User Reviews (34)

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  • I originally rented this direct-to-video film because it stars one of my favorite actors (Adrian Paul). I expected this cheesy boring film that would be average. Instead what I found was a movie that kept me guessing until the very end. The film has a superb ending and good acting all the way around. Sarah Novak is a fan of riddles. When she stumbles across a game where riddle after riddle are solved for fun, she gets herself in over her head when the game turns deadly. The 'Nemesis Game' as it comes to be called is supposed to end with one final riddle. If the player gets the riddle correct and writes the answer on the wall, then they are shown 'the design' of the game; a design that is supposed to make them insane. I know, I know the story sounds weird and stupid. But I assure you this is a fabulous film. It opens kind of slow but you must give it a chance to get going. Once it does, it doesn't let go. This very unique plot and inventive ending leave you wanting to know more of story at the end. At the end it leaves you saying 'wow.' This film is highly recommended.
  • This is one of the movies that keeps you glued to your seat till the end by weaving too many plot webs but in the end fails miserably to provide some interesting climax. 'Nemesis Game' has a decent basic plot, taut suspense, an interesting central character... but the ending is just meaningless and thus making the whole effort very disappointing. The movie somehow reminded me of the Jude Law starred 'Existenz' but far less efficient in making a story come around. Director Jesse Warn tries hard to give it a cult look, with appropriate shooting locations, good background music,decent script etc and is aided by nice performance by Carly Pope. Yes, the riddles themselves sometimes looked easy, sometimes bizarre which leaves a mixed impression, but they were not enough to answer all the incidents happening in the film. The ending is just too 'cheap' to provide the answers. If somehow that means to keep the viewer occupied with it after watching the film, that's the big mistake. Because without good climax, any such film is instantly forgettable.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    The idea of this film is extremely clever which I love. I like films that make you think and confuse you which this does. So I was enjoying the film throughout. Knowing it was roughly 90 mins long I found myself watching the clock thinking "Hey! There isn't much time to tie up all these loose ends! Hurry Up Man!" I was so looking forward to the ending but then... there wasn't one. It was like they ran out of funding and then decided to end the film with framed narratives. HUGELY DISAPPOINTING! Don't get me wrong. You need to watch this movie just so you get what I am talking about but the bottom line is: All the things that are interesting in the film, and all the things that you can;t wait to come together somewhere, Are ruined by the fact that they don't. You expect so much from the ideas and concepts that your just tearing your hair out screaming "What? Where's the rest of the film???"
  • Nemesis Game is a mind-bending film filled with riddles, death, mystery, and philosophy. In it's simplest sense the film is about seeking answers and what happens when you've finally found them all. The search for answers leads Sarah Novak down a path that gets darker as it gets more compelling. The final answer seems more dangerous than it is worth, yet Sarah is so close to understanding it all. What would you do if you were offered the ability to finally make sense of the chaos of life?

    The movie was written and directed by Jesse Warn. While this was Warn's first feature length film, the movie doesn't reflect that at all, but instead shows polish and an artistic approach to telling the story. Carly Pope was powerful in the lead role and showed a depth of complexity that was fascinating to watch. I would definitely love to see more of her work.

    Being based on riddles, this is a very cerebral movie. It's that's your thing, as it is mine, then I totally recommend seeing Nemesis Game. Rating: 4.5/5
  • Warning: Spoilers
    (This commentary entails revealing parts about the film or Spoilers)

    I though that this movie was a very unassuming and well-done suspense and drama rolled into one. (Pun intended) It had great acting the characters didn't try to oversell their persona like perhaps would be done on a more financially equipped film but on the same note they did just open with the plot like one would assume a B rated movie would.

    you definitely wanted to keep watching and find out how the loose melange of subplots would unite, and find out what precisely was the meaning of The 'Design'. Unfortunately you don't the end seems to be more complicated than when you began watching. It wasn't as if the end were open to interpretation. It just simply ended at an arbitrary point. Your left thinking I did all that work for nothing. Don't misinterpret me, you did work solving puzzles and jumping over plot holes but it wasn't laborious.

    It was a good movie but I don't think I could be prevailed upon to watch it again one time is enough. You are not going to understand it any more if you watched it twice.
  • It could be easy to complain about the quality of this movie (you don't have to throw cartloads of money at a movie to make it good, nor will it guarantee that it is worth watching) but I think that is totally missing the point. If your expecting fast cars, T&A or a movie that will spell itself out for you then don't watch this, you'll be disappointed and dumbfounded.

