Your Friends & Neighbors


Generally favorable reviews - based on 27 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 18 out of 27
  2. Negative: 1 out of 27

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Critic Reviews

  1. 100
    LaBute's "Your Friends and Neighbors'' is to "In the Company of Men'' as Quentin Tarantino's "Pulp Fiction'' was to "Reservoir Dogs.'' In both cases, the second film reveals the full scope of the talent, and the director, given greater resources, paints what he earlier sketched.
  2. It is superbly executed and, for all its pitilessness, it's an intelligent dramatization of the impact that consumerist values have had on the psyche of the North American middle class at the end of the 20th century.
  3. 100
    Savagely funny black comedy.
  4. Bleak, scathing, and utterly compelling.
  5. Newsweek
    Reviewed by: David Ansen
    What keeps you in your seat is the acting. Keener, crisply and coolly playing against type, commands the screen. [24 August 1998, p. 58]
  6. LaBute's narrative structure and visual strategies are rigorously crafted, bespeaking an almost mathematical calculation that, in compellingly contradictory ways, both enhances the dramatic experience while undermining its very authenticity.
  7. 88
    LaBute achieves a bracing originality by observing human folly as a means to understand rather than condemn. Love or hate his films, LaBute is one of the most challenging filmmakers to emerge in years.
  8. New York Daily News
    Reviewed by: David Kehr
    Offers a brilliant raw look at sexual heeling. [19 August 1998, p. 35]
  9. Reviewed by: Jake Hamilton
    LaBute has crafted one of the most explicit and hilarious films of the year; it's a slow-moving affair, with little camera movement and only the merest hint of a soundtrack.
  10. 80
    What is remarkable is the absolute cool with which LaBute charts his story: The director has the soul of an assassin.
  11. The web of lies, failures and brutal revelations here is strong stuff, and it's the work of an original filmmaker who takes no prisoners.
  12. The horror of LaBute's articulate, self-deluded characters is that they're both sharply drawn and just vague enough that you can insert face here.
  13. 80
    A fascinatingly mean-spirited erotic comedy.
  14. 75
    As was true for "In the Company of Men," LaBute doesn't care if viewers are offended. Supported by a fine group of actors, he tells the story without compromises, and that gives us a refreshing alternative to multiplex fare.
  15. The acting and writing is a cut above the ordinary.
  16. The New Republic
    Reviewed by: Stanley Kauffmann
    LaBute's dialogue reminds us that, along with that of such others as Hal Hartley and Jim Jarmusch and Whit Stillman, the sheer writing, these days, of some American films is remarkably fine. LaBute has cast his film to match, with people who can handle his dialogue neatly. [31 August 1998, p. 28]
  17. Time
    Reviewed by: Richard Corliss
    Jason Patric is the chief sleaze; Ben Stiller adds to his gallery of wormy guys; and Aaron Eckhart is the doleful husband who, when asked who his best lay was, unabashedly answers, "Me." [24 August 1998, p. 85]
  18. Reviewed by: Emanuel Levy
    Like Mamet, LaBute's approach is precise, stylized and detached, and he also follows Mamet the director in positioning his characters close to the camera, as if they were addressing the audience directly, without much depth of field -- or air to breathe.
  19. If these repugnant people were really your friends and neighbors, your time would be more profitably spent reading the real estate listings than the movie reviews. But for 1 1/2 hours in a darkened theater, the derailment of their unhealthy emotions makes for one compulsively watchable train wreck.
  20. The cast is OK, and LaBute still has an eye, but the uses they're put to seem contrived and arty.
  21. The mood is often more coarse, crude, and nasty than needed to make his cautionary points and also by that "distancing effect," which diminishes whatever feelings of empathy or sympathy the story might otherwise inspire in its audience.
  22. 50
    In Your Friends and Neighbors, LeBute is having a high old time giving himself the creeps. For the rest of us it's all kind of...well...nasty.
  23. It once again confuses a kind of juvenile titillation with insight and treats the ability to make audiences squirm as a pinnacle of film art.
  24. Reviewed by: Laura Miller
    LaBute has made a comedy this time around, but it's not so much black as simply bleak.
  25. 50
    LaBute's attempt to follow in the footsteps of Restoration comedy is undercut by the fact that his dialogue is only fitfully funny, and you can't help but feel soured by the flat, ritualistic look of the action. The one enlivening performance comes, surprisingly, from Jason Patric.
  26. The performances are so monotonic that you understand depicting authentic humanity is not the writer-director's goal: Each character has been reduced to a single unpleasant primal trait from which deviation is not permitted.
  27. This is an embarrassing film. It's a sex comedy that sets itself up as a satire of middle-class mores, except there's no truth behind any of its observations. LaBute tries to be shocking and manages only to be shockingly puerile -- tasteless in a high-school-boyish sort of way.
User Score

Mixed or average reviews- based on 6 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 2 out of 2
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 2
  3. Negative: 0 out of 2
  1. ChadS.
    May 25, 2007
    "Your Friends and Neighbors" is "Husbands and Wives" with gay husbands and lesbian wives. Conditioned over the years by countless films that "Your Friends and Neighbors" is "Husbands and Wives" with gay husbands and lesbian wives. Conditioned over the years by countless films that depict heterosexual relationships, an alternative sexual orientation makes us aware that we unintentionally efface the possibility of latent homosexuality in seemingly straight people. When Terri(Catherine Keener) weeps over her husband's infidelity, it may strike a false note for many viewers(including me) because in most films, the woman is crying over her cheatin' man. Even though Terri is having an affair with Cheri(Nastassja Kinski), an art assistant she met at a museum, we still hold on to our orthodox preconceptions about ideal love(as it's presented in the movies; the love between a man and a woman), and that Terri does has some hidden resevoir of feelings for Jerry(Ben Stiller), a man we thought she abhorred. But late in "Your Friends and Neighbors", Terri tells Jerry(who slept with his best friend's wife) that her affair is more honorable because she "...had the decency to f***** outside their social circle." She seems to be obliquely making reference to Mary(Amy Brenneman), who oddly enough, is the one person who never meets Terri's girlfriend. Terri was probably crying over an unrequited love for Mary. She and her husband have the same taste in women. Full Review »