The Art of Self-Defense

104 mins
Poster for The Art of Self-Defense

Jesse Eisenberg joins a karate dojo after being attacked on the street in this dark comedy from writer-director Riley Stearns... More

Where to watch The Art of Self-Defense

The Art of Self-Defense is available to stream in Australia... More now on YouTube and Google TV and Apple TV Store and Prime Video Store.

The Art of Self-Defense | Ratings & Reviews

"The Art of Self-Defense manages to clarify the filmmaker's intriguing vision by stuffing it into a remarkably unnerving character study."


"In a movie that often observes male dysfunction with some ironic distance, Eisenberg brings the satire closer to the bone."

A.V. ClubA.V. Club

"Stick with it... The Art of Self-Defense goes to interesting places."

San Francisco ChronicleSan Francisco Chronicle

"A wobbly sort-of satire..."

The New York TimesThe New York Times

"Riley Stearns's uneven satirical film has insight, bite, and a surprisingly candid turn from Jesse Eisenberg."

Vanity FairVanity Fair

"No comedy this nuanced could ever succeed without absolute consistency in the cast, and Stearns marshals his cast to subtle and uniformly excellent comic performances."


"Writer-director Riley Stearns gets in a few good licks at toxic masculinity before odious comparisons to David Fincher’s masterpiece blunt the film’s comic and dramatic impact."

Rolling StoneRolling Stone

"Mannered and remote, the movie throws a lot of punches but hardly ever connects."

Boston GlobeBoston Globe

"The film's calm brutality is effective...The satire is a spinning wheel kick I didn't see coming. Black belts all around."

The Globe and MailThe Globe and Mail

"Bold but inconsistent, outrageous but not all that shocking..."

Chicago Sun-TimesChicago Sun-Times

"Starring Jesse Eisenberg as you've only seen him before."

Film School RejectsFilm School Rejects

""The Art of Self-Defense" may be presented as an absurdist satire, but like the best American comedies... it doubles as a keen critique of our national character."


"While the beats of its plot may be nothing very new, the tone, language and performances here make Self-Defense its own beast."

Hollywood ReporterHollywood Reporter

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