    This movie was thoroughly enjoyable, kept us on the edge of our seats and made us really think. The writer obviously put a lot of thought and research behind this movie and it shows through the end, just remember to keep an open mind.

    Note: the school scenes were all filmed at McMaster University and most of the rest was done in Toronto.
  • PORGISH12 July 2006
    What can I say? Not as bad as many here have made it out to be. The only reason I even watched this film that I had previously never heard of before, was strictly for IAN McSHANE.

    I was not disappointed in the least. IAN McSHANE was absolutely brilliant and brings an amazing subtlety to his role. He's always great to watch and for my money... an extremely underused actor.

    As for the rest of the film.... Every other actor in the movie delivered strong, solid performances. These people certainly weren't being paid huge amounts of cash for their participation (as this was a fairly low budget film) but this did not mean that any of them "mailed" their appearances in. Everyone was convincing and compelling with the parts given to them.

    I was even pleasantly surprised at ADRIAN PAUL's performance though I must admit I have only ever seen him in the HIGHLANDER Television series before this movie.

    The plot was well paced and the storyline intriguing and much like real life, not everything ends up tied in a nice neat little package for you at the end of the film. Anybody who expected a clear-cut, by-the-numbers, connect the dots "conclusion" or "answer" at the end of the movie... CLEARLY wasn't watching the film closely enough! This film is not going to tell you what the "meaning of life" is! The idea is that after seeing the film, you might go and discuss the unanswered questions with your friends over a coffee. I certainly did.

    No car chases... No explosions... No bar room brawls.... (sounds pretty dull, huh?) But the reality is that I was completely absorbed by the film and it's just a well written little piece with an interesting hook and solid character performances by all parties involved.

    ****** WARNING...****** If you're the kind of person who dislikes movies that dangle an enormous "question" as the central engine of the story and then end the movie without answering that particular question directly...

  • =G=16 May 2004
    "The Nemesis Game" tells of a college student, Sara (Pope), who plays a game of riddles but who can't seem to solve the riddle of her life. The film develops a pair of wispy, marginally intriguing, and converging plot lines; Sara and her riddle game and her father, a cop, and his interrogation of a murder suspect. However, as the story wears on it become more convoluted in its attempt to keep the intrigue going and more muddled in its ability to resolve the issues raised. The result is a frustrating mess with paper thin characters which wallows in it own sense of self importance while failing to deliver anything of substance finally ending with an epilogue much like the punch line of a shaggy dog story. Passable stuff only for the most hard up couch potato. (C)
  • A raw edgy thriller that aimed for great philosophical heights it couldn't quite attain. I did still enjoy the film immensely. It had great elements of suspense, leaving me with that delightful spine chill I expect from thrillers, and it achieved this purely psychologically, without resorting to escalating blood and gore. The soundtrack and setting added to the suspense perfectly. At times, it was a bit unpolished, particularly the acting, and character development. It could only have been a better film if we had known more about the nightmares from the past the characters see when they close their eyes, and why they felt this desperate need to seek the "answer" that is so integral to the storyline. After all they seemed to continue to seek it, despite knowing or at least having an inkling of what might happen when they found it. I would recommend seeing this film if you are prepared to look beyond the grit to see the potential of a diamond in the rough.
  • I saw the movie while I was in a class a few years back in high school. I thought it was a thought provoking movie that made you want to look into the power behind riddles. I think the type of people that wouldn't like this movie would be those who don't like solving things, or those who get frustrated when they can't solve riddles. its a good movie, based on a true story that happened in my home town of Toronto, Ontario. so if u want a real record of the things that happen in the alleys there, watch this movie. And for those who only watch movies to point out plot holes and character flaws, realize that in real life, this same stuff does happen. but thats all I want to say on that. The riddles are good, some are hard, some are not. But the movie also leaves you wanting more, more riddles, more explanation, just plainly, more. Something more I want to add, is that the ideas within this movie, the underground riddle world, does exist, but there is a lot more to it. To find it, you can not look for it. To never look for it, would be no way to find it. Leave your mark, and it will find you.
  • This movie tries to be a clever one but it does this by not making any sense at all.

    This is really one pointless movie to watch because it just isn't heading anywhere with its story. There is no tension or mystery because everything in this movie seems so incredibly stupid and pointless. The entire idea behind the concept of this movie is that once you have solved enough certain riddles you will get to see the entire pattern and meaning of life. Guess this is something that could had still worked out, if the movie had only truly been a clever one.

