The Mill
Promotional release poster
Directed bySean King O'Grady
Written byJeffrey David Thomas
Produced by
  • Lil Rel Howery
  • Josh Feldman
  • Sean King O'Grady
  • Jesse Ford
  • Barbara Goldner
  • Brooke Goldner
CinematographySeamus Tierney
Edited byShane Patrick Ford
Music byDavid Chapdelaine
Distributed byHulu
Release date
  • October 9, 2023 (2023-10-09)
Running time
106 minutes
CountryUnited States

The Mill is a 2023 American science fiction thriller film directed by Sean King O'Grady and written by Jeffrey David Thomas. It stars Lil Rel Howery, Pat Healy, Karen Obilom, and Patrick Fischler. It began streaming on Hulu on October 9, 2023.


Joe, an employee of the Mallard Corporation, wakes up in a strange courtyard with no recollection of his arrival. As Joe seeks help, he hears the voice of another inmate who explains some — but not all — of the circumstances of the prisoners ("employees"). Any attempts to escape or ask for help during food deliveries results in further isolation. Joe and the other employees' primary task is pushing a millstone in order to reach the targeted quota. He faces the daily pressure of meeting the deadline, and failure carries severe consequences.

Over time, Joe's physical and mental strength are continuously tested. Despite exhaustion and distressing hallucinations, he remains determined to reunite with his pregnant wife, Kate. Joe confronts the malevolent AI orchestrating his ordeal, making a plea for freedom and reuniting with his wife. The AI, now threatened, concedes to his request.

It turns out that Joe has been part of an augmented reality as part of Mallard's training. After he secures his position and reassures contact with Kate, Joe then plots to expose Mallard's wrongdoings.



In February 2023, Deadline Hollywood reported that the film was "recently-wrapped" and was shot in New Jersey.[1]

O'Grady and Howery had previously worked together in the comedy film I Love My Dad (2022), in which the former produced and the latter played a supporting role. In an interview with MovieWeb, O'Grady said that he wanted to collaborate with Howery again but in a drama film rather than a comedy. Upon reading the screenplay of The Mill, O'Grady had Howery in mind as his first choice for the lead.[2] O'Grady said in an interview with Blavity that he "read (the screenplay) in a night", after producer Josh Feldman shared it with him.[3]

According to O'Grady, Howery chose not to know where the filming location was set and was literally blindfolded as he entered the set.[3]


The film was released on Hulu on October 9, 2023.[4][2]


On the review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes, 42% of 12 critics' reviews are positive, with an average rating of 6/10.[5]

Nick Allen of gave the film a score of two out of four.[6] Tyler Nichols of gave the film a positive review and wrote, "Unless they're given a theatrical release, Hulu Horror films often miss the mark, so I went into this with very low expectations. Thankfully this provided a smart and poignant thriller that really takes aim at a lot of issues going on in society today".[7] Brandon Yu of The New York Times gave the film a negative review, writing, "The film lacks any well-executed surprises to help it push past one-dimensional satire, and Howery is not strong enough of a dramatic actor to keep a single-setting, single-character film like this consistently engaging".[8]


  1. ^ Grobar, Matt (February 1, 2023). "Lil Rel Howery To Topline Hulu Sci-Fi Thriller 'The Mill'; Scoot McNairy, Pat Healy Among Others Set – First Look". Deadline Hollywood. Archived from the original on October 9, 2023. Retrieved October 4, 2023.
  2. ^ a b Mahler, Matthew (October 6, 2023). "Exclusive: The Mill Director Wants to Change Your Life and Break the System". MovieWeb. Archived from the original on October 18, 2023. Retrieved October 8, 2023.
  3. ^ a b Yates, Shanique (October 9, 2023). "'THE MILL' DIRECTOR RECALLS LIL REL HOWERY'S DECISION TO REMAIN BLINDFOLDED UNTIL PRODUCTION BEGAN FOR THE SCI-FI THRILLER". Blavity. Archived from the original on October 14, 2023. Retrieved October 12, 2023.
  4. ^ Collis, Clark (September 27, 2023). "Get Out star Lil Rel Howery faces a different kind of horror in The Mill trailer". Entertainment Weekly. Archived from the original on September 30, 2023. Retrieved October 4, 2023.
  5. ^ "The Mill". Rotten Tomatoes. Fandango Media. Retrieved December 1, 2023.
  6. ^ Allen, Nick (October 9, 2023). "The Mill". Archived from the original on October 10, 2023. Retrieved October 9, 2023.
  7. ^ Nichols, Tyler (October 8, 2023). "The Mill Review". Archived from the original on October 9, 2023. Retrieved October 8, 2023.
  8. ^ Yu, Brandon (October 9, 2023). "The Mill Review: A Cog in the Machine". The New York Times. Archived from the original on October 9, 2023. Retrieved October 9, 2023.