Nick Robinson as Ross Ulbricht in Silk Road. Photo Credit: Catherine Kanavy
Nick Robinson as Ross Ulbricht in Silk Road. Photo Credit: Catherine Kanavy

Movie Review: Tiller Russell’s ‘Silk Road’ (2020) Is Wildly Dangerous and Entertaining

I didn’t know much about the story that Silk Road was based on until recently. After doing some research, I found it fascinating and addicting. Although Silk Road delivered its own unique version of this story and really captured the brilliant madness that unfolded with this larger-than-life real true crime event. The film was directed and written by Tiller Russell (Bernie, Chicago Fire). It stars Jason Clarke (Zero Dark Thirty, The Devil All the Time), Nick Robinson (Jurassic World, Love, Simon) Katie Aselton (Black Rock, The Gift) Jimmi Simpson (Unhinged, Westworld), Daniel David Stewart (Catch-22, The Fugitive) Darrell Britt-Gibson (Barry, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri), Lexi Rabe (Avengers: Endgame, Godzilla: King of the Monsters), Will Ropp (The Way Back, The Fallout), with Paul Walter Hauser (I, Tonya, BlacKkKlansman), and Alexandra Shipp (Endless, X-Men: Dark Phoenix).

Silk Road

Synopsis for Silk Road

Inspired by larger-than-life actual events, this riveting crime thriller follows the rise and fall of Silk Road, the infamous darknet site that sent a seismic shock through the World Wide Web. Young, idealistic, and driven to succeed, Ross Ulbricht (Nick Robinson) creates the internet’s first unregulated marketplace: Silk Road. But when it becomes a multimillion-dollar pipeline for illicit drugs, Ross is set on a collision course with Rick Bowden (Jason Clarke), a disreputable and dangerously unpredictable DEA agent, who will use any means necessary to take him down.

Silk Road was a widely fascinating and dangerous story that felt like falling down a rabbit hole of madness. I couldn’t get enough of it. It reminded me of one of my favorites, Catch Me If You Can, but more modern and far riskier on many levels. It’s easy to find yourself infatuated with the characters, sympathizing with them all even after their shady actions, and wondering what they will do next.

Jason Clarke as Rick Bowden and Darrell Britt-Gibson as Rayford in Silk Road. Photo Credit: Catherine Kanavy
Jason Clarke as Rick Bowden and Darrell Britt-Gibson as Rayford in Silk Road. Photo Credit: Catherine Kanavy

The performances are brilliant and help drive this story to its full potential. I’m a huge fan of Jason Clarke and he slays his performance and brings his character to life as a dangerously unpredictable DEA agent, Rick. He’s the type that doesn’t follow the rules and will do anything to get the job done. Meanwhile, Nick Robinson has proven to be quite the phenomenal actor and he truly shines in Silk Road. His character, Ross, has a brilliant idea that he thinks will change the world and it does. Although he’s young, he’s not quite young enough to be as arrogant and naive as he proves to be throughout the film. Much like Rick, Ross also doesn’t know when to stop and kept pushing the limits. That’s one thing I really loved about the film. Despite being on opposite sides of the crime being done, both lead characters were very similar; arrogant, determined, willing to go the extra mile to get things done, and in way over their heads. Alexandra Shipp also delivered a killer supportive role and performance. I don’t think the film would have been the same without her and this memorable performance, because she marked a significant time in Ross’s life and his actions with her led to his downward spiral.

Nick Robinson as Ross Ulbricht and Alexandra Shipp as Julia in Silk Road. Photo Credit: Catherine Kanavy

My only complaint (if you want to even call it that) was that I felt like the ending was a bit rushed – just wham, bam, thank you, ma’am. There was all this buildup throughout the film wondering when he’ll be caught, who will be the one who catches him, and then boom, everything happened within a blink of an eye, so much so I had to rewind it to make sure I didn’t miss something. It was still satisfying though and I like how everything played out in the end.

Final Thoughts

This story is fascinating, dangerous, and based on true events, so what more could you ask for? If you love crime thriller, I’m sure you’ll dig Silk Road. I highly recommend checking it out when Lionsgate releases the film On Digital, On Demand, and in Select, Theatres beginning February 19, 2021. It will hit Blu-Ray and DVD on February 23, 2021.

About Tori Danielle

Tori has had a passion for Horror and music ever since she was a little girl. She got bit by the writing bug in high school where she was involved in both the school newspaper and the yearbook. While getting her Bachelors degree, she took Journalism and Creative Writing classes where her passion grew even stronger. Now, in between work and family, she spends all of her spare time indulging in music, Horror movies, and nerdy fandoms, all while running/assisting one of the biggest Horror groups on Facebook and writing for various websites.

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