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A scene from Entertainment.

3.5 out of 4 stars

Title
Entertainment
Written by
Rick Alverson, Gregg Turkington, Tim Heidecker
Directed by
Rick Alverson
Starring
Gregg Turkington, John C. Reilly, Michael Cera
Country
USA
Language
English
Year
2015

Neil Hamburger's not for everyone. Neither is Rick Alverson's Entertainment, which follows a version of the pained funnyman (alter-ego of comic Gregg Turkington) on a bleak road trip across the empty American Southwest.

Off-stage, the comedian (Turkington is billed only as The Comedian in the credits) is a ball of existential angst and tightly coiled despair, barely pulling himself together long enough to perform, or to weather the chumminess of his oblivious cousin (John C. Reilly).

But like Hamburger's meta-hacky comedy routine, the film confronts and challenges in order to produce something increasingly rare in American cinema: an active, engaged experience. The restlessness and discomfort are productive.

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