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The Perfect Host (2011)



Average Rating: 4.7/10
Critic Reviews: 14
Fresh: 7 | Rotten: 7

No consensus yet.



liked it
Average Rating: 3.4/5
User Ratings: 7,751

My Rating

Movie Info

Warwick Wilson (David Hyde Pierce)is the consummate host. He carefully prepares for a dinner party, the table impeccably set and the duck perfectly timed for 8:30 p.m. John Taylor (Clayne Crawford) is a career criminal. He's just robbed a bank and needs to get off the streets. He finds himself on Warwick's doorstep posing as a friend of a friend, new to Los Angeles, who's been mugged and lost his luggage. As the wine flows and the evening progresses, we become deeply intertwined in the lives of


Mystery & Suspense

Nick Tomnay

Aug 30, 2011


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All Critics (32) | Top Critics (14) | Fresh (14) | Rotten (18) | DVD (2)

Around every corner is a new twist, a strategically placed misdirection or another switch of predator and prey. But while the gamesmanship is satisfying in moderation, it becomes a little monotonous in excess.

July 1, 2011 Full Review Source: NPR
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Crawford radiates charisma, and Pierce sells even the nuttiest moments.

July 1, 2011 Full Review Source: New York Daily News
New York Daily News
Top Critic IconTop Critic

The less one knows about this perverse thriller from debuting director Nick Tomnay the better; a full appreciation of its delights lies in its revelations.

July 1, 2011 Full Review Source: Wall Street Journal
Wall Street Journal
Top Critic IconTop Critic

What aims for Hitchcockian slyness ends up an inconsequential jumble in the comedy thriller "The Perfect Host."

July 1, 2011 Full Review Source: Los Angeles Times
Los Angeles Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Ultimately breaks down under the weight of too many characters and unbelievable twists.

July 1, 2011 Full Review Source: New York Post | Comment (1)
New York Post
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Not even Mr. Pierce's best efforts can make sense of a character who by the end of the film seems to be a completely different person with the same name.

June 30, 2011 Full Review Source: New York Times | Comments (2)
New York Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

This is not the type of movie whose inherent dopiness angers or frustrates. You just sort of giggle at the kids having fun.

June 22, 2013 Full Review Source: Deadspin

Nick Tomnay's The Perfect Host manages to take a rather simple premise and do something rather inventive and refreshing with it.

March 2, 2013 Full Review Source: We Got This Covered
We Got This Covered

The plot isn't believable, but it sure is fun. It skewers expectations and has a lot of unexpected turns.

February 10, 2012 Full Review Source: Laramie Movie Scope
Laramie Movie Scope

The Perfect Host is a welcome sherbet between the many more weighty films currently playing.

January 14, 2012 Full Review Source: JWR

It's a film, not a play, and it doesn't work.

December 29, 2011 Full Review Source: Goatdog's Movies
Goatdog's Movies

Suffers for being too clever and convoluted despite being so witty.

December 27, 2011 Full Review Source: Ozus' World Movie Reviews
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

Very clever and highly enjoyable.

November 20, 2011 Full Review Source:

The actors give invested performances, but The Perfect Host's story twists reveal it to be a bullsh-t head feint exercise designed from the ground up as merely a collection of goosing scenes.

August 1, 2011 Full Review Source: Shared Darkness
Shared Darkness

Though this 'Host' is far from perfect, it does offer incidental pleasures--not least Pierce's exuberant turn.

July 1, 2011 Full Review Source: One Guy's Opinion
One Guy's Opinion

a bizarre train wreck of unfortunate circumstance piled on top of perverse, illogical fantasy and caught somewhere between psychological thriller and bemusing dark comedy

July 1, 2011 Full Review Source:

Recommended to those who like being endlessly led down filmic garden paths devoid of logic or empathy.

June 30, 2011 Full Review Source: Film Journal International
Film Journal International

Clayne Crawford and John Malkovich-like David Hyde Pierce are excellent screen sparring partners in 'The Perfect Host.'

June 30, 2011 Full Review Source: ReelTalk Movie Reviews
ReelTalk Movie Reviews

A chamber piece hostage thriller black comedy undone less by its twists than by the stretches of bad road between them.

June 30, 2011 Full Review Source: Movieline

20 minutes of intriguing confusion ruined by an additional 70 minutes of explanation and needless motivation. While Pierce shines, his work is wasted on banal behavior and unconvincing ghoulishness.

June 30, 2011 Full Review Source:

Audience Reviews for The Perfect Host

Directed (and co-written) by Nick Tomnay, Stacey Testro International, 2010. Starring David Hyde Pierce, Clayne Crawford, Nathaniel Parker and Helen Reddy.

Genre: Comedy, Crime, Thriller.

