Roger Dodger - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Roger Dodger Reviews

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Super Reviewer
May 20, 2013
Gotta love high-functioning sociopaths like HIMYM's Barney Stinson and Campbell Scott's titular Roger in this dark, delicious gem. Roger's tried-and-true tricks aren't just cheesy pick-ups, but carefully honed skills that show off the Darwinningest male. Jesse Eisenberg, in his first film role, is sweet and endearing with a hint of rebellion, and the brief roles of 80s-90s dream queens, Elizabeth Berkley and Jennifer Beals, make for a bittersweet sex education. It was so bittersweet that I wished something would happen for Nick and Sophie at the end - not necessarily sex but just SOMETHING instead of Uncle Dad once again aiding and abetting a lame flirtation with high school queen bee whom the audience hasn't gotten the chance to know and fall in love with yet.
Super Reviewer
½ May 5, 2012
A fast-paced, dialogue-driven, well-constructed little film about the immorality of our times, specifically playboy Roger (Campbell Scott) and how he decides to give his 16-year old nephew (Jesse Eisenberg) in town a crash course in how to get laid after his nephew asks for his help. It is at times a little unbelievable, but still irrefutably fascinating despite its shortcomings and uneven pacing. This is mostly due to Scott's powerhouse performance as a man stripped of any conceivable morals, which serves as a fascinating though depressing study of sex and its agonizing grip on some individuals lives. Eisenberg is also fantastic playing the insecure, virgin character he and Michael Cera have made a living off of for a little over a decade now. It is explicit, sometimes a little full of itself, and sometimes lacking some editing, but is is nevertheless a successful, memorable look on the lack of morality in our culture.
Super Reviewer
February 4, 2012
By displaying to audiences a severely dishonest human being, Roger Dodger's thought-provoking script is able to reach a surprising level of honesty. While Campbell Scott plays a hugely unlikeable character (which wouldn't be a problem if the script didn't want audiences to sympathize with him), Jesse Eisenberg is as good as always in his first-ever movie.
Super Reviewer
August 4, 2011
A "ladies man," who, despite his claims, routinely "fails" with the ladies, instructs his nephew in the ways of meeting women.
This film is truly fantastic, with some witty, sharp dialogue, but its freeze-frame ending, which I won't give away, isn't satisfactory. I really like the idea of Roger's character: it is sharply written by Dylan Kidd, and Campbell Scott plays the oblivious yet confident player to perfection. Jesse Eisenberg is also wonderfully honest and charming as his protege.
Overall, I was ready to give this film five stars until the ending, which might appeal to some, but I'm saying too much when I note that there isn't enough change or struggle not to change in a character.
Super Reviewer
November 9, 2009
Finally, a movie without Jesse Eisenberg! oh, wait...
Super Reviewer
August 31, 2008
Some Minor Spoilers Here **************************************************************Critics adore independent films. Made usually on shoestring budgets and starring either no-bodies, wannabees or actors trying to make a statement, independent films are usually made by people who love movies for people who love movies. Enter Dylan Kidd's writing and directing debut, the 2002 very funny and memorable film Roger Dodger.

Campbell Scott (The Spanish Prisoner) plays Roger Swanson, a fast talking, chain-smoking, ever drinking 30-something that believes he is truly God's gift to earthly women. We are first introduced to Roger as he engages in conversation with fellow co-workers at a public restaurant and Roger dominates the conversation offering his views on man's ability over women to read maps, the workings and history of the female genatalia and why science and evolution will have men being reduced to servitude in 10 to 15 generations. Roger dominates the dialogue and with rapid fire crass and the occasional sneer at those that joke at his revelations, we are introduced to a man who is on a conceited high that will eventually lead to his emotional crisis.

Enter Roger's nephew, Nick (played by Jesse Eisenberg) who shows up from out of town and looks to Roger for help in the disposing of his virginity. Roger, acting more like someone who wants to show off his masculine powers than act that of a big brother, takes Nick under his wing for a night of adventure. The self-professed `FN lightening rod' for sex sneaks Nick into bars, takes him to a house party and eventually to an underground brothel in an attempt to shed the youngster of his innocence. But with each new venue, we are exposed to Roger's vulnerability and we experience a man who is on a kamikaze mission to destruction.

In a touching scene between Nick and two women picked up at a local bar (played understatedly by Jennifer Beals and Elizabeth Berkley), it is Nick's innocence and honestly that has the women swoon over Roger's frank and demeaning manner. The scene is wonderfully lit with just street lights and the camera angles which sometimes don't focus on the talking character, suck you in so that you believe you are on that cold park bench with them.

This is the genius that is usually associated with the independent films. People talk over each other, and sets are usually actual locations that lend to the aura and feel of the film. Dylan Kidd uses what light is available to him and sometimes that means that characters are talking in the dark corners of an alley or are blocked out by the backs of other actors. However, one is never lost or feels betrayed by the filmmakers because the dialogue remains so crisp and real.

Campbell Scott won a best actor award from the National Board of Review of Motion Pictures for his role in Roger Dodger and in my opinion, he was overlooked for an Academy Award nomination for the same role. He delivers the Tarantino-ish dialogue with precision and makes this disgusting character of a man someone that we can relate to or at least understand.

