La Habitación de Fermat (Fermat's Room)

Critics Consensus

This stylish yet disappointingly predictable Spanish thriller is never as exciting or ingenious as it hopes to be.



Reviews Counted: 27

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Audience Score

User Ratings: 2,102


All Critics | Top Critics
Average Rating: N/A
Reviews Count: 0
Fresh: 0
Rotten: 0


Average Rating: 3.3/5

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Movie Info

Four brilliant people have to use their smarts to save their own lives in this unconventional thriller. Galois (Alejo Sauras) is a celebrated young mathematician who has become something of a celebrity after solving a notoriously difficult theoretical equation. Galois is invited to attend a special meeting with three celebrated colleagues by the wealthy and enigmatic Fermat (Federico Luppi), and when he arrives, he's introduced to Hilbert (Lluis Homar), Pascual (Santi Millan) and Oliva (Elena Ballesteros), all of whom are using pseudonyms assigned to them by Fermat. Not long after the four have sat down at a table, Fermat steps out after receiving an emergency phone call, and shortly afterward the mathematicians receive an electronic message with a logic problem they're asked to solve. They soon discover that the stakes for a wrong answer are higher than they imagined; the four walls of the room are attached to powerful hydraulic presses, and if they can't give the correct answers in time the room will begin to close in, crushing the four inside. As Galois, Hilbert, Pascaul and Olivia try to answer the equations in time, they struggle to figure out who Fermat is and why he's brought them together. La Habitacion de Fermat (aka Fermat's Room) was the first feature film from the writing/directing team of Luis Piedrahita and Rodrigo Sopena.

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Critic Reviews for La Habitación de Fermat (Fermat's Room)

All Critics (27) | Top Critics (2)

The maths element of the film, which on the surface is its USP, feels like dressing on a taut but tawdry genre thriller.

May 29, 2009 | Rating: 2/6 | Full Review…
Time Out
Top Critic

It's all done with style, with very little of the strain you might expect from filming in such a restricted environment.

May 29, 2009 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…
Top Critic

The filmmakers have us hooked with a terrific mystery and the challenge of a good puzzle.

Nov 11, 2009 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…

The best part is that, for once, it's a film about smart people.

Oct 2, 2009 | Full Review…

... a cerebral thriller with a different kind of locked-room mystery.

Sep 28, 2009 | Full Review…

Fermat's Room appears to be about maths, but it's more of a whodunnit, and a surprisingly watchable one at that.

Aug 17, 2009 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for La Habitación de Fermat (Fermat's Room)

Four people were invited to attend a meeting for mathematicians after solving a puzzle, however, they soon discovered they were trapped in a shrinking room unless they can solve riddles in time. This is a clever Spanish thriller with a nicely connected mystery regarding all the characters. However, the puzzles were not very mathematical at all, which was a bit of a disappointment.

Sylvester Kuo
Sylvester Kuo

Super Reviewer


Question: Are you good at math? Can you easily solve puzzles, riddles, or logic problems? What if your life depended on it? Could you think under such pressure? After having a pretty crappy day today I decided the only thing that would make it end much better was to watch a film. It relaxes me. But when I finally hit play on the TiVo recorded movie, Fermat's Room from the Sundance Channel, I ended up feeling slightly stupid and my nerves heightened. Why is that? Well, let's just say that if I didn't have my fingers I couldn't count to 10. Yes, I am not good in math, plus the premise of the movie puts you slightly on edge. Fermat's Room - a Spanish film - is a thriller and what a perfect genre to take you out of your element, right? I laid down on my bed, letting the day slowly slip away and it worked because quickly I had to keep up with the subtitles (yes, these were a little quick for me on this film) with the opening scene with a rather handsome fellow talking about numbers. He asked a couple of girls if they were good at math and if not they should just walk away now. Yes, I considered turning off the movie at that moment, but I was actually fascinated with the prime number theory he discussed. Not that I understood it - at all, however, the movie had me at that point. Yay! Soon you are introduced to three other mathematicians, 2 men and 1 woman. They are all sent a riddle (or enigma as it was called in this film) to solve and if they solved it they would receive an invitation to an "enigma solving gathering or party". The four each solve the enigma and are given instructions to meet at a certain place and time with very strict instructions: No personal information shared and they are each given a name of a famous mathematician that they must use throughout the entire evening. I really don't want to say more because my favorite genre requires me to keep you all in the dark so you can appreciate the film if you chose to watch it. However, I will say what happened next was totally mesmerizing. Even if you aren't good at math or problem solving it doesn't matter. The intensity of the plot keeps you completely focused on what's happening and wondering if they will solve the next puzzle and their lives. Yes, I am stopping there. Nope, I am not gonna tell you anymore about Fermat's Room. Enjoy. Directed (and co-written) by Luis Piedrahita, Notro Films, 2007. Starring: Alejo Sauras, Lluís Homar, Santi Millán, Federico Luppi and Elena Ballesteros Genre: Mystery, Thriller. My favorite thing: It helped me forget about my day. My least favorite thing: That I wasn't better in math - well, we all have our talents and this one reminded me that math is NOT mine. Rating: NR Length: 88 minutes Review: 7 out of 10

Tired of Previews
Tired of Previews

Super Reviewer

The film starts off with Goldbach's conjecture - that every even number greater than two can be written as the sum of two prime numbers (e.g. 10 = 3 + 7). I'm geeky, I like that kind of thing. So I had a great time watching this hybrid of SLEUTH and a U certificate SAW as four top mathematicians (two of which also happen to be young and cute) end up in a high-concept shrinking room which can only be stopped by solving a series of admittedly not-very-mathematical-at-all puzzles. And yes, I did press the Pause button so I could work out the answers first... so double-geeky me then .

Lesley N
Lesley N

Super Reviewer

Oh Happy day. When this Movie was recommendad to me I expected a shoker it turned out a "yawner"

Wahida K
Wahida K

Super Reviewer

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