We’ve all seen movies or television shows that are either exaggerations or uncomfortably accurate portrayals of life in corporate America. Boiler Room, Glengarry Glen Ross, and Wolf of Wall St. are some of my favorite films in this genre.
Broken Ceiling from director Adam Davis is a clever take on the heartless whip-cracking of “big business,” and the difficulties of trying to move up the corporate ladder when your best efforts aren’t enough.
The story follows executive Tyler Foster, who believes his two-year employment and loyalty with his company has warranted a promotion. After an awkward discussion between he and his abusive, condescending boss, Ken Wolfe (Regen Wilson), Tyler receives a very half-hearted promotion… with a lot of strings attached. A short time after his “promotion,” Wolfe assigns Tyler the role of mentor to the new employee, Garrett Jensen (Torrin Kitts). He then suspiciously commands Garrett to shadow Tyler’s every move, in an obvious attempt to play the men against each other.
All of this leads to an extremely important conference call between Tyler, Garrett, Wolfe, his assistant Angela, and a wealthy potential client that will have severe consequences to everyone’s job if this deal isn’t closed! But, things take a dramatic turn when several employees make a surprise move that has deep and dangerous repercussions for everyone involved.
“…the heartless whip-cracking of ‘big business,’ and the difficulties of trying to move up the corporate ladder…”
Normally in my reviews, I debate between giving spoilers or not. This is one of those times I don’t want to spoil the movie because I believe this film is worth watching.
If I’m being critical I will say that, though the performances are good, there are times when it does come off like more of a well-done college play. Even to the point where there are “awkward pauses” in some scenes that almost feel like someone forgot their line.
Though most of the acting was good, Torrin Kitt who plays the part of Garrett, felt like the weakest link in the chain. With that said, I believe with a few more projects under his belt, could be somebody with some staying power in Hollywood!
Some of the editing can get a bit sloppy at times, specifically during flashbacks, along with some poorly shot scenes. (This could just be my own nit-picky production issues. And though noticeable, I don’t believe will take you out of the film.)
“…a very smart mystery that will keep you invested…”
The biggest surprise came from the character of Angela played brilliantly by Karan Kendrick who you might remember from her roles in Hidden Figures and The Hunger Games. Her part in the conference call scenario will literally drop your jaw! And it’s where she completely steals the show.
Also, I don’t want to overlook Regen Wilson’s portrayal of the vile Ken Wolfe, who is the physical embodiment of everything you despise about corporate greed. In the era of Donald Trump, Ken Wolfe is the villain we want to hate!
I watch (and review) tons of independent movies. Broken Ceiling is one of the more satisfying I’ve seen in a very long time. Is it perfect? Far from it. But it is a very smart mystery that will keep you invested the full 90 minutes!
Broken Ceiling (2018) Directed and Written by Adam Davis. Starring Karan Kendrick, Rane Jameson, Regen Wilson, and Torrin Kitt
7 out of 10