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In the Company of Men (1997)

tomatometer

89

Average Rating: 7.9/10
Reviews Counted: 54
Fresh: 48 | Rotten: 6

Neil LaBute's pitch-black comedy is a masterful exploration of male insecurity, and it's elevated by a breakout performance by Aaron Eckhart as a businessman who likes to play psychological games.

93

Average Rating: 8/10
Critic Reviews: 15
Fresh: 14 | Rotten: 1

Neil LaBute's pitch-black comedy is a masterful exploration of male insecurity, and it's elevated by a breakout performance by Aaron Eckhart as a businessman who likes to play psychological games.

audience

80

liked it
Average Rating: 3.7/5
User Ratings: 7,539

My Rating

Movie Info

Two frustrated young executives vent their pent-up rage via a childish prank and end up paying a price in this psychological black comedy, the feature-film debut of writer-director Neil LaBute. Former college buddies Chad (Aaron Eckhart) and Howard (Matt Malloy) are in their early 30s and work in the same company. One day the two encounter each other in the men's executive washroom and begin expressing their mutual frustration regarding their lack of rapid advancement at work and their most

R,

Drama, Art House & International, Comedy

Neil LaBute

Mar 17, 1998

Sony Pictures Classics

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All Critics (57) | Top Critics (16) | Fresh (48) | Rotten (6) | DVD (5)

A dazzling, repellent exercise in which the case against men is closed before it's opened.

February 11, 2008 Full Review Source: Slate
Slate
Top Critic IconTop Critic

LaBute, a playwright and former drama teacher, has succeeded in creating a study of banal, everyday evil.

February 11, 2008 Full Review Source: Newsweek
Newsweek
Top Critic IconTop Critic

A dark, probing, truly disturbing exploration of yuppie angst and male anxieties as they manifest themselves in both the work and personal arenas.

February 11, 2008 Full Review Source: Variety
Variety
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Cruel, cool and pleasingly provocative.

February 9, 2006 Full Review Source: Time Out
Time Out
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Prepare for the conversation to grow heated.

April 12, 2002 Full Review Source: Globe and Mail
Globe and Mail
Top Critic IconTop Critic

The kind of bold, uncompromising film that insists on being thought about afterward -- talked about, argued about, hated if necessary, but not ignored.

January 1, 2000 Full Review Source: Chicago Sun-Times
Chicago Sun-Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

A bitterly promising screenwriting-directing debut from playwright Neil LaBute.

February 11, 2008 Full Review Source: TV Guide's Movie Guide
TV Guide's Movie Guide

A highlight of the 97 Sundance Film Fest, LaBute's astonishing debut is a dark, probing, vastly entertaining satire about misogyny and sexual politics in the work as well as personal arena; LaBute is a major dialoguist to watch

October 25, 2006
EmanuelLevy.Com

A compelling, but not likable, film.

April 9, 2005 Full Review Source: Reeling Reviews
Reeling Reviews

I don't what finding humor in the most unsavory of situations says about me, but in terms of LaBute, it means that a first-class filmmaker has arrived on the scene.

January 11, 2004 Full Review Source: TheMovieReport.com
TheMovieReport.com

Eerily unflinching film that features three first-rate performances.

July 28, 2003
Nitrate Online

What we also have here, in other words, is a movie in which next to nothing happens. See it only if you are having trouble sleeping.

May 20, 2003
Palo Alto Weekly

Brilliant black comedy - razor sharp, unapologetic stuff.

May 18, 2003
Sunday Times (Australia)

A no-holds-barred performance by Eckhart. You really want to kill this guy by the time the closing credits roll.

March 21, 2003
eFilmCritic.com

It's the kind of film that really makes you think and turns you upside down.

September 10, 2002 Full Review Source: Montreal Film Journal
Montreal Film Journal

... a hard movie to watch and - though it has its virtues - even harder to defend.

August 7, 2002 Full Review
Arkansas Democrat-Gazette

A scary film about the very polluted hearts of two nasty white-collar workers.

February 28, 2002 Full Review Source: Spirituality and Practice
Spirituality and Practice

Despite our feeble attempts to delude ourselves into thinking Chad and Howard could never exist in real life, their words and actions still haunt us after the credits roll because, deep inside, we know they're real.

February 27, 2001 Full Review Source: Q Network Film Desk
Q Network Film Desk

What is the point? We should all be nice to each other? Like we need a movie to tell us that, and badly.

January 1, 2000 Full Review Source: Needcoffee.com
Needcoffee.com

The best American film to appear this year.

January 1, 2000 Full Review Source: rec.arts.movies.reviews
rec.arts.movies.reviews

The end is supposed to make us giddy with a plot well spun; instead, it leaves us flat.

January 1, 2000 Full Review Source: San Francisco Examiner | Comment (1)
San Francisco Examiner

Audience Reviews for In the Company of Men

It wrings some good tension out of its bonkers plot, but by the end "In the Company of Men" feels like it's all concept, middling craftsmanship, and no valuable message.
November 11, 2013
Sam Barnett

Super Reviewer

I thought I would like this LaBute film since I usually dig his hold-a-mirror-up-to-society commentaries, but the evil machinations in this movie really have no exigence other than, as Chad states at the very end, "Because I could." This isn't some evil sociopathic genius who reveals societal hypocrises (like Evelyn does in The Shape of Things); hypocrises are nevertheless revealed but not through any action or intention on Chad's part. In the Company of Men is just two college dudes, thinking of how cool it'd be to write a totally depraved script and wait until one dude is sufficiently rich and famous enough as a playwright to produce this piece so that the other dude can star in it.

The puns on "company" and the hierarchy of power are intriguing, but the company itself is such an underdeveloped entity. What is it? What do they do? Why are they here? It seems like LaBute didn't even know. It's too easy to say the anonymous nature of the company could represent any company. The LaBute I know is much too specific of a writer to cut corners like that, unless of course, he was too inexperienced to think it needed development.
April 13, 2011
aliceinpunderland

Super Reviewer

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