ROLE:   Stephen Schumacher

GENRE: Drama thriller


INT'L RELEASE:  September 2012


 A hard-working lawyer, attached to his cell phone, can’t find the time to communicate with his family. A couple is drawn into a dangerous situation when their secrets are exposed online. A widowed ex-cop struggles to raise a mischievous son who cyber-bullies a classmate. An ambitious journalist sees a career-making story in a teen that performs on an adult-only site. They are strangers, neighbors and colleagues and their stories collide in this riveting dramatic thriller about ordinary people struggling to connect in today’s wired world.

Film Details

Jason Bateman – Rich Boyd
Hope Davis – Lydia Boyd
Paula Patton – Cindi Hull
Alexander Skarsgård – Derek Hull
Frank Grillo – Mike Dixon
Michael Nyqvist – Stephen Schumacher
Andrea Riseborough – Nina Dunham

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Director - Henry Alex Rubin
Screenplay - Andrew Stern
Cinematography - Ken Seng
Music - Max Richter

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155 minutes

Production Notes:

Filming took place in September 2011. Locations included in and around New York City for six weeks with two weeks devoted to each storyline. Shooting began in Oceanside, Long Island and then moved to the modest, middle-class section of Yonkers. In addition, a real high school in Yonkers was used to shoot the scenes with the teenagers. Production than moved to Harrison, an affluent town in Westchester County. The scenes with Nina and Kyle were shot in Elmsford, Westchester County in and around a roadside motel and her apartment was filmed in Riverdale in the Bronx. The studios of local Manhattan television station NY1 doubled as the workplace for Nina.

Director Rubin:
"If you want to get more philosophical about the film, it is not about disconnecting and connecting, but about actions and reactions, how little tiny actions that you take at the beginning of the film, or in life, can have very different reactions than you ever expected."

Publicity Stills

"The three stories converge melodramatically in the movie’s final minutes. The tightness with which the strands are drawn makes Disconnect unsettling to watch as its characters and vignettes jostle one another like riders in a jammed subway car. The film ominously conveys a world of too much information but too little communication, where people have become slaves to glowing hand-held devices that were designed to make life easier but have made it busier and more complicated."   ...Stephen Holden, NY Times

"Although there are narrative issues with at least two of the three stories in Disconnect, the movie got its hooks into me. Its message isn't ground-breaking but it crystalizes concerns that many people have about living in a world where interpersonal communication often becomes impersonal communication."   ...James Berardinelli, Reel Views

"Moving, smart and troubling, this ensemble piece is directed by Henry-Alex Rubin from a script by Andrew Stern. For his first dramatic feature after directing the award-winning documentary Murderball in 2005, Rubin assembled a first-rate cast in a contemporary drama about the tension between virtual and visceral communication... The prevalence of online chatting enables Disconnect to vividly dramatize the paradoxical relationship between anonymity and intimacy."   ...Annette Insdorf, Huffington Post

"The film’s implicit warnings are neither hysterical nor pat. Rubin simply poses difficult questions, using his carefully honed drama as a springboard for critical thought about the brave new virtual world we inhabit. With intelligence, empathy, and the aid of a first-rate cast, Rubin fashions a powerful vision of our increasingly interconnected world—and proves himself as adept with fiction as he is with non-fiction."    ...Jane Schoettle, Toronto International Film Festival

"Working from a powerful, authentic-sounding and moving script by Andrew Stern, director Henry Alex Rubin does a masterful job of laying out the case in each story so we can understand how all these smart people can make such dumb decisions and act in such a reckless manner while pecking away at keyboards of various sizes. Everywhere we turn in this film, there is strong acting."   ...Film critic Richard Roeper

"You can view Disconnect as a cautionary tale or simply become engaged with it as a superior piece of storytelling. Either way, it’s well worth seeing."   ...Leonard Maltin, IndieWire

"Handsomely shot and judiciously edited, the film benefits from a superlative cast... Disconnect takes its deserved place within a time-honored genre. Even at its most staged and false, the anxieties it conveys are deep, real and worth expressing.   ...Ann Hornaday, The Washington Post

"With the help of the gifted cinematographer Ken Seng, Rubin brings a documentarian's precision to each scene and his own keen instinct for reality and nuance. How a new director works with actors is telling, and the performances in Disconnect are first-rate all the way."  ...Peter Travers, Rolling Stone

Comparisons to Paul Haggis’ 2004 Los Angeles race-drama Crash will be inevitable – but are not wholly unfair. In many ways, Murderball director Henry Alex Rubin and newcomer writer Andrew Stern have crafted a very similar film; but whereas Crash was heavy-handed in its overt (and contrived) discussions and examinations of race and race-relations, Disconnect opts for a more restrained approach, crafting believable characters and situations that are able to organically produce and solicit the types of discussion-points and/or reactions the filmmakers are clearly shooting for."   ...Kofi Outlaw, Screen Rant

"Disconnect is exciting, disturbing and provocative. With its look at our everyday interactions – and the way our lives have been taken over by devices meant to help us communicate but which do the opposite – it’s a story that will leave you shaken and stirred."  ...Film critic Marshall Fine

"Director Henry Alex Rubin embellishes the visuals with an inventive use of bold graphic design for the instant message dialogue that takes place between characters. Voyeurism becomes an interactive-like encounter for the viewer. An image system involving the camera viewing its subjects at various distances through windows and fences adds to a suspenseful sense of constant surveillance. In addition, cinematographer Ken Seng uses a combination of documentary and straight narrative camera techniques to keep the viewer on edge."   ...Film critic Cole Smithey