"Black Mirror" Shut Up and Dance (TV Episode 2016) Poster

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Absolute mind f*ck. Felt like a full-length movie. An hour of horror, anxiety, and awe.
mlpjl000320 March 2017
Warning: Spoilers
This sh*t seriously f*cked me up, and I knew the twist before I even saw the episode, though this didn't upset me too much because spoilers tend to make me enjoy the content more.

Regardless, I found myself forgetting what I already knew about Kenny and starting to blend into his character and feeling like I was him as the episode progressed, even though at the beginning I was analyzing his actions with disgust. This guy's just a really good actor, I guess. The anxiety builds and builds the further it goes, it was so bad for me that it gave me an awful headache and I started sweating. Once the true nature of Kenny's crime is revealed, it was as if I'd never been spoiled at all, it was like I was hearing it for the first time. Just because of how good the f*cking acting was!

The only thing I can complain about is that it didn't show the fight scene. Obviously it didn't have to, but I was disappointed to see the shot end and go to Hector. Not for long, though, because then you realize that they're all getting exposed anyway and their efforts were fruitless. All for nothing.

These last five minutes of the episode are beautifully shot and incredibly heavy and meaningful, especially when Kenny's mom calls him and you realize exactly what's happened. All the foreshadowing and context of his life in the beginning comes to play here. His life is ruined, his image is ruined, he's murdered a man, robbed a bank, and everyone knows that he's j*rked off to pictures of little kids. They'll find out about the other stuff too, because he doesn't get the pleasure of k*lling himself, he gets cops kindly grasping his arm to take him away.

Similar to the episode "White Bear", this episode of Black Mirror forces you to become empathetic to characters that you normally wouldn't by withholding information. Did Kenny deserve this? Without seeing the episode, I'd say yes and worse, but now I'm hesitant because I care for his character. Did Hector deserve it? (Probably.) And you never see the face of the blackmailers (heroes?)

Great acting, great cinematography, great set-up, great plot, great use of foreshadowing. It's basically a short psychological horror movie.
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The Most Disturbing Piece of Fiction I've Ever Seen
mnkeyby7 December 2017
Warning: Spoilers
I was on a binge-watching marathon of Black Mirror with a friend of mine, and we've enjoyed all of the episodes that we had viewed together, they were at times disturbing, darkly funny and bitingly satirical. Charlie Brooker has created an outstanding television legacy with his work in comedy, but Black Mirror will be his magnum opus. And this episode specifically might be the best thing to ever come from his poison-laced pen. It managed to do one thing I never thought any piece of media would do; it unnerved me.

The plot of this episode focuses mainly on a young man named Kenny, he doesn't look any older than an ordinary fellow just starting college or university. He has a job working at a fast food joint, he lives with his mother and sister, things seem to be going fine for Kenny. But as he continues his day, something rather disturbing happens. After he's finished masturbating in front of his laptop, he receives an email from a hacker(s) who has caught footage of him masturbating on his webcam, and starts to blackmail Kenny into doing tasks, or else they'll leak the footage. However, he is not the only one who is being blackmailed, and forms a somewhat forced and rocky alliance with a man named Hector who is being blackmailed for cheating or about to cheat on his wife.

The power of this episode comes from the script, the direction and the performances. We do not know, nor do we ever find out who the hacker(s) are, all we have is phone screens and all caps messages. Whoever this hacker or hackers may be, Charlie Brooker managed to make a huge threat from nothing but an unknown person messaging a phone. And the twist at the end is more alarming and disturbing that anything Shyamalan or even The Twilight Zone have ever done, but I'll get to that later.

The direction by James Watkins leaves us almost just as panicked as Kenny. When we find out he's being blackmailed, he sits on his bed, the camera pans in, giving us the sense of how paranoid Kenny is, and a taster for what is to come. The direction never lets from that point onward, making us anxious and uncomfortable to the episode's benefit.

Kenny as portrayed by Alex Lawther comes across a well meaning, genuine and relatable character, and his understandable fear, paranoia and anxiety over this situation is probably how many people would feel. But that only plays into the horror of the final reveal.

