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Generally favorable reviews - based on 22 Critics What's this?

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7.4

Generally favorable reviews- based on 23 Ratings

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  • Starring: , , , ,
  • Summary: Craig (Pat Healy), a struggling family man, loses his low-wage job and is threatened with eviction. In an effort to delay facing the music at home, he heads to a local bar and encounters an old friend (Ethan Embry). The two friends are roped into a round of drinks by a charismatic andCraig (Pat Healy), a struggling family man, loses his low-wage job and is threatened with eviction. In an effort to delay facing the music at home, he heads to a local bar and encounters an old friend (Ethan Embry). The two friends are roped into a round of drinks by a charismatic and obscenely wealthy stranger (David Koechner) along with his mysterious wife (Sara Paxton). The couple engages the two friends in a series of innocent dares in exchange for money over the course of the evening, with each challenge upping the ante in both reward and boundaries. It seems like easy and much needed money, but the couple’s twisted sense of humor pushes just how far Craig and his friend are willing to go for money and cheap thrills. Expand
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Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 14 out of 22
  2. Negative: 0 out of 22
  1. Reviewed by: Eric Kohn
    Mar 27, 2014
    83
    Savagely assaulting the desperate state of a blue collar family man, the comedic thriller Cheap Thrills establishes a ridiculous premise early on and takes it to various extremes, again and again, until you just have to accept the crazy venture on its own terms or simply give up.
  2. Reviewed by: John DeFore
    Mar 27, 2014
    80
    Katz has a clear investment in Healy's character and convincingly depicts his choices as inevitable even when they become anything but.
  3. Reviewed by: Owen Williams
    Jun 2, 2014
    80
    A grimly funny social allegory that doesn't pull a single punch.
  4. Reviewed by: Mike D'Angelo
    Mar 27, 2014
    67
    Even if Cheap Thrills isn’t always plausible, though, it’s still a fair amount of twisted fun, thanks mostly to a surprisingly, effectively low-key turn by Koechner as the game’s emcee.
  5. 63
    A nasty, elemental thriller, basically a four-character play with blood and guts and sex and drugs and dares
  6. Reviewed by: Tim Robey
    Jun 5, 2014
    60
    It’s well-acted, especially by Healy (The Innkeepers), who makes you feel the pain of every wound, the ratcheting torture of every dilemma. But the film’s also a gimmicky exercise whose hollowness and credibility are constant problems.
  7. Reviewed by: Keith Uhlich
    Mar 26, 2014
    40
    Cheap Thrills is little more than low-budget torture porn for the doobie-addled dudebro contingent.

See all 22 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 6 out of 8
  2. Negative: 0 out of 8
  1. Mar 24, 2014
    8
    I watched Cheap Thrills months ago at a local film festival and I have to admit that I loved it's dark sense of humor. It's a simple movie,I watched Cheap Thrills months ago at a local film festival and I have to admit that I loved it's dark sense of humor. It's a simple movie, with a simple concept, and a very dark & desperate outlook on life. The idea behind the film is pretty basic but fortunately there are a few good plot twists to break up the increasingly violent and dangerous cash offers the two main characters are tempted with. Cheap Thrills won't be for the faint of heart, but if you're looking for something dark, and surprisingly well-done then I would recommend giving it a shot. Expand
  2. Jul 3, 2014
    8
    There is plenty to like about this film, which takes what is usually the (entertaining but) outlandish premise of people preforming extremeThere is plenty to like about this film, which takes what is usually the (entertaining but) outlandish premise of people preforming extreme tasks for cash, and people willing to pay big sums of money to be entertained, and turns it into a satire on society’s obsession with self-deprecation in the pursuit of easy money, and its seemingly insatiable need to be entertained by greater and greater extremes. Cheap Thrills taps deep into that. Expand
  3. Nov 30, 2014
    8
    Shockingly, Cheap Thrills manages to cleverly create a entertaining experience by pitting friend vs friend, adding dark humor, a wellShockingly, Cheap Thrills manages to cleverly create a entertaining experience by pitting friend vs friend, adding dark humor, a well assembled cast, and a storyline that pushes the boundaries of independent cinema. Expand
  4. Jul 11, 2014
    7
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. At first the film poster reminded me of a comedy movie, especially with the whammy guy upfront. but it´s not a comedy, it got a couple of funny scenes, but this **** gets dark and serious quickly. Reminded me a little bit of an actual movie version of dirty sanchez. They do anything for money. Towards the end the movie gets extremer, proving the R rated mark. I liked the idea of the movie, it got that b-movie feeling but cheap thrills has that special potential. Unexpected End, great last Shot Expand
  5. Nov 2, 2014
    7
    My expectations started fairly lukewarm. I saw good reviews from critics, which was reassuring, but the premise seemed too trashy to beMy expectations started fairly lukewarm. I saw good reviews from critics, which was reassuring, but the premise seemed too trashy to be anything more than shock value meaningless entertainment. I was partly right. Cheap Thrills is trashy and shocking. But what I was wrong about was just how trashy and shocking it was going to get. This, weirdly enough, most reminds me of Big Bad Wolves, an Iranian film that was equally graphic and arresting, though, I'm gonna be honest, I think that, while Cheap Thrills is less artistically worthwhile, it is the better film. This movie is so entertaining and FUNNY, I found myself quite pleasantly (and unpleasantly) surprised. The entire concept is ridiculous and some of the extremes are a bit too absurd to be feasible, but the film isn't asking to be taken seriously, which makes it simultaneously succeed, yet also not amount to much more than a genre picture (but what a picture it is). Pat Healy is fantastic and remarkably expressive compared to the other roles I'd seen him in, like The Innkeepers (also starring Sara Paxton) and Compliance. Ethan Embry's character isn't handled with quite as much grace, but he certainly manages. MOST IMPORTANTLY, David Koechner is absolutely riveting here. He adds a strange level of depth to a character that would, on paper, simply come across as a one-note sadist. He truly delivers his finest performance of his career in this movie. I'm being straight up. Check out Cheap Thrills. I recommend it entirely, especially for fans of the low-budget showmanship of Joe Swanberg, Ti West, and Adam Wingard. Expand
  6. Jul 18, 2015
    6
    The first half of cheap thrills is very entertaining and funny but once the second half rolls around that's when the shock value wore off andThe first half of cheap thrills is very entertaining and funny but once the second half rolls around that's when the shock value wore off and by that point they were trying to hard to make the audience go ughhh while the two leads give good performances I never really bought that they were once friends the way they interacted with each other just seemed like they just met.
    Overall:6/10
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  7. Jan 18, 2015
    5
    From reading other revues, I expected some comedy in this film. I found none. It was darkly engaging and there were a couple of moments that,From reading other revues, I expected some comedy in this film. I found none. It was darkly engaging and there were a couple of moments that, perhaps in some other film, may have been humorous but in this film were more horrific. The musical score and direction didn't allow me to laugh at things I may otherwise have.

    I wouldn't call it original (I don't think it is trying to be) but I may suggest that it was mostly predictable. That isn't necessarily a complaint, though. It's predictability is what made it sad. You knew these people were going to continue to make bad choices because of the holes that they found themselves in.

    The real reason I didn't thoroughly enjoy this film is probably because of the expectations I had after reading reviews (and let's face it, the film's poster gives a more upbeat feel than the film itself). If you go into this expecting a bit of a laugh, I hope you will be disappointed as well. If you watch the film expecting a confronting drama, you may enjoy it more.
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See all 8 User Reviews

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