“The Line” is a wonderful showcase for Austin Abrams’ talent as it wastes both Halle Bailey and Angus Cloud.

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Film Summary

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Tom thinks he is hot s*** for getting into a fraternity named KNA (Kappa Nu Alpha) that produced a few presidents. He talks boldly to his mom and seems to play down being on academic probation. But what do you expect? He is the man.

His roommate, Mitch’s father, is a CEO. The president of his frat, Todd, sees him as next in line to be president of KNA, and while Tom doesn’t come from money or influence, clearly, he is connected more than enough to potentially be set for life.

However, he doesn’t have it all. He’d like to date this girl Annabelle, but she is hesitant due to frat culture and her few experiences with Tom’s friends, like Bob. But, what really may be the ultimate test for Tom is the incoming class, especially one pledge named Gettys who makes it clear that he has no desire to be your usual submissive pledge who takes a bunch of crap, hazing, and doesn’t say anything or fight back. Which, in some ways, Todd loves, Mitch vehemently hates, and poor Tom, stuck in the middle, hoping to appease Todd and Mitch, has to put up with.

Character Descriptions

Please Note: This character guide is not an exhaustive list of every cast member, and character descriptions may contain what can be considered spoilers.


Tom is from a single-parent, middle-class household in Florida, so a fraternity for Tom isn’t just a family but opportunity. But while he has become acclimated to the culture, he doesn’t have the backup others have that would allow him to be as reckless as others. Which often makes it so he has to walk a line in all his interactions.


Brash, popular, and by no means as submissive as pledges are expected to be, Gettys challenges the power structure and egos of many in the frat and becomes a problem. For while the other pledges aren’t trying to mimic him, some like Mitch really can’t stand the kid.


Annabelle is a politically correct student from Charleston who takes a slight interest in Tom after he is persistent in his pursuit of her. However, while they are cool, she isn’t looking for anything serious and wants to keep things casual.


Bob is a chill dude who just wants to keep his head down and reap the benefits KNA has to offer. He and Tom get along because neither one wants to cause trouble. They just want to get what they can and move ahead.

  • The Actor Is Also Known For: His Role In “Euphoria


Todd is the current president of the frat who sees great things in Tom for the initiative he does take. This is why he sets him up to handle the latest pledges and tasks him with keeping Mitch in line.


Mitch is the son of a CEO of a famous southern store chain, and you can tell he is privileged. But, on top of the level of privilege he has, he, unfortunately, has the persona of Cartman from “South Park,” which makes him notably hated amongst KNA, but because his family has money, influence, and a summer home, he is put up with.


Our Rating: Positive (Worth Seeing)


Austin Abrams

The lasting memories you’ll have from “The Line” all revolve around Austin Abrams. From him pushing Mitch and his sheer level of audacity, you are constantly left to wonder what he may say or do next and if anyone may do anything serious about it. For him spitting on people, triggering their insecure masculinity by questioning their sexuality, and showing that he is truly what the frat wants and exemplifies, you are put in a place to constantly wonder if he may make it or end up falling off the line.

Understanding The Power, Culture, And Influence Of Fraternities

From presidents to Fortune 500 CEOs, many were attendees of Ivy League Universities and part of fraternities. This can be very alluring and not just for those who already have wealth and influence via their parents, which they can pool, but also those like Bob and Tom who don’t have that but want it. For while the film takes place in 2014, both then and now, college debt was an issue, graduating with nothing but a piece of paper is a problem, and social mobility might potentially be easier in America, but it isn’t easy – full stop.

Almost everyone knows that it isn’t just what you know but who you know, and for jobs that don’t require medical or advanced degrees, what you know can easily be of no importance. However, there is a process. As shown, you have to suffer abuse, prop up a culture you may not even agree with, and know how to acclimate to an environment in which the brand, a name, is always more important than any individual.

Mitch’s father has a name and a brand backing him, so he can whine, barely bathe at times, and be childish without much beyond sympathy for Tom. For his inclusion in the fraternity means potential internships, jobs, mobility, and setting up the next generation in their insular organization. All of which, even with “The Line” not delving deep into the politics of it all, or even Tom’s desperation to become something, is fascinating.

On The Fence

Wishing More Was Done With Some Familiar Faces

If, like me, your initial draw was Halle Bailey or Angus Cloud, especially to see what his post-Euphoria career would be like, you will likely be disappointed. Cloud is either barely in the film or blends in so well with the others that you don’t get much from him outside of going to class with Tom and trying to talk him down after Tom gets upset.

Then, with Bailey, honestly, her part could have been cut, and we wouldn’t have missed much. Yes, after “Grown-ish,” seeing her play a character on a college campus is cool, especially since Annabelle is like Sky Forster if she could curse and wasn’t an athlete. However, she is restrained by being a potential love interest for Tom, which her character doesn’t really want, so while a familiar face you are glad to see, unfortunately, her name is better for marketing “The Line” than showcasing her talent.

General Information

Director(s) Ethan Berger
Screenplay By Ethan Berger, Alex Russek
Based On Stories Of Hazing
Date Released (Film Festival – Tribeca Film Festival) June 18, 2023
Genre(s) Comedy, Crime, Drama, Young Adult
Film Length 1 Hour 40 Minutes
Content Rating Not Rated
Noted Characters and Cast
Tom Alex Wolff
Gettys Austin Abrams
Annabelle Halle Bailey
Bob Angus Cloud
Todd Lewis Pullman
Mitch Bo Mitchell
Beach John Malkovich
Jackie Cheri Oteri
Leanne Denise Richards

Movie Recommendations

If you like this movie, we recommend:

  1. Burning Sands

You can also check our movies page for more recommendations and our latest movie reviews.


Why Is “The Line” Rated Not Rated

Cursing and homo-averse dialog, sexual situations that don’t lead to any notable nudity, and hazing (which includes fist fights and use of weapons).

Is John Malkovich In The Film Much?

No. He has maybe two or three scenes, mainly of him being introduced to Tom or reintroduced.

Is Denise Richards In The Film Much?

She has less screen time than John Malkovich and barely any lines beyond how embarrassing her husband, Beach, and son, Mitch, are.

Is Cheri Oteri In The Film Much?

She is only in the beginning when Tom is mouthing off to her and at the end when he comes home from college.

What Is The Name Of The School Tom And Everyone Else Go To?

Sumpter College

Tom (Alex Wolff), Bob (Angus Cloud), Mitch (Bo Mitchell) and More
The Line (2023) – Movie Review and Summary (with Spoilers)
While it is understood the goal of “The Line” is to remind everyone how prevalent hazing is, to the point of there being at least one death every year, and that it isn’t just the vulnerable who may get killed, it is hard to move past certain actors of note not getting the spotlight as you may want, and very few fighting in earnest to refocus your attention.
Austin Abrams
Understanding The Power, Culture, And Influence Of Fraternities
Wishing More Was Done With Some Familiar Faces

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