Generally favorable reviews - based on 11 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 6 out of 11
  2. Negative: 2 out of 11
  1. Reviewed by: Matt Zoller Seitz
    Oct 11, 2013
    Zero Charisma is a movie about emotionally inert people who labor mightily to change their lives in small ways, and whose efforts at self-improvement are thwarted by emotional feedback loops that cause them to make the same mistakes over and over. If it were possible to roll your way out of real world crises, these guys would do just fine, but there are no saving throws in life.
  2. Reviewed by: Gabe Toro
    Oct 11, 2013
    It’s an ugly, unpleasant viewing experience, one that sees geek culture as a hateful cesspool of exclusion and juvenility, miserable to experience first-hand.
  3. Reviewed by: Jeannette Catsoulis
    Oct 10, 2013
    Has plenty of humor but no satirical bite.
  4. Reviewed by: A.A. Dowd
    Oct 10, 2013
    That it never quite sinks into caricature is thanks to the imposing presence in the lead. Refusing to fish for sympathy, even as his character circles the drain, Eidson delivers a complex, bravely off-putting performance.
  5. Reviewed by: Eric Kohn
    Oct 9, 2013
    Directors Katie Graham and Andrew Matthews' directorial debut (from Matthews' screenplay) centers on a highly unlikable character who has alienated himself from social responsibility -- and forces you to sympathize with him against all odds.
  6. Reviewed by: Scott Tobias
    Oct 8, 2013
    Zero Charisma is a comedy by classification, but its cruelties have a way of turning it into a psychodrama inadvertently. The tone is often as abrasive as its hero.
  7. Reviewed by: Alan Scherstuhl
    Oct 8, 2013
    The comic scenes arc into bleakness, and the bleak ones often collapse back into comedy.
  8. Reviewed by: Bill Weber
    Oct 7, 2013
    It's a pity that it hews to sitcom-like formula rather than using this bank of knowledge and sympathy to create something more original.
  9. Reviewed by: John DeFore
    Sep 23, 2013
    Sam Eidson is perfect for the lead role, but that doesn't exactly guarantee the fanboy crowd will embrace the film.
  10. Reviewed by: Peter Debruge
    Sep 23, 2013
    Affectionately captures the tail end of a culture in which specialized dice, character sheets and hand-painted figurines were the gateway to elaborate flights of imagination.
  11. Reviewed by: Jordan Hoffman
    Sep 23, 2013
    Directors Katie Graham and Andrew Matthews create a great framework for the epic nemesis battle, but also know when to pull back to keep the movie grounded in reality.
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 13 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 2 out of 2
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 2
  3. Negative: 0 out of 2
  1. Jul 25, 2014
    I'm normally prone to writing rather loooong reviews, but I'll do my best to keep this one nice and simple. I have been, on-and-off, a roleplayer AND gamemaster myself throughout my 40 years on this plane of existence, and to say that this film is one of the most well-observed and accurate portrayals of not only "gamers", but indeed anyone of a decidedly "obsessive" nature, is quite an understatement. What starts out as an only slightly darker version of The Big Bang Theory gradually, inexorably transforms into full-blown black comedy and, by its conclusion, just flat-out poignant drama. More and more, I found myself watching certain scenes unfold through the gaps of my fingers whilst muttering words such as "Oh no, dude, oh Lord no, DON'T..." Make no mistake, it's THAT uncomfortable at times.

    It probably helps that, yes, I do know a lot of people who are "just like" the characters in the film - and can indeed see a certain amount of both myself and a number of my friends in our hapless, doomed-by-his-own-design lead character, Scott - but it's such a perfectly-crafted film that honestly, anyone and everyone should be able to see a bit of themselves and everyone they've ever known in it. In short, it's just a flat-out great film about human nature. Would I also give such a sterling review to a film about, say, a bunch of teenage netballers, in spite of said film being equally successful in its aims as this one? Possibly not. But we all have our biases. And besides, the main reason I'm writing this review at 4.30 am when I should be going to bed (I have roleplay tomorrow afternoon), is to try to rectify the criminally low Metascore this film has garnered thus far.

    My work here is done. Oh, and look, I ended up writing a semi-long review in spite of my initial intentions. The hell with it. This film is WORTH it, and well worthy of your time, irrespective of whether you'd ever be inclined to waste countless hours of your life rolling dice and battling imaginary monsters.
    Full Review »
  2. Oct 12, 2013
    Watched as part of the Calgary International Film Festival. Plenty of cringe humor and exposes hipsters for the pop-culture vampires they are for good measure. Full Review »