Tape (2001) - Drama

Hohum Score



Three old high school friends meet in a Michigan motel room to dissect painful memories from their past.

IMDB: 7.3
Director: Richard Linklater
Stars: Ethan Hawke, Robert Sean Leonard
Length: 86 Minutes
PG Rating: R
Reviews: 18 out of 111 found boring (16.21%)

One-line Reviews (98)

A real-time drama unfolding in a motel room (it's no surprise to learn that it was based on a play), the film explores a lot of compelling ethical ground, and gripped me despite its simplicity.

And it's to the good; its very simplicity makes it a surprisingly compelling watch, more reminiscent of a stage play than a conventional film.

The film is minimalist and more performance-dependent than your average movie, but ‘Tape' benefits from a high quality script with absorbing, flowing dialogue.

I thought that it was too dull and dreary looking.

Revoltingly pretentious.

With an intense script to begin with, it all becomes more so from the setting and film style.

Ethan did a fantastic job here; he was soooooo irritating, and so intriguing.

Nevertheless, once the movie gets over its slow point and the whole point of the movie its story starts to become more obvious, the movie itself becomes a far more interesting and also really better one to watch.

This flick is enjoyable.

As a passive observer, we become immersed in exactly that which should be none of our business, just like Hawke's character pulls himself into a situation that is none of his business.

One of the worst movies that I've ever seen.

While its only setting is inside a motel room, the written word by Stephen Belber transforms this into a thrilling drama about past lives and future consequences.

The riveting conversations that evolve from somewhat sneeringly nostalgic to downright inhospitable fluidly move the film more actively than any number of action-packed popcorn flicks out there.

It has trite dialogue and no true dramatic tension.

"Tape" is a deep and compelling indie-film, with performances that truly shine.

But I would have enjoyed it much more in the theatre.

This film is far from predictable and the closeness of each shot gives the audience a feeling of involvement within the plot.

I tried watching a similar type movie, Two Girls and a Guy, but got just plain bored.

And that's what I consider to be the true genius of 'Tape' - it manages to get you right on the edge simply by seeing their acidic disputes call each other's memories into doubt.

Two beta males, no, make that epsilon minus males -- have a completely boring conversation in which the more effeminate (therefore successful) asks prying questions about his pal's sex life.

The dialogue itself is brilliant, and it's constantly fascinating to see how the characters are built up through what they say.


Tape is an intriguing, funny and captivating film that pushes the boundaries of friendships and truths.

More boring conversation, blah blah blah.

Shot on digital video for a more authentic and gritty feel, this is a gripping story that at its best shows pitiful characters at their most vulnerable points.

Others have praised it, I found it to be a waste of time.

I just found it terribly boring trying to watch less than intelligent dialogue going in circles.

Final comments: What can I say, this film festival keeps getting better and better, having now seen Insomnia and The Tracker, Tape was great to get on the funny side of film.

You wouldn't get his multiple shots, unpredictable close-ups that seem amateurish on purpose on a theater stage.

This movie is for those movie-goers that are sick of the pretentious, blithering, big-epic Hollywood nonsense that we see every Friday.

It's the kind of film, like Vanya on 42nd Street (I don't mean to compare them in terms of quality - I think Vanya is way superior in most respects), that reminds me how enjoyable plays can be.

This is one intense film from all angles and very powerful, leading one to remember things they have done it the past that they may regret.

It turned out to be a riveting performance on every ones part.

Now many movies in general, even good movies, heck even GREAT films, can drag at times or have a few dull moments.

These three actors are what adds fire and depth to a talkative, but otherwise compelling script from playwright Stephen Belber.

Sounds simple enough, but there is so much in this battle among the three that it was just too fascinating to turn away from.

A pretentious film which forces the watcher to sit and listen to a writer trying to be clever with his opinions on life for 90minutes thinly disguised as a piece of entertainment.

It looked to me like some boring stage play, dragged on for far too long by the endless chit-chat of a few unsavory characters.

They are tedious to watch, and probably should just be made into a "Books on Tape" thing to listen to in the car.

TAPE is a compelling film that is sure to become epic.

Not going to win awards, but still entertaining.

it leads you to believe you are on a banal ride of actor's without direction and slowly steers you towards and unexpected conclusion.

So I recommend this film because it's really fascinating.

But once the subject of the girl is brought up, the conservation goes from the trivial chit-chat to some riveting recrimination.

Richard Linklater, with his daring direction, has done the impossible and made a totally compelling film with only three characters in a single dreary motel room.

I was expecting a taut dramatic piece with a fascinating plot.

Leonard finally becomes guilt ridden in a far too literary way and confesses his sin only to learn of the tape and Thurman's unexpected, to him, arrival.

