17+ Unhinged Reviews – First new film to test market, yes, moviegoers are showing up again

Unhinged ⭐️⭐️⭐️½

There’s something to be said, at least from a bravery standpoint, for being the first theatrical wide release to test the just reopened movie theater marketplace.

I’ve read several publications citing that Unhinged “isn’t worth risking your life for” — I think depending on where in the world you are, perhaps especially outside the United States that statement is a tad bit dramatic.

Sooner or later, movie theaters had to reopen, and they needed studios to release new movies. Solstice Studio stepped up and offered Russell Crowe in a character coming Unhinged. Solstice Studio’s Mark Gill explains why in the interview quoted below.

I have worked for a whole lot of crazy bosses, including eight years of Harvey Weinstein. This is crazier. Even up until last Wednesday we weren’t certain the theaters were going to open on August 21. Prior to that, it was the horror movie version of Groundhog Day. You wake up and this bad thing happened and that bad thing happened, and this would go sideways. It has been unbelievable and there’s no way to prepare for it, other than keep adapting. As the missiles come in, you keep ducking, or running left. It has really been simultaneously exhilarating and terrifying. On the one hand you say it’s fascinating and it requires a lot of stamina. On the other hand, you go, really? Can we have some good news for once, please? And then we finally did. Australia just exploded, it has been phenomenal.

Mark Gill Launching Solstice Reopen US Theaters Russell Crowe Unhinged – Deadline

This first weekend Box Office Mojo (so glad to see US box office revenues showing again!) is estimating $4 million from nearly 2,000 screens. In March that would have been considered average or slightly below, even on a $30 million budget, but most reporting I’ve read this weekend has been more positive.

… you’ve been warned, SPOILERS ahead …

The violent opening scene sets the stage

Starting the film out with the bloated Russell Crowe as “The Man” Tom Harper going into the house, going off Ted Bundyish on the inhabitants and literally burning the house down sets a pretty dark tone. We now want to watch out for the big man in the big truck. Where will he appear again.

Flash to opening scene with mother late to get her son to school. Great contrast.

Courtesy Tap!!!!

The whole idea of courtesy honking with a brief tap instead of laying on the horn is the central “why” behind The Man’s meltdown. Just courtesy tap the person in front of you in traffic, no need to road rage them because … they might return the favor.

Reviews by Others

What do others think of Unhinged?


  1. tensecondsfromnow / film-authority: “Tom Hunter’s unique brand of madness makes him a great villain, and provides just the right centre for Unhinged to deliver in off-the-hook action and urban thrills. It won’t trouble the Academy, it was never intended to, but there’s a long road back for cinema, and it starts here right here with a bang and a screech of tyres.”
  2. Jordan and Eddie (The Movie Guys) (3/5): “Charged forward by a snarling and frightening Russell Crowe, Unhinged is a polished thriller that achieves exactly what it promises to do, nothing more and nothing less.”
  3. Keith & The Movies (3.5/5): “…a simple yet satisfying thriller that by the end turns into full-on maniacal horror. Its simplicity is its biggest flaw. While the film aggressively barrels forward, it sticks to its one single lane and never taking a detour.”
  4. Mad For Movie Reviews: “is the fun and immersive cinematic experience we need right now and after 157 days without seeing a single movie in the cinema I can tell you nothing felt better than losing myself in the big screen and forgetting all the other madness for 90 minutes.”
  5. Mark Hobin / Fast Film Reviews (3/5): “There’s a pivotal moment where the narrative is no longer framed as a saga about a psycho on the loose, but as a plea to limit the use of your car horn.  Those are the kinds of preposterous asides that had me amused.  You can’t take this story seriously.  Nevertheless, it’s very intense and compelling.  As a vehicle (get it?) to set your heart rate racing, it’s pretty effective.”
  6. Matthew Liedke On Film (3/5): “…is a pretty basic stalker/chase film, but it pulls it off nicely. For those who are looking to go to the theater, munch on some popcorn and be entertained, this one is alright.”
  7. No More Workhorse: “The script of this film is quite flimsy, but that is not the focus of the work. The director, Derrick Borte, in only his sixth film, creates an impressive sense of suspense and terror.”
  8. Peggy At The Movies (Grade: C+): “Whichever route works for you, I think some will definitely enjoy ‘Unhinged’ for the ride it does take you on and Crowe’s  performance as the maniacal “Man” is vicious, ugly and totally believable. Again, no matter which way you go,  it will absolutely make you think twice the next time you’re tempted to honk your car horn at someone.”
  9. Phil The Bear’s Film Reviews: “Pistorious plays the stressed heroine well but this film is all about Crowe’s ferocity. Formerly a leading man and known for his intensity it’s interesting here to see him as an out and out villain. There is little attempt to humanise his “Man” which is the role he is credited with.”
  10. ruth / Flixchatter (3.5/5): “While it’s not really my type of movie, Unhinged is enjoyable enough. It’s suspenseful, well-paced, and the acting is good. If you’re a fan of dramatic car chases, this one is worth a watch.”
  11. Screen Zealots (3/5): “Rachel isn’t very street smart, and most of her actions are ridiculously unbelievable. There’s a certain amount of suspension of disbelief that needs to happen when you sit down to watch a stalker flick, but our heroine does some of the dumbest things ever, and half of them make zero sense. If you’re looking for some decent suspense, “Unhinged” will scratch that itch.”
  12. Tall Writer (2/4): “It would have been nice to balance this thriller with more scenarios that don’t rely on a cell phone or the TV besides the gas station sequence and inevitable showdown near the end. Other obvious flaws like changing the film speed during car chase sequences diminish the film’s effect a bit. Unhinged comes recommended with many reservations”