    The riddles in this movie instead feel so utterly pointless and on top of that are also quite stupid ones. Further more it really doesn't become apparent in this movie how solving these riddles will get you anywhere. OK so you read a name when you write down a sentence on a piece of paper and hold it against a mirror. what? Seriously, this stuff is going nowhere and in the long run nothing in it makes really sense, since the movie simply doesn't bother to explain very much. It just thinks that it's enough to confuse its viewer and to present it with difficult riddles, that however serve no purpose for the movie at all it seems because the movie really doesn't provide much back-story for anything at all.

    It's a real problem with this movie that it sees itself as a clever one. It takes itself very serious, which just seemed like a stupid move, considering its simplistic story. It also makes all of the actions from the characters seem like very unlikely ones. Everybody in this movie is behaving as if solving some riddles written on a wall somewhere is the most important thing in the world and needs to get done, regardless of any danger or foul play involved with it.

    Yes, I really hated this movie because of its approach and story. I just didn't got anything out of this movie while watching. It would had been better, or at least more interesting, to me if the movie actually had a a big mystery to be solved in it, like the disappearances of something or someone or a murderer that needs to be stopped. That way the story the story and all of its riddles could had more of served a purpose for the entire movie. Instead now the movie seems like a real pointless one but above all things also a terribly uninteresting one.

    Yes, the movie definitely did still showed some potential but it basically all gets wasted as the movie moves along, despite the actor's hard efforts to still make something good out of it all.

    Nothing interesting, tense or mysterious to be found here. Just some pointless, simplistic drivel about solving some silly riddles.

  • Warning: Spoilers
    This movie had a very unique effect on me: it stalled my realization that this movie REALLY sucks! It is disguised as a "thinker's film" in the likes of Memento and other jewels like that, but at the end, and even after a few minutes, you come to realize that this is nothing but utter pretentious cr4p. Probably written by some collage student with friends to compassionate to tell him that his writing sucks. The whole idea is … I don't even know if it tried to scratch on the supernatural, or they want us to believe that because someone fills your mind (a very weak one, btw) with stupid "riddles", the kind you learn on elementary school recess, you suddenly come to the "one truth" about everything, then you have to kill someone and confess…. !!! What? How, what, why, WHY? Is just like saying that to make a cake, just throw a bunch of ingredients, and add water… forgot about cooking it? I guess these guys forgot to, not explain, but present the mechanism of WHY was this happening? You have to do that when you present a story which normal, everyday acts (lie solving riddle rhymes) start to have an abnormal effect on people. Acting was horrible, with that girl always trying to look cute at the camera, and the guy from Highlanders, the series, acting up like the though heavy metal record store (yeah, they're all real though s-o-b's). The "menacing" atmosphere, with the "oh-so-clever" riddles (enter the 60's series of Batman and Robin, with guest appearance of The Riddle) and the crazies who claim to have "the knowledge" behind that smirk on their faces… just horrible, HORRIBLE.

    I'm usually very partial about low budget movies, and tend to root for the underdog by giving them more praise than they may deserve, in lieu of their constrictions, you know, but this is just an ugly excuse for a movie that will keep you wanting to be good for an hour and a half, and at the end you will just lament that you fell for it.
  • lilpeachgrl036 February 2005
    This movie is like a philosophical thing, and could be psychological as well. Many people after seeing the movie could really hate it or totally love it. It is a challenge to the audience. You either get it or not. Storyline is complex but overall is quite interesting and different from most movie cliché or storyline.

    I was pretty disappointed by the ending but in a way is a good ending. And if every movie solve everything for you or make a typical ending, than that would be boring.

    Every movie has its flaws depending on how you look at it. The character I think did a good job, not bad. Story does get confusing if you don't play close attention. I suggest re watch it.
  • balgod920 August 2003
    this film was probably the best "scary film" i've seen in years. chilling might be a more accurate description. the ending was unexpected and therefore took me by surprise. if it has any flaw it would be the overuse of the whole meaning of life concept. since noone truly knows that answer, you definitely sail into murky waters when you incorporate that concept into a movie. put that aside and the movie is quite enjoyable. carly pope should emerge as one of the next bright young stars in the film industry. the rest of the cast were somewhat shaky, however since the focus was on sara novak (carly pope), her performance anchored the movie. the, at times poor acting abilities of her costars were not an issue since it was not their performances that fuelled this movie. (thankfully). watch this movie you should enjoy it.

