6.7/10
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138 user 114 critic

The Art of Self-Defense (2019)

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2:29 | Trailer
After being attacked on the street, a young man enlists at a local dojo, led by a charismatic and mysterious sensei, in an effort to learn how to defend himself from future threats.

Director:

Riley Stearns

Writer:

Riley Stearns
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Popularity
228 ( 16)
3 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


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:

19 July 2019 (USA) 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

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$2,414,269
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

End Cue See more »
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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 »

Quotes

Casey: I'm going to kill you, Leslie.
[Sensei looks at Casey with surprise]
Casey: That's right. I found out your real name is Leslie. I called you that to make you angry. When you think about it, Leslie is a lot more feminine sounding than Casey.
See more »

Crazy Credits

SPOILER:The wall of the dojo is shown. Next to the Grand Master is now a photo of Casey's deceased dachshund. He can be heard in the background teaching the children's class. See more »

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User Reviews

 
Could have been better
6 October 2019 | by davebartleSee all my reviews

I wanted to like this, but it was ruined by absolutely terrible character development. For example, Sensei is evil because he is a misogynist. How do we know? He explicitly states it. There is zero subtlety in this movie and every character is one dimensional (with a not so subtle left wing message attached). I kept waiting for the clever twist at the end, but it didn't come. Everything you guessed in the first fifteen minutes is what eventually happens. If you can get past the basic screen writing class level script, this movie is okay to have on in the background while you are doing something else.


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