Indie torture-horror with a very cool vibe of its own, and some excellent cinematography. The story is both something you've seen before (teen drama taken to a gory extreme) and not, going its own way often enough to keep you on your toes.
My one complaint would be that, given the obvious social-commentary nature of the plot, I wish more time was spent on connecting the story to the real world (what does it mean that the cool kids are…
It's as good an action/sci-fi movie as has ever been made, and on top of it, it's a subversive, complex, yet highly entertaining examination of the cost of social order. It has held up beautifully over the past 15 years, and in retrospect, it's one of the best movies of the 1990s.
It's perfectly fine for a movie to have an elusive core, to not be about anything in particular. But when that is the case, it should at least populate the screen with enough varied ideas to invite engagement. The Master is a claustrophobic, one-track tale(?) and so the overwhelming emotions it invokes are befuddlement and, often, boredom.
The titular Master is very mildly based on Scientology's L. Ron Hubbard, and references that spell this out do the movie no favors,…