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The Art of Self-Defense

The Art of Self-Defense
The Art of Self-Defense
The Art of Self-Defense
  • R
  • 1h 45m
  • 2019
Certified Fresh83%
Common Sense Media Iconage 15+
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Casey (Jesse Eisenberg) just can't seem to win. Attacked on the street, humiliated at his job and even emasculated by his dog, he joins a local karate dojo led by the enigmatic Sensei (Alessandro Nivola) to learn how to defend himself. In the midst of his training, Casey becomes friendly with a female instructor (Imogen Poots) and soon realizes he is caught in a bizarre world of outcasts, fraternal rituals and hilarious hyper-masculinity.
© 2018 Bleecker Street Media LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Rotten Tomatoes® Score

Certified Fresh83%
Critics Consensus: The Art of Self-Defense grapples compellingly with modern American masculinity -- and serves as an outstanding calling card for writer-director Riley Stearns.
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Common Sense Media

Common Sense Media Iconage 15+
Common Sense Says
Quirky, mature comedy tackles the illusion of masculinity.

What Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that The Art of Self-Defense is a dark comedy about a timid man (Jesse Eisenberg) learning to find his masculinity -- with unexpected results. Expect some pretty intense martial arts fighting, with lots of blood and broken limbs. You'll also see dead bodies, guns, and shooting. A man is shown hanging from a noose, there's a dead dog, and a boy is knocked unconscious by a "sleeper hold." One scene includes a few seconds of full-frontal male nudity, and a magazine with photos of naked breasts is shown more than once. A character masturbates, and there's some fairly explicit sex-related talk. Language is strong but not frequent, with a few uses of "f--k." The main character swigs from a bottle of liquor when upset, and a small bag of white powder (cocaine?) is shown. This is a very odd movie that will be off-putting to some, but others will find it hilarious -- likely more so on repeated viewings.

A Lot or A Little?

The parents’ guide to what’s in this movie.
Positive Messages
Positive Role Models
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
More on Common Sense Media

Additional Info

  • Genre:Comedy
  • Release Date:July 12, 2019
  • Languages:English
  • Captions:English, Spanish
  • Audio Format:
  • Screen Pass Eligible:Yes
If purchased in:4K
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