Mixed or average reviews - based on 11 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 1 out of 11
  2. Negative: 2 out of 11
  1. Sloppy but smart-enough-to-make-you-squirm comedy.
  2. Pantoliano brings his usual degree of wily, understated humor to his role and is ably supported by the terrific ensemble, but he's unable to elevate a film that is ultimately as directionless as its protagonist.
  3. Reviewed by: Brad Slager
    Two things make this worthwhile: The realistic relationship between Elliot and Richard, and Pantoliano playing against type and actually humanizing a possibly loathsome character.
  4. Reviewed by: David Rooney
    While Second Best is mildly engaging thanks largely to an appealingly self-effacing turn from Joe Pantoliano, writer-director Eric Weber's script could have used an extra polish or two.
  5. A guy flick, but I can't imagine many male viewers actually identifying with Elliot or his friends. The depression would be unbearable.
  6. Second Best might have made a good stage monologue, but as a film it's overstated and barely baked.
  7. 50
    The strongest scenes are those between Elliot and Richard, which give Second Best a verisimilitude lacking in the rest of the film. The truest thing here is that these two guys have been friends forever and always will be.
  8. 40
    Weber's losers really are losers -- envious, spiteful, complacent, mean-spirited and ultimately boring malcontents pickled in their own poison, and they drag his film down with them.
  9. Reviewed by: Jake Tracer
    It tries too hard for sincerity, when it's actually more sincere when cynical. Filmed in 17 days with hand-held cameras that give it a home-movie feel, the movie takes blue-collar pride in its own hopelessness.
  10. Reviewed by: Kyle Smith
    If it weren't for "Sideways," Second Best probably wouldn't have been released at all, but the earlier film made you root for a hapless schmo. This one doesn't, mainly because its protagonist is so obnoxious.
  11. 10
    An ugly, amateurish film that champions mediocrity in a meta-attempt to justify its own ineptitude.

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