: Cert - 15, Run-time - 2 hours, Director - Matt Johnson: Charting the rapid rise, and equally quick fall, of BlackBerry, changing the phone market forever in-between.

There’s something nostalgic about the business room scenes within BlackBerry. Very few people were in those rooms and yet the discussions about BlackBerry vs iPhone bring about a tingling throwback to that time. Throw back earlier to the early-90s and there’s still nostalgia to be found as the owner’s of a small, relaxed tech business, Mike Lazaridis (Jay Baruchel) and Doug Fregin (Matt Johnson), attempt to pitch their PocketLink device to other businesses.

Phones are phones. Computers are for emails. You still can’t use the phone when people are on the internet. Yet, the pair believe they can create a mini-computer which acts as a phone, email device and more. It’s something which comes to the attention of businessman Jim Balsille (Glenn Howerton), who wants in on the idea to help bring it to life and spread it to the people, seeing the potential for success.

Balsille is a swirling force of anger, pushing ahead with his own ideas without thinking of others in the business. Howerton is exceptional in the role with a commanding performance. It’s a shame that BlackBerry likely will go under the radar, and not be included amongst awards season conversation, as Howerton is deserving of Supporting Actor frontrunner chatter. He brings a stern backlash to the upbeat, nerdy, ‘Raiders Of The Lost Ark for Movie Night’ nature of Doug, with Mike being caught in-between the two.

As Mike begins to side more with Jim as BlackBerry takes shape, running ahead of itself sometimes and leading to crisis, Doug is pushed more to the side. It does sometimes feel that in the process the character - played by director and co-writer, alongside Matthew Miller - Matt Johnson, is forgotten about in exchange for the increasing rise, and chaos, of the company that changed the landscape for phones.

Yet, there’s still plenty to sink your teeth into as the story moves on. Johnson and Miller have formed a tight and effective screenplay, rattling off the key details and still including the audience through the character dramas. From the very start the camerawork feels like it’s been taken from a documentary, emphasising the tension on a number of occasions. Add the strong performances and there’s a deeply engaging drama, not without its humour, powering through.

2023 has been a year which, so far, has seen a number of films about iconic businesses and products. These have included Tetris, Air Jordans and Beanie Babies. However, BlackBerry stands out as a film which knows that nobody really wants to watch something about “that phone that people had before they had an iPhone”. Therefore, it knows to focus on the characters, while bringing in some nostalgia and of course making a point about the phones. It’s a strong piece of work with plenty of tension within the fascinating drama.

Jamie Skinner, four stars ****