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Tape (2001)

Ethan Hawke , Robert Sean Leonard , Richard Linklater  |  R |  DVD
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (59 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Ethan Hawke, Robert Sean Leonard, Uma Thurman
  • Directors: Richard Linklater
  • Writers: Stephen Belber
  • Producers: Alexis Alexanian, Anne Walker-McBay, Caroline Kaplan, David Richenthal, Gary Winick
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Closed-captioned, Color, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish
  • Dubbed: French, Spanish
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Studio: Lions Gate
  • DVD Release Date: April 16, 2002
  • Run Time: 86 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (59 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00005YUPJ
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #29,436 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Tape" on IMDb

Special Features


Editorial Reviews

Ethan Hawke, Robert Sean Leonard, Uma Thurman - Director: Richard Linklater

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
30 of 37 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A suspenseful, superbly acted piece of 'Motel Hell' June 13, 2004
Alright, I'll just let it fly right now: I don't think I've seen a movie since Dead Poet's Society in which Ethan Hawke doesn't kinda blow. He's not so believable in Linklater's Before Sunrise, got undeserved acclaim for Training Day, and pretty much destroys the art of acting in Taking Lives. So it was a nice surprise to see him not suck after Linklater's fascinating, superbly acted (holy crap, I just said that about an Ethan Hawke movie) Tape, which needs about 20 minutes to get its look-at-me-I'm-a-badass-indie-film-shot-on-DV-with-cool-angles attitude out of its system. But after that, whoa boy. The film takes place entirely in a low-rent motel room where Hawke is staying; his high school pal, played by the underappreciated Robert Sean Leonard (the guy who blew his brains out in DPS), drops by and before you know it, it's less high school reunion and more Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?. You see, Hawke's Vince exposes a secret from Leonard's Jon's past and a cunning game of psychological hot potato begins. What impressed me the most about Tape is how it defied my expectations at every point that the movie turned - there are more twists in it than a Hollywood thriller, and the movie becomes so engrossing at points that interest becomes giddiness. But the best thing about Tape is how well its actors (including Uma Thurman, who drops by in a pivotal role) navigate the facial and verbal expressions that would accompany such an encounter. For a low-budget indie that could have been pretentious and silly, this movie is so well-nuanced and executed it'll have you clamoring for more in its all-too-brief 84 minutes. GRADE: B+
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Motel room ignites past... January 16, 2005
This film took me two days to decide whether I liked it or not. When the final credits rolled, rather creatively at that, I couldn't figure out if this was pure brilliance on the part of Richard Linklater, or if it was nothing more than a group of friends trying to make an independent film. I could not decide. I even listened to the audio commentary of Ethan Hawke and Richard Linklater to see if I could capture their mood of the film to hopefully influence mine. While it was a very interesting audio commentary, it only provided more indecisiveness. After thinking about this for two days, I finally thought about it long enough and realized that if a film makes you think for two days after viewing, there has to be something spectacular about it, and there was. After two days I was able to put my finger on it. You had a very chilling story, a deeply disturbing confession, a powerhouse of acting by Robert Sean Leonard and Uma Thurman, and then there was Ethan Hawke. I put him aside because it was his acting, his portrayal of Vince that took away the inches of film that nearly made it into perfection. Let me explain.

