BlackBerry - Official Trailer ft. Jay Baruchel & Glenn Howerton | HD | IFC Films

On a technical level, Johnson oversees a smart package. A selection of songs by the Stereo MCs, Joy Division, Moby, and The Strokes taps into a general spirit of the changing times without relying on jukebox emotionality. Obviously modestly budgeted, BlackBerry embraces a low-fi vibe that suits it well, especially during the early, DIY days of the company. Cinematographer Jared Raab’s camerawork leans heavily into handheld and slightly voyeuristic, courting an aggressively inquisitive tone, and communicating the silent paradox gripping many of its subjects: we’re succeeding—wildly, actually—but is this in fact sustainable?


Eventually, though, this visual tack reaches a point of diminishing returns. The filmmakers feel so all-in and beholden to this approach that, for example, they cut away from Lazaridis during a pivotal emotional revelation to indulge more over-the-shoulder background detail.

It’s true that an operatic presentation of ruination or consequences wouldn’t fit BlackBerry. But it does feel like the movie misses the chance for some stick-the-landing moments related to the fates of its chief characters. That said, Johnson’s entertaining time capsule does still capture, in its unfussy way, one immutable truth: good times aren’t meant to last forever.


(BlackBerry arrives in theaters on May 12, 2023)