There was a moment where me and my friend spoke about Kenny's decision to rob the bank as it was happening, I knew something was up. I thought that if it was me in his situation, I'd let the hacker(s) leak the footage and face ridicule rather than jail. Something in my mind started to click, but I didn't want to believe it. Just why would he continue to follow their orders? After the robbery, Hector and Kenny make it up to a forest area, Hector is ordered to destroy the car they're driving in and Kenny is told to go into the forest. Kenny, hoping that his tasks will finally be over soon, confronts another man in the forest. The man is drunk and more anxious than Kenny is, because he knows the final task he has to do, and tells Kenny that they have to fight to the death. Kenny nearly breaks down, and just as the other man readies himself, he asks Kenny what the hacker(s) have him in for, Kenny tells him that he looked at some photos, and the other man asks him, "How young were they...?", and that was the twist.

My jaw dropped and I felt an empty pit in my stomach as I heard that line, I didn't want to believe it. But it suddenly all made sense, Kenny's extreme feelings of guilt, his persistence to keep his sister out of his room and away from his laptop and his persistence to follow all the orders given to him in order to keep his secret. But in the end, it was all for nothing, the hacker(s) have leaked everything about everyone. And while the people we see who have been blackmailed might possibly face lesser repercussions for their actions, Kenny's life is ruined after being outed as a paedophile, he receives a gut-wrenching call from his mother before he is feebly pulled away from police who arrive, and he'll most likely face consequences for looking at children, robbing the bank and murdering the other paedophile.

This episode made me want to curl up in the foetal position and take a break from the binge-watching. Which is what I ended up doing, this episode frightened me. Brooker may have tread over old ground by focusing on a protagonist who isn't all that he seems, but this is the most frightening episode of Black Mirror because it grounded itself in reality. The situations that Kenny, Hector and the other people found themselves in can happen to anyone. And that's why I consider this episode to be the best of Black Mirror, so far.
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The most uncomfortable hour of television I've sat through recently
mattematask-495-77246226 October 2016
And this is not the first time Black Mirror has done that. There are a lot of shows out there that can create good tension, but Black Mirror is the only show that can evoke pure discomfort in me, probably due to its realism, amazingly convincing acting and because they're all stand-alone episodes. Knowing that the story that is unfolding right in front of your eyes has the conclusion waiting just a couple of minutes away is what makes it even more gripping, because it creates very little time for the viewer to speculate about how things might escalate.

About two thirds into the episode is when I hit the point where I uncontrollably started smiling like a madman. The execution of the absolutely horrifying situation and decision making that the two main characters had to experience was just perfect. I had to resort to grinning just to make sure I was still me and not them, I suppose.

Unfortunately, I got lost on the big reveal the first time around. Actually, I didn't think it was a reveal at all, but more of a misunderstanding. But with Black Mirror, there's always something enjoyable about not fully grasping the twist and the story's subtle hints right away. When you re-watch moments of episodes like this one, you'll notice a lot of details in dialogues and actions that really makes you feel dumb for not picking them up instantly.
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This is classic Black Mirror.
jherklederkle22 October 2016
Warning: Spoilers
I have to admit, I was a bit apprehensive about this episode. With a few exceptions this season had so far been devoid of the clever writing that Charlie Brooker can so commonly smash out of the park. And Brooker didn't even write this one. Unlike Rashida Jones' unfocused first episode, writer William Bridges reminds us why we fell in love with seasons 1 and 2 in the first place.

The story is simple: a bunch of guys have incriminating photos or videos of them taken and are used as blackmail against them by shady internet forces. In order to prevent the life-ruining items from being uploaded to the web, they must follow instructions texted to them, not all of which are easy, or legal.

The idea isn't original (see "Eagle Eye").The episode flows well from start to finish, nothing feels rushed or dragged out, everything given a natural time to breathe (even fan-favourite episode "fifteen million merits" couldn't maintain a steady pacing until the second-half). Every character has a solid actor behind it, with Alex Lawther stealing the show with his relatable, genuine and even sometimes darkly humorous panicky performance. There aren't many other characters, but all the actors do a good job, including Jerome Flynn.