My final note about independent films is that they don't have the pressure to produce the 'Hollywood' ending. Roger Dodger ends not with Roger realizing the err of his way, but with a poignant adult talk with some school boys who show us the same immaturity as Roger, just at a younger understanding. Kudos to all those involved with this marvelous film that was indeed one of the best of 2002. It goes without saying but this is one to check out
Super Reviewer
July 21, 2007
A rather unsuccessful womanizer is taking his teenage nephew to a night out and teach him about approaching and scoring with the ladies. That leads to quite a few amusing, true and wonderfully pathetic observations about flirting, sex, men and women. While the camera work is somewhat experimental and shaky at times by trying to be voyeur instead of cinematic observer it also gives the movie a pretty realistic feel. Like Sex and The City for men, pretty interesting.
Super Reviewer
May 30, 2007
The inclusion of Jessi Spano is genius
Super Reviewer
½ April 16, 2007
A great black comedy from the Neil LaBute mean and sadistic vein. It's almost like Swingers in hell. Campbell Scott spits venom and wisdom as he teaches his naive yet bright nephew how to score with women. The Jennifer Beals park scene was great. It reminded me of a twisted "Catcher in the Rye" at points. The ending started to lose me as it began to bitch out but then recovered the fumble. Good stuff.
Super Reviewer
½ June 10, 2006
Guys that are assholes and get girls annoy me, but Campbell Scott plays it so well in this movie, and then he tries to teach his ways to his nephew, so I guess there is always hope for more assholes.
Super Reviewer
½ March 8, 2012
It was interesting to see Bruno from Royal Pains (Campbell Scott) in the role of a bitter paper pusher who gets dumped by his boss and takes to mentoring his nephew (Jesse Eisenberg) in the art of racking up notches in his belt. Eisenberg was absolutely adorable! He had to be the best thing about this film. Scott's character's pontifications (before getting dumped) were pretty fascinating, if not possibly one-sided to gas up potential prospects. It was funny how quickly he switched gears once he was back on the market.
Super Reviewer
½ August 28, 2011
"You've got to show them you're in control."
"Control? You're a teenager. Look at your face. Look at what you're eating. My god, look at your shirt. You aren't in control of anything."

Keenly perceptive one-night adventure riding a high-quality script as an estranged uncle takes his awkward nephew for a night on the town with the goal of getting some action. Campbell Scott is terrific as the glib, obnoxious, manipulative, yet strangely well-meaning Uncle Roger while Jesse Eisenberg is ideally cast as Jesse Eisenberg, only even younger. Women would do well to take cautionary notes of the many predatory tricks outlined here! Natural lighting leads to many dark shots, and I eventually grew tired of peering around shoulders with the handheld camerawork, but those are the only major production knocks against this tiny-budgeted indie. Watch for Kristen Bell in an uncredited role delivering the last 3 lines!
Super Reviewer
½ December 25, 2009
This is a sundancey little drama whose main strengths are its dialogue and its acting. The former is quite good and has a Mamet quality to it and the later is also pretty solid with Campbell Scott pouting over-thought advice like a self help pro and a young Jesse Eisenberg doing his thing that he will go on to do for the rest of the decade. That?s a solid foundation and it carries the movie, but this is definitely not the kind of film that really goes anywhere. It?s sort of trying to do a Catcher in the Rye thing, telling a coming of age story over the course one night that seems relatively uneventful but which will probably stay with the participants for a while. Good movie, worth seeing, but it?s probably not one for the ages.
Super Reviewer
October 18, 2009
I loved this. Even though the main character is a complete douche, I found him fascinating to watch on screen. All the characters are interesting, and I wanted to just keep listening to them talk. All the dialogue is great, and the actors are very good. Great under appreciated little movie.
Super Reviewer
February 19, 2008
Campbell Scott's character may be annoying, but you have to admit he gives a pretty terrific performance. The rest of the cast shines well also, especially Jesse Eisenberg (the original Michael Cera, thank you very much) and everyone has great chemistry with one another. Interesting, though not as insightful as it thinks and very enjoyable. Also, Elizabeth Berkley sure went to great lenghts to redeem herself and it shows.
Super Reviewer
½ August 28, 2008
Kidd's film has so far achieved as Roger would vigorously say,his peak.That culmination most independent films get through a season and at the same time drastically ignore their superficiality in accordance to the studio mediocrities.That guy actually reminded me shape of things to come when you're young and charming..ha,indeed...
Super Reviewer
½ August 17, 2006
I HATED this movie!!!
May 27, 2008
One of my favorite movies & performances. Smooth talking Campbell Scott takes his dork teenage nephew out for a night he'll never forget. I can't stand movies filmed in NY anymore because the city is so in love with itself, but I don't think they said NY once the entire time. Not even a shot of a skycraper I don't think. The poor lighting sets the tone of the film well too. The editing is fantastic. Really surprising storyline that never slows either. I can't think of anything I don't like about this film. George C. Scott's history with the Oscars and film industry must have fucked up his sons chances at a better career. This man deserves more recognition.
½ January 19, 2013
I was told this movie was extremely funny, so I watched it... I think I maybe smiled once? Roger is a thoroughly despicable character, and I'm not sure whether it was supposed to be one of those things where I laughed because what he said was so outrageously horrific, or whether I was supposed to be sympathizing with him, or what. Either way, this movie just didn't work for me at all on a comedic level. On a dramatic one, I was interested in what was going on with Jesse Eisenberg's character, but not enough to make watching the movie worthwhile. 
August 4, 2012
3/31/03 - Roger Dodger is an interesting look at the life of an all-out player. Campbell Scott was hilarious as the no holds barred player, Roger, who teaches his visting high school nephew about women while trying to get him laid. Roger's tirades and philosophies were hysterical. The movie didn't just paint a rosy picture of Roger though, it also showed how pathetic that kind of life can be. Some of the shaky camera work was annoying, but overall it was a very well done independent film.
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