Roger Dodger


Generally favorable reviews - based on 33 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 30 out of 33
  2. Negative: 1 out of 33

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Critic Reviews

  1. 100
    It is Scott's work as the savagely articulate Roger, a tireless would-be seducer, bottomlessly self-confident and oblivious to rejection, that is the film's glistening and provocative centerpiece.
  2. Funny, sad, and skeptical in about equal measures, it announces writer-director Dylan Kidd as a filmmaker with a bright future.
  3. Kidd, a first-time writer and director, has created a sophisticated but intriguingly toxic comedy of manners.
  4. 90
    Takes both its characters and the audience to the depths, but it's a journey Kidd redeems with wit and fluency and, ultimately, a deeply persistent humanism.
  5. One of the juiciest male characters to pop up in an independent film this year.
  6. Reviewed by: Ty Burr
    Mines laughs from the ways in which its antihero's reductive philosophy consistently goes kerflooey in his face, but there's a weary sadness to it as well.
  7. 88
    Revives the art of smart, scathing movie conversation as it skewers Manhattan's singles scene while providing a goodly number of laughs. Like its subject, the movie may have its prickly moments, but it's awfully fun to watch.
  8. Sly, sophisticated and surprising.
  9. 88
    Experiencing this film is like hurtling down a verbal slalom.
  10. A little too programmed in its despair, but it coasts along on the jagged music of the modern lothario's song.
  11. Scott owns the film from scene one.
  12. Wall Street Journal
    Reviewed by: Joe Morgenstern
    All three performances are excellent, in their different ways.
  13. Campbell Scott's fiendishly mercurial performance as razor-tongued womanizer Roger is a revelation but it's only one of this nimble film's pleasures.
  14. 80
    Rookie writer-director Dylan Kidd, late of NYU film school, knows how to get the best out of jittery, handheld camera shots, and he knows how to go for the jugular. Roger is the bleakest comic portrait of misogynist self-delusion we've seen in a long time.
  15. The New Yorker
    Reviewed by: Anthony Lane
    There are times when the movie's entertainment value verges on the scandalous. [4 November 2002, p. 110]
  16. Reviewed by: Jeff Stark
    There's a maddening ambiguity at the core of writer-director Dylan Kidd's remarkably cynical, and bracingly intelligent, debut movie. It's the kind of thing that is just nasty enough to start arguments in cafes and bars.
  17. 80
    Kidd has a great ear for dialogue, and he throws in a few unexpected twists. But the real fun is watching an established pro and a newcomer run with the script.
  18. The dramatic arc of Roger Dodger may be banal, but Kidd manages some marvelous moments.
  19. Clever, exceptionally well-written film.
  20. An unusually smartly written and performed American independent film.
  21. 75
    The movie, written and directed by Dylan Kidd, depends on its dialogue, and like a film by David Mamet or Neil LaBute has characters who use speech like an instrument. The screenplay would be entertaining just to read, as so very few are.
  22. 75
    Thanks to Scott's charismatic Roger and Eisenberg's sweet nephew, Roger Dodger is one of the most compelling variations on "In the Company of Men."
  23. 75
    A delight for anyone who loves to absorb dialogue. The movie is almost all talk and no action, and possesses the "feel" (although not the pedigree) of a stage production translated to the screen.
  24. 75
    Campbell Scott swings at one of the year's juiciest roles and knocks it out of the park.
  25. Reviewed by: Mike Clark
    The final third is slower until a somewhat contrived finale that's still the funniest thing in the movie.
  26. L.A. Weekly
    Reviewed by: Ella Taylor
    I was with Roger Dodger all the way until its vile hero had an 11th-hour burst of insight that defied all belief. I didn't buy it, but I do want his therapist's phone number.
  27. Reviewed by: Ronnie Scheib
    fFts into that weird, dialogue-heavy quasi-genre that includes "In the Company of Men" and "The Business of Strangers" where high-stakes sexual power games mix with cutthroat office politics.
  28. 70
    Flags as it heads toward a moralistic ending, complete with a couple of contrived (albeit charged) sexual encounters, but it's heartening that it soars as long as it does.
  29. Starts as a tart little lemon drop of a movie and ends up as a bitter pill. I'm glad to have seen it, for I appreciated Campbell Scott's dominant performance and Jesse Eisenberg's breakthrough. But I hope writer-director Dylan Kidd mixes less acid into the next drink he pours.
  30. 63
    In the end, Roger Dodger doesn't really add up to much. Guys can be jerks when they're lonely, or even when they're not. It's not news. But Kidd's version of this truth shows he's a writer worth watching.

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