Tension is built well, each scene is simply shot, written and directed, creating a sense of strict realism. No standout sci-fi elements here, just characters interacting off each other. It doesn't aim for anything outstanding in high production values, which makes it refreshing for this season. It just works. From it's simple, grounded opening to it's chilling ending, with a soft twist that makes you rethink who you were rooting for the entire time. that's good writing, in a show that needs it to survive.

It also has the best use of a meme in any popular show, so there's that.
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One of the Most Mindblowing, Astounding Adventures a TV Show has Ever Taken Me On
Beowulf19717 December 2016
Warning: Spoilers
This episode left me on the edge of my seat the entire time. It is a truly dark tale about Kenny, a boy who one day decides to jerk off in his bedroom. Little does he know he is being recorded by an anonymous person who blackmails him into doing terrible things like robbing a bank and fighting a man to the death.

He must team up with Hector, played by the amazing Jerome Flynn, who is also being blackmailed, and try to be free of the anonymous person's blackmail.

This is one of the best things I have seen on TV in my entire life. The acting, the surprise twists and turns of the plot, and the ending...well...you can figure it out for yourself.


MVP: Jerome Flynn as Hector
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The most intense episode to date
rhemfelt130 October 2016
Warning: Spoilers
I can understand the negative feedback to this episode just being shocking without any kind of message or purpose, but I like to think that was the point. The anonymity of technology has opened a door where people are able to be that horrible to each other for absolutely no other reason than the fact that they can be.

The episode is a terrifying glimpse into some of the worst/most extreme actions technology can bring out in people. To me that's what Black Mirror is; the extremes (both positive and negative) that technology can bring out in both ordinary and extraordinary people.

(spoilers below)

The episode starts out relatively tame and progresses steadily into more and more despicable levels. The final 5 minutes are probably the best 5 minutes of Black Mirror up to that point.

It is revealed that the blackmail was all for absolutely no reason as the anonymous blackmailers release all of the blackmail to their family/friends regardless of whether they complete the horrible requests or not...and of course...Radiohead.

The identity of the blackmailers are never revealed.

In short, the episode was interesting, a snapshot of what technology can bring to us, and invoked genuine extreme feelings in me as it progressed, which to me is the point.
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Outstanding episode
sumnerg-872-4666431 December 2016
Warning: Spoilers
I love Black Mirror for the thoughtful and realistic looks at technology and how it affects us, but this episode brought it to a new level. I'll try to explain why (with spoilers).

The first reason this episode works is that the premise is entirely plausible. All of the technology used to manipulate the 'victims' could, in theory, actually happen. This alone is a chilling examination of how the instant, global network could conceivably wreck a life. It made me think of the hacked cheating hookup sites in the news lately. God how'd you like to be one of those guys? This episode really puts you into their shoes.

Secondly, the actors completely pull it off. I totally bought Jerome Flynn as a dubiously faithful husband. His explanation as a conflicted character works - yes he really loves his wife and kids and hey he's just a red-blooded guy and, bad luck - he got caught. You can actually sympathize with him, and as a father and husband really buy the urgency with which he follows the mysterious directions on his phone. I liked the extra drama with the PTA mom hitching a ride to the train station, this was a good touch (I know some PTA moms!).

Now, what makes this ep so special is Alex Lawther as Kenny. The setup for taking his side is completely and utterly believable. He's established as a good, helpful, normal kid. He holds a job and even helps little kids. It is 'normal' to lock the door and bust out the porn on the laptop, although excruciatingly embarrassing if made public at a school age.

Just about anyone can put themselves in his shoes, so thus almost the whole episode you're feeling bad for him. He appears to be a kid not fully understanding that his 'crime' isn't so bad, but it's plausible that a teen would over-react in such a way.

Until the bank robbery scene that is. This is where most kids would walk away, yet Kenny doesn't. A shadow of doubt begins to emerge - what's going on here? Kenny's actions begin to make no sense, and it's timed perfectly.

Now, the reveal at the fight scene is where it all comes crashing artfully down. It all makes sense in a sudden bolt, and you can see it on Kenny's face. If you had any doubt about what Kenny was really watching on that computer, it's all made real by this excellent performance. It's now totally believable he'd try to shoot himself.

To make it even better, I liked how we discover that the blackmailers were not just playing around after all, and that their meted punishments fit the crimes. The racist loses her job in disgrace, the cheating husband loses his family. Harsh judgement for sure, but the paedo's get no sympathy and are either dead or worse.