Question: When you are giving a dinner party, do you serve red wine, white wine or both? I prefer red wine myself but may rethink it. It really does stain your teeth.

Alright, I just finished another movie on Netflix instant play called The Perfect Host. It starred David Hyde Pierce, yes, the guy from Frasier. He plays Warwick Wilson - the host of a dinner party that gets crashed by a stranger played by Clayne Crawford (what a great name!).

Now look at the genre you know what that means: I am not going to say much about the story. In fact, I really don't want to say anything because I went into this knowing not one stitch of information and thoroughly enjoyed the last 93 minutes. What a treat!! I will say I smiled, threw my hands over my eyes, felt a little nauseated at parts and slammed my hands on the table with glee because I really, really enjoyed The Perfect Host.

David Hyde Pierce was absolutely brilliant in this movie. I am a little shocked I never heard about this movie before today. There were parts where I had reactions I wasn't expecting at some of his dialogue delivery or his actions. This role does not resemble Niles Crane at all and that was refreshing. I know many actors can't shake their past roles but this one just might have done it for Mr. Pierce. AWESOME!

Now Clayne Crawford (got to say it again - just love his name) is a newcomer for me. I did look up his resume and he has covered a broad range of TV show appearances, but I honestly did not recognize him. I think I would have with those dimples...sorry. Focus, Katy. Alright, Crawford plays John Taylor (no, not the Duran Duran bass player) who stumbles into a night he will not soon forget. I will say I thought Crawford was pretty decent in the role.

I am stopping there - NO! I will not tell you anymore details. Nope, not gonna do it. And you can't make me. I am a stubborn woman, so learn to live with disappointment in not knowing anymore about The Perfect Host. This might be my most cryptic review ever but it needs to be. Thrillers, in my opinion, should remain a mystery until you have a chance to view them. You are welcome.

My favorite part: David Hyde Pierce.

My least favorite part: The end was a little drawn out.

Rating: R
Length: 93 minutes

Review: 7 out of 10

For more reviews: or
May 22, 2012
Tired of Previews
Tired of Previews

Super Reviewer

Dinner Parties Are A Dying Art.

Good Film! I like alot the element of surprise the director brought to this film which made it unseemly so darn good wickedly fun and entertaining. The Perfect Host is not a horror film, although it's easy to see how it could have been made as one, but a psychological, cat and mouse thriller of tables (dining tables) turning and being turned as small time hood meets major lunatic! This is typically a film to watch once and never again since it isn't one that you'll always remember but it has a kind of devilish goodness to it. Enjoy!

Warwick Wilson is the consummate host. He carefully prepares for a dinner party, the table impeccably set and the duck perfectly timed for 8:30 p.m. John Taylor is a career criminal. He's just robbed a bank and needs to get off the streets. He finds himself on Warwick's doorstep posing as a friend of a friend, new to Los Angeles, who's been mugged and lost his luggage. As the wine flows and the evening progresses, we become deeply intertwined in the lives of these two men and discover just how deceiving appearances can be. With outstanding performances by David Hyde Pierce and Clayne Crawford, cowriter/director Nick Tomnay takes us on a suspense-filled ride where nothing is as it seems. 'The Perfect Host' is a slippery psychological thriller that exposes true human nature and reveals just how far we're willing to go to satisfy our needs.
October 21, 2011
Manu Gino

Super Reviewer

It doesn't really go anywhere or make any useful coherent statements and probably won't win any awards, especially not for its title--and the party scenes were a bit too Heineken-TV-commercial-but-sillier--but the film gives David Hyde Pierce a chance to show his acting chops in the realm of film. The others weren't bad either.
October 17, 2011

Super Reviewer


Twist after twist after twist...way too many to take the movie seriously.
October 15, 2011
Japes .

Super Reviewer

    1. Warwick Wilson: No need to thank me, John. You made things very entertaining.
    – Submitted by Frances H (23 months ago)
    1. Warwick Wilson: People need to understand their government's fucking serious!
    – Submitted by Frances H (23 months ago)
    1. Warwick Wilson: You're nothing. you're disposable,forgettable, a supporting player. You're nothing. It's like you don't even exist.
    – Submitted by Frances H (23 months ago)
    1. John Taylor: It may look like you have the upper hand, but if you're not paying attention your opponent can blid side you.
    – Submitted by Frances H (23 months ago)
    1. John Taylor: Please don't kill me.
    2. Warwick Wilson: Your my guest, and I'm glad you're here, but you've only got yourself to blame.
    – Submitted by Frances H (23 months ago)
    1. Warwick Wilson: There are many women who have travelled the road to warwick. I can't be blamed for the love I've shared.
    – Submitted by Frances H (23 months ago)
View all quotes (10)

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