Review: 'Assassination Nation' Is Feminist Rage Personified

Review: 'Assassination Nation' Is  Feminist Rage Personified

Women are tired of taking sh*t from men.


In Sam Levinson's new film Assassination Nation, Lilly, Em, Sarah, and Bex are four teenaged high school girls so in love with themselves and obsessed with social media they ignore the world around them. Their hometown of Salem has lost its f**king mind. This is why, when the sh*t hits the fan, they have no time to prepare for the onslaught of violence coming their way. Within the first two minutes, there is a huge trigger warning flooded with multiple triggers, and the film delivers on them all. Don't be fooled into thinking this is a satirical comedy. There is nothing funny about what these young women endure.

Lily (Odessa Young), Bex (Hari Nef), Sarah (Suki Waterhouse), Em (Abra) are like so many youngsters of their generation. They seek social media fame, love, makeup, smoking weed, and love flirting with people twice their age. Lily is the leader of the group but doesn't trust her coven of friends enough to tell them she's been sexting the next door neighbor Nick (Joel Mchale). Things go wrong for the group when a 4chan script kiddies begin hacking into the phones of prominent figures in the Salem community.


Exposed as a gay crossdresser, the town mayor has his pictures leaked. Next, naked photos of the high school principal's daughter emerge, and the town labels him a pedophile. Salem soon spirals into paranoia as ordinary citizens suddenly find their text messages and private picture galleries are shared with everyone. Local police trace the suspicious activity back to Lily's house. From there, a slow tension builds, and the deluge of deadly hysteria hits the audience like a freight train and doesn't slow down for sixty minutes.

The film is more accessible if the characters are thought of as personifications of the different personalities of those who navigate the internet. Women receive the most abuse online no matter what intersectional crossroad they stand on; however, the main issue is social media can cause people to go nuts with call-out culture, which has become the norm.Writer/director Sam Levinson knows how to write empowering dialogue. Every actress has at least one monologue that is poignant, culturally relevant, and tailored to each character's personality. I found myself agreeing with their logic most of the time. Bravo to Levinson for making the women smart, capable, and self-reliant. Also, it is refreshing to see queer actors in roles where their identity is a non-issue, as actress Hari Nef is one of the leading heroes in Salem's feminist revolution.


Assassination Nation isn't perfect. The last shot is the young women of Salem joining the four main heroes on the street in a great show of solidarity among women. Unfortunately, it doesn't have the desired impact and is anti-climactic. After all that's happened on the streets of Salem, no one is coming outside to join this makeshift revolution weaponless and in their pajamas.

There could have been a bit more inclusion among the leads. White and black women aren't the only ones who receive online harassment, experience doxxing, and worse.

But what the film does, it does fairly well. Assassination Nation puts extreme toxic masculinity on display—and shows what can happen when men have too much control. In the time of #TimesUp and #MeToo, it is women who are at the forefront of change. For the women of Salem to live, they must rise and take back their power. But, it makes you wonder: can't we all just get along in this technologically advanced society? Only time will tell, but one thing is for sure: women are tired of taking sh*t from men.

Popular Right Now

Which Star Wideout Will Have More Success On Their New Team?

Antonio Browns and Odell Beckham Jr are on new teams for the 2019 NFL season. The Oakland Raiders and Cleveland Browns are lucky that they're offenses have elite wide receivers on their roster for 2019.


Two big names in the NFL are moving on in 2019 to their new teams. Antonio Brown was traded from the Pittsburgh Steelers to the Oakland Raiders in early March 2019. Odell Beckham Jr. was traded from the New York Giants to the Cleveland Browns in March 2019. Both wideouts have staked their claim in the league as two of the best receivers of their generation. Entering the 2019 season, both of them are now on new teams looking for a fresh start. Will Brown or Beckham have a greater impact on new uniforms?

Antonio Brown was one of the cornerstones of the Steelers offense for years. He and quarterback Ben Roethlisberger were a threatening duo when they took the field. Things went off the rails between Brown and the Steelers organization. Brown's relationship with Roethlisberger turned south in 2018 and Brown requested a trade by the offseason. The Steelers were through with Brown's behavior and traded him to Oakland in March.

Brown's new quarterback heading into 2019 is Derek Carr. The sixth-year quarterback is hoping to lead the Raiders back to the playoffs, as he did in 2016. Raiders head coach Jon Gruden is entering the second year of his ten year deal with the Raiders. Gruden could have a fun time coaching a once in a lifetime receiver like Brown.

Odell Beckham Jr. was a star from his rookie season onward with the New York Giants. He and Eli Manning made some splash plays during his time in the Big Apple. The Browns traded for Beckham in March and It made headlines in Cleveland. The transaction does not make the Browns Super Bowl contenders, but it makes the Browns a better offense. Second-year quarterback Baker Mayfield now has a truly elite wide receiver on his team.

So, which receiver is in a better position to have another elite season? When it comes to quarterbacks, Antonio Brown has the edge. Derek Carr has been to the playoffs and is more established in the AFC. Baker Mayfield is only entering his second season. So, the sample size is not equal, but for now, Carr is the better quarterback. In terms of head coaches, Brown again has the advantage. Jon Gruden has won the Super Bowl and is a respected coach. Browns head coach Freddie Kitchens is entering his first season as a head coach in the NFL. When considering the divisions they compete in, the advantage lands to Odell Beckham Jr. The AFC North is up for grabs in 2019. The Browns can truly be competitive in the division. The Raiders are in a division that had two playoff teams in 2018, the Chiefs and Chargers. It will be hard for Brown and the Raiders to compete in the AFC West.

Brown and Beckham have been terrorizing NFL secondaries for years. Now, they enter the 2019 season with new teams and new challenges. Brown can make the Raiders competitive again in the AFC West. And Beckham can strengthen Cleveland's offense with Baker Mayfield. Coming to a new team is a part of life in the NFL. Brown and Beckham need fresh starts. 2019 will be an opportunity for both to showcase just how dominant they can be.

Related Content

Connect with a generation
of new voices.

We are students, thinkers, influencers, and communities sharing our ideas with the world. Join our platform to create and discover content that actually matters to you.

Learn more Start Creating
Facebook Comments