The Wager [2020] (Movie Review)

The Wager (2020) | Trailer | Cameron Arnett | Jim Gloyd | Bishop Stevens |  Ty Sheldon | John Wells - YouTube

Plot Summary

When Brucie loses some kind of supernatural wager with a spiritual being, Brucie is allowed to retrace the steps of his life to see how it happened and how things could have been different. Through mind-bending and reality-defying methods, Brucie criss-crosses through time to see his life in hindsight. Will be able to make the right choice before it’s too late?

Production Quality (2 points)

As a whole, The Wager has a fairly good production despite a lot of loud background sounds. Even still, the soundtrack is very interesting and seems too advanced for this film. Lighting is a bit inconsistent, but video quality is stable throughout. Sets, locations, and props are on par, and editing is acceptable. Thus, this rounds out an above-average section.

Plot and Storyline Quality (.5 point)

Despite interesting character backstories, very generic dialogue consistently overstates the obvious in this narrative, thus causing the characters to be too cardboard and generic. Very expository conversations leave nothing to chance, spoon-feeding the viewer with a very pushy Christian message. Random and disconnected scenes cause the plot to lack concrete themes or purposes; silly coincidences and convenient turns also make for a frustrating experience. Large time jumps confuse the audience, as do trippy psychological sequences that lack sense and only waste time. Although this movie is full of hit-and-miss story presentations due to a meandering, stream-of-consciousness narrative, there is actually a grain of potential somewhere in this screenplay. Aside from all the clutter, several key concepts that are explored in The Wager have the ability to be great. However, the film continually gets in its own way, so only a small score can be awarded here.

Acting Quality (1.5 points)

Although there are some good performances among this cast, many of the scenes come off as very scripted and overly practiced. Emotions and lines are a bit forced and stilted at times. However, Cameron Arnette is always a standout actor, and as a whole, all the cast members improve with time. Thus, this is enough to warrant an average rating in this section.


In the end, The Wager is full of wasted ideas that need restructuring and repackaging. It’s clear that this creative team wanted to go in a certain direction, but they forgot to let the viewers in on where the movie was actually headed. Mind-bending psychological trips don’t exactly engage the audience or help the watcher connect with the characters. Therefore, this screenplay is an opportunity for the creators to reflect on what they want to convey in the context of film and apply these findings to future projects.

Final Rating: 4 out of 10 points


Sustained [2017] (Movie Review)

Watch Sustained | Prime Video

Plot Summary

Jobari Martin McPherson is a successful lawyer with a bright future ahead of him, but one day, it appears as though he’s lost everything dear to him. Due to someone’s betrayal, Jobari is brought to his knees and forced to dig deeper into the faith he claims. Will his trust in God prevail against all odds?

Production Quality (1 point)

Unfortunately, this film’s production leaves a lot to be desired. While video quality is fine, the audio needs some work as there are frequent echoes in the background, an inconsistent soundtrack, and some very quiet scenes due to the microphone being too far away from the cast members. Camera work is mostly okay but is sometimes off-the-wall. Special effects, sets, locations, and props are all very cheap and sub-standard. The editing is average but contains some awkward transitions. As a whole, this is just a below average experience deserving of a low score.

Plot and Storyline Quality (0 points)

As another Bible story adaptation plot, Sustained suffers in the creativity department. It’s hard to follow the storyline, and it doesn’t help that the characters are very bland and generic due to extremely stock and pedestrian dialogue. Time jumps only confuse matters and make it more evident that this narrative lacks a core purpose or focus. Despite a very long runtime, there is very little substantial content that keeps the audience involved in the story. To make matters work, the plot writers demonstrate a grossly inadequate knowledge of real-world legal proceedings, and the movie’s topic seems too complicated when compared with the miniscule level of research that was put into the concept. Thus, with no potential and some major pitfalls, this section can’t be awarded any points.

Acting Quality (1 point)

When the acting in this screenplay isn’t dominated by yelling, it’s overly practiced and slightly robotic. Some cast members seem too laid back while others overdo their performances. At times, it appears as if the film is full of one-take scenes due to possible line mistakes. Overall, emotions and lines are too uneven to warrant an any higher score.


Once again, Sustained is an instance where it’s absurd why this movie was even made. With no direction, poor planning, and low funding, it not only wastes the viewer’s time but continues to pile onto an already overcrowded market. If you want to make a screenplay, please make sure that this actually what God wants you to do.

Final Rating: 2 out of 10 points