Starring: Odessa Young, Suki Waterhouse, Hari Nef, Abra, Bella Thorne, Bill Skarsgård, Cody Christian, Joel McHale, Maude Apatow, Colman Domingo, Anika Noni Rose
OUR RATING: ★★★☆☆
Crime drama directed and written by Sam Levinson. Assassination Nation follows high school senior, Lily (Odessa Young), and her pals, who spend their time in a haze of social media and partying. When an anonymous hacker starts posting details from the private lives of everyone in their small town, the result is absolute madness. The small town turns on each other and descends into violent chaos as they hunt for the culprit. Lily and her friends must band together if they want to survive the night.
Lily: This is the story of how my town, Salem, lost its m**herf***ing mind. Now I understand that you may think I’m exaggerating, that I’m being hyperbolic that there’s no way an entire suburb could freak the f*** out to the degree they’d want to k**l four teenage girls. But I promise you, this is a hundred percent a true story. I will warn you, though, it gets pretty graphic.
Lily: My name is Lin Colson, and I’m eighteen years-old. These are my three best friends. Em, Bex, and Sarah. And to be honest, I don’t know if we’re going to live through the night. But let’s start at the beginning.
Em: Lily, has Mark gone down on you yet?
Lily: Don’t do this.
Em: Seriously, girl, you told me you were going to break up with him unless he goes down on you.
Lily: I don’t know. It’s just so hard. I don’t know what to do.
Em: Let me just break it down to you like this. Men who don’t eat p**sy in this day and age are straight-up sociopathic, okay?
Lily: Oh, my God.
Em: Am I wrong? Where’s the lie?
Lily: If only it was that easy…
Bex: Em, can I tweet that thing about guys not eating p**sy is sociopathic?
Em: Totally. Spread the good word, girl.
Bex: Consent, thank you. Confirmed. Tweet!
Em: I live for this type of scandal, to be honest.
Bex: Oh, my God. I love this song.
Lily: What song?
Bex: This song.
Chief Patterson: [over phone] Look, I got City Council breathing down my neck. I got ninth graders sharing videos of our new tranny mayor, making him an internet star. I mean, you know, everybody’s in an uproar over this. So are you telling me there’s nothing the FBI, or anybody can do, to get these videos down?
Man: Unfortunately, sir, it’s uh, it’s very difficult to stop the internet.
Chief Patterson: Do we have any idea who’s behind this?
Man: Look, we’re seeing things like this a thousand times a day. We just had a kid in Tulsa hack an entire football stadium with a jail broken iPhone in sixty seconds. So, hard to say who’s behind any of this.
Chief Patterson: I hate the f***ing Internet.
Reporter: Bex, who do you think Erostratus is?
Bex: I think it was some like socially conscious, vigilante hacker guy.
Sarah: What do you have to hide anyway though?
Em: Excuse me? Have you seen her…?
Lily: I mean, like a million n*des, super gross p**n history, super pervy texts, and like life-altering s**t-talk about almost everyone at this school, and my family.
Sarah: Fair enough.
Bex: Me too.
Em: Me three.
Sarah: My iPhoto looks like a f***ing sn*ff film.
Reagan: What are you doing?
Lily: Looking at Turrell’s hack.
Sarah: A hundred and forty-two thousand downloads, that’s like three times the size of Salem.
Reagan: I’m sorry, but I just don’t have like any sympathy for people that get their s**t hacked.
Sarah: For real?
Reagan: Yeah, I mean, there’s two types of people in this world, you know? Like, the people that have come to terms with privacy is just dead. And, like, you know, then there’s the old people that are still trying to fight it.
Em: I guess.
Reagan: I mean, the Internet is amazing. Like, this guy in Minnesota, he’s like forty-two, whatever, but basically he subscribed to my Amazon wish list and now legit he just buys me s**t all the time.
Reagan: I don’t know. I guess he just really likes my Insta, you know? Like, he likes that I’m really real and like I’m cool, and, you know, I’m a free soul. It’s really sad, because basically ninety percent of people are just so sad and lonely and like have such an unfulfilling life. If I’m, like, inspiring people, you know, and my life is so cool, and like people connect with me on such a level, then like basically my job for the day is done.
Em: But what’s that got to do with people’s s**t getting hacked?
Em: There’s no way the hacker’s a student, okay? He’s probably just some like twenty-something, disgruntled-*ss loner IT dude who jacks off to Fight Club in his mom’s basement like every night.
