Out Now On-Demand

Not man. Not machine. More.

Violent, near-future sci-fi from writer-director Leigh Whannell (co-writer of the Saw and Insidious series). Grey (Logan Marshall-Green, The Invitation) is a quadriplegic given a new lease on life by an experimental computer chip implant that helps manoeuvre his body. As Grey sets out to avenge his wife's murder, he discovers the Stem implant gives him new abilities - but at the cost of complete control of his actions. Midnighters audience award-winner at SXSW 2018.


Directed by

Written by

Action, Science Fiction


Rating: R16 Graphic violence, horror, offensive language & content that may disturb


A gleeful cyberpunk action thriller with both old-school charm and a contemporary feel, this is a premium example of a filmmaker keeping their ambitions restrained and nailing their targets with gusto. Upgrade doesn’t really try anything new, but it delivers a hell of a lot of thrills as an R-rated romp that’s refreshingly standalone, not trying to set up any sequels.

One of the finest achievements is making what was presumably a relatively low budget punch well above its weight, effects-wise. The near-future setting and all its ultra-high-tech bits and pieces are brought to life with a brilliant mix of digital and practical effects. Nothing looks fake. It’s not a film chock-full of gore, but when the violent stuff comes, writer/director Leigh Whannell’s pedigree as co-creator of Saw becomes delightfully clear.

He’s clearly channelling a few classics here – think RoboCop meets Universal Soldier meets The Lawnmower Man, in a Blade Runner-esque setting and with a story that plays like a Death Wish sequel. No, Upgrade isn’t likely to develop a cult following as strong as those films, but fans of them will be doing themselves a big favour by checking out this new kid on the block.

While a pulpy movie like this doesn’t need a ground-breaking narrative to succeed, the storyline is where Upgrade disappoints a little. It’s all fairly predictable and ties things up too nicely, with an ending less interesting than what the preceding film could have led to.

There’s also an odd tonal mix as it sometimes takes itself seriously in sombre scenes, while others go for slapstick comedy and there are horror elements thrown in, too. Somehow, it mostly all works and it’s easy to see why this won the Midnighters audience award at SXSW – watching it in a packed cinema with a hyped-up crowd is pure joy.

Dread Central (USA)


A pure adrenaline shot of sci-fi body horror thrills.

indieWire (USA)


One wishes that some of the inventiveness of its set pieces and throwaway flourishes could've made their way into the main narrative, which is a too-familiar drag.

Slashfilm (USA)


Leigh Whannell's latest film Upgrade is one of the most strikingly invigorated sci-fi watches I've been awestruck by in quite some time.

FilmInk (Australia)


...the wild, anarchic creativity of DTV SF permeates Upgrade, only it's sheathed in the concerns of today, not mired in the cultural extrapolations of a few decades back.

Entertainment Weekly


As a movie, it's the cinematic equivalent of paint-by-numbers: competent, attractive even, but take a single step closer and the lines peek through.



By merging Deus Ex cyberpunk, third-person action games and the dirty old bones of '70s exploitation, Upgrade earns installation in your memory core.

Stuff.co.nz (Sarah Watt)


And yet, for... the very occasional clumsiness in its execution, Australian director Leigh Whannell (co-creator of the Saw franchise) has incredibly managed to fashion a heap of gruesome fun, with a script and action that feels fresh and exhilarating.

Rolling Stone (USA)


Resistance is futile. High-grade grindhouse glee is your reward.

Variety (USA)


A compact sci-fi action B-movie that wants to be a hip little genre exercise but doesn't have the chops (or maybe it's just the imagination) to entirely pull it off.

Los Angeles Times


If "Upgrade" ultimately plays like a genre exercise, it's certainly a taut, engrossing one.

New York Times


The movie manages to be pretty funny; and the grisliness of the action, while in a sense entirely deplorable, adds to the kicks.

Guardian (UK)


While Whannell wrestles with warring desires to fret over the inevitable techno-oblivion towards which we're currently hurtling or have a laugh about it all, that conflict manifests in a disappointing tonal clash...

Hollywood Reporter


A fast-paced, inventive thrill ride.

Funny, gory, clever

Definitely worth a watch. Watching Grey discover how Stem works is very funny in the first big fight (also the best kill). Not really scary but very entertaining and a great lead performance!

Don't trust STEM

Did they decide on STEM after finding out it's an acronym for Science, Technology, Engineering & Maths? Anyway, it's a gory movie, but almost arty. Great movements, like corographed ballet but violent. Worth watching just to watch the movevent and fight scenes. It's very entertaining. Great watch if you suspend reality and let the movie take you along. An arty, gory movie.




Fun packed with a whole lot of action

Its filled with action, fun and entertaining; with a well-portrayed tale and a few little surprises in its arsenal.




Charles Bronson snorts coke off a Black Mirror ( I'm not even trying now)

Nice n' moody action joyride with brilliant sound design and camera work. With every a high comes a sudden crash though thanks to the sort of reverse-cookie-crumble-plot-twist ending usually reserved for the Saw movies (explanatory flashbacks even) Though much better than SOLO: a Star Wars story ...I should've given that one a 2/5

"We can make you Better"... OUCH !!

Mixing amazing Ninja fight scenes, whilst laughing?? In a Love Story.... I did think I was at Deadpool II .a couple of times.. !!! That's a great thing. Congrats to Hugh @ Hollywood & Flicks for the AWESOME movie !! :) It wasn't perfect, that is Never the goal of making a movie. As a night out with my honey it was fan bloody tastic :)




Fun action sci-fi film

I thoroughly enjoyed this film. Enough humour, action and gore to keep to entertained from start to finish.

Interesting ideas

Overall an enjoyable film, some really interesting new ideas and well presented. It's just a shame they relied on the dead wife trope, that was really disappointing. Logan Marshall-Green was great though.

Total Surprise!

Went in expecting an action packed concept with present future vibes, but we received a well thought out, very well carried out movie with a solid future aspect and clever attention to detail. really impressed. Great work!

I absolutely loved it

A brilliant insite into what the future could bring. A very thought provoking movie which kept you guessing right until the end.

Thought provoking and darkly funny

I wasn't sure what to expect from this but was quite surprised. Dark humour and thought provoking themes with a good smattering of violent mayhem. The fight scenes are fantastic and the acting is top notch. Sci Fi fans must see.