A married couple is forced to reckon with their idealized image of their son, adopted from war-torn Eritrea, after an alarming discovery by a devoted high school teacher threatens his status as an all-star student.
Three 6th grade boys ditch school and embark on an epic journey while carrying accidentally stolen drugs, being hunted by teenage girls, and trying to make their way home in time for a long-awaited party.
Keith L. Williams,
Set in 1825, Clare, a young Irish convict woman, chases a British officer through the rugged Tasmanian wilderness, bent on revenge for a terrible act of violence he committed against her family. On the way she enlists the services of an Aboriginal tracker named Billy, who is also marked by trauma from his own violence-filled past.
A loving mom becomes compelled to reconnect with her creative passions after years of sacrificing herself for her family. Her leap of faith takes her on an epic adventure that jump-starts her life and leads to her triumphant rediscovery.
After he's attacked on the street at night by a roving motorcycle gang, timid bookkeeper Casey (Jesse Eisenberg) joins a neighborhood karate studio to learn how to protect himself. Under the watchful eye of a charismatic instructor, Sensei (Alessandro Nivola), and hardcore brown belt Anna (Imogen Poots), Casey gains a newfound sense of confidence for the first time in his life. But when he attends Sensei's mysterious night classes, he discovers a sinister world of fraternity, brutality and hyper-masculinity, presenting a journey that places him squarely in the sights of his enigmatic new mentor.Written by
DOJO RULES: 1. No shoes on the mat. 2. No food or drinks on the mat. 3. Bow when stepping on/off the mat. 4. Always bring your belt. 5. Wash your gi. 6. Respect your opponent. 7. Tap or hear it snap. 8. Tap or take a nap. 9. Stay hydrated. 10. If it works, use it. 11. Guns are for the weak. See more »
SPOILER: The wall of the dojo is shown. Next to the Grand Master is now a photo of Casey's deceased dachshund. He can be heard in the background teaching the children's class. See more »
Squirmy to the extreme, "The Art of Self-Defense" exists in an off-kilter world a hair or two removed from the one we actually know and live in, and creates a dead-pan comedy of sorts out of incredibly uncomfortable material. I might have thought Yorgos Lanthimos directed this film if I knew for sure that he didn't.
Jesse Eisenberg is a wimpy dude who finds a mentor in Alessandro Nivola, owner of a karate dojo who teaches him how to better protect himself after he's physically assaulted. But he teaches him much more than that. He teaches him how to be a man with a capital "M," which means he must start listening to thrash metal, get a bigger, scarier dog, and take his aggressions out on the weak. It's a bit of a Frankenstein's monster story really, as the person Eisenberg evolves into decides he needs to destroy his creator.
The reasons behind that decision are revealed in a twist that doesn't come as especially surprising and is dealt with a bit awkwardly by the film's screenplay, and I thought the movie became messier and less satisfying the further it got into its running time. But originality goes a long way with me, and it's easy to see how "The Art of Self-Defense" is preoccupied with white male anger and fear and the way in which those feelings turn people and cultures toxic, so in addition to being original the film also has the benefit of feeling incredibly relevant.
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