Not Recommended

  1. Chris / MovieBabble: “It’s certainly no Falling Down, but it doesn’t need to be. Although, it’s not worth endangering your health if you’re considering seeing it in a cinema. The strength ultimately lies in its popcorn entertainment, nothing much more.”
  2. Drew St. Pierre (4/10): “…is similar to 1993’s Falling Down but without the dark humor. It deserves so much more with little to no surprises and a lack of any subtlety. It can’t be a 2020 release without a Fortnite reference.”
  3. greigzilla / We’ve Got (Back) Issues: “Simplistic yet dependable, Unhinged may not be worthy enough to get you into the cinemas during these times of social distancing and mask wearing, but for a simple, throwaway psycho-killer movie, it’s good for an undemanding thriller that features an entertaining central performance that’s one Crowe short of a murder…”
  4. Keeping It Reel: “There are definitely aspects of “Unhinged” that offer hints at some form of commentary on mental health issues and threatened masculinity, but Ellsworth’s story relies more on heightened stereotypical movie character behavior and cliched dialogue, than anything with real substance or meaning. While the uncomfortable and disturbing tone of the movie makes “Unhinged” a palpable success, it is still one that is hard to recommend or consider for repeat viewings.”
  5. Rachel’s Reviews (3/10): “Sure we live in a society that can be lost in technology and forget the humanity of others, but we also have goodness and compassion demonstrated every day in a thousand different ways (sometimes even on that very technology). No thank you Unhinged and your supposed cautionary tale. No thank you at all!”
  6. Shawn M / Sci-Fi & Scary: “…feels like a movie that could have come out in 2003. It’s a very stripped down thriller that is elevated by Russel Crowe but follows a very predictable path from A to Z. You don’t need to brave a theatre visit for this one. You can watch it on a rainy Sunday afternoon when there’s nothing else to do, as I’m sure most of us would have done in the original 2020 timeline.”
  7. What Went Wrong or Right With …? “The biggest issue is there’s nobody to get behind. You don’t sympahise with anyone and you’re not thrilled at any point which makes this movie an engine misfire rather than an ignition that smoothly turns over. It’s quite apt that a Volvo features in this movie because like the Swedish car, Unhinged is also more concerned with people’s safety on the road than style and entertainment.”

Linked above and wondering what would be cool to do next? Commenting once in awhile is always good (I like reader and other blogger interaction). If you have the trackback/pingback come to your site then just approve it because after people read your review then they can come here and follow links and read someone else’s review. What comes around goes around and sharing is the ultimate “thank you!” on the internet.

Did we miss your review? Use the comments and share your movie-related/review blog. I like following movie-related blogs and pull quoting from my reading list as well as other new blogs shared, liked and discovered.

Happy movie watching!

