Review: Green Room, B
Rated R, 95 minutes
It's the headbangers vs. skinheads in the gritty and gruesomely entertaining new thriller "Green Room" from director and writer Jeremy Saulnier of "Blue Ruin" fame. If you like your psychological dramas loaded with lots of blood and guts, then "Green Room" is right up your alley, while the rest of us may have to close our eyes more than once. Pat, (Anton Yelchin of "Star Trek") the leader of a punk-rock band and a tough young girl named Amber (Imogen Poots, Yelchin's "Fright Night" co-star) battle murderous white supremacists at a remote Oregon roadhouse nightclub, led by its psychopathic club owner Darcy (Patrick Stewart, fantastic here). "Green Room" is one of the year's most intense, violent and original films, and if you can stomach some of its gruesomeness, it'll be a satisfying experience. As the leader of the punk rock band paired with the skinhead girl and caught up in a deadly situation at a club, Yelchin and Poots (both of whom have terrific, if unconventional, movie star names), have solid chemistry, and Stewart is fun as the violent club owner who wants to cover it all up for business. Add in some guns, big knives and a couple of pretty nasty dogs, and you have what can be a terrifying, bloody experience, with some moments of genuine uneasiness. As long as Saulnier keeps the action bottled up in the pent-up surroundings in the green room itself, the movie is tight, clinched teeth fun, with the first two acts an effective, edge-of-your-seat thriller, peppered with some moments of dark humor ("...so who would be your favorite desert island band?"). The last act is a little more problematic, as Saulnier struggles with finding how to actually end it all, and the climax itself is a bit of a letdown considering all the intensity that came before it. Even with some of its flaws, "Green Room" is a dark, dirty and grim tale that's a stark reminder you should reconsider that offer to have your band play in a remote club in the woods.