Biography / Drama / History / Thriller

Rotten Tomatoes Critics - Certified Fresh 81% · 187 reviews
Rotten Tomatoes Audience - Upright 87% · 1K ratings
IMDb Rating 7.4/10 10 85726 85.7K


Top cast

Taron Egerton as Henk Rogers
Toby Jones as Robert Stein
Roger Allam as Robert Maxwell
Ben Miles as Howard Lincoln
720p.WEB 1080p.WEB 2160p.WEB.x265
1.06 GB
English 2.0
23.976 fps
1 hr 57 min
Seeds 100+
2.17 GB
English 5.1
23.976 fps
1 hr 57 min
Seeds 100+
5.26 GB
English 5.1
23.976 fps
1 hr 57 min
Seeds 64

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by evanston_dad 8 / 10

The Movie I Didn't Know I Needed

"Tetris" is the movie I didn't even know I needed.

A ridiculously entertaining (and probably at least partially ridiculously fabricated) "based on true events" story about the fight between a desperate American video game creator and Soviet Russia over the rights to what would become one of the most famous games of all time.

I wasn't sure I was going to like it at first, as it has a very jokey, self-aware tone, as does Taron Egerton's performance. But both won me over quickly, and not long into the movie I was all in. Egerton is a ball of charisma in the lead, and he's easy to root for. The movie gets a little silly at the end (a car chase to the airport, really?) and seems to be taking historical accuracy lessons from "Argo," but by the time the end came around I didn't care. I've been complaining recently that entertaining movies for adults are in short supply, so I'm not going to quibble when one comes along.

Grade: A.

Reviewed by GusherPop 10 / 10

Apple TV+ has the best original movies

The protracted and complicated contractual wrangling over the rights to license an early video game in various territories might not seem like an obvious subject for a political thriller, but in this tall tale about the knotty negotiations to secure Tetris for Nintendo's Game Boy, the path is obstructed by treacherous KGB operatives, Machiavellian billionaires, blackmail and bribery. Director Jon S Baird (Stan & Ollie) harnesses the graphic style and plinky plonk music of 80s computer games to amusing effect, but ultimately, the film is as much to do with the reliably engaging Taron Egerton in the central role of Henk Rogers as it is with the wiretaps, honey traps and sneering Soviet security forces. Apple TV+'s Tetris is not a video game movie. Instead, it tells the story of the international battle to distribute and license the popular video game at the end of the Cold War. The opening sequence establishes the setting and sets the tone with 8-bit animation and music. These thematic elements create a sense of cohesion and tie the entire film together visually and musically. Henk Rogers is an everyday working man who discovers Tetris and begins a journey to secure the rights to the game for Japan. His actions demonstrate commitment, ambition, charm, and risk, such as using his house as collateral at the bank, sneaking into Nintendo headquarters, and illegally going to Moscow on a tourist visa. The movie is a stark contrast to the man who brought the game to life. The saddest thing about "Tetris" is that it is so repetitive that it will make you want to pick up your phone while it's playing on Apple TV. It is easy to see why someone wanted to tell this story, as American business is built on narratives of Davids beating Goliaths. Merging the two for a story in which an ambitious American had to use the tools of Capitalism to topple Communism sounds like an easy sell, but breaking it out into a drama or thriller requires a different set of rules. Despite Egerton's best efforts, the team never figured out how to tell the story. Tetris inventor Alexey Pajitnov is mostly reserved and cautious, wary of taking risks in Soviet Russia. Stereotypical wealthy father-son duo Robert and Kevin Maxwell see themselves at the top of the world, relentless in their pursuit for Tetris. Middleman and original licenser Robert Stein can be a doormat, but ultimately isn't afraid to do what he must to get what he wants. Egerton's Rogers is the protagonist we're meant to root for, but he isn't without fault. The conflict has layers but can feel repetitive, as the characters are literally fighting and racing to get the rights to a game. Stein says to Rogers after they meet for the first time in London, "It's complicated." The story of the fight for rights to Tetris is a unique look at the end of the Soviet Union and the Cold War. It is about taking chances, keeping promises, and giving credit where credit is due. The runtime of one hour and 57 minutes is long enough to feel like a game of Tetris, leaving us wondering how it all turns out.

Reviewed by MrDHWong 8 / 10

Shows us the quirky, crazy risks taken to distribute one the most popular video games of all time

"Tetris" is a biographical comedy thriller film based on the YouTube video "The Story of Tetris - Gaming Historian" by Norman Caruso. Directed by Jon S. Baird ("Filth", "Stan & Ollie") and starring Taron Egerton in the lead role, it shows us the quirky, crazy risks taken to distribute one the most popular video games of all time.

