More and more films premiere on Video on Demand — if they don't simply bypass a theatrical release altogether. Because VOD reviews are often scarce and hard to find, Criticwire created VODetails, a recurring column to help you figure out whether a new VOD release is worth your hard-earned dollar. This time we're looking at "The Playroom," a drama about life in 1970s suburban America — not a live theater version of Tommy Wiseau's "The Room."
Director: Julie Dyer
Cast: John Hawkes, Molly Parker, Olivia Harris
Criticwire Average: B- (out of 7 critics)
Official Synopsis: "In 1970s suburbia, Maggie and her younger siblings spend the night telling each other stories in the attic. Downstairs, as their parents entertain guests over the course of a gin-soaked evening, truths are unearthed and betrayals come to light. With standout performances from John Hawkes, Molly Parker, and a cast of talented young actors, Julia Dyer’s second feature is an honest and challenging look at the reality behind the façade of a seemingly perfect American family."
"A rare example of a grown-up story compellingly told from the perspective of children."
"An unnerving look back at the 1970s."
"Nuanced yet bold, 'The Playroom' is utterly engrossing."
"Covers its own ground with tender, sympathetic honesty that is refreshing and invigorating to watch."
"Lacking much in the way of character depth, the film attempts to fill the gap with melodrama."
"The Playroom" is now available on VOD and opens in limited release on February 8th.