The Art of Self-Defense (2019) - Comedy, Crime, Drama

Hohum Score



After being attacked on the street, a young man enlists at a local dojo, led by a charismatic and mysterious sensei, in an effort to learn how to defend himself from future threats.

IMDB: 6.9
Director: Riley Stearns
Stars: Jesse Eisenberg, Alessandro Nivola
Length: 104 Minutes
PG Rating: R
Reviews: 22 out of 86 found boring (25.58%)

One-line Reviews (51)

A little more gruesome than I'm used to, but I still enjoyed it.

Sure, there were some funny moments, about four in the hour and a half, but the dark humor that comprised the utterly predictable last half of the was completely without irony and in the end, just meaningless.

We also know this isn't what Casey really wants, his desire to become what intimidates him doesn't fit, his battle to find a balance is fascinating to watch.

Sadly my title says it all, some good actors but given just ok material, at to slower pace.

' Jesse plays a boring bookkeeper with no friends besides his pet dachshund.

Another unfunny movie with pointless "male" nudity.

Watch paint dry, instead.

One of the most pointless and stupid films...

Good start, but predictable by mid-stream .

From the opening, the film is witty, comedic and downright entertaining.

On top of that and even more fascinating is night class student and daytime children karate instructor Anna (Imogen Poots).

The Sensei character is also so entertaining.

This is easily one of the most fun, bizarre, unpredictable films I've seen all year and I adored it.

The characters assume their superficial societal roles in an absurdly matter of fact way that often leads to situations that are as hilarious as they are intense.

It's all a gloriously relentless slow burn to the circle of fire climax.

The audience at south by Southwest left about 1/3 smiling and 2/3 of the audience looked just bored.

I didn't find it preachy at all, actually I thought it got it's point across in the best way possible - by being funny and entertaining.

The film blends comedic elements-sometimes light, sometimes dark-with character study and sociology in a 'Karate Kid' meets 'Fight Club' mashup that is delightfully entertaining the entire way through.

And I understand the whole point was to deliver it in such a heavyhanded, meatheaded way, but sometimes sticking too loyally to your guns can just make a film borderline unwatchable.

But the way he rises out of it is why the movie goes from boring Wes Anderson fantasy to kick-ass Fight Club absurdity.

Too slow, not funny at all!

A very very quirky movie that fits that Eisenberg style, but entertaining throughout.

A little slow at times and at least three scene could have been deleted with no ill effect.

Not a Oscar-winning piece, but a very entertaining dark comedy around the trope of the peaceful/wimp character turned badass.

This is a total waste of money and was painful to complete watching - kept thinking it would improve!

However the writing and gender roles are getting a bit old to see this obvious slant of trying to convert chicks into acting like men and to top things off - actually giving them the title of main sensei at the end which is so predictable.

I saw the trailer on YouTube and really thought I would like this movie, turns out it was kind of slow paced and very monotonous.

It was enjoyable and unconventional to say the least.

The Art of Self Defense (2019) - 7.2Act 1 - 6.7Act 2 - 7.4Act 3 - 7.5 Jesse Eisenberg plays Casey, a very reserved and meek manCasey is attacked by a group of unknown men and this leads him down a new path of karateHe decides he needs to be more manlyI like the film grain and the look of the filmFilm takes shots at gun owners with facts and statistics which is greatDialogue and performances are very dry and straight forwardMovie exposes problems with toxic masculinity and makes fun of them in an over the top mannerMakes fun of fighting, guns and music choice as a sign of masculinityA few brutal momentsFilm starts getting darker as he joins the night classes and more bad things start to happen to CaseyCasey has been manipulated by SanseiFilm also attacks gender inequalityIt is revealed that Senesi and some of his students are responsible for the muggings and attacks that have been going on thus furthering Casey's internal conflictCasey kills a cop during one of the muggingsCasey then decides that he will challenge Sensei to a fight to the death but ends up shooting Sensei which is greatCasey takes control of the dojo and gets revenge for his dogCasey hands over the dojo to Anna a female who has been put down the whole filmFilm is void of laughter with a deadpan and cold feel in the charactersMovie hits home the nonsense of gender inequality for certain situationsFilm makes its point while also being entertaining and making senseWell made film that accomplishes its goal

The night classes are much more intense and Jesse discovers more than he bargained for as secrets of his sensei and fellow students come to light.

this is a disjointed, disoriented, perverse excuse for a "karate" movie.

As long as they leave him alone for the most part, he's happy to go on with his frighteningly boring routine.

If you have any inclination to Kafka, you'll find this movie enjoyable.

Entertaining dark comedy well worth the watch .

The dog food bag is empty.

It starts off slow, very slow, with your run of the mill underdog nerdy loner suffering the same predictable ills and unjust.

Not sure it's worth it, except to see what an unwatchable movie really looks like.

I was unsure about the closing stages of the film but it is certainly a remarkably entertaining and unique time.

It is disturbing, but engaging as well.

If Mr. Miyagi doesn't climb over the fence and make quick work of these brainwashed fighting machines, would the Jersey kid end up in an intensive care ward like Casey?

He is single, he has a boring job where his colleagues bully him, and he is physically weak.

all in all, even getting the "inside" jokes and having a few laughs, its still a bit dark and feels abit slow.

This movie is very slowly paced and odd.

No dramatic music, no dramatic turn, no characters that makes you put your emotion into the movie, to me it was overall mundane.

Dull, Pointless...

An outstanding job of acting, coupled with a nicely written story really made this enjoyable.

There is much confusion over how to be a man in today's world - what it means, how to act, how to control sparks of aggression, how to prevent the misuse of power.

I enjoyed the movie , however, I wanted something more original from a premise like that , towards the end of the movie I felt something was off , I think the screenplay could have been way better , but anyway an entertaining movie that had its unforgettable moments.

Norton's character, as a cure for insomnia, regularly attends encounter groups, absorbing other people's pain, oftentimes, people with terminal illnesses, because he needs a good cry, a hug; and most of all, he needs an outlet to talk, to open up and share his feelings the way women do.

This is boring to the very end.

Don't waste your time or money on this loser, there's a reason the ratings are in the cellar!!!!!