Reviewed bytimnchristVote: 8/10/10
This director's debut film exceeded my expectations. LISTENING is asuspense-filled sci-fi film that's fast-paced, entertaining and didlive up to its award-winning status! It never had down-time and keptentertaining right up till the end. The story-line had multiple levelswith lots of twists, turns and intrigue. The moral implications of themovie's subject matter technology (mind reading) makes for a veryinteresting premise too. The acting was great and several hit it out ofthe ball park. You'll find yourself routing for the actors as theirstruggle unfolds, and the actress who turns out to be the home-wreckeris an attractive addition to the cast. One of the main actors (David)did a good job, but had a couple of scenes that I wished were redone tomake him more believable, but I'm splitting hairs, he did a great jobover-all. The cinematography was very good, interesting and intriguing.The use of lens flares at times made you feel like you were seeing thefilm through ones own eyes, live! Very well done! I expect more greatthings from this young director, and look forward to his futureefforts. I would recommend this film to anyone who likes a goodsuspense-filled flick, and very thought-provoking in its delivery. Seethe movie, you'll be happy you did!
Reviewed byericnottellingVote: 7/10/10
Not a bad premise for a movie, and it's production value is prettygood. However it's not highly rated for a reason. Where this moviefalls part is not so much in the concept per say, but in the expressionof it. The script writing is not B rated, but it surely isn't drivingthe story. There are parts where you wonder, if it had better actingwould the script have come off better. As it stands there are someparts where it seems amateurish both in the writing and the acting.There are some movies where bad actors can be uplifted by a good script(matrix) and rarely good actors can pump up a bad script (think RayHarryhausen or any martial arts movie). This film is neither and theyboth seem to sink each other equally. As the writing degrades so goesthe acting, as none of the actors were good enough to hold it up. Yetin the instances where the script is good the bad acting isn't soapparent. What makes the movie watchable is the concept. The concept ofwhat they are trying to discuss and it's moral implications draw yourinterest. It helps set a frame work that at least makes the moviewatchable. It would be interesting to know the total budget of thismovie. It surely isn't block buster...but it also does not appear onthe low end like a Primer. Although I think the movie would have beenbetter suited to have more of a primer set up, disusing thingscryptically and leaving in some mystery till you get into the movie. IFyou like sci fi movies it's a decent sci fi watch on a boring nightwith nothing else to do. However, I wouldn't go dropping $7 on a ticketfor it.
Reviewed bystsingerVote: 6/10/10
"Listening" is a character study that is driven by a sci-fi plot lineand is dragged down by unpleasant characters and some confusion. Thestory involves David and Ryan, two graduate students who are working oncreating a device that allows mental telepathy. Instead of explainingthis to their professor and working on this potentially historicalinvention as their thesis with the full backing of the university, theydecide - for reasons never explained - to steal a bunch of equipmentand hole up in the garage of David's house that he rents with his wifeand daughter.
One day, Ryan brings over Jordan, a smoking hot girl he picked up whojust also happens to be a brilliant scientific grad student as well.With her assistance, they make a huge breakthrough. However, the amountof time they spend working on the device causes problems with theirpersonal lives and the invention itself has caught the eye of theCIA...
Make no mistake -- "Listening" is not a horror film, it's not really asci-fi film, it's not really a "warning" film about "Would you wanttelepathy?" It is about David and Ryan, and everything else is just theconflict these two have to face. But this one fails because of that.The two characters are eminently unlikable, and they makeincomprehensible choices and decisions at every single step. Hugequestions are put forth and never answered. For example, Jordan has anability that seems to violate every rule, and when she is asked aboutthis incredibly valuable skill, she dismisses the question and it'snever brought up again. It's never explained why the CIA would be sointerested, since the covert government program seems to be somethingvery different from what David and Ryan are doing.
The acting is solid, the directing and photography is clean andprofessional, but I just can't say I enjoyed it enough to recommend.Perhaps that's because I was drawn in by the marketing campaignpromising a sci-fi extravaganza.
A team of genius-but-broke grad students invent mind-reading technology that destroys their lives and threatens the future of free-will itself.