The Institute Reviews

July 8, 2014
October 21, 2013
Mystery is part of the appeal.
October 17, 2013
You're unsure if he's a Werner Erhard-style huckster or a Silicon Alley tub-thumper about to do a product launch. That uncertainty mirrors the players' nervous yet giddy involvement.
October 17, 2013
You leave the film not knowing what to believe, and while that can be frustrating, you're also left with an undeniable urge -- even if it's a tiny one -- to find out more.
October 17, 2013
All of which is genuinely interesting, even if you find incomprehensible the idea of devoting significant portions of your waking time and energy to what is, more than anything, an elaborate scavenger hunt.
October 17, 2013
Doesn't always distinguish between fact and fiction, about an interesting social and artistic experiment.
October 13, 2013
Slickly edited and initially intriguing, but it lacks something that's a requirement for the vast majority of documentaries: revealing insights about its subject matter.
October 10, 2013
"The Institute" stumbles between documentary and exploratory simulation, at once confusing and pedantic.
October 10, 2013
It's a divisive, shadowy conversation-starter of a movie that's as much fun to talk and think about as it is to watch.
October 10, 2013
Eventually, the documentary's limited perspective becomes a liability when the screen goes dark and we're left with more questions than answers. Adventures only take us so far.
October 7, 2013
Director Spencer McCall's film takes the shape of an amusing portrait of the times.
October 7, 2013
Rarely have I felt so absorbed by a movie about people I found so incredibly annoying.
October 7, 2013
The film fascinates me, especially because, in all honesty, I'm not really the type of person who would've taken that initial step to play the game in the first place. Then again, based on watching the film, I may be playing right now.
October 4, 2013
I don't care how much of it is real and how much is nonsense. It's just a fun, clever film about looking at the world from a different angle.
October 3, 2013
McCall does a skillful job of reconstructing this hipster-centric game, though much of the proceedings still come off as one of those "you had to be there" affairs.
October 2, 2013
A lazily constructed documentary that doesn't hide first-time director Spencer McCall's admitted lack of understanding for his subject.
April 11, 2013
One of the growing number of documentaries occupying that "elsewhere" separating fact and fiction, it is playful but profound stuff.