seems small, is very large in structure. While its only setting is inside a motel room, the written word by Stephen Belber transforms this into a thrilling drama about past lives and future consequences. From the opening scene of Hawke throwing his beers into the motel door until the final dramatic conclusion where Vince is caught up in the web of his own lies, we never really know anything about him. Leonard talks briefly about what he is doing and why he is currently single, but we never really get to know Ethan's character. This is what muddled in my mind for those two days, I continually had to ask myself who Vince really was. Was he a friend trying to help Leonard with a guilty conscious, or was he on the side of Amy trying to give her the conclusion that she wanted. Who knows? I think I needed more structure with Ethan's Vince. We needed more from Linklater to help us understand this self-appointed villain, or even more from Ethan to reveal his ultimate purpose. Instead, what occurred was Ethan just jumping around being annoying with no purpose except what you could hear Linklater telling him. Here is what I could hear: "Ok, Ethan, your purpose in this scene is to ensure that Leonard doesn't leave, do whatever it takes". Ethan takes this direction and adds a couple of swear words and uses screaming to keep him in the room instead of countering with more plot. Does this make sense? I felt like I knew why Leonard and Thurman were there in that room, but WHY Ethan was bringing them together was never told. I know that perhaps it was left up to the viewer, but this story needed a hint. It needed to provide some reasoning for the situation. I felt Ethan held us back from learning that. Someone else in the role may have done better, but Ethan just felt lost and stagy.

As I said before, Leonard and Thurman really carried this film on their shoulders. I was impressed to see Leonard taking such heavy work, but his true acting ability really came forth. The same goes for Uma who successfully took the idea of "husband and wife" away while working with Ethan. I was concerned that it would be a factor in Tape, but luckily these two were able to keep their characters separate. The chemistry that Leonard and Thurman had on screen was shattering. I found myself holding my breath during their parts from both emotion and the tension that they created. Outside of Ethan, they did a great job.

The story was a very tight story. I loved being brought into the middle of this controversy and seeing that a world can be created and destroyed in a hotel room. I thought that concept was a hard one to tackle, but Stephen Belber (who also wrote the play) did a fantastic job of eliminating the corporate element and giving us the pure human drama that exists between these characters. Linklater likewise really pulls this film together well by keeping the tensions high and elaborate as our characters progress through the phases of this predicament. The only trouble I had with Linklater's direction deals with his swirling camera. Whenever two people were talking to each other we found ourselves swirling between the two instead of using one large shot or quick cuts. I thought this was annoying at times, and quite dizzying. It detracted from the words that the actors were speaking and from the impact of the story. That is my only critique of Linklater's direction, which was nearly flawless.

Overall, this was an impressive and very intense drama that will keep you on the edge of your seat due to its strong reality and human element. It took me a while for me to realize this, and will probably take some time for it to sink into your mind, but that is the nature of this film. It is created to leave this lasting impression on your mind and to haunt your mind during your next visit with friends. I think Linklater did an excellent job with the material that he was handed, proving that his work could be compared to early Cameron Crowe material. Leonard and Thurman explode onto the scene, while Hawke leaves a bit more to be desired. I do believe that Linklater should have considered another actor for his role. Either way, this was a great film that took away the classic Hollywood backdrop and gave us nothing but 100% pure acting.

Grade: **** out of *****

Reviewed by Quinoa198410 / 10

a very good play given phenomenal cinematic life by Linklater and his actors

I've actually seen now two things from the playwright Stephen Belber, this film adaptation of his play Tape, and the play Match. Both plays have a similar kind of construct to them where there is a premise and pull that has the characters where they are in their one-room setting (Match had a man visiting another older man seemingly unknowing at first tagging along with his girlfriend really seeking out if the man is his father or not),while always with realistic dialog. And the realism with Tape all has to do with the situation and the mind- games pulled by the most torn, fascinating character, Vincent (Ethan Hawke). He is payed a visit by filmmaker Jon (Robert Sean Leonard) in town for a film he has in a festival. Vincent, unlike Jon, is a nowhere man with his life, drug dealer and sometimes firefighter who decides the night before Jon's big movie opens to put him between a rock and a hard place; admitting to Vincent's first girlfriend Amy (Uma Thurman) that one night Jon had his way with her.

It's not that Tape is completely without some conceits that might come with a play as opposed to one with a film. The last few minutes are almost too funny for the double-cross that is pulled on Vincent. But the limitations on such an indie as this- which looks so much so that one wonders if it was all filmed in less than a week- are not really to be pondered so much as what the strengths are. Belber's ear for how these character interact, in equal measures of being pushy, apologetic, uncomfortable, surprised, shocked, bemused and tense all goes hand in hand with having it set in such a small motel room in the middle of the night. Hawke has an underrated- or rather underseen due to its low-level indie appeal- performance here, as someone who decides to get loaded to assist himself in his arrogance in the situation; his physical presence early on is also of interest as before he slowly, sneakily unleashes his conversational intentions unto the adamantly nice and introspective Jon, he bounces around the room like a loon. Thurman, too, is excellent here in a restrained performance, but one where she shows so much in many a reaction shot.

And these shots, from a film-making point of view, keep the material involving even in the more contrived moments. Linklater and his crew keep things going as if it's one of the best student films you've ever seen. The editing is always at a speed to keep up with the characters timing with their dialog and looks (which work best with Hawke),and there's even a Cassavetes style to the level of human drama with the proceedings of both substance and style mixed together. It's one of those cases where you really don't mind- and after a while notice too much- the hand-held quality where to add some spark to the bigger back and forth moments he whips the camera like one might if looking at them each as they speak. You get the tension and the emotion, but it's never as dull of expectable as a soap opera. And aside from the music in the end credits, it's all in real-time as its being seen. If it's not great it's maybe because Belber has to have some kind of kick in the story to set it off (i.e. the tape itself). But with Linklater's eye and a cast like this, it's hard to complain.

Reviewed by lastliberal7 / 10

I'm too high to be high and mighty.

Writer/Director Richard Linklater (Dazed and Confused, Before Sunrise, Before Sunset) gives us an interesting film that only has three characters, but has enough emotion for a whole room full of people.

Vince (Ethan Hawke) is p*ssed that he never got to make love to Amy (Uma Thurman) before she dumped him in High School. He finds out that Jon (Robert Sean Leonard) and Amy did get together on the last night and then he goes off to pursue his life. He feels hurt and sets Jon up to admit that he raped Amy, only Amy doesn't want to remember it that way and gets her revenge on Vince.

Sounds simple enough, but there is so much in this battle among the three that it was just too fascinating to turn away from. I generally can't just watch 86 minutes of talk, with little or no action, but this had me so intrigues and fascinated that I just couldn't quit.

Uma Thurman had the smallest, but most powerful role in the film. When she was on screen, it was like you were waiting for an explosion and, when it happened, ever so slowly and sweetly, it took your breath away. But, like an earthquake, there was an aftershock that was so sweet.

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