Anon (film)

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Theatrical release poster
Directed byAndrew Niccol
Produced by
  • Daniel Baur
  • Andrew Niccol
  • Oliver Simon
Written byAndrew Niccol
Music byChristophe Beck
CinematographyAmir Mokri
Edited byÁlex Rodríguez
Distributed byAltitude Film Distribution (United Kingdom)
Release date
  • 4 May 2018 (2018-05-04) (Netflix)
  • 11 May 2018 (2018-05-11) (United Kingdom)
Running time
100 minutes[1]
CountryUnited Kingdom

Anon is a 2018 British[2][3][4] science fiction thriller film directed and written by Andrew Niccol, and financed by Sky Cinema Original Films.[5] The film stars Amanda Seyfried and Clive Owen, with Colm Feore, Mark O'Brien, Sonya Walger, Joe Pingue, and Iddo Goldberg appearing in supporting roles. Set in a futuristic world where privacy and anonymity no longer exist, the plot follows a troubled detective (Owen) who comes across a young woman (Seyfried) who has evaded the government's transparency system. The film was released internationally as a "Netflix Original" on the streaming service, from 4 May 2018, whilst in the United Kingdom and Ireland, the film was released in cinemas by Altitude Film Distribution and through on-demand by Sky Cinema on 11 May 2018.


In a modern world where advanced biosyn implants mean everyone is subjected to a relentless visual stream of information they call the "Mind's Eye", privacy and anonymity as we know them have vanished. With everyone's personal information on public display and each person's life recorded down to the millisecond, personal information is downloaded to a vast grid called "The Ether", a database which law enforcement can access and use to prosecute criminals. Sal Frieland is faced with a series of shocking murders which appear to be linked. The police find themselves unable to identify the killers. It soon becomes apparent that what the murders have in common signals a major breakdown in the system on which society has come to rely. As he delves into the case, Frieland encounters a woman who seems to have no identity. Something he initially assumes is a minor glitch becomes the first clue that security of the "Mind's Eye" has been compromised, sending Frieland into a mission where he acts as bait to trap someone who effectively does not exist before they kill again.



On 28 January 2016, Clive Owen was cast in the film to play the role of a detective in a world without privacy.[6] On 8 March 2016, Amanda Seyfried came on board to star in the film, playing a woman with no digital footprint who is invisible to the police.[7]

Principal photography on the film began in early September 2016 in New York City, while other scenes were shot in Toronto,[8] with many shots being filmed at the University of Toronto Scarborough.[9]


On review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes, the film holds an approval rating of 38% based on 47 reviews, and an average rating of 5.3/10. The website's critical consensus reads, "Lacking enough depth to fulfill its evident ambitions or enough excitement to work as a sci-fi action thriller, Anon lives down to its title in the most glumly predictable ways."[10] On Metacritic, the film has a weighted average score of 54 out of 100, based on 11 critics, indicating "mixed or average reviews".[11]

On, Nick Allen gave the film 2.5 stars out of 4, saying that as Niccol's film lays out its sci-fi rules, "Anon can be as much as fun as listening to someone explain every single rule of a board game, when all you want is to just start playing."[12] Peter Bradshaw of The Guardian gave the film 2 stars out of 5, saying: "The impact of the action is lost because we can't be sure of the status of what appears to be happening, and there is something a little bit boring about the conundrum."[13] Stephen Dalton of The Hollywood Reporter wrote, "Niccol's paranoid anxieties about the totalitarian dangers of cyberspace feel oddly glib and dated, light on thrills or narrative logic."[14] Blake Goble of Consequence of Sound gave the film a "B" grade, saying: "While the film's final thesis is a Facebook post with typos at best (delete your accounts, and so on), Niccol is still terrific when he's breaking down rules, questioning protocol, and testing new ideas."[15] James Dyer of Empire gave the film 3 stars out of 5, saying: "With a story that serves mainly as delivery mechanism for its message this is no [The] Truman Show or Gattaca, but comfortably more coherent than In Time and buoyed by its chilling relevance."[16]


  1. ^ "ANON (15)". British Board of Film Classification. 1 May 2018. Retrieved 11 May 2018.
  2. ^ Shepherd, Jack (25 January 2018). "Sky to start making its own movies". The Independent. Retrieved 12 May 2018.
  3. ^ McDonald, Andrew (25 January 2018). "Sky moves into original films in latest content push". Digital TV Europe. Informa. Retrieved 14 May 2018.
  4. ^ Admin (8 May 2018). "Sky Cinema Original Film 'ANON' gets a brand new clip". The Arts Shelf. Retrieved 12 May 2018.
  5. ^ Travis, Ben (25 January 2018). "Sky Confirms Plans to Create and Release Original Films". Empire. Retrieved 14 May 2018.
  6. ^ Barraclough, Leo (28 January 2016). "Clive Owen Boards Andrew Niccol's Sci-fi Thriller 'Anon'". Variety. Penske Business Media. Retrieved 6 September 2016.
  7. ^ Rosser, Michael (8 March 2016). "Amanda Seyfried joins Andrew Niccol sci-fi 'Anon' with Clive Owen". Screen Daily. Screen International. Retrieved 8 March 2016.
  8. ^ CS (4 September 2016). "Clive Owen and Amanda Seyfried Photos from the Anon Set". Mandatory. Retrieved 6 September 2016.
  9. ^ Quijano, Bianca (9 September 2016). "Filmmakers find UTSC "perfect for production"". University of Toronto Scarborough. Retrieved 30 July 2018.
  10. ^ "Anon (2018)". Rotten Tomatoes. Fandango Media. Retrieved 11 January 2019.
  11. ^ "Anon Reviews". Metacritic. CBS Interactive. Retrieved 15 May 2018.
  12. ^ Allen, Nick (5 May 2018). "Anon". Ebert Digital LLC. Retrieved 25 May 2018.
  13. ^ Bradshaw, Peter (4 May 2018). "Anon review – Andrew Niccol's killer-hacker thriller suffers from identity theft". The Guardian. Retrieved 11 January 2019.
  14. ^ Dalton, Stephen (3 May 2018). "'Anon': Film Review". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 11 January 2019.
  15. ^ Goble, Blake (6 May 2018). "Film Review: Anon Sends a Detective Into a Waking Nightmare in the Neo-Near Future". Consequence of Sound. Retrieved 11 January 2019.
  16. ^ Dyer, James (8 May 2018). "Anon Review". Empire. Retrieved 11 January 2019.

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