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Set in the free-spirited San Francisco of 1985, Test lovingly portrays this exciting and harrowing era as young Frankie (dancer Scott Marlowe in a breakout acting debut) confronts the challenges of being an understudy in a modern dance company where he's taunted to "dance like a man!" Frankie embarks on a budding relationship with hunky Todd (Matthew Risch, HBO's "Looking"), a veteran dancer in the same company and the bad boy to Frankie's naiveté. As Frankie and Todd's friendship deepens, they navigate a world of risk - it's the early years of the… More

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Rotten Tomatoes Score: 89%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"Here is San Francisco as it was in its bohemian twilight, on the eve of catastrophe."
‑ Stephen Holden, New York Times
"Six years after his debut feature, The New Twenty, writer-director Chris Mason Johnson returns with a film that's less polished but braver."
‑ Chuck Wilson, Village Voice
"Writer/director Chris Mason Johnson does an impressive job mounting the film as a drama and very gradually allowing tension and paranoia to permeate."
‑ Kyle Turner, Under the Radar
"Adept as both timely character study and epochal drama, Test wonderfully manages fully formed humanism without sentimentality."
‑ Clayton Dillard, Slant Magazine
"Capture[s] the realities and rhythms of gay urban life without succumbing to the cliches that tend to plague queer cinema."
‑ Ryan Lattanzio, Thompson on Hollywood
""Test" is woefully inadequate and unnecessary when compared with "Parting Glances" (1986) and "Longtime Companion" (1989)."
‑ Martin Tsai, Los Angeles Times
"If Test can portray a dark time with an underlying sense of hope for the future, it's because almost thirty years later, looking back at 1985, it has no ambivalence about the progress that's occurred since."
‑ Tomas Hachard, NPR
"An observant slice of life from a near-mythical time and place."
‑ Kelly Vance, East Bay Express
"An unsentimental but well-crafted look at San Francisco in 1985, during the early days of an epidemic that was just beginning to be understood."
‑ Kate Erbland, The Dissolve
"While Test sidesteps perfection in several minor areas, it more than makes up for those weaknesses with the magnetic performance by Matthew Risch as a promiscuous fellow hoofer; the authenticity of the screenplay; and the choreography by Sidra Bell."
‑ Brandon Judell, CultureCatch
"Test is most effective when it prioritizes mood over psychological melodrama (which is often), but Johnson's approach is torn between Albert Camus and Brian De Palma."
‑ David Ehrlich, AV Club
"This is a creative, ambitious project that delivers, thanks in no small part to a director who knows about dance - and to a cast that can both dance and act."
‑ David Lewis, San Francisco Chronicle
"A potent and sexy drama. The film's period soundtrack offers a great nostalgia fix."
‑ Fr. Chris Carpenter, Movie Dearest
"...not a whole hell of a lot happens in writer-director Chris Mason Johnson's Test, which looks particularly thin after the recent HBO debut of Larry Kramer's AIDS-themed The Normal Heart."
‑ David Noh, Film Journal International
"The film pinpoints an important historical moment, and gives some sense of how bad even San Francisco could be for the gay community, less than 30 years ago."
‑ Rakesh Ramchurn, Independent
More reviews for Test on Rotten Tomatoes