Parents' Guide to

The Belko Experiment

By Jeffrey Anderson, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 18+

Thriller is relentlessly bleak and gory but interesting.

Movie R 2017 88 minutes
The Belko Experiment Poster Image

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What you will—and won't—find in this movie.

Community Reviews

age 14+

Based on 1 parent review

age 14+

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
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Relentlessly bleak and hopeless, as well as grisly and gory, this well-made thriller still paints an interesting portrait of human nature and the divide between perceived strength and kindness. The Belko Experiment comes from the subversive combination of writer James Gunn (Slither, Guardians of the Galaxy) and director Greg McLean (Wolf Creek, The Darkness), and they aim for a primal experience, less romantic than The Hunger Games and less darkly comic than Battle Royale. They establish a group of co-workers -- all played by fine character actors -- who seem like real people, the same kind of folks who might work in any office, and they establish the space of the office itself.

Then, as chaos and horror reign, some characters start thinking in terms of proactive, reasonable responses, while others lean toward self-defense and stockpiling. Some try to protect their friends, while others begin protecting themselves. It's a fascinating dynamic to think about in the midst of our very divided reality. Yet while the movie is sure to leave most viewers in despair, the filmmakers are smart enough to use their large cast to offer gray areas in between the two extreme factions, ultimately making The Belko Experiment less preachy and more messily human.

Movie Details

  • In theaters: March 17, 2017
  • On DVD or streaming: June 27, 2017
  • Cast: John Gallagher Jr., Tony Goldwyn, Adria Arjona
  • Director: Greg McLean
  • Inclusion Information: Latinx actors
  • Studio: BH Tilt
  • Genre: Thriller
  • Run time: 88 minutes
  • MPAA rating: R
  • MPAA explanation: strong bloody violence throughout, language including sexual references, and some drug use
  • Last updated: April 1, 2023

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