This is a story, that on the surface seems small, is very large in structure. While its only setting is inside a motel room, the written word by Stephen Belber transforms this into a thrilling drama about past lives and future consequences. From the opening scene of Hawke throwing his beers into the motel door until the final dramatic conclusion where Vince is caught up in the web of his own lies, we never really know anything about him. Leonard talks briefly about what he is doing and why he is currently single, but we never really get to know Ethan's character. This is what muddled in my mind for those two days, I continually had to ask myself who Vince really was.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Claustrophobic Masterpiece August 28, 2003
Wow. Ok, so that is a pathetic way to start a movie review. But my god, what a movie.
Tape is directed by Richard Linklater (Before Sunrise, Waking Life) and stars Ethan Hawke, Robert Sean Leonard, and Uma Thurman. They are the only cast members of the film and the entire feature takes place in a single motel room.
The film was shot on digital and the opening sequences had me dreading yet another movie that is to showcase the direction and film quality with no real plot. I could not have been more wrong.
There are very few films that can be carried merely by the dialogue of the actors. Tape is one of them. As the credits started rolling, both my husband and I were sitting in awe with our mouths hanging open. And the amazing thing is, while I knew what was happening and even predicted the ending, I was still completely captivated as I watched it unravel.
It's very realistic in presentation. Though by the end, you still don't know what the true reality of the film was. But I think that's how it's supposed to be. Very reflective of life. The difference between true fact (if there is such a thing) and the perceptions of the people involved. The effect that intention has on a situation.
I highly recommend this movie, especially if you liked Before Sunrise and Waking Life. Though beyond being based on dialogue, Tape is in a league of its own.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A Reunion of Sorts July 20, 2003
It's not easy to make a film work when the whole thing takes place in a single room, but Linklater and Hawke make it happen in TAPE. It's the story of two old high school buddies who meet up in a hotel room and discuss their friendship and then their rivalry. Ethan Hawke is still angry that Robert Sean Leonard made some whoopee with Hawke's high school girlfriend, Uma Thurman and Hawke wants Leonard to admit that it was rape. They go so far as to invite Thurman to the hotel room and discuss it with her. Did he or didn't he?
Director Richard Linklater handles the material well, it was based on a stage play, and the actors hold their own. Hawke and Leonard, you'll remember were roommates in Dead Poet's Society and Thurman is married to the Hawke, so it is quite a labor of love among friends. I enjoyed the film all the way through but it isn't something I am likely to watch again. A nice one-time event.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
2.0 out of 5 stars Get on With It!
I know stalling was part of the storyline, but it got old. Really old. Ethan Hawke and Uma Thurman are great actors and do well in Tape. Read more
Published 6 months ago by Sasha
3.0 out of 5 stars if a criminal apologizes to a victim ...
I would recommend this movie to anyone who was interested in WW2 Axis apologists, deniers and defenders because curiously, the script gives the film's most important lines to the... Read more
Published 8 months ago by Dwight
5.0 out of 5 stars Makes you think!!!!!!
Wow I love how the actors put the story ! Very in the moment ,I was waiting for every next second,very very good movie I say watch it ,loved it.
Published 15 months ago by stella davis
2.0 out of 5 stars I gave it 5 minutes and it did not pull me in.
I can not say why I did not like the movie, because I only watched it for 5 minutes. I just did not like the feel of the movies, which is how I determine if I want to continue to... Read more
Published 17 months ago by devet
1.0 out of 5 stars who cares
I now understand what ails this generation of self esteem saturated young people.
Do they really think anyone cares about their past experiences.
Published 18 months ago by John Koch
3.0 out of 5 stars TAPE
This is a good movie with a worthwhile message, BUT it was annoying to watch, AND it was slow to develop. I almost turned it off several times, but stuck with it anyway. Read more
Published 18 months ago by Doctor Love
5.0 out of 5 stars GREAT MOVIE
If you like Richard Linklater and the cast of Tape you will enjoy this movie. The concept behind the movie keeps you watching.
Published 21 months ago by Sir Roberts
5.0 out of 5 stars Messes with your mind
Excellent, intelligent script, believable performances by 3 great actors, and a super interesting plot for anyone into in complicated relationships and what makes people tick. Read more
Published on October 8, 2012 by Violeta
3.0 out of 5 stars Pretty talky, no action
Don't view this expected much action. There is none, really. The entire film takes place inside a claustrophic cheesy motel room where Ethan Hawke and a high school buddy engage in... Read more
Published on December 23, 2011 by Brad Smith
5.0 out of 5 stars A Worthy Successor to Before Sunrise and Before Sunset
Richard Linklater's best films are mainly about intelligent conversations between interesting people. Tape is no exception. Read more
Published on August 6, 2010 by Zarathustra
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