Series 7: The Contenders
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The "reality TV" craze is taken to its final, logical extreme as six people hunt each other down in a small town for the benefit of network TV cameras in this darkly comic satire. "The Contenders" is a top-rated television game show in which six contestants are set loose in the same Connecticut community, with orders to kill or be killed; the last of the six who is still alive is declared the winner. As "The Contenders" goes into its seventh season, Dawn (Brooke Smith) is a two-time champion who is hoping to hold on to her title, despite the fact that she's… More
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 70%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"A gritty, disturbing and very funny satire that points the finger as much at its audience as those who make 'reality TV.'"
‑ John Zebrowski, Seattle Times
"'Reality' notwithstanding, the performances in this film are uniformly good, and Brooke Smith as Dawn is better than that."
‑ Stanley Kauffmann, The New Republic
"...takes an intriguing topic but essentially beats it to death over the course of about 90 minutes..."
‑ David Nusair, Reel Film Reviews
"Kill-or-be-killed reality-TV satire is uneven -- and unforgettable."
‑ James Rocchi, Netflix
"Amidst the dry humour, the film is chilling, because it rings far too true."
‑ Ian Waldron-Mantgani, UK Critic
‑ Richard Schickel, TIME Magazine
"It's as funny as you could reasonably expect without Christopher Guest being involved in the project."
‑ Desson Thomson, Washington Post
"Frazzled and edgy, Smith invests Dawn with the required measure of world-weariness and, crucially, she never succumbs to the temptation to slide into flippant, mocking territory."
‑ Tom Grealis, RTE Interactive (Dublin, Ireland)
"Suffers from the same problems that the "reality" television shows it satires suffer from."
‑ Michael W. Phillips, Jr., Goatdog's Movies
"A satisfyingly nasty piece of work so black and cruel it's often more sick than funny."
‑ Sean Axmaker, Seattle Post-Intelligencer
"Series 7 is clever, hip filmmaking, admirable for its tenacious faithfulness to the world it creates."
‑ Louis B. Parks, Houston Chronicle
"It really is the next logical step in reality TV . . . kill them all, and let the Nielsons sort 'em out."
‑ Brian Mckay,
"Absolutely relentless in its bashing of the American public and what we consider entertainment."
‑ John Venable,
"Will have a short shelf life, and just as reality TV offers instant-gratification entertainment, The Contenders offers instant-gratification satire."
‑ Mark Dujsik, Mark Reviews Movies
"Ends up straddling an uneasy divide between genuinely edgy artistry and bluntly indulgent bluster, leaving us uncertain whether it's the television show portrayed or the film itself that's the real turn-off."
‑ Mark Kermode, Sight and Sound
More reviews for Series 7: The Contenders on Rotten Tomatoes