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The Art of Self-Defense

Diretto da Riley Stearns
Stati Uniti, 2019


A man who is attacked on the street enlists in a dojo — led by a charismatic and mysterious sensei — in an effort to learn how to defend himself. What he uncovers is a sinister world of fraternity, violence, hypermasculinity, and a woman — fighting for her place in it.

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The Art of Self-Defense Diretto da Riley Stearns


A strange, uneven, but ultimately effective satire of masculinity.
July 12, 2019
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The one halfway-interesting part of this movie is Nivola’s performance, which operates at both a deeper register of seriousness and a higher pitch of comedy than anything else. Is the sensei a wise man, a sociopath or a complete idiot? That doesn’t really matter, except insofar as it can be fun to watch this shrewd, charismatic and somehow always underappreciated actor try to convince us that he is all three at once.
July 10, 2019
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