Silk Road is based on a true story, which all too often comes with a stigma that it might not be great — so is this one worth a watch?
This movie is inspired by true events surrounding the rise and fall of the infamous darknet market website Silk Road — the biggest marketplace for illegal goods that the world has ever known. Viewers are sure to be in suspense through most of the movie. It is a tad long and does drag toward the middle, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t a must watch movie – especially if you are into this type of movie.
The film is based on the Rolling Stone article “Dead End on Silk Road: Internet Crime Kingpin Ross Ulbricht’s Big Fall” by David Kushner, which is totally worth reading, by the way. Either before or after you watch this movie. I think they go together and compliment each other well.
There are moments throughout the film where the screen freezes on a certain scene. Honestly the first time this happened I thought it was my Wi-Fi connection. However after it happened several more times I got that is was for dramatic effect — and it totally worked for me. It gave those moments a little more oomph, especially the ones toward the end.
I also really enjoyed the two sides of the story that we get — both Rick Bowden (played by Jason Clarke) and Ross Ulbricht (played by Nick Robinson) . The way this is done, giving them almost equal time, adds more depth to the story. Nick Robinson does a great job at playing a cocky kid who thinks he can get away with just about anything. If you have ever seen the movie Catch Me If You Can, he was bringing some serious Leonardo DiCaprio vibes to this film.
As for Jason Clarke, he perfectly portrays a down and out law enforcement agent who seems to always be tempted to do the wrong thing. I liked getting a look into his home life, as well as his struggles.
The last twenty minutes of the film are especially good, making it feel like it was worth sitting through the whole thing, even if it did drag in the middle. Paul Walter Hauser steals every scene he is in for me. He isn’t in a lot of Silk Road but he is one of the best parts.
I am sure I sound like a broken record but it seems that a lot of movies now hover around that two hour mark when they really don’t need to. Silk Road is no different. There are some scenes that could have been cut down in order save a little time. The length is by far my biggest complaint about the movie.
This movie is not perfect by any means. However it is a good weekend movie. A curl up on the couch type movie. Of course if you know the story, there are no surprises in store for you and you are likely to spend a lot of time just waiting for the shoe to drop. The final act though, makes this worth powering through.
About Silk Road
Young, affluent, and highly motivated, Ross Ulbricht has an ambitious goal: to launch the Internet’s first completely anonymous and unregulated marketplace. Based on the larger-than-life true events of Ulbricht’s life, Silk Road re-situates the story to the tune of a thriller when Ulbricht ends up the focus of a disreputable DEA agent and spurs an elaborate cat-and-mouse game between them. The men are polar opposites. Ross speaks enthusiastically about the possibilities his invention offers the world; Bowden, the agent, has to learn to abandon his street-smart approach while struggling through tutorials on how to use the Internet.
As the hunt continues, both men’s private lives begin to erode, causing them to cling to their jobs. Growing paranoia leads Ross to consider choices formerly unthinkable, and Bowden similarly finds himself in over his head, leading to the question: how far can idealism take you?
Silk Road comes to Digital, On Demand & Select Theaters on February 19, 2021
and on Blu-Ray and DVD on February 23, 2021.