In 1988, Henk Rogers (Taron Egerton) works in marketing for the video game publishing company "Bullet-Proof Software". While attending the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, Henk becomes fascinated by a Soviet produced puzzle game known as "Tetris", which involves lining up falling blocks to make them disappear. Believing in the potential marketability of Tetris worldwide, Henk tries to acquire the game's distribution rights but soon learns that British video game distributor Mirrorsoft also has Tetris in their sights, with them already striking up an arcade deal with Sega. In an effort to outdo them, Henk decides to meet with Sega's biggest competitor Nintendo to arrange his own partnership. Henk is shown Nintendo's soon-to-be-released handheld console - the Game Boy, and after some persuasion, convinces the higher-ups to package the Game Boy with Tetris on release day. To acquire the necessary licencing rights, Henk travels to Moscow to meet with Tetris's creator Alexey Pajitnov (Nikita Efremov), where he quickly learns how dangerous it can be doing business in a communist country.

If you've ever played a modern puzzle video game, especially one that requires the player to make certain objects disappear, then there's a high chance it has taken some influence from Tetris, which until 2020 when it was surpassed by Minecraft, was the best selling video game in history. Its simple premise coupled with its addictive gameplay has helped Tetris endure on for over thirty years, remaining an important staple of gaming culture. On a personal front, I'll always have a soft spot for this falling block game, as it just so happens to be the very first video game I ever played, having received it along with a classic Game Boy on my fifth birthday. But what many may not be aware of is the complex history behind bringing this game to worldwide attention, and in this film, simply titled "Tetris", we get to see a fun, thrilling, yet obviously sensationalistic look at how all of this was accomplished.

Structuring itself like a Cold War thriller, the film immerses its audience the world of the 80s, a time where a businessman making deals with communist nations could very well mean the difference between life and death. In any other case, such deals may be something along the lines of a capitalist company wishing to opening up store in Moscow or even the freeing of a political prisoner to prevent a global crisis. What I'm sure most people would never expect to see is a deal involving a video game, an object of entertainment programmed by a single computer engineer working for the Soviet government. This is where the film deviates from your typical Cold War-related feature, in that while it takes the idea of a video game being its subject matter very seriously, it plays up the amount of obstacles in the main character's way for humorous effect. We watch Henk narrowly dodge being arrested by the KGB for owning an illegal copy of Tetris, which could end up with him being thrown in a gulag for a very long time. Additionally, we also see him struggling to communicate simple commands due to the presence of outdated technology like faxes and phones that cannot dial internationally. Yet all of this feels believable given the timeframe in which this story is set, which makes the film not only more compelling to watch but it also makes you appreciate what Henk went through to simply to get this game released to the entire world.

Under Jon S. Baird's direction, the film has an appropriately retro video game look to it. For instance, the film appears to be divided up into four "levels", which I assume is done to reflect the four blocks that are used in each Tetris piece. As the story progresses, we witness Henk "level up" as he drifts ever closer to sealing the deal to distribute Tetris to countries outside the Soviet Union. Also, we often get to see scenes transitioning from one to the next via 8 bit pixels layered over the live action establishing shots. These quirky creative decisions allow the audience to almost feel as though they are inside a video game and that they are watching events play out like challenges the player character must overcome in order to advance forward. Though some of these segments are clearly added for dramatic effect, like a fast-paced car chase for example, they certainly aren't any less entertaining. Another thing that Baird uses effectively is the clever weaving of the Tetris theme tune, the Russian folk song "Korobeiniki", into Lorne Balfe's musical score. Every now and then the tone of a scene is set by a remix of the familiar jingle, either with a subtle piano cue or a loud orchestral piece. It's a novel way to enhance a moment that may have otherwise been slow and boring, which is something I came to really enjoy about this film. No doubt many fans of Tetris will have the song stuck in their heads long after the film is finished, because I sure did.

As the lead character, Taron Egerton effectively carries the film throughout all of its ups and downs. Egerton's performance reminded me of somebody a young Leonardo DiCaprio would play, a quick thinking man whose confidence can help him smooth talk his way out of a difficult situation. It's easy to see Egerton is having great fun playing Henk not just as a businessman, but as someone who loves video games in general. You can't help but admire the way Henk seems so passionate about Tetris as a game and the positive effect it can have on people everywhere. In addition to this, you also have to respect how much he wants this game to succeed for those who helped create it, which is explored during his bonding scenes with Alexey Pajitnov. Though there is an initial culture clash between the two men, Henk and Alexey soon realise this game's true potential and work together to get it out there for the masses. These guys are the true heroes of this story, because if it weren't for them, the video game world would be a considerably less exciting place.

For a game focused entirely around lining up falling blocks, "Tetris" has certainly had an interesting history behind its inception. The very fact that this film even exists to tell such a story is truly a testament to its long-lasting impact on pop culture. Even if you aren't an avid gamer, you can still acknowledge this film for how it is able to combine elements of a Cold War thriller with that of the development of an iconic contribution to gaming as a whole. I can't help but wonder if there are more exciting stories worth telling about the creation of other popular video games, as I'd love to see them as well. If they all turn out as enjoyable as this one, then you can count me in.

I rate it 8/10.

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