Seeking out the

5000 greatest films

in a century of cinema


Directed by Tina Satter
Produced by Riva Marker, Noah Stahl, Brad Becker-Parton, and Greg Nobile
Screenplay by Tina Satter and James Paul Dallas Based on the play Is This a Room by Tina Satter
With: Sydney Sweeney, Josh Hamilton, Marchánt Davis, Benny Elledge, and John Way
Cinematography: Paul Yee
Editing: Jennifer Vecchiarello and Ron Dulin
Music: Nathan Micay
Runtime: 83 min
Release Date: 29 May 2023
Aspect Ratio: 2.00 : 1
Color: Color
Twitter Capsule:

Tina Satter adapts her stage play Is This a Room into a suspenseful single-location three-hander starring Sydney Sweeney, Josh Hamilton, and Marchánt Davis. The play is based on the FBI interrogation of American intelligence leaker Reality Winner, with all of the dialogue taken verbatim from the transcript. The film opens the play up slightly and stages the events in and around the titular character's home. The three leads and the additional FBI agents on site all deliver the dialogue exactly as recorded on the day, including every pause, false start, and mispronunciation. How redacted words and sentences are represented is even more dramatic than how they were handled on stage. Satter and co-screenwriter James Paul Dallas take full advantage of the limitations of time and space, and their strict adherence to the transcript gives the proceedings a tension that would never be present otherwise. Reality never feels gimmicky; it's an 82-minute reminder to never talk to the cops (or the feds) without first calling a lawyer.