In Theaters

Blame (2017) - Movie Review

  • Movie Review

  • Details

  • Blu-ray Review

  • Trailer

  • Art

Blame - Movie Review

5 starsIt will take you no less than five minutes to get drawn into the mesmerizing debut feature film from 22-year-old Quinn Shephard, the writer/director/producer/editor and star of Blame.  I kid you not.  She’s a magnificent creature behind and in front of the camera, spouting poetry as if it was the common tongue.  She’s a damn powerful presence and her mark is felt on each and every frame of this her feature length debut film.

There’s no denying the fact that Blame, which was written with guiding input from Laurie Shephard (her mother), may just be the absolute best film debut of any young filmmaker in the past decade.  Big claims, I know.  I mean it, though.  Her film is that intoxicating; that rich; and that disquieting.  Shephard’s narrative - about one young girl’s return to her small suburban-situated high school after a mysterious mental illness – becomes something unexpectedly gorgeous and so damn perfect in its execution that you can only gawk in absolute admiration.

Blame is a tight narrative that hangs out at the crossroads of a teenage wasteland.  Shephard’s engrossing film is at the place where The Crucible intersects with Heathers and Girl, Interrupted.  It doesn’t disappoint either as one substitute drama teacher, Mr. Jeremy (Chris Messina), becomes the centerpiece in a tug of war between the soft-spoken Abigail (Shephard) and the resident mean girl Melissa (Nadia Alexander) as they go toe-to-toe through the halls of the high school, one in jealousy and the other in ecstasy. 

Don’t read that description as obnoxious and blatant in its rollout because Blame is not that film.  It is discreet in its performance, softly coming together in a manner that suggests both experience and charm from the filmmaker.  This is someone who is well versed in films and it absolutely shows.  IT SHOWS.  The cheerleaders – of which our mean girls are a part of – kiss and dance for their boy toys.  The drink too much and get stoned.  They also leave boys wanting while they heave in bathroom sinks, holding back each other’s hair.

And all of this happens while the passion between Abigail and Jeremy lights up the fucking screen.  It will make you uncomfortable.  Promise.  Don’t think this is real life?  Think again.  Read the headlines.  Blame is about all the things you can’t and shouldn’t have.

Even with all its expected bullying, the film is so incredibly wise in its put-together semantics that you can’t help but feel and hear its true passion.  Every frame is honest and the performances – yes, this includes Shephard (who also contributed to the music in her film) – are damn authentic; this one aches with beauty and value as it addresses very real situations in a precise and impactful way.  This is a rare combination these days, especially from a talent so young, and it makes me wonder just how great this filmmaker will become in the next few years as she matures with her craft.

And, yes, we have a male teacher giving a female student a ride home in the rain.  Clichéd, yes, but YOU WILL BELIEVE AND ACCEPT IT.  It’s true.  It happens.  And it is damn perfect in its dark execution.    

“Is it okay if I just sit here for a bit?” asks Quinn, as Abigail, at one point in the movie.  She’s playing the character everyone else in the narrative projects upon as something they can’t have, mind you.  Hold onto that and allow me to follow suite.  The answer is yes, Quinn, it is perfectly fine; sit here for as long as you like.  Please.  Be comfortable.  Just promise me that you will continue to make more movies as strong and as memorable as this one, okay? 

Blame is no child’s game.  The final few moments - in which Miss Alexander simply kills it with an intoxicating performance - will break you in two.  The movie is currently playing in select cities throughout the country and, if not in yours, is available to watch through On Demand platforms and Digital services.  It is not to be missed.

Blame - Movie Review

MPAA Rating:
100 mins
: Quinn Shephard
Quinn Shephard
Trieste Kelly Dunn, Chris Messina, Nadia Alexander
: Drama
Memorable Movie Quote: "Hey, what was that name everybody kept calling her last year?"
Theatrical Distributor:
Samuel Goldwyn Films
Official Site:
Release Date:
January 5, 2018 (internet)
DVD/Blu-ray Release Date:
No details available
Synopsis: A drama teacher's taboo relationship with an unstable student strikes a nerve in her jealous classmate, sparking a vengeful chain of events within their suburban high school that draws parallels to 'The Crucible'.

No details available.

Blame - Movie Review

Movie Reviews

Our Tweets


You are here: Home In Theaters / VOD Blame (2017) - Movie Review
Follow us on Twitter
Like us on Facebook
Find us on Rotten Tomatoes