Are the blackmailers right or wrong? Heros or bad guys? They have no right to toy with lives in this way but, the law is way behind the technology and who's to stop them?

What about Kenny? He's just a kid after all, is it fair he's exploited in such a way? You could argue either way and that's what makes this episode so great. This is as good as TV gets in my opinion, I'm just hopeful future episodes can maintain this level of excellence.
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Every teenage boy's nightmare becomes mass carnage.
Sleepin_Dragon26 January 2018
Black Mirror has always managed to shock, horrify and get you to think, it's at its best when you say to yourself 'wow that could really happen,' and this is certainly one of those episodes. One minor action turns one young lads life upside down.

After a few minutes in I thought the episode was pretty good, and after the initial incident I figured I was in for an interesting watch, but wow that was a twist and a half. It became darker, deeper and just downright more sinister with every scene. Tension was caused by minor things like Hector's friend asking for a lift. The fact that nobody knew why they were there or who was behind it made it all the more enjoyable.

Ambiguity can be lazy in some shoes, things happening for no apparent reason, but the whole point of the anonymity of the miscreant here is that in this digital age, you have no idea who's behind things that go on.

Awesome performances from everyone, I must take the opportunity to commend Jerome Flynn on his performance, he's become such a wonderful actor.
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ohinkssleep24 August 2018
Warning: Spoilers
Not only is Alex Lawther super in this, but the supporting cast are equally as good. This is also an episode that often tells you the twist without completely doing so. Also, it makes you question whether or not someone who merely looks at images and does not create them, should be given therapy and mental support instead of being sent to prison.
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An amazing episode
lonkish30 November 2016
Warning: Spoilers
Let me just say that the acting performance was great, if you've seen this episode then you'll know what I'm talking about. *sniff sniff*

Brief Description about the episode: Kenny is a regular teenager that does regular things that regular teenagers do (Hint: Jerking Off) but one day he ends up getting a virus on his laptop and a hacker records him masturbating and ends up blackmailing him with the video saying he'll spread it all over Facebook and with all his contacts if he doesn't do what he says.

This episode had me on the edge of my seat the entire time, wondering if this terrible hacker would release this poor teenager from embarrassment and shame after complying. Towards the end of the episode there is something shocking you'll find out about Kenny, something that I bet most of you wouldn't have expected, it's a huge twist that is thought-provoking and will make you feel betrayed.

Overall I think this was a really good episode and I'm excited to watch the rest!
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A Brilliant Exaggeration of Real World Problems!
aidenmcclymont28 October 2016
I completely disagree with any negative review of this episode. I watched this episode first - because they are not in any order but episode numbers - and it intrigued me brilliantly. Although it had a basic plot, (some higher power gets normal people to do his/her bidding) it had a thrilling, and progressive twist to it adding the problems of modern day, and the results of the access people have to certain illegalities. The incredibly dark and sad ending, played wonderfully to relate back to the world we live in today. Certainly, some of the best TV/Netflix I've ever watched and I am looking forward to watch the rest of Charlie Brooker and Netflix's partnership.
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Jaw Permanently Dropped
pelegirl528423 February 2017
Look, this episode really IS that good. There is nothing I could possibly say that another reviewer probably hasn't said more eloquently about this episode---be it acting, directing, story, hell even music.

If ANYTHING, what I can do is SERIOUSLY recommend watching this show in the order that it is listed. It is done so ft or a reason, and I only wish that I had watched "San Junipero" after this episode like I was (obviously) supposed to. If you are the type of viewer that tends to get emotionally wrapped up in what you are watching, you'll want to take my advice. You may have an easier go at enjoying the rest of your day.

But yes, EXCELLENT episode. No pulled punches---One of the most vital reasons why we love Black Mirror so much.
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A tale of modern morality (and age not mitigating consequences of actions)
Sovjohn22 October 2016
Warning: Spoilers
I admit I didn't expect the major twist of this episode: We are introduced to a rather sweet teenager, Kenny, who seems to be plowing through life as many teenagers do: A bit shy and reserved, works at a fast-food chain, play nice with his mom, even behave like a decent human being to a little girl while at work.