The ending was some what predictable.

It may not be the outright amazing masterpiece that was Richard Linklater's other, slightly better known film of the same year - the immaculate 'Waking Life', a viewing experience that still blows me away to this day - but 'Tape' is still a very unique and intriguing little flick that deserves to rank amongst the greater cinematic obscurities of recent years.

As the events unfold with clever twists, it becomes an intense human drama and a thrilling experience for the audience.

Pretentious and claustrophobic.

This movie is a complete waste of time.

Other reviewers have spoken of the "writing," but the dialog in this flick sounds more like bored actors trying to ad-lib rather than something that somebody actually wrote.

The material is well written and engaging, while the cast are very good despite carrying Hawke.

"Tape" is pointless, boring and repetitive.

And so, being that many movies can drag or have their dull moments, one might figure this little indie film, taking place in a room and consisting of..essentially words and conversation would have many.

He is drinking a beer, plays with the empty can, has another one, does some exercise.

But this videotape of a boring conversation (because that's all that it was - a conversation between three people) bored me beyond tears.

Richard Linklater's latest junk is another pretentious talkie with three characters ten years out of high school, holed up in a rundown Michigan motel, trying to outwit each other about the past.

What I will say is this: if you enjoy movies that are diagolue heavy and constantly keep you on the edge then you'll enjoy this movie.

This is definitely a keeper, and will highly recommend it to all.

An excellent piece of work for what it is with solid performances from the cast of three, the film whets interest in the beginning, lags in the middle, and ends with an unexpected conclusion.

Rich and engaging.

One would think that this sort of film would get repetitive and dull after a while, but it remains engaging all the way through.

I sure hope this little indy trend of these pretentious "conversation" movies dies relatively soon.

I found this movie to be tedious, pretentious, and really quite tiresome.

Overall, this was an impressive and very intense drama that will keep you on the edge of your seat due to its strong reality and human element.

superb dialog, engrossing .


Sum it up in two words: uninteresting drivel.

I also thought Linklater's decision to film the whole thing with fuzzy hand-held camera was a rather pointless choice.

The performances are good, but the storyline really lacks that extra something that's needed to take it from boring to interesting.

My recommendation: Don't waste your time or money on this dreadfully awful home video!

We are on the edge of our seats every second, or we are if we are interested in human nature.

A small, much more contemporary piece compared to his highly cerebral and evocative Waking Life from the same year, Richard Linklater's film adaptation of the Stephen Belber play is rather convincing and foreboding in its portrayal of three friends from high school who reunite ten years later and learn how little each of them has been able to shake their respective pasts.

While the film may be very close to what possibly could / would happen in this sort of situation a film should be entertaining not reflect life directly.

At first it seems nice how these characters are talking and interacting with each other, which seems realistic at all but it also gets tiresome pretty fast, also since the dialog is basically going nowhere.

I did manage to stay awake through most of it.

And the realism with Tape all has to do with the situation and the mind- games pulled by the most torn, fascinating character, Vincent (Ethan Hawke).

The movies are slow and they tend to drag with its overlong dialog.

The film is compelling and enjoyable and I would love to see it as a play; the basic story twists and turns with slight touches.

Ethan Hawke is a fascinating actor to watch, appearing here as a very unlikeable character.

In the first five minutes we see a bored Vince (Ethan Hawke).


This movie also does really start offs slow and also sort of uninteresting.

Boring, It early on became like a computer do-loop.

Boring .

It's absolutely riveting and I was taken with the whole thing.

How is this entertaining.

"Tape" is not the best film of the year (in fact, it's not even director Richard Linklater's best film of the year), but it's a strong and intriguing movie experience all the same.

With that said, sometimes the movie feels a little slow, albeit it's not that much of a problem because the movie soon picks up pace and catches your attention back.

I just love the work of the Director, It's not a easy job to run a full length movie of 86 minutes, with 3 characters alone, and 1 sense alone and make it so I will even say fascinating.

The confines of the room may restrict the action but it's a film where the characters drive the narrative forward to what is an intriguing debate about perception about an event that happened 10 years ago.

If you see this movie on the shelves at your local blockbuster, go find something else, it is going to be a waste of time and money if you watch it.

In doing so this film is ultimately boring and any insights that the characters arrive at are so obviously those of the writer that its sickening.

Whether we are shown apologies, happiness, truth, or lies, every moment is self-serving, full of empty words spoken to assuage their guilt and not to instill regret or compassion for those they wronged.

"Waking Life" was inventive, but pretentious and dull.

First of all,a movie which only has three actors and is developed in one room and results to be fun and great,is something really unexpected.