Silk Road (2021) Movie Review

Silk Road – Not So Stylish

Director: Tiller Russell

Writer: Tiller Russell (Screenplay) David Kushner (Novel)

Starring: Nick Robinson, Jason Clarke, Alexandra Shipp, Katie Aselton, Darrell Britt-Gibson

Plot: Philosophical twenty-something Ross Ulbricht creates Silk Road, a dark net website that sells drugs, while DEA agent Rick Bowden goes undercover to bring him down.

Runtime: 1 Hour 52 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Story: Silk Road starts when Ross Ulbricht (Robinson) decides he wants to change the world, his vision is a website on the dark web, which could hook people up with drugs, not giving them any need for proof of ID. His builds the Silk Road website, one that does deals using Bitcoin, leaving no digital footprints behind.

DEA agent Rick Bowden (Clarke) starts trying to hunt the owner of Silk Road down, but his lack of knowledge of the dark web means he will need to work with his informant, as Ross starts to see the success spiral out of control, making him one of the most wanted men in America.

Thoughts on Silk Road

Characters & Performances – Ross Ulbricht is the young man that believes in the freedoms that America can offer you, he wants to make more happen in the world, with his vision for change being a way to buy drugs without trading details. When his idea becomes big, he must find a way to stay ahead of the law, who are tracking him down, looking to close him down, showing him becoming more desperate and isolated. Nick Robinson does a solid enough job in this role, it would be fair to say we know he is capable of much more, with this role having the potential that could have changed how people saw him like it did for Jesse Eisenberg. Rick Bowden is a DEA agent that gets demoted to the tech division, making him a fish out of water, not knowing anything about computers. He starts looking into the case with Silk Road, using his street connections to make something happen, continuing to get involved when he is asked to walk away, pushing his family away more than he wants to. Jason Clarke is the strongest of the performers in this film, giving us a character, we can sympathise with more than anyone else involved.

StoryThe story here follows the twenty-something year-old that builds a website called Silk Road which will be used for criminal activities, with the ability to track the users being withheld, as we follow a disgraced DEA agent try to crack the case. This is a story that seems to try and turn criminal into the hero, this is a style of story we get two or three of a year, which makes the minor criminal seem like the most important person in the world. This does flow in the typical fashion, without giving us much going on, but does end up seeing characters drop out of the story without giving us a chance to learn about what happened to them. It does the basics well, it just gets everything together smooth enough to fill like one we have seen before.

ThemesSilk Road is a crime thriller that follows the invention of Silk Road, seeing the cat-n-mouse battle between the creator and the DEA agent trying to catch him. The locations show the change in life that Ross gets with his home environment changes.

Silk Road is on digital platforms 22 March from Vertigo Releasing


Silk Road is a by the book thriller that puts the spotlight on a criminal over the people that are tracking them down.

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