The Art of Self-Defense

The Art of Self-Defense

(2019)

Jesse Eisenberg joins a karate dojo after being attacked on the street in this dark comedy from writer-director Riley Stearns (Faults).... More

After joinining the local dojo, led by a charismatic and mysterious Sensei (Alessandro Nivola, American Hustle), he uncovers a sinister world of fraternity, violence and hypermasculinity and a woman (Imogen Poots) fighting for her place in it.Hide

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BY Ian_Anderson superstar

Not all satiric, dark comedies have a message. Alessandro Nivola and Jesse Eisenberg combine to take the urine out of martial arts, mysterious knowledge, office life, gun control messages, and both wimpy & macho guys. The delivery here is as dry as a bone, especially from Nivola as the utterly serious Sensei of the Karate Dojo. While Eisenberg plays an eager to please accountant who has been recently mugged and beaten and is looking to stop being frightened.


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The Press Reviews

  • "The Art of Self-Defense" may be presented as an absurdist satire, but like the best American comedies... it doubles as a keen critique of our national character. Full Review

  • While the beats of its plot may be nothing very new, the tone, language and performances here make Self-Defense its own beast. Full Review