MURDERBALL co-director Henry Alex Rubin explores the destructive potential of the Internet in this ensemble drama starring Jason Bateman, Hope Davis, and Alexander Skarsgård. His marriage dissolving before his very eyes, a former marine (Skarsgård) ruins his credit by gambling online as his wife (Paula Patton) strikes up an intimate relationship on a popular social-networking site. When identity theft puts their lives savings at risk, the couple track down the man (Michael Nyqvist) they believe is responsible for the crime. Meanwhile, an introverted teenage goth (Jonah Bobo) becomes the victim of a humiliating prank when his two biggest tormentors pose as the girl he likes, and trick him into exposing his true identity online. When the prank leads to tragedy, the young victim’s mother (Davis) is overwhelmed by grief as her husband (Bateman) explodes with rage. Later, an ambitious TV reporter’s quest to expose an online prostitution racket has unexpected repercussions for the frightened young man at the center of the growing controversy.
“Screenwriter Andrew Stern smartly sees that our devices are just devices….It’s the fallout that holds our interest…” (Los Angeles Times)
4 stars out of 4 — “Everywhere we turn in this film, there is strong acting. Riseborough is brilliant…” (Chicago Sun-Times)
“[T]he film is impressive…a bleak vision of life in the Internet age…” (Wall Street Journal)
“The tightness with which the strands are drawn makes DISCONNECT unsettling to watch as its characters and vignettes jostle one another like riders in a jammed subway car. The film ominously conveys a world of too much information but too little communication…” (New York Times)
“[A] timely and often poignant drama….It’s enough to make you want to unplug everything and go live in a yurt.” — Grade: B (Entertainment Weekly)