Indie Game: The Movie

2012

Indie Game: The Movie

Critics Consensus

No consensus yet.

94%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 31

91%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 4,073
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Movie Info

Indie Game: The Movie, directed by James Swirsky and Lisanne Pajot, looks at the underdogs of the video game industry, indie game developers, who sacrifice money, health and sanity to realize their lifelong dreams of sharing their creative visions with the world. This Sundance award-winning film captures the tension and drama by focusing on these artists' vulnerability and obsessive quest to express themselves through a 21st-century art form. -- (C) Official Site

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Critic Reviews for Indie Game: The Movie

All Critics (31) | Top Critics (10) | Fresh (29) | Rotten (2)

  • Like punk rock or alternative comedy, it's a DIY pursuit that pits go-it-alone types against an industry machine, often breeding exciting but intensely idiosyncratic art in the process.

    Jun 1, 2012 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…
  • This is about developers communicating with the world in the most creative, productive way they know how. It's about the artistic process.

    May 25, 2012 | Rating: 3.5/4 | Full Review…
  • You may have never picked up a game console in your life, but there's universal access thanks to compelling stories in Indie Game: The Movie.

    May 24, 2012 | Rating: 3.5/4 | Full Review…
  • [A] smart, involving documentary...

    May 18, 2012 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…
  • "Indie Game: The Movie" lays bare the passion behind the pixels, revealing the sweat, tears and sleep deprivation that go into trying to make the latest gaming sensation.

    May 18, 2012 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…
  • This is a movie about a subculture, made for that subculture; only hard-core Xboxers need apply.

    May 15, 2012 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…

    Keith Uhlich

    Time Out
    Top Critic

Audience Reviews for Indie Game: The Movie

  • Oct 02, 2015
    Indie Game works very well as a documentary about what it takes and costs psychologically to do your own thing and get it done. The movie has a nice, clean "professional indie" look reminiscent of Helvetica (the movie). The subjects are not easily likable but that makes them much more interesting and real than the boring bios network television typically puts out of, say, Olympic athletes. The main knock against it is the lack of time spent documenting what the creative process involves. There is a bit of that, but still the film could have used more. Overall, however, Indie Game is a good film for dreamers thinking about doing and entrepreneurs working at it.
    Robert B Super Reviewer
  • Jun 05, 2014
    Inspiring, terrifying, and almost deadly to view (to a fault), "Indie Game: The Movie" is a captivating documentary about the lives of three separate independent video game design companies who are all in the process of getting their game into the market. If you ever play a platform game online and say that it sucks, I highly recommend that you watch this film before ever saying such things again. This film will not change the fact that some games out there are dreadfully bad, but it will definitely make you reconsider whether or not you want to just rip it apart. This film has given me more insight to the video game industry than I had ever known throughout my lifetime. Beautifully shot and incredibly displaying these stressful stories, this is one of my favourite documentaries to date. I loved every aspect of it. My only issue with the film is that it may be a little repetitive with it's location shots, and it's editing is great, but it feels quick at times. Every emotional moment that needed to be captured, was, and I really appreciated the time they took to show us that. I love this movie!
    KJ P Super Reviewer
  • Dec 21, 2012
    An insightful and obliterating documentary on a subject that many express interest in but know little about the processes of. Game design is such a slow, intricate, and time consuming process, and needs an effort and financial push that seems obscene. The film itself follows three game designers, one of which has already released his award winning and massively popular game "Braid." His commentary flits through the story as someone who has gone through the world of indie games, the publication, and the backlash when the public he thought he would have an open dialogue with shut him down. His story is prevalent for the first third of the film, but he quickly disappears in the fray of the other two designers, blooming in the community as they newly release their games. One designer is French Canadian Phil Fish, who gained notoriety for having a slow game production and not coming out with his highly anticipated "Fez." Fish toils alone in an office in Quebec as he tries to finish the game design for something he both reviles and loves. He swears like a sailor, has panic attacks at every possible junction of the development, and tries to get himself out there once more. Much better off are two designers who are about to launch their game "Super Meat Boy." They seem to be the main emphasis, because each of them is quite interesting and have created success from their indie beginnings. Tommy Refenes is suicidal, depressed, and anxious about the release. He cares about his parents and seriously worries us, the audience, as we watch his life slip into isolation. His partner Edmund McMillen is charismatic, confident, and obviously creative. The contrast between them shows a disconnect from reality most designers go through. The film is beautifully shot, the interviews are always interesting, and the way each designer describes their process and the connection to their audience is eye opening. It drags in the middle and doesn't follow as many game designers as it should, but it's entertaining and insightful about gaming and designing as well as entertaining because the subjects are so flawed and altogether manic and suicidal most of the time. Truly original and groundbreaking in the field of documentaries.
    Spencer S Super Reviewer
  • Nov 02, 2012
    An excellent look at the life of a video game developer. In this case, particularly the smaller-manned teams of the recently rising downloadable games known as "indie games." This is reminiscent to indie movies, being privately made with a very small budget. Being a person who has played video games for my entire life, I was surprised at how much stress these developers were put under. One of them was depressed, the other was talking about killing himself, and the last was badly struggling with finances. When you hear the profession "video game maker" or "developer," you immediately assume big money. This is not the case with these guys; they struggle like any other citizen with a fixed budget and its definitely interesting to see them make a game with little money. This documentary has an incredible style of filming, and echoes the likes of David Fincher's The Social Network because of the very clean-cut photography and modern electronic music. Indie Game: The Movie brings the average gamer into the life of a developer with style, focus, and emotion.
    Kevin M Super Reviewer

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