Likable guy, am I right? I definitely liked him.

Then, as the episode progresses, we are led to assume that fear of extreme humiliation, of a video having him jerk off in high- definition splendor, motivates his actions and forces him to "obey or else".

Right. Plausible and all, even without an added twist, surely.

I mean, Hector (who is sufficiently sleazy but also far from a scumbag deserving his fate, all things considered) painted a bleak picture for Kenny in the car, when trying to convince him to continue obeying the demands in the phone:

Basically his video could well become viral, and stigmatize him for an extended amount of time -especially if he lived in a small town or something, ridiculing alone would last for bloody years-.

It just might justify even a robbery taking place. But then, towards the end, we find out the horrifying truth: Kenny had to fight to the death with another fellow, who, like him, was a pedophile. Jawdrop.

Now, don't get me wrong, but as I also read elsewhere, the dramatic effect of this episode would be much less profound if Kenny was a 45-year old man himself.

He was not, and this got me thinking about society's moral compass here - Crimes, such as pedophilia, public indecency, homosexuality or what have you, tend to differ in classification and severity depending on the culture and ethics of a given society / country.

For instance, sad as this may be, in certain theocratic or otherwise conservative countries, homosexuality is deemed a disease or a disability or a severe crime even today; pedophilia (and well, worse - child trafficking and prostitution) is commonly "accepted" or even "encouraged" in certain countries as a legal means for a poor family to make ends meet; the list goes on.

Should Kenny be treated differently than others because he's young? Even as a young adult (presuming he's over 18 in-character) would a court of law find him guilty if he grew up right inside the age of social media and media galleries all around, and somehow gained access to images of say 15-year olds when he, himself was 15, 16 or 17- years old?

My personal opinion is no, and considering the age of consent for actual sexual intercourse is legally lower than 18 years old in several countries, I would find it borderline illogical to "sentence" even an 18 year old fellow for somehow procuring indecent picture of individuals 3 or 4 years younger than him. Under the same reasoning all teenage pregnancies should be forcibly aborted, and the mothers-to- be thrown in jail, because "the horror!".

Of course the above would not apply for a different age bracket in question, but as a moral dilemma I admit it's rather intriguing. Hence I conclude that the episode would lack a great deal of emotional punch if the likable boy we met there was a "grown man in his own right".

Of course, in the context of the episode, the moral dilemma was already solved and decided for by the anonymous troll pulling the strings - They decided to punish all characters in the episode in a fell swoop, rendering their obedience to demands a moot point.

Apparently, people messing around with vigilantes have one thing in common: Everybody loses.

An episode to remember, especially when viewed from a "modern morality and consequences" point of view. Recommended.
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Dark Blackmail
claudio_carvalho21 April 2017
Warning: Spoilers
In London, Kenny (Alex Lawther) is a normal teenager that works in a fast-food and a beloved son and brother at home. When .his sister uses his notebook without permission, a malware is installed and he tries to remove it. But soon he is contacted by an unknown hacker that have recorded Kenny masturbating while watching a porno site using his webcam and blackmails him. Kenny receives instructions from the hacker and meet other people that are also forced to follows orders. He has to team up with Hector (Jerome Flynn), who is trying to save his marriage, and accomplish tasks with tragic consequences.

"Shut Up and Dance" is one of the darkest episodes of "Black Mirror", with a tragic story of blackmail using the computer resources. Any computer has webcam and every second we have to be protected from virus and malware. Therefore the story is scary since it is possible to happen to anyone that uses a computer. The conclusion is frightening but predictable. My vote is nine.

Title (Brazil): "Shut Up and Dance"
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Damned if you don't, and damned if you do
winner-9876529 April 2018
This was a hell of a episode, epitomizing everything you like about Black Mirror. Nothing too fantastical, nothing too out of the ordinary, but so alien to what most of us believe in that we look past it. This is something that's happening in the shadowy alleys of every city around the world. Dancing to the tunes of your secret-keepers.

This episode depicts a dark, grim reality where its characters are struggling for freedom from their past crimes, or indulgences. They are willing to do everything in order to escape their piercing clutches, even going as far as to making things worse if there is a slight chance that they can be free. But all their hopes are illusory as apart from a sense of pity, or justice, or fairness, there is nothing that is holding the invisible foe with the secret back. And we know that all these qualities have been in short supply over the course of human history.