  • Ok.. here's a short synopsis of the movie : Sara Novak (Carly Pope) is a college girl who's into riddles. She 'plays' riddle games with Vern (Adrian Paul), a shopkeeper, in a scavenger hunt type thing, where solving one riddle will lead to another one. But both of them (separately) get an 'invitation' to play a series of riddles, (usually spray painted on subways for Sara, and on his shop windows/websites for Adrian) which, once solved will reveal the 'design' supposedly explaining why things in life are the way they are i.e. the meaning of life. There are a couple of murders along the way and the whole thing meanders to a climax which is more predictable than my mother-in-law's christmas dinner. Of course by this time, you are so numb thanks to the insipid acting and the stupid plot, that you have lost the will to live and dont care anymore. I have seen a lot of silly movies in my life (unfortunately) and this one deserves to be right on top of the list with the others. The riddles are so ridiculous that even my 5 year-old nephew could have solved them after taking a look. What I would indeed like to know who finances these things. I have a couple of movie ideas about talking chipmunks involved in industrial espionage that I'd like to run past them. In short : Do not watch this movie at all costs!!
  • I have seen many many movies and this just totally blew my mind. The trauma, the suspense is just amazing. I ended so wound up in the psychological fear and Philosophy of it, and relating it to reality. Movies that play and challenge your mind are movies you don't forget, those that make you doubt your reality. A problem could be the quality, but that doesn't bring down the essence of the movie.

    The idea it self is brilliant and the ending leaves you just completely shocked and with the question for you to seek the answer. I just totally loved it! So many clues and twitches and puzzles. One of the best movies ever, hands down.
  • At the start of the movie, Det. Jeff Novak is trying to get Emily Gray, who did time for trying to drown a boy, to confess to another crime. All she will do is talk in riddles.

    After that, we see Dennis and Vern, two weeks earlier, talking about the meaning of life in Vern's store, which sells merchandise that appeals to heavy metal and alternative rock fans.

    Then we see a like-new 1966 Ford pickup being driven through the dark, wet streets of an unidentified large city (Toronto University is mentioned). Sara is then given the first of several clues that she needs to solve a mystery (while being timed) as she explores a section of town she probably shouldn't be in after dark.

    Sara, the detective's daughter, is in college, but her father feels she is not reaching her potential. Jeremy and Marie are in her philosophy class. Jeremy would like to date Sara, but she would rather not. Jeremy is persistent, and he says he knows her secret--she drives to school but takes the subway home.

    When she gets on the subway, Sara sees riddles written in blue, mostly on the walls. The mystery author of the riddles is behaving in the same way as the mythological character Nemesis (not the Nemesis of Greek mythology, though--she is female, and the pictures and stories in this movie seem to be of a man; to the ancient Greeks, The Sphinx was responsible for riddles).

    The game becomes a life-and-death situation after a murder.

    This movie is darker than what I generally would watch. Sara was appealing, though, and sort of pretty. My biggest incentive to watch was Jay Baruchel, who was a teenage lawyer in "Just Legal", a fine series not given enough of a chance. I liked him better on the TV series, but that doesn't mean he wasn't good here. I thought most of the acting was well done, and this seemed intelligently written, even if the myth of Nemesis seemed to be invented. at least I didn't find anything on this character.

    The mystery was interesting, though the ending was somewhat shocking. There was more tension than real excitement. There wasn't too much violence.

    It wasn't my taste, but it should appeal to those who like darker movies.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    This movie has the atmosphere, music and light of something in between Signs, 6th sense, Seven. Mystery, riddles, questions, death, murder.

    It nevers bores you for a second and keeps on going like a book, that you don't want to close before you've read it completely. [POSSIBLE SPOILER]

    At the end you'd expect an explanation of why the riddles, why the deaths, why this trouble and perhaps even the answer to the question in this movie: the reason to live. That spoiled my feelings about this movie; a definite open end, no understanding whatsoever, just the knowledge of who's behind all this. If you don't expect much of the plot, perhaps it won't disappoint.
  • If you enjoy riddles and suspense, you will enjoy this movie. Truth be told it was mostly the Adrian Paul part that got me to pick it up, I knew almost nothing about the movie beforehand. Plot is: Sarah (Carly Pope), a student of philosophy and metaphysics, starts playing a mysterious riddle game trying to figure out "the reason" and gets involved in "the game" by solving riddles. Vern (Adrian Paul) is a shop owner, also a riddle fanatic, and also gets entangled in the game. Myth has it that if you solve the game, the meaning of existence (referred to as "The Design") is revealed. Brendan Fehr's character is a "village idiot" type hanging around the shop who turns out to be more than he seems. All in all, I thought the movie was pretty well done. And it's definitely an original concept, a rare find these days! I personally happen to like riddles and puns, so while most of them weren't very difficult, it was still a fun movie. Well worth the rental.

