Preteen girl looking at a cell phone with her parents

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Parents' Guide to


By Tom Cassidy, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 15+

Tense thriller tackles mental illness; language, violence.

Movie NR 2021 105 minutes
Surge Poster Image

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Is It Any Good?

Our review:
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This excellent British thriller is an empathetic depiction of loneliness, stress, and mental illness. There's no finger-pointing or righteous indignation in Surge. Just observation and understanding of a realistic, yet tragic situation. Director Aneil Karia keeps the camera on the remarkable Whishaw at all times. We're at his joyless birthday party with his parents and we're anonymous alongside him at his job. The loneliness and despair is infectious. He's in the thick of London's city but entirely alone. When he snaps, he breaks out of his mental cage and doesn't know what to do with his freedom. The handheld camera keeps up at his dizzying pace as the city he's not part of rushes by in a blur.

Whishaw's honest depiction is both astonishing and almost unbearable. Each time we cross another line where intervention might have changed his path, your heart breaks a little bit more. Add its loaded social commentary, bank robberies, impulsive sex, black humor, car crashes, and fist fights, and Surge is a thrilling movie with a lingering message.

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