The episode gradually shines light on the fate awaiting these characters as slowly each one of their illusory hopes are crushed. The episode doesn't sit back and triggers the main plot right from the beginning keeping you guessing as to what will happen next. The writing and the acting are great, and keeps you engaged. The pacing is great, the characters involved are brilliant, and the writing is top notch. Your heart will cringe at what happens to the main character over the course of just one day. Kudos at depressing all the watchers but still leaving them impressed with what they just saw and in deep contemplation. I was literally speechless.
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A proper Black Mirror episode at last
s_pablo25 August 2018
The first two episodes on Netflix were a little shakey but this one is just great. It actually uses all the tropes of a thriller in a hitchcockian way and does it without you even noticing until after the credits are rolling. Masterful writing, excellent direction and great actors make this one of the best Black Mirror episodes of all seasons.
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Heart breaking
mhmdsoub8 December 2016
It's unfair to give this episode less than 10, I also give the whole crew of actors a full mark as it's probably the best show episode I've ever seen in my life. It broke my heart in a way that showed me how life can become a horrible place in one day and how a cyber blackmail can turn your life upside down. Some reviewers say this episode lacks the purpose but to me it was more than enough to get the point behind it at the ending scene. Cyber blackmailing is an important issue these days because it can happen to anybody as we all do wrong sometimes but we should be aware that these kind of people prey on fearful victims and we should open our eyes, take the proper precautions and not do what they say because you cannot guarantee they won't publish what they are blackmailing. You can never trust a person who is blackmailing you, a strong statement behind this episode.
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3.3: Shut Up and Dance: Excellent pacing in dramatic and cruel hour (SUGGESTIVE SPOILERS)
bob the moo8 January 2017
Warning: Spoilers
I remember some months ago when I read that the FBI Director James Comey, and Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg both cover their webcams with tape as a habit; aside from the irony of this, it did make me think that if they felt it worth doing maybe I should too since I never use it for anything. I guess after this episode a few other small pieces of black electrical tape got put up too, due to how effective this episode is.

The base ideas for this episode come from internet culture; firstly that it never forgets anything, and the idea of privacy is probably no longer applicable if you chose to live online (which most of us do by default). Secondly, that it is full of trolls who will mock you, expose you, elect you to President – whatever they think is funny while they have you on the hook. It takes these very universal things and turns them into a thriller where the vulnerability and weaknesses of the characters are played out to get them performing tasks for an unseen controller. At first the tasks are benign but the powerlessness in the narrative drives it. Unsurprisingly things escalate, but when they do, the viewer stays with it because of how well paced it is – like the characters, it doesn't give us time to step out of the moment and think.

The performances are part of this. Lawther is great, and Flynn is too (albeit the latter's very popular role in Game of Thrones breaks immersion at least at first). Director Watkins (Woman in Black) keeps it tense throughout, and it is shot with urgency and a tangible sense of desperation. After a so-so first episode to this Netflix batch of Black Mirrors, these last two have been terrific.
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Utterly jaw dropping!!!!
stevenjlowe8218 February 2017
Wow, just wow!!!! My guts were twisted during this entire episode more or less. I spent the most part being utterly confused as to why the kid got himself into such a state over his actions, that was until the earth shattering reveal at the end. This is honestly top notch TV st it's very best. I am still shaking after the fact, think this one is going to stay with me for a while. Bravo to all involved.
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Terrifying and thrilling.
cruise0115 May 2019
Black Mirror (4.5 out of 5 stars).

Shut Up and Dance Episode 3.03

Shut Up and Dance is a dark, twisted, and thrilling that takes the episode into a different direction in Black Mirror. The episode follows a couple of characters Kenny a teenager which his computer camera caught him in a act which some unknown person is messaging him and blackmailing him to do horrific acts. Hector is a character who is secretly having an affair and some unknown person is messaging him to do acts unless he wants his secret exposed to his wife.