Lily: Oh, my God. Brad Pitt’s abs? I can’t.
Marty: Look, I’m just playing this out to its logical conclusion.
Officer Richter: Your conclusion is coming real soon.
Marty: [laughs as he looks down at his phone] Looks like half of Salem just got hacked.
Lily: But it is scary to think about. Because you don’t know who’s who. Or how easily they can be swayed. And at the end of the day, nothing unites us like a good tragedy.
Johnny: [referring to Diamond] I give him like five days before he commits suicide.
Lily: And the worse it gets, the more entertaining it is for you, this high school, this bulls**t town, and the rest of the world.
Lily: So here’s the thing that really bothers me. Who sees a naked photo of a girl and their first thought is, “Yoh, I got to k**l this b**ch?” Turns out, way more people than you’d think. And I know we’re all like a little desensitized to violence, and mobs, and like violent mobs. But when seventeen thousand people’s texts and emails get leaked, and the police and FBI do nothing about it, s**t gets really f***ing weird.
Bex: Are you guys seeing this right now?
Em: What now?
Marty: [Lily, Em, Bex and Sarah watch Marty’s video] My name is Marty Kolker. I’m not Erostratus. This wasn’t my idea. But after Mayor Bartlett’s information was leaked, I started to monitor the amount of data being uploaded and downloaded from each IP address in and around Salem. There was one that stood out. Lily Colson’s. I then confronted her about it at school.
Lily: What the f***?
Marty: She not only admitted to being behind the hack, but she also said that if I didn’t help her, she said that if I didn’t help her, she would release all my personal information, as well as my father’s. I’m so sorry. I was scared. I didn’t know what else to do. I’m so sorry.
Lily: [referring to Marty’s video] Why would he say that?
Bex: No, this is f***ed up.
Lily: I don’t even know how to do this.
Bex: How can he just say that without showing any proof that that even happened?
Em: Did he just make that s**t up? Or is like, is it really coming from your house?
Lily: [referring to Marty accusing her of being the hacker] How many people are going to believe this? How many people are going to think that I did this?
Lily: I’m so scared.
Nick Mathers: I know.
Lily: The whole f***ing world has lost its mind.
Officer Richter: [referring to Lily’s gun] You sure you even know how to hold that thing, little girl? What are you going to do? You going to k**l a cop?
Officer Richter: You aren’t allowed to shoot a cop.
[as Ritcher goes to shoot her, Lily shoots him]
Lily: My name is Lily Colson. I’m eighteen years-old, and I don’t know if me and my friends are going to live through the night. This entire f***ing town wants to k**l us. And they may say that it’s because they thought I was behind it, or that I’m a whore, I’m immoral, I’m a homewrecker, I deserve it, I have it coming. Well, guess what? I didn’t hack anybody’s s**t. I didn’t do it, and I don’t know who did. As for being a whore, a homewrecker, immoral? Sure. It doesn’t hold a f***ing candle to your righteousness. That’s the real sickness here, your righteousness and hypocrisy. It’s the simple fact that you can’t live by the rules you set, yet you still pretend. This is your world. You built this. If it’s too strict, tear it the f*** down. But don’t look at me. Don’t take your hate out on me, I just got here. And I have no clue where to go, because from the moment I arrived, all I was ever given were orders. “Smile. Open up. Cross your legs. Spread your p**sy. Speak softer. Scream louder. Be quiet. Be confident. Be interesting. Don’t be so difficult. Be strong. Be an angel. Be a whore. Be a princess. Be anything you want to be. Even the President of the United States of America.” Just kidding. F*** you. You still want to k**l me? R*pe me? St*b me? Shoot me? Let’s go. Rally your f***ing crew. Grab your guns and hide behind your masks. You want to do this in real life now? Give it your best shot. Because you’ve prepared me my whole life for this. You may k**l me, but you can’t k**l us all.
FBI Agent Richard Vernon: The charges include cyberterrorism, murder, invasion of privacy. A life sentence is an absolute certainty. Jesus. Come with me.
Lily’s Father: [we see Donny, Lily’s younger brother, in the interrogation room] I just, I don’t understand, you know, why you would do something like this. People’s lives were ruined. People lost their lives. Your sister almost k**led. Well, why would you, why would you do something like this?
Donny: I don’t know. For the lulz.