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Faults from 2014 is a captivating blend of drama, crime, and psychological thriller, with simmering undertones of dark comedy. The intense direction by Riley Stearns and the unforgettable performances by Leland Orser, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, and Chris Ellis discloses an intriguing, suspenseful, and tense narrative that will keep audiences glued to their seats.

Leland Orser plays the central role of Ansel Roth, an academic and expert on cults and mind control. Roth formerly had a career as a respected author and TV host. However, following a tragic incident and the subsequent collapse of his professional life, he becomes a down-and-out has-been, living a life that's been whittled away to roadside motel rooms and free continental breakfasts.

Roth’s years of shattered credibility and declining self-esteem take an unexpected turn, when a desperate and aging couple, the parents of Claire, portrayed by Mary Elizabeth Winstead, approach him in one of his dinky seminars. The couple explains that their daughter Claire has fallen victim to a mysterious and enigmatic cult, referred to as Faults, from which they’re desperate to extract her. Poor but motivated to right the wrongs of his past, Ansel picks the job and plans to deprogram Claire, thus setting the movie on a meandering course of psychological tug of war and intricate power dynamics.

The major draw of this genre-bending film is the intricate play on power relationships and the sway of influence. Many scenes are confined to a single motel room which becomes the stage for a series of psychological duels. It swings back and forth between who's the handler and who's the handled, who’s in control, and who’s under manipulation in the claustrophobic boundaries of the motel.

In his portrayal of Ansel Roth, Leland Orser effortlessly captures the complexity of a man grappling with past failures and present inadequacies. Roth is broken, and even pathetic at times, fueled by desperation and a pressure cooker of self-doubt. However, he's also determined and clinging to a shred of dignity, which Orser communicates wonderfully with his worn-out and defeated demeanor.

Mary Elizabeth Winstead, as Claire, delivers an extraordinary performance. Winstead shapes an exquisite character, constantly blurring the clear lines between victim and manipulator. She provides an enigmatic allure to her character, which serves as a backdrop for the film's more eerie and unsettling moments. Chris Ellis, who plays Claire’s anxious father, puts forth a credible act of a desperate parent willing to go any lengths to have their child back.

Riley Stearns, on his feature debut, does a remarkable job by taking a simple premise and stretching it beyond conventional genre boundaries. Contributing to the tautness of the narrative is the direction's precision and the uncanny ability to build anticipation. The scintillating script is filled with dark humor and keeps the audience guessing till the very end.

Musically, Faults has a haunting score which enhances the tense atmosphere, underlining the psychological complexity of the plot. The film’s cinematography is also noteworthy. Using the confined motel space to its vantage, the repeated use of symmetrical framing provides a sense of order amidst the nerve-wracking unpredictability of the narrative.

The overarching themes of power manipulation and identity run deep in Faults. Still, they are often punctuated by sudden comedy, adding a unique flavor to the narrative. The movie contains moments where it dares the audience to laugh amidst a grim situation, which in turn, intensifies the discomposure.

Faults is a rollercoaster. It's part psychological thriller, part dramatic introspection, with a dash of dark comedy seasoning the narrative—creating a concoction that's as challenging, unsettling, and unpredictably rewarding as any cinematic mind game that toys with perceptions, roles, and narrative payoffs. It compellingly unravels the intricate narratives of belief, influence, and redemption while leaving viewers with thought-provoking questions about consent, control, and the fragility of selfhood.

Faults is a Drama, Comedy, Crime movie released in 2015. It has a runtime of 93 min.. Critics and viewers have rated it moderate reviews, with an IMDb score of 6.7. It also holds a MetaScore of 70.

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Where can I stream Faults movie online? Faults is available to watch and stream, buy on demand, download at Amazon Prime, FuboTV, Philo, Crackle, Plex, Tubi TV, Kanopy, Apple TV, Amazon, Google Play, Vudu. Some platforms allow you to rent Faults for a limited time or purchase the movie for downloading.

Riley Stearns
Lel, Orser, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Chris Ellis, Jon Gries, Lance Reddick, Beth Grant
Also directed by Riley Stearns
Faults is available on .