The Art of Self-Defense is Dark, Amusing

 In Comedy, Crime, Drama, Everything, Good

The review:

Riley Sterns directs Jesse Eisenberg* in The Art of Self-Defense a dark comedy that feels more intellectually funny than viscerally funny. While that first sentences feels like damning the film with faint praise, it was an enjoyable film experience and I especially enjoyed Alessandro Nivola’s** straight-faced Sensei whom I couldn’t quite get a bead on. This was one of those films that felt removed enough from the world I couldn’t fully settle in, but its artificial environment and subtle commentary and humor were well done.

The verdict: Good

Cost: $1.25 via Redbox
Where watched: at home

Consider also watching:

Further sentences:

*Eisenberg was excellent as always; I don’t think I’ve ever not liked one of his performances.
**I also caught another excellent performance of his this year. He was Rabbi Dovid Kuperman in Sebastían Lelio’s Disobedience.


  • What is your favorite dark comedy?
  • Has Jesse Eisenberg ever not been the tense and introverted character?

Favorite IMDB trivia item:

Writer and director Riley Stearns trains and teaches Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.

Other reviews:

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