Swimming with Sharks (1994) - Comedy, Crime

Hohum Score



A young, naive Hollywood studio assistant finally turns the tables on his incredibly abusive producer boss.

IMDB: 7.1
Director: George Huang
Stars: Kevin Spacey, Frank Whaley
Length: 93 Minutes
PG Rating: R
Reviews: 8 out of 151 found boring (5.29%)

One-line Reviews (56)

Spacey and Whaley's interplay in key scenes is riveting, and for the most part, the younger Whaley manages to stay out of Spacey's shadow.

Ho Hum .

Worth watching for sure.

An undeniably maliciously enjoyable performance by Spacey keeps the film afloat, and while it may occasionally come across as lopsided or falling short of its potential, Swimming with Sharks keeps enough surprises up its proverbial sleeve to remain interesting throughout as a cynical treatise on ambition and the film industry which thrives upon it.

But the scenes WITH Spacey are just so entertaining that you hang on in there right to the end.

The entire second season is carried by the introduction of the new antagonist, Maryann Forrester Maryann, and a large hunk of the show's success is due to the thoroughly riveting and convincing performance from Michelle Forbes.

Now maybe if I didn't moonlight in the movie industry I'd be shocked to discover the dumb politics and exploitation going on behind the screen, but as it is my feelings are as summed up above: 'Ho Hum'.

I saw "K-Pax" last week, which was adequately engaging, then found "Swimming with Sharks" on the IFC.

Mind Blowing.

"When the movie dips into the romantic subplot between Guy and another producer named Dawn the movie becomes less interesting, but Spacey's performance makes this movie worth watching over and over.

The only negative I had was towards the end, which seemed to have way too much on-going dialog to support the intense situation.

However, Tom Heil's understated and affecting single piano score and the occasional moment of intriguing cinematography also add to the overall quality of the work.

It's entertaining, easy to watch and definitely hilarious.

Her character is compelling, strong and nuanced.

Found this film very entertaining and at the same time, it made me very upset with a Boss that would have driven me crazy.

The film itself had me hooked from start to finish, it's gripping, funny, slick, stylish, intense!

But I recommend this to anyone, as it's another one that's slipped through the cracks, and that goes double if you're a Spacey fan, for you are to witness one of the most dramatically intense, searing, and powerhouse performances from a boss whose methods of intimidation are frightening.

The DVDs only worthwhile feature is the director's commentary which is surprisingly candid, revealing many behind-the-scenes secrets, and it is told in a lively and entertaining manner.

Whaley bored me and I wasn't sympathetic to him at any point in the movie.

It is funny,honest, and entertaining.

But although we're meant to feel sorry for Guy (he's constantly mocked and abused by Buddy), it's hard to feel for him when he's played by Frank Whaley, an actor so bland, so limp, so devoid of charisma or screen presence that he sucks all the colour out of the screen and turns his part of the frame a battleship grey.

The scenes in which she interacts with Guy are gripping and covered in subtlety.

Not entirely what you'd expect from the promo art, this strange hybrid of chilling suspense and black comedy bears a surprisingly deep, developed cast of characters and a bitter, intense message about the origins of a corporate monster.


It's a very small movie, comprised of a very few actors and locations, but never feels small, thanks to the great depth that the characters are given, as well as the engrossing story.

However the ending is quite unexpected, and sends out rather a chilling message about the price we pay for success.

" may have some appeal for fans of the trio of principals and others into dialogue-intensive flicks.

But while early scenes hint this is just another predictable, pull-for-the-little-man light comedy, the narrative's regular flashes forward in the timeline paint a larger, more sinister picture.

He plays the cowering lap-dog perfectly, and to see how the abuse pushes him into a completely different character is fascinating.

Usually when I love a film it has to be either extremely entertaining, very poignant, have a deep meaning or just have elements that are phenomenally done.

Entertaining black (very black) comedy-drama suggests that success in Tinseltown comes at a terrible price.

Spacey turns out to be the only one driving it, but somehow it was enough to make it watchable and at times enjoyable.

The script is impressive with Whaley engrossing himself into the character topped only by Spacey's exceptional performance where he looks set to star in a similar, albeit toned down, role in Horrible Bosses.

Guy expects the job to be beneficial and insightful, until he sees Buddy's true side, which is loud, obnoxious, pretentious, smothering, overbearing, and just plain unforgiving behavior as he takes pride in being belligerent and disrespectful to his assistants.

The simple plot and small cast are compensated for by some fine performances; it's funny , well-acted, and definitely worth watching.

Also a lesson in what a movie can be when actors are allowed toact, and a writers insight is respected, rather than given lowerbilling to a director's ego,special effects and Hollywood cliche.

Worth watching to see Spacey enjoying himself in a role where he gets to say pretty much whatever he likes, and does so with relish.

I think the whole idea of George Huang (writer and director) using a "Show me, don't tell me" approach throughout the whole movie, makes this a unique film, and an entertaining watch.

But with that comes the fact that it is overwhelmingly contrived and completely unrealistic on all fronts.

First, I've always felt that the ending was very shocking and unpredictable.

There are all-world trite and boring scenes like when Spacey is tearing into Whaley about bringing him Equal instead of Sweat and Low.

This isn't one of them--despite a fun turn by Benicio Del Toro in the Emily Blunt role from "Prada" and some interesting work by Spacey and Michelle Forbes, this is a frustrating, mean, confused and slightly dull creation of self- indulgence from a director who has, one hopes, "worked it all out" by now...

Trading off against this, the performances are very engaging and enjoyable (especially Spacey, given an early chance to chew on some scenery and helpless assistants and poor old, forgotten Frank Whaley, whose career never really materialised – maybe he needed a stern boss to guide him?

;-- Finally, "Pulp Fiction" was recently on cable and Mr. Whaley's performance - for what it's worth - was stunning.

The climax of the movie is unpredictable, and one of the best ever.

One engrossing film, from start to finish.

Why is this so enjoyable.

The film's main strength is in its strictly dramatic climax; its harrowing and powerful turn of events toying with notions of all consuming ambition and free will in a truly gripping fashion.

A bland dark comedy with psychodramatic overtones which relies entirely on the performances of three virtually charismaless actors, "Swimming...

All in all, Swimming with Sharks is an enjoyable film.

But, no matter what label they give it, the film is excellent and very much worth watching.

Add all of this together to an unexpected ending and it makes for an interesting watch.

Kevin Spacey is typically excellent as Buddy Ackerman and is the most engaging character in the film, remaining funny and manipulative throughout, even while being tortured and held hostage, as well as handling the more serious emotional aspects of his character expertly.

Combined with a numbingly unexpected and chilling ending scene, the film's finale is easily its strongest point - enough so to carry the occasional botched comic moment from earlier in the film.

But having said that, watching him humiliate people is rather enjoyable, especially when the main focus of his wrath is the bland, wishy-washy Guy (played by Frank Whaley).

An abusive, self-indulgent, arrogant boss in the film industry, his role easily translates into that of a recognizable evil boss in any field.