The Color Wheel (2011)

Not Rated  |   |  Comedy, Romance  |  18 May 2012 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.7/10 from 762 users   Metascore: 53/100
Reviews: 5 user | 44 critic | 9 from

JR has broken up with her professor. She enlists her nervous and obnoxious younger brother Colin to take a short road trip in order to help move out her belongings. They bicker and fight, ... See full summary »


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Credited cast:
Professor Neil Chadwick
Anna Bak-Kvapil ...
Kim Thompson
Craig Butta ...
Norton the Bully
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Drew Brooke ...
Singing Waiter 1
Tom Brown ...
Antique Tom
Alexa Casciari ...
Megan the Mom
Sandy Gartner ...
Singing Waitress
Kate Hollowell ...
Roberta B.
Leigh Poulos ...
Laurie the Nurse Lover
Norton's Sidekick


JR has broken up with her professor. She enlists her nervous and obnoxious younger brother Colin to take a short road trip in order to help move out her belongings. They bicker and fight, with one another and pretty much anybody they encounter, before being brought to a place of togetherness and understanding as a result of being pushed away by everybody in their lives except one another. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


A comedic symphony of disappointment and forgiveness.


Comedy | Romance


Not Rated

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Release Date:

18 May 2012 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

O Círculo Cromático  »

Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$3,884 (USA) (18 May 2012)


$12,400 (USA) (22 June 2012)

Company Credits

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Did You Know?


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User Reviews

A Cassavetes influenced tragicomedy about sibling rivalry and familial love
24 December 2012 | by (Denmark) – See all my reviews

Alex Ross Perry's The Color Wheel is proof that indie narcissism can occasionally pull out the goods.

Filmed on grainy 16mm, it's a meandering road movie about two underachieving, alienated siblings. After she splits up with her professor-cum-boyfriend , aspiring news anchor J.R. (Carlen Altman) begs her shlubby younger brother Colin (played by director Perry) to help her back up the remnants of her miserable life and move on to the next. The journey across the States causes quite a stir, with the pair constantly berating each other in that conventional brotherly-sisterly banter way. It escalates to a harrowing final ten minutes, where the familial relationship is tested and it's clear that, if they weren't to have each other, they wouldn't have anything.

Like many a-mumblecore movie before it, The Color Wheel consists of verbal sparring and excruciatingly awkward long takes. Unlike those insufferable predecessors, Perry and Altman's script moves with great acerbic force, audaciously treating the blackly comic as flippant light humor. It's quite similar in tone to Rick Alverson's The Comedy, starring Tim Heidecker, only the two loathsome characters here are presented with more compassion, actually having a narrative arc to follow right up to the film's bitter end.

Whilst the scenes shared between the two are close to Alvy Singer>Annie Hall style perfection, The Color Wheel loses it's spark when the pair are backed up by cliché filler characters – the sorority bitch, the dumb jock, the rich kids – during a horrendous dinner party. It's the only time when the amateur acting and forced dialogue reflect it's minor budget production qualities.

With improvised dialogue, a roaming plot, grainy 16mm stock and Sean Price Williams' artless cinematography, The Color Wheel absolutely stinks of Husbands-era John Cassavetes. Not that it's a bad scent, but it permeates throughout the film and leads the homage into unwarranted pastiche, and ultimately externalizes us from the drama.

Even still, this minor tragicomedy, is a minor triumph for Perry and star in the making Altman. For fans of all things awkward, this unassuming movie sets the m-m-m-mumblecore wheel back in motion.

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