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In a state-of-the-art penitentiary run by brilliant visionary Steve Abnesti (Chris Hemsworth), inmates wear a surgically attached device that administers dosages of mind-altering drugs in exchange for commuted sentences. There are no bars, no cells, or orange jumpsuits. In Spiderhead, incarcerated volunteers are free to be themselves. Until they’re not. At times, they’re a better version. Need to lighten up? There’s a drug for that. At a loss for words? There’s a drug for that, too. But when two subjects, Jeff (Miles Teller) and Lizzy (Jurnee Smollett), form a connection, their path to redemption take a twistier turn, as Abnesti’s experiments start to push the limits of free will altogether. Based on The New Yorker short story by George Saunders, SPIDERHEAD is a genre-bending and darkly funny psychological thriller directed by Joseph Kosinski (TRON: Legacy, Top Gun: Maverick) and written by Rhett Reese & Paul Wernick (Deadpool, Zombieland).


  • Chris Hemsworth
  • Miles Teller

Atom User Reviews

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Jun 20, 2022

Spiderhead was adapted from a short story by George Saunders, but halfheartedly and with decidedly less wit.

Metacritic review by K. Austin Collins
K. Austin Collins
Rolling Stone
Jun 17, 2022

It’s enjoyably acted and astutely put together, with plot details that bleed out at just the right speed. But it lacks the thrilling existential dizziness and lingering chill of Alex Garland’s Ex Machina, to which it owes a considerable and obvious debt: in fact, it’s essentially the Ex Machina you can follow while making cups of tea and checking your phone, which may be all that Netflix wanted from it.

Metacritic review by Robbie Collin
Robbie Collin
The Telegraph
Jun 17, 2022

The film morphs into an action thriller in the final act, but by then I’d lost interest. It didn’t feel thrilling, it felt like a way to bring some resolution to a story that never quite finds its reason for existing.

Vince Mancini