The Genius Club

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The Genius Club
Theatrical release poster
Directed byTim Chey
Produced byExecutive producers:
Keiki Nishimura
Stephen Baldwin
Tom Sizemore
Jack Scalia
Arch Bonnema
Daishi Takiishi
Tim Chey
Mike Tarzian
Alisha Dickinson
Douglas White
Written byTim Chey
StarringStephen Baldwin
Tom Sizemore
Jack Scalia
Music byDaniel Bijan
CinematographyTyler Allison
Edited byTim Chey
Distributed byRiverRain Productions
Release date
  • 27 October 2006 (2006-10-27) (United States)
Running time
110 minutes
CountryUnited States

The Genius Club is an American 2006 Christian-themed dramatic thriller film written and directed by Tim Chey. It was released on 27 October 2006 via Cinemark Theatres.[1]

The film tells the story of seven geniuses who try to solve the world's problems in one night in order to prevent a nuclear bomb from exploding in Washington, D.C. The film was produced and distributed by Cloud Ten Pictures and RiverRain Productions.


On Christmas Eve, Armand (Tom Sizemore), a terrorist who has a hidden nuclear device in Washington D.C., forces the president of the United States government (Jack Scalia) to round up seven geniuses with IQs over 200. The group consists of a casino owner (Carol Abney), a biochemist (Paula Jai Parker), a professional baseball player (Matt Medrano), a seminary student (Jacob Bonnema), an economics professor (Phillip Moon), a painter (Tricia Helfer), and a pizza delivery guy (Stephen Baldwin).

The government places them in a bomb shelter and explains the group that they are there to solve the world's problems in one night; if they fail to gather a thousand points before morning, the terrorist will detonate the hidden nuclear device planted in the basement of the 'genius lair'.



The film was marketed during the 2007 Marché du Film (film market) which ran simultaneously with the 60th annual Cannes Film Festival.

Director Tim Chey wanted to make a film about the world's issues while combining the humanity and intelligence of the various character geniuses.[2] Arch Bonnema produced the film, and his son Jacob plays Jacob Chernov, the seminary student.

The film is not explicitly religious, though it is Christian in its tone and message; seminary student Chernov, for example, at times quotes the Bible and answers the "meaning of life" question by observing that "there is no meaning outside of God."

Both director Tim Chey, who is a Christian, and the producers believed it was important that a "real Christian" play the part of Jacob Chernov, hence the selection of Jacob Bonnema, a Christian like his father.[3]

Critical reception[edit]

Most critical reviews were negative. Rotten Tomatoes gives the film a score of 14% based on 7 reviews.[4]

Tom Maurstad, of The Dallas Morning News, described it as a "stultifying, static movie about a group of people trapped in a dingy boardroom yelling at one another and their tormentor. [...] The film's look is relentlessly dark and gritty, like Fight Club without all the fights. Meanwhile, the set-up, a group of strangers thrown together into some sadistic game designed by a psycho genius overseeing all via video screen, is like Saw without the gruesome carnage."[5]

Gary Cogill of WFAA-TV called it a "very earnest film" and said "it has some moments. But the whole movie boils down to solving spiritual problems, and it's awkward without any subtle moments.[6]

Yet, its Christian message did appeal to critics from Southern Vanity, a Dallas-based lifestyle magazine,[citation needed] and it won the Dove "Family Approved" Seal in June 2008.[7]


The movie was released on DVD in September 2008.


  1. ^ The Genius Club on IMDb .
  2. ^ Chey, Tim Web site. Last accessed: April 28, 2008.
  3. ^ Maurstad, Tom (12 November 2006). "A story with a twist". The Dallas Morning News. Archived from the original on 27 September 2007. Retrieved 10 April 2017.
  4. ^ "The Genius Club". Rotten Tomatoes. Flixster. Retrieved 11 April 2017.
  5. ^ Maurstad, Tom (27 October 2006). "The Genius Club". The Dallas Morning News. Archived from the original on 2 December 2007. Retrieved 11 April 2017.
  6. ^ Cogill, Gary (27 October 2006). "Movie Rant: Catch a Fire, Driving Lessons, The Genius Club, Conversations with God, American Hardcore, Running with Scissors".
  7. ^ The Dove Foundation. "Genius Club, The". Christian Cinema. Archived from the original on 26 August 2016. Retrieved 11 April 2017.

External links[edit]