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High-Rise (2015)

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Life for the residents of a tower block begins to run out of control.

Director:

Ben Wheatley

Writers:

Amy Jump, J.G. Ballard (novel)
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Popularity
2,399 ( 357)
4 wins & 12 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Tom Hiddleston ... Laing
Jeremy Irons ... Royal
Sienna Miller ... Charlotte
Luke Evans ... Wilder
Elisabeth Moss ... Helen
James Purefoy ... Pangbourne
Keeley Hawes ... Ann
Peter Ferdinando ... Cosgrove
Sienna Guillory ... Jane
Reece Shearsmith ... Steele
Enzo Cilenti ... Talbot
Augustus Prew ... Munrow
Dan Renton Skinner Dan Renton Skinner ... Simmons (as Dan Skinner)
Stacy Martin ... Fay
Tony Way ... Robert the Caretaker
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Storyline

Class struggle becomes all too real as a young doctor moves into a modern apartment block in suburban 1975 London. Drugs, drink & debauchery dissolve into murder, mayhem and misogyny in this pseudo-post-apocalyptic breakdown of societal norms. Written by David R Turner

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Welcome to the high life... See more »

Genres:

Drama | Horror | Sci-Fi

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for violence, disturbing images, strong sexual content/graphic nudity, language and some drug use | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

28 April 2016 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

High Rise See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$79,887, 15 May 2016

Gross USA:

$346,472

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$4,289,074
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color | Black and White (super8 footage)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The film includes two interpretations of the ABBA song "SOS" - one by the film's composer Clint Mansell and the other by Portishead. "SOS" was released in 1975. The same year as the novel "High-Rise" JG Ballard. See more »

Goofs

Dr. Laing's balcony has open air above it as it is protruding from the balconies of higher storeys. He lives on the 25th floor, but from the exterior pictures of the high rise you can see that only the highest 10 have balconies like that, so those would only start at the 30th floor. See more »

Quotes

Laing: You know, Toby, when I was your age, I was always covered in something. Mud, jam, failure... My father never associated himself with anything dirty. Or real.
Toby: My father's up there.
Laing: You mean, in heaven?
Toby: Heaven isn't real, stupid.
See more »

Connections

References Julius Caesar (1970) See more »

Soundtracks

SOS
Written by Benny Andersson, Björn Ulvaeus and Stig Anderson
Published by Bocu Music Group
Performed by Portishead
Licensed Courtesy of Portishead
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Stylish and darkly humorous, at times ugly and unsettling!
25 March 2016 | by RaoulGonzoSee all my reviews

High-Rise is director Ben Wheatley's 5th full length feature (Down Terrace, Kill List, Sightseers, A Field in England) his biggest budget and his most ambitious. An adaptation of J.G. Ballards novel of the same name, although I haven't read the book I do hear that it's a pretty faithful telling. The film is full of stunning imagery and crammed with dreamlike (and at times nightmarish) moments. It seems to be one big metaphor on social status and class systems.

Neurologist Dr. Laing (Tom Hiddleston) moves into a futuristic looking tower block in the 1970's. Only to see the new society crumble into age old violence.

The main character of the film is the High-Rise itself, the whole movie set/shot within its walls barring the brief commute to Laing's office. The Architect (Jeremy Irons) goal was for a seemingly self sustaining society with everything needed to survive and thrive having its own supermarket and gym etc. It's also mentioned at one point that one of the tenants hasn't left the building in years. Although still dealing with "teething" problems with regular power outages and chute blockages (A catalyst for the violence that arise between the levels). The question can be asked as to why the inhabitants don't just leave the complex once the chaos starts? As the doors are always open but it's clear these people seem to be wholly dependent on it. Trapped on their levels of society and unable to move any further up.

The performances are great all round with nice turn-outs from Seinna Miller and Elisabeth Moss but for me Luke Evans as the (in the end) savage Richard Wilder steals the show a seemingly natural leader for the lower levels who becomes devoted to exposing the violence and mayhem that's descending within the buildings walls, and the creator himself Jeremy Irons is fantastic as usual giving a slightly ethereal feel to the proceedings. Tom Hiddleston is our centerpiece and our eye amongst the chaos being able to shift between classes. Excellent in the role (and between this and the BBC drama John Le Carre's The Night Manager) it's clear to see why he has become the icon/sex symbol he is.

The main strength of the film is not the at times over convoluted plot or the loose narrative but the visual flair and bravura showmanship that Ben Wheatley and his crew deliver. Some of the Slow-Motion shots are breathtaking (Similar to the technique he showed in the minute budget for A Field In England) I feel he has only enhanced his reputation where some directors who have made good films with low budgets fail given the much larger scale to work with. The editing is tight and add to that Clint Mansell's brilliant score which elevates what is happening on screen building tension and atmosphere where there should be none. There is also a great cover of Abba's SOS which works ever so well.

High-Rise is certainly not without its flaws the plot is all over the place at times to which certainly in the last third the plot kind of becomes irrelevant a next to non-existent narrative making it hard to follow. All that in turn makes it suffer with a lack of empathy with many of the characters and once the mayhem and unpleasantness is in full swing the violence can feel monotonous, making the third act tension free and meaningless. The performances and the arresting cinematography keeps your eyes peeled even if your attention to the plot is wavering.

Darkly humorous and at time ugly and unsettling certainly flawed but undoubtedly entertaining/repulsive. A bold picture that's definitely not for everyone but for me it's exciting to see what Ben Wheatley and co come up with next.


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