Unhinged ⭐️⭐️⭐️½

Unhinged ⭐️⭐️⭐️½
NO SPOILERS Movie Review
Watched in theater Saturday August 22, 2020
Regal 16 Cinemas – Lacey, Washington
#27 new movie seen in theaters in 2020


A portly Russell Crowe plays Tom Cooper, a man on medication, sweating, and the portrait of the perfectly titled movie. Cooper is unbalanced, tethering between madness and sanity, iron-gripping his truck’s steering wheel.

Viewers don’t know why, is he about to have a heart attack? Is he constipated? He pops a pill or two, grabs a hammer and goes into a house and starts attacking those inside. Screaming ensues, followed by blood spattering death, then Cooper burns the house down.

That’s only the opening five minutes.

Enter a woman who has overslept named Rachel Hunter (Caren Pistorious). Upon taking her son Kyle (Gabriel Bateman) to school late, running into traffic, she is waiting behind a truck at a green light. She has some passenger anger and honks at the truck to get moving. Nothing happens, so she honks louder. Ultimately, she pulls her car around the truck and, lo and behold, it’s Dom Deluise in Russell Crowe’s profusely sweating frame.

(one asks: why did Russell Crowe need to put so much weight on for this role?)

Tom Cooper rolls down his window beside Rachel and asks for an apology. A simple, friendly tap on the horn would have sufficed, after all. Rachel basically shrugs him off impatiently, which causes him to tell her she’s about to have a really bad day.

And so that’s the setup for what follows in Unhinged, a story that reminded me at times of Rutger Hauer in The Hitcher, as far as pacing, malevolent behavior and intentions. Only instead of a hitchhiker, Crowe is playing a road raged, broken man. We get some kind of explanation during an intense diner scene between Rachel’s divorce attorney and Cooper who intercepts the meeting after swiping Rachel’s cell phone. Cooper is going to make Rachel and everybody she knows suffer his wrath because she didn’t honk courteously at him.

If you can get past the fact that strangers on the road snap for the darndest of reasons the film is a lesson in tension. There are some good vehicle crash scenes, like one where a policeman is hit and attempts to radio for help only to be squashed by a dump truck (cringe!).

Tom Cooper’s relentless obsession with torturing Rachel leaves viewers fearful for Rachel and her son, Kyle. As stated in our just left the theater video – no spoiler – review below, Tom Cooper’s reasoning for going nuts isn’t explained very thoroughly to viewers. There is a vagueness to it that, while there is an explanation in the diner why he’s so angry at the world, it would have had a little more power and perhaps even a wee bit of empathy had we had at least one small setup scene, flashback, or cutaway that drilled this home a bit more.

Also, I liked how Tom Cooper used 2020 technology to show the horrors involved there. More and more stalkers in movies are using technology. That’s realistic, although it might date the film somewhat as time goes on and something more secure and better comes along.

This is an entertaining film if you can just let go and run with it. Those that prefer to overthink films and look for every conceivable plot hole will probably be bothered a few times, but Kara and I both found this to be a mostly fun, sometimes brutal, thrill ride. It’s not too graphically bloody, but it’s violent.

It won’t win any awards for anybody involved with the film, but it succeeds at telling a taut tale about a man who is wrecked emotionally and seeks to punish a stranger and those she loves and knows. Is it worth seeing in theaters — assuming it’s safe to do so in your area, of course? Yes. Recommended.

Rating (out of 5 possible stars): ⭐️⭐️⭐️½ – Good

The Movie Reopening Experience

This was our first new movie seen in theaters since The Hunt back in March 2020 in Las Vegas (see: 20+ The Hunt Reviews – Not as politically charged, but not that good either) and our 27th new movie watched in theaters in 2020. The experience in August 2020 was not that different from theaters back in March. I realize that might sound a bit anti-climactic, but the theaters were already practicing social distancing with seating in March,

There were maybe 20-25 people in the theater. Most were not wearing masks covering their faces, but had masks near and/or around their faces. It was more like once everybody was in the theater the masks came off. We didn’t wear masks while watching the film either, eating popcorn and drinks just doesn’t work with a mask on.

