The Art of Self-Defense

Rated R 104 minutes 2019

After getting beat up, a meek young accountant (Jesse Eisenberg) joins a karate dojo to learn how to defend himself, but the experience is alarmingly hostile. That’s about it for the plot of writer-director Riley Stearns’ ordeal of a drama, a gratingly nasty exercise that’s so repellant it’s energy-sapping. It resembles a remake of Fight Club in the style of Napoleon Dynamite, with its deadpan absurdity used as a weapon instead of as an ingratiating touch. Alessandro Nivola and Imogen Poots costar.

Film Credits

Official Site: bleeckerstreetmedia.com/theartofselfdefense

Director: Riley Stearns

Producer: Cody Ryder, Andrew Kortschak, Stephanie Whonsetler, Walter Kortschak, Andrew Karpen, Munika Lay, Kent Sanderson, David Zellner and Nathan Zellner

Cast: Jesse Eisenberg, Alessandro Nivola, Imogen Poots, Steve Terada, David Zellner, Phillip Botello, Jason Burkey, Mike Brooks, CJ Rush, Davey Johnson and Hauke Bahr

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