Series 7: The Contenders - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Series 7: The Contenders Reviews

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August 29, 2016
When I first watched this, I wasn't really interested, because it seemed to be just blood and violence, then as it progressed and grew more twisted and dark I was drawn into this horrifying story, and it only adds more drama, when you get to the last two people alive. I was sitting on the edge of my seat. I definitely recommend this to others.
½ May 3, 2016
It's no BATTLE ROYALE (or even RUNNING MAN), but I'd recommended it over HUNGER GAMES
January 22, 2016
Written and directed by Daniel Minahan, (I Shot Andy Warhol (1996) and TV's Game of Thrones), this pitch black comedy satirises the grow in reality television. While this sort of thing had been done the year before in Battle Royale (2000), this has a brilliant sense of humour, and the way it's shot makes it looks like it's appealing to the lowest common denominator, but it's an intelligent film. The Contenders is a TV show, where players are selected as part of a random lottery, and they're put together in one town and they have to kill each other until there's one person left. Series 7 is taking place in the town of Newbury, Connecticut. Reigning series champion Dawn Lagarto (Brooke Smith) is back, and the new contestants are Connie Trabucco (Marylouise Burke), Jeffrey Norman (Glenn Fitzgerald), Anthony Reilly (Michael Kaycheck), Franklin James (Richard Venture) and Lindsay Berns (Merritt Wever). The setting is also Dawn's hometown, and it turns out she was once lovers with Jeffrey, which puts her in a very tight spot. It's a very biting satire on reality TV, and it's almost like a savage, nihilistic version of The Truman Show (1998), filmed and edited as if it's the real thing, it's well put together and it makes a serious point of how far people will go to get their kicks from TV entertainment and the scary thing is, a show like this could really happen. 4/5
February 20, 2015
WOW.....WOW.....WOW.....WOW.....WHAT A MOVIE.....MAN THIS IS SUCH A CULT CLASSICS MOVIE 2 WATCH......ITS GOT A GOOD CAST OF ACTORS/ACTRESSES THROUGHOUT THIS MOVIE......I think that brooke smith, mary louise burke, glenn fitzgerald, Michael kaycheck, merritt wever, play good roles/parts throughout this movie.....I think that the director of this mystery/suspense/comedy movie had done a great job of directing this movie because you never know what 2 expect throughout this movie.....I think that this is such a brilliant movie 2 watch......I think that the comedy timing is so perfect throughout this this is such a fantastic movie 2 watch, its got a brilliant soundtrack throughout this movie......

Alternate ending

In an alternate ending included in the DVD release, Dawn and Jeff drop their weapons and flee the theater, but are surrounded by angry fans, displeased at the anticlimactic conclusion of the standoff, and are beaten savagely before they can escape. Jeff again wakes up in a hospital as the new reigning Contender.


Writer/Director Daniel Minahan's childhood friend, Dawn Lagarto, is given a "Special Thanks" credit. He originally wrote the story using her name for the main character, but, when it came time to start filming, the producers had legal concerns regarding the use of a real person's name. However, actress Brooke Smith felt an affinity for the name and wanted to retain it for her character. Minahan called the real Dawn Lagarto and got her blessing to use the name.

The idea for this project came to Daniel Minahan after working as a TV producer and being fascinated by reality shows. Minahan pitched the fake reality show concept to a network executive as an actual series in 1998. The first round of notes came back from the executive. "Can it be more sexy and less violent?"

Minahan credits Videodrome, Westworld, and Rollerball as primary influences.

man this is such a brilliant movie 2 watch, it is such a cult classics movie 2 watch, I think that this is such an underrated movie 2 watch its got a fantastic cast throughout this movie...... it is such a fantastic movie 2 watch, it is such an unpredictable movie 2 watch, it is such a brilliant movie 2 watch with a fantastic cast throughout this movie.....
March 13, 2014
while comparable to Battle Royale in terms of basic premise, this movie holds its own thanks to its talented cast of unknowns, whose characters that manage to be crazy, sad and believable without resorting to raving or sobbing.

it also benefits from toned down yet reasonably graphic violence and suspense, thanks in no part to its absorbing, faux-reality show style that makes the suspense as fun as any straightforward realist narrative.