This wasn’t our very first trip back to the movie theaters since reopening. The day before we took our grandchildren to see Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back on Friday August 21, that is currently running at the same theater. The kids didn’t make it through the entire film, but it was fun to see a little bit of that awesome movie again. They had it showing on their ScreenX format theater — but not in ScreenX format unfortunately. Tons of seats in that gigantic theater and, again, a very small crowd of maybe 30 people tops. This was the very first showing of this movie at the theater since it reopened in the afternoon.

Readers might note that this is the very first movie review ever posted to this blog. I know, that might seem odd considering the name of the blog. With our one year blog anniversary approaching fast, we’ve decided we’re now going to post reviews of movies watched in theaters at this blog first, before posting the shorter Letterboxd version. The reviews here will be longer than the version posted to Letterboxd. That will be more of the summary, perhaps a mostly copy/paste from here. You’re not missing anything there if you’ve read here, I guess, is the point.

Our just left the theater no-spoiler video review will usually be posted a short time before this so that we can include the video embedded in these posts. We also plan to link back from the videos to here as well, so those watching can read the more detailed text review and comment here.

Opening 8-21-2020 in Theaters: Unhinged, Words On Bathroom Walls, Tulsa, Cut Throat City

Movies coming to Regal Cinemas theaters in Olympia, Washington August 21, 2020

*4* new movies in theaters this coming weekend, yay!

It’s sooooo good to have movies showing up in theaters again this coming weekend, albeit, we have to drive like 30 miles out of the area, because all theaters in our county are not open yet. Oh well, that’s not too far away.

It’s an IMAX theater, too, although it doesn’t appear any of the new movies will be in IMAX format. I was thinking maybe Unhinged might be, but it doesn’t appear that way. For those lucky enough to have 4DX theater reopening nearby, it says it is available in that format. I haven’t seen an IMAX movie in quite some time, not even one I think since this blog started very close to a year ago, so excited about those possibilities again soon.

It’s been roughly five months since we last were able to do this (see: Opening 3-12-2020 in Theaters: Bloodshot, The Hunt, I Still Believe), but the schedule is every Wednesday we feature movies opening wide (mostly, some are LIMITED releases) in theaters.

This is week #34 of 2020 (8/21-8/23/2020).

Yeah, it’s late in the day to make this post and in some places it’s already Thursday, but technically we’re getting in under the wire.


Russell Crowe road raging? Yeah, sign me up to watch this. Looking most forward to seeing this of the four new movies in theaters this weekend. If we don’t see anything else (unlikely), we’ll at least be watching this. And we’ll have a just left the theater video review as well. Will this movie be any good? That I don’t know. Russell Crowe movies, the few I’ve seen, have been hit and miss, but anticipation for this one is high for multiple reasons (among first new movies to watch in reopened theaters, story, etc)

Anticipation: 7/10

Words on Bathroom Walls

A reader — and forgive me which one of you it was so I could name and link (I’ve been burning the midnight oil at my regular day job lately) — mentioned really looking forward to this movie. Any time one of you kind folks mentions a movie with excitement that instantly increases my anticipation.

Anticipation: 5/10


Another movie that wasn’t on my radar at all hits the NOW SHOWING list at Regal starting August 21. Father and daughter movie with some elements of tragedyfrom the sounds of the trailer. Uh Oh, this could be a tearjerker. I Still Believe was the most recent movie I’ve seen that’s had this kind of impact on me. I like the background song playing in the trailer, no idea who that’s by.

Anticipation: 4/10

Cut Throat City

A post Katrina movie in New Orleans. Another movie I literally have not seen or heard anything about until seeing movie times starting August 21. I haven’t seen anything set in the post-Katrina area in awhile, so that alone moves up my curiosity. The trailer makes is done pretty well, too.

Anticipation: 5/10

When or if this weekend will be movie day?

We have our grandchildren coming over on Friday during the day, and none of the four new movies listed above are age appropriate for age 5 and 3 children so, unfortunately, we won’t be hitting the theater on August 21 unless it’s the latest showing after the kids go to their dad’s. Kara works on Saturday and I’m off, so maybe I sneak away for a Saturday matinee of one of these at least, that could be my return. Do kind of want to wait for her to be able to go at the same time, so could wait as well. Could go either way.

Maybe there are some classic kids movies showing? Covering that below, the titles might vary in your particular theaters in the United States.

What else is showing at Regal Cinemas that’s not new?

