The Art of Self-Defense


Action / Comedy / Crime / Drama / Mystery / Sport / Thriller

Rotten Tomatoes Critics - Certified Fresh 83% · 171 reviews
Rotten Tomatoes Audience - Upright 63% · 500 ratings
IMDb Rating 6.6/10 10 41201 41.2K


Top cast

Imogen Poots as Anna
Leland Orser as Detective McCallister
720p.BLU 1080p.BLU
925.62 MB
English 2.0
23.976 fps
1 hr 44 min
Seeds 3
1.63 GB
English 2.0
23.976 fps
1 hr 44 min
Seeds 22

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by moonkitty-1 8 / 10

If you like dry, dark comedies, this is for you.

It is refreshing to see a movie that is not like the typical garbage we have come to expect from Hollywood. This movie is not for shallow minded folks who like to be spoon fed typical brain dead movie fodder.

Reviewed by classicsoncall 7 / 10

"I wish I could wear my belt all the time."

I'd have to agree with the DVD sleeve for this movie describing it as original and creative. For a film involving martial arts, it doesn't follow the standard type formula found in say, "The Karate Kid". No endless 'wax on, wax off' to make karate movements second nature, or the respect one is expected to have when undertaking martial arts for the first time. Hopefully, this doesn't give the sport a bad name, as the themes explored are diametrically opposed to what I think one would find being taught by most dedicated instructors today. Jesse Eisenberg was well cast here as the milquetoast sort of individual who tries to improve himself by taking up an art outside of his comfort zone, although I couldn't relate to his character being thirty six years old, even if that's his actual age when he made the picture. It's a bit difficult to categorize the film, not exactly parody or satire, and not exactly straight drama. Some of the situations are outlandishly ridiculous, yet are enough to make one squirm with their sheer brutality and lack of remorse. There's a level of absurdity reached when Casey (Eisenberg) buys the lot of fifty assorted color belts for the students in his dojo, even more so when his sensei Sensei (Alessandro Nivola) gushes over the gift of a black belt. The irony being that anyone can buy a black or a brown belt and who would be the wiser as it relates to a level of achievement. This is one story that probably won't leave you comfortable with it's resolution since it violates most norms of propriety, and might be expressed best in Casey's own words to his dead sensei - "I didn't play by the rules, but there never were any rules".

Reviewed by nogodnomasters 6 / 10

He wore a rainbow belt

Casey (Jesse Eisenberg) is a mild-mannered accountant who gets bullied. He opts to take karate lessons to defend himself. He joins an unorthodox class that is at times cruel and sadistic. The leader tells him his first name is "Sensei" (Alessandro Nivola). The founder died being shot in the face with bird shot, mistaken for a bird.

The film has a lot of dry humor making fun of karate films and culture. It needed a laugh track because it seems to have missed its mark.

Guide: F-word. No sex. Magazine and male nudity.

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