11 x 11 – Room Movie Review

By Kellen Rikhoff

11 x 11

Director Lenny Abrahamson creates a world with four walls that is narrated by a five-year old boy, Jack (Jacob Tremblay), shows the complexities and questions that come with growing up. Surprisingly and impressively, he is able to do all of this primarily through Jack’s narration, one location, and one special moment when Jack breaks free of his captor, Old Nick (Sean Bridgers) in Room.

The movie opens with Jack’s Ma (Brie Larson) telling him about how she was alone in the room until he “zoomed down from heaven” to save her. This is just the first of the effective examples of Jack’s world being so sheltered. The film continues to illustrate through different ways how Ma is protecting her son from the mysteriously evil world they inhabit.

Additionally, Jack’s limited awareness and naïve perception makes him the perfect narrator for illuminating the struggles and questions that arise as he matures. Abrahamson forces the audience to perceive this universal struggle through this young boy. When Ma tells Jack that he has zoomed down from heaven, she is referring to a small window in the ceiling. This view of the sky is the only thing that Jack can see of the outside world. The sky is unmistakably a symbol for the unknown of the larger world, but it is also a symbol of hope.


Tremblay is truly remarkable in his role, instilling his character with charisma, acumen, and bravery. Jack lives in a world where the items that we commonly know as tools or decorations are considered friends. Since Jack has no social contact besides his “friends,” Old Nick, and Ma, the littlest things in his life mean a tremendous amount to him. Thus, he and Ma mean absolutely everything to each other. Their relationship is crucial to their existence, which is really the most captivating part of the entire film. Viewers are torn as well, feeling agony for the son because his interpretation of reality is so warped while the mom is just trying to protect him, knowing her life will most likely end in her dying.

As the film continues, Old Nick is being forced to move. Ma quickly concludes that he will most likely kill her and Jack, so she plans an escape for her son. Over the course of just a few days, she tries to teach him all that he needs to know about how to escape the room along with the mysteries of the outside world. As Old Nick’s departure is looming, Abrahamson perfectly builds the tension as Ma and Jack prepare for the escape.

Jack’s planned escape is the most powerful, suspenseful, and memorable scene of the of the film. To see a similar viewpoint, read David Edelstein’s review on Vulture.



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13 Responses to 11 x 11 – Room Movie Review

  1. mediaphiles says:

    Your movie review is quite compelling! I haven’t seen this film but I have heard from multiple people that its a movie worth seeing. Your review not only describes the plot, it also allows the reader to feel emotion for the characters, especially Jack. I will definitely plan on watching this!
    -Allie Kleinman

  2. mediaphiles says:

    I love the point of view you take on this movie. It truly sounds like a captivating story that will have any viewer on the edge of their seats. Your review sheds some insight into the interesting type of narration the director chooses to employ, without giving too much of the plot away. I look forward to watching this movie someday!
    -Courteney Case

  3. mediaphiles says:

    You do a really good job of including the discussion about Jack’s perspective as a narrator. It’s always super important to establish who/what is giving the viewer our information within a film and what biases they may have. Haven’t seen the movie myself but after this review, I definitely will


  4. mediaphiles says:

    I really enjoyed this movie, and your review. I wonder though what you think of the ending of the film? As someone who both read the book and saw the movie, I hoped to hear more about the story and their life post Room. The narrative from Jack’s perspective is even more powerful once in the real world, and I would have enjoyed seeing more. -Katie Nelson

  5. I think there is always something really captivating about young male characters having to find their way in the world. I haven’t seen this one yet, but I can’t help but compare Jack’s character to Haley Joel Osment’s role in Spielberg’s A.I. (based on the description you give). Good call on clarifying the title and narrator in your first paragraph — for someone who hasn’t seen it, the unconventional title style provokes an immediate question (which you immediately answer).

  6. mediaphiles says:

    I have never seen this movie, but after reading your review, I definitely want to watch it! I think the narration by a little boy is a unique directorial choice, and I love how you reference his cute yet significant line “zoomed down from heaven.” You manage to offer a in-depth review of the movie without giving away all of the plot–which I appreciate.

    -Meg Schmit

  7. mediaphiles says:

    I also have never seen this movie, but now want to! It’s incredible that a child actor can deliver such a performance.

    “The sky is unmistakably a symbol for the unknown of the larger world, but it is also a symbol of hope.” – Awesome analysis

    Matt M

  8. mediaphiles says:

    I incompletely agree that Tremblay stole the show and stole my heart. The unique perspective of this horrible situation, seen through the eyes of the child is what makes this movie so compelling and bearable to watch because I don’t think I would have been able to watch the whole thing without Jack’s naive perception of the world. Jack’s relationship with Ma is truly magical and made this film incredibly memorable for me.

  9. mediaphiles says:

    The escape scene was definitely one of the most compelling movie scenes to come out in the past year. I had read the book, and yet I was filled with immense dread, almost jumping out of my seat as he get’s his first view of the sky from the back of the truck. It was not until he was safely in the hospital that I realized I could start breathing again!
    –A.P. Brothers

  10. mediaphiles says:

    This was one of my favorite films from last year. I thought both Larson’s and Tremblay’s performances were amazing. Also I agree that the escape is incredible in both its emotion and suspense.

    -Walker Rise

  11. Stephanie Albrecht says:

    I wasn’t sure how I’d feel about this movie but ended up loving it. I liked how you talked about the narration done by Jack and the effect that it has on the film and the audience. It’s truly a remarkable film and your review captured just that! – Steph Albrecht

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