In no particular order, here are the other movies listed as “classics” in the closest Regal theater located near us:

  1. Black Panther – this is on Disney+ and we still haven’t seen this one. Will be a good one to check out in the theater, so looking forward to this
  2. Jaws – saw this in the theater before and loved it. Definitely want to see this again if there is time! We’re gonna need a bigger boat, alright.
  3. Bloodshot ⭐️⭐️½  – one of the last couple movies we saw in March in the theater. Do not think we’ll rewatch this again. Vin Diesel is in it. You can click the title for our review.
  4. Deadpool – saw this in the theater, not a fan. Sacrilege, I know, because Deadpool is supposed to be a hilarious character. Just found his constant sardonic wit a bit tiresome after awhile. It’s a good movie and I’d recommend others check it out, just wasn’t my favorite superhero. This all adds up to likely little interest in rewatching in theaters for us.
  5. Inception (IMAX) – I would like to see this in IMAX format. Christopher Nolan. Great lead-in to next weekend’s Tenet release (or rather September 4). It’s also showing as $5 ticket price too … that’s pretty sweet for IMAX. Usually we only pay the upcharge as Regal Unlimited members, which I think is around that price, but hey, for those paying full ticket price, this is a pretty sweet deal
  6. Sonic The Hedgehog ⭐️⭐️⭐️ – Liked this movie, but doubtful I’ll be rewatching in the theater. This might be the closest of all the offerings we might be able to bring our grandchildren too, so maybe (?)
  7. Star Wars; The Empire Strikes Back ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️½ – our grandchildren aren’t into Star Wars that much, but this would be one I’d love to rewatch in the theaters. This might be my first movie back. Love this movie! This will bring back many memories.
  8. Star Wars: The Force Awakens ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ – J.J Abrams led reboot was by far the best of the Disney Star Wars trilogy for me, but lukewarm interest in watching this again on the big screen.
  9. The Goonies – OMG, I haven’t seen The Goonies in ages. This is another fun, entertaining movie. Could absolutely be something we rewatch while it’s in theaters again.
  10. Unforgiven – Rated R Clint Eastwood. Another $5 classic movie available. Didn’t see this one in theaters when it came out, so this one is on our radar as well. Clint Eastwood has been one of those go-to actors in movies throughout the years.

Counting the four new movies that makes 14 movies available to watch in theaters this coming weekend. We won’t be watching them all, but certainly some of them, with the four new ones toward the top of the list.

As previously mentioned, we’re going to miss out tomorrow on the August 20 AMC is back for 15 cent reopening day (see: List of AMC theaters reopening for 15 cent movie day on August 20 – Any reopening near you?). Just aren’t any AMC theaters opening close enough to us. I’m bummed, too, because would have liked to have seen a movie in a theater tomorrow. Oh well, I can wait a couple more days.

Do you have movies in theaters in your area?

Please let us know in the comments if you have any theaters reopened this weekend and, if so, you have plans to see anything? If you’re waiting to see what other reports are of the movie theater reopening experience, it’s all good, we’ll have that covered at least what our experience was like, but will enjoy reading what others think.

FIRST LOOK: Unhinged

Road rage is a worthy topic in these stress-heavy times.

Movie theaters are prepping to reopen in July (hopefully sooner!) with Tenet on July 17 being the first big release, but there is another movie, this one called, Unhinged, that is scheduled as of this writing to be the first wide theater release since the pandemic shutdown.

Written by Carl Ellsworth (“Red Eye,” “Disturbia”) and produced by Lisa Ellzey (“Warrior” and “Kingdom of Heaven”), “Unhinged” imagines the worst that can happen when two stubborn people (Crowe and Caren Pistorius) piss each other off in traffic. The film directed by Derrick Borte (“American Dreamer”) is the first movie in the $20-80 million range to be developed, produced and released wide by Solstice Studios, a theatrical company founded in October 2018 in partnership with Ingenious Media.

‘Unhinged’: How Russell Crowe Could Have a Summer Movie hit | IndieWire

The trailer.

Get that buttery popcorn ready, movie theater owners. We’ll be back there, if you’re open in our area, for this one. Will you be watching this in the theater, too?

Unhinged is scheduled to open wide in (hopefully!) theaters on July 1, 2020.