Box art for Disconnect


drama, thrillers

Strangers, neighbors and colleagues and their stories collide in this riveting dramatic thriller about ordinary people struggling to connect in today's wired world.

Rotten Tomatoes® scores

  • Critic Score
  • Audience Score

common sense

PAUSE for kids age 16
3 out of 5
Drinking, drugs, & smoking
3 out of 5
4 out of 5
Positive messages
2 out of 5
Positive role models
1 out of 5
4 out of 5
3 out of 5

Intense, powerful film explores joys and dangers of the Web.

what parents need to know

Parents need to know that Disconnect is a sobering and compelling drama that shows both adults and teens trying to find a way to express themselves -- and connect with each other -- online. Sometimes, it's for fun, but often, it's because they're lonely and sad and are looking for support. And other times, it's to hurt, bully, or belittle others, which can have very serious consequences. The Internet is also presented as a vehicle for exploiting young people, who may be trading their bodies for money. Expect scenes in which teens are baring body parts, either via webcam or pictures, and online sex workers are shown bare-breasted. There's also some frank talk about sexual acts, a confrontation with a gun, images of a suicide victim, and some drinking, pot smoking (an adult smokes with a teen), and swearing ("bitch," "s--t," "f--k," and more).

what families can talk about

  • Families can talk about the role that the Internet plays both in Disconnect and in their lives. Is it mostly positive or negative? Or both?
  • Talk to your kids about smart online behavior and safety. How can bullying (both online and off) be prevented?
  • Does the film address the main concerns about the Internet in a realistic and approachable manner? Does it also depict the benefits/upside of the media?

movie reviews from Rotten Tomatoes®

  • Tomatometer®

    reviews counted: 20
    see all Disconnect reviews
  • Audience


Top Critic Reviews

Fresh: What works is the uncomfortable intimacy of peering over the shoulders of, say, Patton when she watches YouTube videos of her dead son, and the shudder of recognition that our hard drives are our external consciences.

- Amy Nicholson, Los Angeles Times, Thursday, April 11, 2013

Fresh: Handsomely shot and judiciously edited, the film benefits from a superlative cast ...

- Ann Hornaday, Washington Post, Friday, April 19, 2013

Rotten: This dour would-be art movie posits that social media might be alienating people from each other rather than bringing them together. (Spoiler alert: the title is a metaphor.)

- Ben Sachs, Chicago Reader, Thursday, April 11, 2013

Audience Reviews

4 stars

If this was merely another cautionary tale of the dangers of technology, it might not have been so successful. After all, that concept is nothing new. What makes this account so real is the depth of human sorrow explored. Disconnect does a brilliant job of presenting individuals and their human failings. Loneliness is a pervading theme. There's a lot of melodrama here and for the most part it presents these people with honesty and believability. In an equation where the sum of the individual vignettes must add up to the power of the overall experience, Disconnect scores very high. There are profound moments of despair. A daughter's sobbing realization she did nothing to support her younger brother is heartbreaking. A childless couple confronted with each other's online histories is discomforting. The online conversation between a teen bully and the victim's father is insightful. That father is ably played by Jason Bateman in a serious turn that showcases a dramatic talent seldom seen in his comedic roles. He's exceptional but so is everyone else in this reflection of converging lives. There isn't a false performance in the entire lot. There's genuine feeling on display. That's what makes this portrait so effective.

- hobster1, Tuesday, April 30, 2013

3 stars

In this ensemble drama, we see how this generation's addiction to Internet in general and social media in particular can intersect with real life. The premise is interesting, and despite being a bit contrived, it works for the most part. I was disappointed by the ending, though. It tried to tie everything together way too neatly, and it was just too soft and fluffy for this kind of story.

- GabrielKnight, Friday, July 5, 2013

5 stars

If you remember and liked the Oscar winning best movie of the year, "Crash" from several years back then you will like this movie as well. Disconnect follows several ongoing characters as they deal with their lives connections that are intertwined by the electronic lives we all lead. The use and abuse of technology is the central theme of this movie. The pluses and minuses of spending even a small amount of time online are weighed. The questions then becomes are we too connected and are we missing something by not knowing any personal contact with whom we/re choosing to communicate with? Everything has its price and is the price for all this remote communication too high? If you have asked these and other similar question to yourself then I highly recommend this movie to you. ANd if you haven't bothered to ask yourselves these thought provoking questions perhaps you should!

- Torred2010, Monday, May 13, 2013