Movie Review: Black Mirror: Bandersnatch

February 25th, 2019

Details from IMDB:

Black Mirror: Bandersnatch (2018)

TV-MA | | DramaMysterySci-Fi | 28 December 2018 (USA)
In 1984, a young programmer begins to question reality as he works to adapt a fantasy novel into a video game.


 David Slade


 Charlie Brooker

Initial Thoughts:

What a cool concept! Like millions of Geeks I had choose your own adventure books when I was young. I played them straight at first but eventually got to cheating to get all the endings. The same thing is the case here but I'm getting ahead of myself. I had heard so much this interactive Black Mirror movie, that of course I had to do it. Knowing it would take me 3+ hours to really explore it, I just had to set aside the time.

Main Points:

The Black Mirror show has some amazing episodes and is an excellent show. I'm not sure if this is a movie or an episode but I'm reviewing it like a movie anyway. I'll say right away that I was a little pissed off when I realized I couldn't watch this on my Apple TV or my Android Box (I don't have a Smart TV). I even tried connecting a HDMI cable from my iPad to my TV but that didn't work either. So in the end I used a Bluetooth speaker and my iPad to explore this movie.

As people have said the story isn't amazing but the acting is quite good and the sheer novelty of a movie like this made it a lot of fun (at first). I would tell people to play this sober (I didn't) with a pen and paper to make notes. There are 5 main endings and one secret one (which I needed directions to find). I'd suggest once you get the 5 main ones stop for the day or at least take a break. After 3.5 hours I started to get frustrated and I saw the same ending more than once.

I'll also add that because I've always been a fan of 80's music, I really enjoyed the music here. It's neat how a simple choice like picking what tape Stephan will play actually changes the soundtrack for the rest of the movie (I guess that's a spoiler, live with it!). The movie breaks the 4th way really hard at times and it does throw you out of the story but for this I guess that's the point? It's an odd experience. The fact that a lot of the movie is about making video games and that this is really like a video game is not lost on me. The film certainly has layers when you think of the meta involved.

Final Thoughts:

I must hand it to Netflix and Black Mirror for coming up with this unique movie experience. Yes I know they are being sued by the choose your adventure company, I hope that doesn't stop more projects like this in the future. I enjoyed the novelty of this movie so much that I'm prepared to slightly overlook the less than stellar story. So I give it a solid 7.5 out of 10 and a heart recommendation. Set aside at least 3 hours for this and maybe take notes. Either way don't let your kids watch this, due to violence, blood, language and mature themes I would say ages 16+.