What do you get if you cross 12 ANGRY MEN and THE CUBE with maybe with a sprinkle of RESERVOIR DOGS thrown in?
Eight people enter a room to take an exam as part of a job selection process. Presumably, only one of them will succeed and get the job. The exam has only one question. The problem is, they don't know what that question is, and they only have 80 minutes to discover it and answer it.
EXAM weaves a thread through social dynamics and personal motivations. EXAM creates dynamic tension between the characters by forcing them into a small space, testing their intelligence, integrity and cooperative skills, all the while keeping the hook that it IS a competition...or is it? Maybe that's the question.
This film is a character driven psychological thriller with structural similarity to 12 ANGRY MEN and the claustrophobia and confusion of THE CUBE. Early in Act 1, I predicted part of the punchline, one of the main twists, but I wonder if that predictability was intentional to give the viewer some satisfaction at the end.
I give this one 4.5 out of 5. It lost me a little in course of the third act, but only with a minor step off the path of character believability and a couple of needless plot devices. Other than that, a very solid film all around.
Highly recommend EXAM.
Edit: I see there's a lot of angst over on IMDB about the supposed "logic" of this movie and how/why this movie does not make sense. Good grief...can't people just enjoy an interesting STORY any more?