it uses these techniques to craft a fun, darkly comic and ultimately devastating look at our obsession with and desensitization to media violence and growing apathy towards the welfare of others for a few ratings

you've probably never heard of this movie, but its definitely worth discovering. it matches BR on almost every level.
½ December 17, 2013
Biting? Hardly, this poorly acted, badly written movie is more of an annoyance then a wake up call. Satire again making me say I don't care.
½ November 30, 2013
A good idea that was poorly executed; unless of course they intended to make a movie about a crap TV series.
½ October 9, 2013
It's not the idea that people will kill each other for entertainment that makes Series 7 jolting. What the movie correctly perceives is that somewhere along the line we've lost all sense of shame in our society.
Super Reviewer
½ June 26, 2013
"Series 7: The Contenders" has all the visual resemblance of the reality television shows it's poking fun at, but its concept is essentially a one trick pony. Nothing about "The Contenders" or why it exists is ever elaborated on and the satire isn't as dark or hard-hitting as it should be. As far as I can tell, the acting is exceptional considering the cast is full of unknowns, but the film as a whole feels like a wasted opportunity.
June 13, 2013
Series 7: The Contenders, is a very twisted black comedy about six contestants on a reality show. The premise of the reality show is that the contestants are given weapons and have to murder each other in order to win. What I enjoyed about this movie was the fact it comes off like a real television show.This sharp, smart, exhilarating thriller works on so many levels, and it's got one of the niftiest twist endings in ages, too! Somehow, I suspect it's only a matter of time before a real-life reality show figures out a way to go this far.
½ April 16, 2013
This admirably low budget satire has great acting and some genuinely affecting moments. It's rough around the edges and has difficultly keeping its momentum (particularly as the last third starts to conflict with the central fake-TV-show conceit) but "Series 7" is exciting and intelligent.
January 22, 2013
Mostly terrible, this spot-on satire about America and reality television is brought to both great heights and terrible, terrible lows at the reveal that Will Arnet has been narrating the entire time.
If the acting had been better and the "twist" hadn't been so foreseeable as to make it pathetic, this would have been a 2-and-a-half star film. As it stands, the fantastic final line of the "film" is all that saves this otherwise droll mess.
December 7, 2012
Could be worth a viewing, would like to see it sometime in the future.
November 16, 2012
Fucking brilliant satire that sucks you into the obviously manipulated "reality tv" world and you forget you're even watching a movie! The actors were so natural their performances seemed like genuine citizens. Really neat plot and it can get a little disturbing but I highly recommend, the ending was hilarious too
½ October 31, 2012
Series 7 has an interesting concept, but the terrible acting and tasteless violence contribute to the film's air of vile cruelty, making for an unpleasant viewing experience.
October 11, 2012
This is the turn I really want to see a reality show take, because anyone who participates in those fucking things deserves to pay a true penalty if they aren't the winner. Contenders are chosen at random and hunt one another, followed by camera crews to record the events, it's all very well put together and something of a hidden gem that I only became aware of after the Projection Booth Podcast covered it.

Well worth a rental.
September 19, 2012
Has some great moments but the novelty of the premise eventually wears thin.
August 31, 2012
I caught this flick at a movie channel nearly ten years ago, i remember it pretty vividly as being truly darkly funny and it was a time when reality tv show were really popular. Seeing it again on DVD, i remember how entertaining to watch, if you are in a mood of a black comedy in the sickest vain. It is extremely well directed satire, also written by the director (Who has a long career as a television director). Smith is a terrific in the lead (Who best known as the latest victim of serial killer in "The Silence of the Lambs"). Her character, what she has to go through is fun to watch. Burke is a middle-age nurse does have some amusing moments too. I know, this movie has a loyal cult following. It is well done. It is certainly worth seeing, even if you haven't heard of it. If you like reality t.v. show, give this a try. Will Arnett appears in a cameo and he is also the film's narrator, who goes some of the biggest laughs in the picture.
½ August 9, 2012
Series 7: The Contenders really hovers on the edge of something great. The characters fall just short of believable, and the reality-show-type production is spot-on.
July 16, 2012
Basically the premise of "The Hunger Games".
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