7.4/10
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46 user 85 critic

The Art of Self-Defense (2019)

Trailer
2:29 | Trailer
A man is attacked at random on the street. He enlists at a local dojo, led by a charismatic and mysterious sensei, in an effort to learn how to defend himself.

Director:

Riley Stearns

Writer:

Riley Stearns
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1,456 ( 854)
2 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Credited cast:
Jesse Eisenberg ... Casey
Alessandro Nivola ... Sensei
Imogen Poots ... Anna
Steve Terada ... Thomas
Phillip Andre Botello ... Kennith
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Caroline Amiguet ... French Audio Instructor (voice)
Apollo Bacala ... Karate Day Class Student
Hauke Bahr ... Grant
Jason Burkey ... Alex
Justin Eaton ... Lone Man
Dallas Edwards ... Manny
Will Ellis Jr. Will Ellis Jr. ... Night Class Student
Josh Fadem ... Serial Killer
John French ... Office Worker
Darren Gaebel Darren Gaebel ... Karate Night Class Student
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Storyline

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 Bleecker Street

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

self defence | sensei | dojo | See All (3) »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for violence, sexual content, graphic nudity and language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Official site

Country:

USA

Language:

English | French | German

Release Date:

13 September 2019 (Mexico) See more »

Also Known As:

The Art of Self-Defense See more »

Filming Locations:

Louisville, Kentucky, USA

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$114,374, 14 July 2019

Gross USA:

$2,410,914
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

End Cue See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This was to be a comedy remake of the karate kid. See more »

Crazy Credits

At the beginning of the end credits, the show's "title logo" is shown in a "black metal" font, mirroring the front cover of the CD Casey buys (albeit in yellow). See more »

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User Reviews

 
great dark comedy about hypermasculinity
20 May 2019 | by chndnnykSee all my reviews

I saw this gem at a recent film festival. This is why I go to see movies - something original, something "real," and something important. 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 movie starts off by grabbing your attention with how weak of a character Casey is, and how cruel his world is. His world is unrealistically desolate and lonely. But the way he rises out of it is why the movie goes from boring Wes Anderson fantasy to kick-ass Fight Club absurdity. Yes, there are absurd moments but they are completely consistent with the theme of the movie. A theme that needs to be shown again and again in cinema. I won't explicitly state it, but it is the reason this movie goes from average to great, albeit 45 minutes in. A little more gruesome than I'm used to, but I still enjoyed it.


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