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Movie Reviews

Another Take: ‘The Beta Test’ is a clever and hilarious look at workplace exploitation

Stylishly chaotic and clever

Jim Cummings stars in The Beta Test, which has been circulating at this year’s film festivals. From Tribeca in New York to Austin’s Fantastic Fest, The Beta Test has been leaving an impression on filmgoers and critics alike. Written and directed by Jim Cummings and PJ McCabe, The Beta Test takes viewers down the rabbit hole of lies, sex, marketing, and the Hollywood industry. 

Cummings plays Jordan, a fast talking Hollywood agent, who admittedly puts on a façade in order to play the game. Tension mounts for Jordan as he works to secure a big client and plan a wedding. Jordan, under immense stress, finds himself pulled into a world of anonymous sex and intrigue. Jordan’s escapism quickly overtakes him. 

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Cummings is a stellar actor whose deadpan delivery amplifies every comedic scene while at the same time driving tension and chaos on the screen. Cummings and McCabe’s writing is clever and engaging. The story is original and intense. Part comedy and part film noir, The Beta Test is thought provoking and sincere. Some dialogue may seem absurd and strange, but the realism of it is as unsettling as it is hilarious. Cummings and McCabe use a lot of interesting visuals and sounds when creating the ambience for The Beta Test. The score plays an important role in setting the tone while revolving camera angles heighten the stress of the situation. 

The Beta Test is more than a story of rich guys in suits. The film takes a look at the cost of success. How much of a person’s identity is sold when trying to sell others? Who do we become when we are looking to impress? The Beta Test takes a raw look at not only Hollywood, but at the job industry as a whole.   Stylish directing and spectacular performances make this film an instant classic.

The Beta Test opens in select theaters and on digital and VOD November 5

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