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Reality (2013)


Average Rating: 7/10
Reviews Counted: 74
Fresh: 59
Rotten: 15

Critics Consensus: Part dark satire, part compelling drama, Reality occasionally struggles to communicate its message, but it's never less than entertaining.

Average Rating: 7.5/10
Reviews Counted: 21
Fresh: 19
Rotten: 2

Critics Consensus: Part dark satire, part compelling drama, Reality occasionally struggles to communicate its message, but it's never less than entertaining.


Average Rating: 3.5/5
User Ratings: 1,168


Movie Info

From acclaimed director Matteo Garrone, REALITY is a darkly comic look at Luciano, a charming and affable fishmonger whose unexpected and sudden obsession with being a contestant on the reality show "Big Brother" leads him down a rabbit hole of skewed perceptions and paranoia. So overcome by his dream of being on reality TV, Luciano's own reality begins to spiral out of control, making for one of the most compelling tragicomic character studies since Scorsese's The King of Comedy. (c) … More

R (for some language)
Drama , Art House & International , Comedy
Directed By:
Written By:
Matteo Garrone , Maurizio Braucci , Ugo Chiti , Massimo Gaudioso
In Theaters:
Aug 13, 2013
Box Office:
Oscilloscope Laboratories - Official Site


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Critic Reviews for Reality

All Critics (74) | Top Critics (21) | Fresh (59) | Rotten (15)

It's clear that Garrone is lamenting the death of culture. But the movie is more compassionate than screed-y. It's a portrait of the preoccupation with fame in an age in which in fame is cheap.

Full Review… | January 3, 2014
Top Critic

The satire here is finespun, and the film's conclusions ambiguous.

Full Review… | April 5, 2013
Washington Post
Top Critic

A dark allegorical comedy about the nature of fame, about obsession, about madness - and the point where they converge: on Big Brother, a TV show watched by millions.

Full Review… | April 4, 2013
Philadelphia Inquirer
Top Critic

For all its ups and downs and occasional detours into boorishness, it's an original that will surprise if not necessarily delight fans of Garrone's very different crime drama, "Gomorrah."

Full Review… | April 4, 2013
Seattle Times
Top Critic

Matteo Garrone follows his crime epic Gomorrah with a comedy about reality TV, and though it hardly rivals the earlier movie in its social complexity, it still offers the spectacle of a vibrant and vividly realized Neapolitan neighborhood.

Full Review… | March 28, 2013
Chicago Reader
Top Critic

As cautionary tales go, this one's ripely knowing, and it speaks in a lot more languages than Italian.

Full Review… | March 28, 2013
Boston Globe
Top Critic

In this echo chamber of fame-for-fame's-sake, real life imitates reel life. There's a lurid, Felliniesque sheen to Garrone's floating camerawork; this is reality tweaked, dialed up to 10.1. And there's a cheeky, sideways satire of Roman Catholicism.

Full Review… | August 6, 2014
Vue Weekly (Edmonton, Canada)

Reality is a little too thin to be truly satisfying. However, Garrone's elegant visual palette and Arena's remarkable central performance shift a potentially trite message into a gloriously warm and novel experience.

Full Review… | January 17, 2014

The story is too slight.

Full Review… | January 16, 2014
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

This movie shows a bit of the human costs of reality TV, but not the full extent of it.

Full Review… | November 25, 2013
Laramie Movie Scope

Those who found Gomorrah embarrassingly overrated can relax. Despite a first half that's basically a spin-off of the 2008 movie that brought Matteo Garrone international acclaim, Reality turns out to be its veritable refutation.

Full Review… | November 5, 2013
Film Comment Magazine

... works on multiple levels and Arena, who worked within a prison release arrangement while serving a life sentence, creates an indelible, sad character.

Full Review… | September 3, 2013
Reeling Reviews

Italian satire amusingly sends up our obsession with reality TV, but not in a wholly satisfying way.

Full Review… | July 24, 2013
Flick Filosopher

It is a brutal, frank, painful and highly meticulous look at an ordinary man undergoing a very modern crisis amidst a very simple life.

Full Review… | July 16, 2013
ABC Radio (Australia)

Captures the 21st-century affliction of learned discontent, where perfectly happy people go in quest of something they think is better. Reality is a thoughtful, intelligent film.

Full Review… | July 13, 2013

Part fairy tale, part religious allegory, and part scathing indictment, but the comedy remains light.

Full Review… | July 13, 2013

Garrone has confounded expectations with this light, Fellini-esque send-up of reality television and the celebrity it has spawned.

Full Review… | July 7, 2013

A long and meandering satire on FOMO and self-delusion, and a shrewd commentary on the desire for the illusive fame that comes with reality television.

Full Review… | July 5, 2013

My disappointment comes not just from the fact that the subject matter is soft but from the fact that the film is so thin

Full Review… | June 29, 2013
Urban Cinefile

The themes involving the confused sense of today's reality hit a note, (but) the film is not funny enough, nor interesting enough to hold our attention for its 116 minute running time

Full Review… | June 29, 2013
Urban Cinefile

Felliniesque is a term that gets bandied about frequently, but few films actually capture the spirit of the Italian master in his prime. Matteo Garrone's Reality earns its keep without resorting to mere imitation.

Full Review… | May 24, 2013
Montreal Gazette

As soon as the reality show element comes in, the movie abandons its creativity and goes for broad, anxious comedy that never works.

Full Review… | May 3, 2013
Combustible Celluloid

Uma obra inteligente, engraçada e profundamente relevante.

Full Review… | April 25, 2013
Cinema em Cena

A feast of eye candy and broad comic caterwauling.

Full Review… | April 16, 2013
East Bay Express

A chilling dose of filmic reality of how damaging and all consuming celebrity and some people's aspirations of it can be ...

Full Review… | April 15, 2013

Audience Reviews for Reality

Garrone uses many elegant long takes and an evoking soundtrack to tell this fascinating, dream-like character study about a common fishmonger who gradually grows obsessed with the idea of being famous - leading him to mix his yearnings with reality.

Carlos Magalhães

Super Reviewer

A fishmonger from Naples loses his grip on reality as he waits to hear back from his audition for the Italian version of the "Big Brother" TV show. Slow but rich, with layers of satire and allegory and great long tracking shots of glorious Naples.

Greg S

Super Reviewer

Reality Quotes

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