    So, if you haven't seen it -- get it! :-D
  • I saw the movie yesterday and I must say that I was impressed by the deep plot and twisted guideline. In fact you don't know the outcome 'till the last and it was so much unexpected ... very interresting movie. My recommendation - you must it !!
  • Warning: Spoilers
    I think the biggest problem with this movie is it seems to want you think that this is a deep movie, when in reality it is just a lazy, poorly developed movie. The acting is average and the characters aren't particularly compelling and fairly forgettable. There's a girl who lost her mother in a car accident who after exploring a hobby of subway riddle solving, finds herself in the midst of some sort of riddle solving cult and gets herself killed.

    I'm not sure what the makers were expecting, for me to be watching this with a notebook and jotting down notes to piece this story together. I did find myself rewinding parts of the movie, not for this reason, but because some parts were barely audible. The crazy cult leader lady I could barely hear what she was saying. I understand they want to make it sound dramatic when she tells the line about it all being a part of the design, but the mixing job on this was less than stellar.

    I'm not sure what philosophical point they were trying to make or even if there was one to be made. Are they advocating some sort of predetermined fatalism? Are they all deranged nihilists?

    If you are looking for a deep intellectual movie, this is not the movie for you. If you are looking for a movie for people who think they know a deep intellectual movie then maybe you might enjoy this one.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    The genre thriller re-invented for the story I think, somehow linked entirely to the very games they played. In the end, I still had the feeling of being fooled the same way that Sara was caught in the thriller that did not seem like a thriller, in a thoughtful, muted hurt youth silenced and torn by the questions, silently scavenged by a great conspiracy, or maybe the opposite. Or was it a mafia, a violent cult, a militaristic cult teaching on you-tube, be it the movie zeitgeist (yes, it seemed to have a reference or a trailer inside here) or another type of teaching showing you that the power of cults is not the apparent, but the small friendly answers of 'love' the new 'fathers' or 'mothers' or 'brothers' give you, and that is the magic of this movie. It shows the irrational young mind bent towards finding too easy answers, owned by somebody else. It shows the way of death into a cult, and that it might be impossible to come out - even if you decided to quit. But there is no way to quit, because this is your first world, and there are no other world-views to escape to.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    Set mostly in the back streets of Toronto NG is a dark , mysterious journey that takes the viewer into the minds of a young man and woman ( Vern and Sarah ) , each of whom has a fascination with riddles and a disastrous incident in their past . Fine dialogue and first-rate casting propel this low key, noirish journey into the girl's search for the meaning behind the word puzzles that keep appearing in her life. Aided by her , anything but enthusiastic, male friend, the two of them reach the end of their quest , but with a price to be paid. The film never intends to answer all of its mysteries , but does an excellent job in the exposition of several plot twists
  • Four things intrigued me as to this film - firstly, it stars Carly Pope (of "Popular" fame), who is always a pleasure to watch. Secdonly, it features brilliant New Zealand actress Rena Owen. Thirdly, it is filmed in association with the New Zealand Film Commission. Fourthly, a friend recommended it to me. However, I was utterly disappointed. The whole storyline is absurd and complicated, with very little resolution. Pope's acting is fine, but Owen is unfortunately under-used. The other actors and actresses are all okay, but I am unfamiliar with them all. Aside from the nice riddles which are littered throughout the movie (and Pope and Owen), this film isn't very good. So the moral of the story is...don't watch it unless you really want to.
  • misterx1323 October 2003
    To summerize this movie: nice for TV but too small for the theatre. I enjoyed watching this movie at home but I wont watch it a second time. The concept is good, but what ends up in the movie is just a summary. The end had a 'nice' twist but is still unsatisfying. Maybe it was the intention of the director but it wasn't worked out like a it should be. But then again, it's an OK kind of movie.
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