The Art of Self-Defense

Watch The Art of Self-Defense

  • R
  • 2019
  • 1 hr 44 min
  • 6.6  (41,072)
  • 65

The Art of Self-Defense is a dark comedy film released in 2019 starring Jesse Eisenberg, Alessandro Nivola, and Imogen Poots in lead roles. The film is directed and written by Riley Stearns and was first premiered at the 2019 South by Southwest festival. The story of the movie revolves around a shy accountant named Casey Davies (Jesse Eisenberg), who is attacked by a group of motorcycle riders while walking back home from the grocery store at night. After the attack, he decides to buy a gun for his safety but eventually realizes that owning a gun is not enough to protect himself from potential future attacks. So, he joins a local karate dojo to learn self-defense and build his confidence.

At the dojo, Casey meets his Sensei (Alessandro Nivola), an enigmatic karate instructor and the other members of the class, including Anna (Imogen Poots), a brown belt holder who is the only woman in the class. Soon, Sensei becomes more than just a karate teacher to Casey and starts to psychologically manipulate him, making him question his masculinity and the purpose of his existence. As Casey climbs the ranks and becomes more deeply involved in the dojo, strange things start happening around him, causing him to question the true purpose of the Sensei's teachings.

The Art of Self-Defense is a satirical take on toxic masculinity and the dark side of martial arts. It challenges the stereotypical notions of masculinity and the meaning of strength, making it a thought-provoking movie that keeps the audience engaged throughout.

Jesse Eisenberg's portrayal of Casey Davies is commendable. He plays the role of a timid and socially awkward man very convincingly, making the audience empathize with him. Alessandro Nivola, on the other hand, masterfully brings the character of Sensei to life. Nivola's performance is both hilarious and disturbing at the same time, making it the perfect foil to Jesse Eisenberg's character.

Imogen Poots' character of Anna, the sole female member of the dojo, offers a refreshing contrast to the aggressive masculinity of the other characters. Her character is strong, smart, and self-aware, making her stand out from the rest of the cast.

The dark humor and biting satire of The Art of Self-Defense, while entertaining, also offers a social commentary on the dangers of unquestioning adherence to authority and the pitfalls of obsession. The movie serves as a reminder that just because someone appears to be an expert in a particular field, it does not necessarily mean that they are always right.

The cinematography and the soundtrack of the movie complement the overall theme of the movie perfectly. The dimly-lit karate dojo and the eerie music help create an unsettling atmosphere that keeps the audience on edge and enhances the overall viewing experience.

Overall, The Art of Self-Defense is a movie that is definitely worth watching. It is an unconventional and thought-provoking movie that offers a new take on the concept of self-defense and masculinity. The powerful performances by the cast, combined with the exceptional writing and direction, make it a must-see movie for anyone who enjoys dark humor and social commentary.

The Art of Self-Defense is a 2019 comedy with a runtime of 1 hour and 44 minutes. It has received mostly positive reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 6.6 and a MetaScore of 65.

The Art of Self-Defense
Where to Watch The Art of Self-Defense
The Art of Self-Defense is available to watch free on Tubi TV and Kanopy. It's also available to stream, download and buy on demand at Hulu, Amazon Prime, Max, Apple TV, Amazon, Google Play and Vudu. Some platforms allow you to rent The Art of Self-Defense for a limited time or purchase the movie and download it to your device.
  • Release Date
  • MPAA Rating
  • Runtime
    1 hr 44 min
  • Language
  • IMDB Rating
    6.6  (41,072)
  • Metascore