The plot is intense. It is horrifying because it can be relatable to real world situations with people computers being hacked and the camera can catch anything. And the person can blackmail another for their own personal gain. It is sad but true. Seeing Kenny and Hector panicked and nervous is emotionally scary and sad. There is a twist that can make you feel unease and disturbed. Without giving away much details. Alex Lawther was great playing Kenny. Jerome Flynn playing Hector was good too. They worked great on screen together.

The story and concept is creepy and scary with the idea of a person being blackmailed and forced to do stuff that can break the law.
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"Tell no one. We are watching."
classicsoncall27 January 2018
Warning: Spoilers
Notwithstanding the dubious motives and actions of Kenny (Alex Lawther) and Hector (Jerome Flynn), the unseen blackmailers are criminals who deserve to be exposed and tried for their crimes. They instigated a bank holdup and conspired in the deaths of innocent people. One might argue that none of the victims were 'innocent' or blameless, however their indiscretions were confined to their own individual selves and did not harm anyone outside of their sphere of influence. The only thing that might have done so was exposure by the blackmailers, which occurred regardless of how well Kenny and Hector performed their assignments. With technology, there arrives this slippery slope whereby unseen forces seemingly beyond the rule of law can operate without reprisal. The blackmailers deserve the White Bear treatment.
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hnt_dnl19 February 2018
Warning: Spoilers
After a couple of truly dubious episodes Nosedive and Playtest that started Season 3, I think that this episode SHUT UP AND DANCE is really the first great episode of the season, and one of the best of the entire series, and jumpstarted what turned out to be an engrossing season. The main character of SUAD is Kenny (brilliantly played by Alex Lawther in a performance that should have won him a slew of awards). Kenny is an extremely shy, introverted 18-year old. Kenny lives a very mundane life, living at home with his mother and younger sister, and working at a fast food restaurant where he puts up with a couple of bullying co-workers as well as his manager, a girl who seems to rather fancy him.

One day, Kenny is caught on video camera showing himself on the internet and is coerced into an elaborate blackmail scheme by mysterious cyber criminals who threaten to expose his dirty secret. The episode very methodically unravels their grand plan, as Kenny encounters several other blackmailees, most notably Hector (excellently played by Jerome Flynn), a middle-aged businessman who has a family he wants to protect from his secrets.

SUAD is a brilliant, complex story that makes you think long after the episode is over. It makes you question who is the worst in this labyrinthine situation. The hackers or the secret-keepers? The acting by all, even minor roles, is pitch perfect. But all kudos should go to the aforementioned Lawther, who makes Kenny a very real human being who got caught up in something beyond his control.
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Floki_Thorfinn10 June 2018
Can't say that this is the best episode of Black Mirror beacuse i've only reached this far, but from here backwards, it's the absolute best by tons.

No sci-fi needed to make a perfect story that actually anybody with our current technology can be victim of. I say no further, just watch it, enjoy it, thrill for 50 minutes and be mindblown!
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Well worth your time...
MartinHafer30 June 2017
When the show begins, a teenage boy foolishly believes a pop-up on his computer when it tells him he has malware on his computer. He then installs something to supposedly fix it...but it actually implants a program on his computer activating his built-in camera. Now, unknown others are watching him as he goes through the internet.

Soon, he begins receiving threatening messages on his computer. Apparently they could see him masturbating to photos on the web. They blackmail him to give them his phone number...and then the demands start coming. Soon, the boy is doing all sorts of things...that become more and more and more insane and dangerous as the show progresses. How bad is it and why he continues to comply are things you'll have to see for yourself.

Unlike most of the other episodes I've seen on "Black Mirror", the technology to do what they did to the teen DOES exist today and the story is not sci-fi...they could easily do everything you see. Well written and obviously by a person who actually understands technology.
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Why didn't they defend themselves?
MrMowji6 February 2019
Warning: Spoilers
I love Black Mirror (at least half of its episodes). It's different. Some of them though, suffer from illogical stories. This episode starts great. But at the end, when we know what's been going on, characters don't defend themselves. "They" just have a video of them, but how can one relate these videos to what they were actually watching? How's that a real proof? Victims (or perverts) can simply argue that they were watching more normal (adult) contents. If the videos were recorded from a different angle where we can see them doing it in front of the monitor displaying kids-porn contents, then yes, victims couldn't argue.
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