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Writer and director Ruben Ostlund explores issues of race and class in contemporary Sweden in this drama inspired by a true story. Anas Abdirahman, Yannick Diakite, Abdiaziz Hilowle, Nana Manu and Kevin Vaz play a group of boys between the ages of 12 and 14 who come from African immigrant families; the boys are well aware of the stereotypes that follow black youth in a nation like Sweden, and they use them to intimidate other boys their age. The kids target three other boys -- two white (Sebastian Blyckert and Sebastian Hegmar), one Asian (John Ortiz) -- and with a variation on "Good Cop,… More
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 75%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"Wouldn't it be more effective if there was some range to the way the characters behaved, beyond just conforming to the roles of antagonist and antagonized?"
‑ Noel Murray, AV Club
"What a weird film."
‑ Charlotte O'Sullivan, This is London
"The truth-based story moves at a slow, nerve-paring speed: that is its genius."
‑ Nigel Andrews, Financial Times
"Childhood pain is perhaps best left forgotten-but director Ruben Ístlund prefers to rub your face in it."
‑ Chris Chang, Film Comment Magazine
"Play isn't much fun, but it does skewer the way in which modern selfishness creates social division."
‑ Eddie Harrison, The List
"We get what we're given in each frame, and are constantly made to guess what might be happening off-screen, why, and to whom."
‑ Tim Robey, Daily Telegraph
"It's audacious, unsettling and perceptive, even if ultimately it poses more questions than it answers."
‑ Siobhan Synnot, Scotsman
"Asks questions that are impolite in a progressive liberal society like Sweden"
‑ Marty Mapes, Movie Habit
"There's something uneasy about the knife-edge Ístlund is working on, and his film is overlong and inadequately focused."
‑ Philip French, Observer [UK]
"The message is laid on slow and thick, but it's no less powerful for it."
‑ Henry Barnes, Guardian
"An unsettling film that uses long takes and a still camera to capture real-life incidents that have caused huge controversy in Sweden."
‑ Patrick Peters, Empire Magazine
"Confronting the viewer with issues of race, it's an unsettling night at the movies, and yet absorbing, with a deliberately controversial script that tiptoes away from the inflammatory."
‑ Kent Turner,
More reviews for Play on Rotten Tomatoes