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Winnebago Man (2010)

tomatometer

90

Average Rating: 7/10
Reviews Counted: 59
Fresh: 53 | Rotten: 6

Though it doesn't quite answer all of the questions it raises, Winnebago Man is nevertheless a fascinating, hilarious, and surprisingly poignant look at a geniunely colorful internet celebrity.

88

Average Rating: 7/10
Critic Reviews: 24
Fresh: 21 | Rotten: 3

Though it doesn't quite answer all of the questions it raises, Winnebago Man is nevertheless a fascinating, hilarious, and surprisingly poignant look at a geniunely colorful internet celebrity.

audience

79

liked it
Average Rating: 3.3/5
User Ratings: 18,868

My Rating

Movie Info

In 1988, a man named Jack Rebney spent time with a camera crew making a promotional video to be used as a sales tool for recreational vehicles. To say Rebney was having a frustrating time would be something of an understatement; unable to remember much of the sales pitch he'd written and showing little patience as he dealt with bugs, hot weather, and uncooperative equipment, Rebney spoiled take after take, swearing a blue streak as one thing or another went wrong. The editors of the video

Unrated,

Documentary, Comedy, Special Interest

Nov 2, 2010

$0.2M

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All Critics (59) | Top Critics (24) | Fresh (53) | Rotten (6) | DVD (3)

Perhaps the most disturbing issue raised in Ben Steinbauer's fascinating and often hilarious Winnebago Man has to do with the Internet's awesome ability to reduce complex and apparently dangerous behaviour to the level of banal spectacle.

December 10, 2010 Full Review Source: Toronto Star
Toronto Star
Top Critic IconTop Critic

When the director laments, "I feel like I've stepped into the Winnebago Man outtakes," we can only concur.

October 29, 2010 Full Review Source: Globe and Mail
Globe and Mail
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Although we find out a lot about this virtual hermit and develop an admiration for his cantankerous principles, the movie leaves some questions unanswered.

October 14, 2010 Full Review Source: Chicago Sun-Times
Chicago Sun-Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

The movie becomes oddly deep and even poignant.

September 23, 2010 Full Review Source: Minneapolis Star Tribune | Comment (1)
Minneapolis Star Tribune
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Winnebago Man becomes a much more interesting and troubling film when Rebney, a former journalist, demands to reclaim control of his messaging.

August 20, 2010 Full Review Source: St. Louis Post-Dispatch | Comments (2)
St. Louis Post-Dispatch
Top Critic IconTop Critic

This strange, darkly funny documentary investigates the story of Jack Rebney, a Winnebago salesman who achieved notoriety based on outtakes of a corporate video he shot in the 1980s.

August 20, 2010 Full Review Source: Dallas Morning News
Dallas Morning News
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Filmmaker Ben Steinbauer went searching for the man behind the rants. Against all odds, Rebney manages to emerge with his dignity intact.

December 10, 2010 Full Review Source: Arkansas Democrat-Gazette
Arkansas Democrat-Gazette

Steinbauer doesn't shy away from the moral queasiness of that arrangement, and that's what gives Winnebago Man a lot of its appeal -- that tension between the considerable laughter it provokes and the questions raised about that laughter.

December 8, 2010 Full Review Source: Capital Times (Madison, WI)
Capital Times (Madison, WI)

A shrewd, entertaining, fascinating and surprisingly touching documentary.

December 8, 2010 Full Review Source: Playboy Online
Playboy Online

It isn't perfect, but hell, neither was the Winnebago.

December 8, 2010 Full Review Source: Movie City News
Movie City News

A hilarious film.

December 8, 2010 Full Review Source: KPBS.org
KPBS.org

Absorbing and thought-provoking.

December 8, 2010 Full Review Source: IFC.com
IFC.com

The film is less about Jack, his reputation and performance, than it is about itself. Real or not.

December 7, 2010 Full Review Source: PopMatters
PopMatters

What makes the film so enjoyable is how it keeps defying expectations in its survey of the rough edges, sharp mind and iconoclastic personality...

November 4, 2010 Full Review Source: Seanax.com
Seanax.com

The film lacks a point of view, but it sure establishes the catharsis in watching a guy speak his mind with brutal, $#&* #&% honesty at all times.

October 14, 2010 Full Review Source: Metromix.com
Metromix.com

Surprisingly, Steinbauer finds a way to make sense of the competing agendas and feelings expressed throughout Winnebago Man.

September 24, 2010 Full Review Source: St. Paul Pioneer Press | Comment (1)
St. Paul Pioneer Press

Hilarious.

September 10, 2010 Full Review Source: Kansas City Star | Comment (1)
Kansas City Star

Both the man and the film had reached outcomes that no one could have foreseen.

August 20, 2010 Full Review Source: Austin Chronicle
Austin Chronicle

Entertaining, but Steinbauer never really seems to work up either a cogent thesis statement or tack of inquiry -- his work bears the marks of a serial noodler.

August 12, 2010 Full Review Source: Shared Darkness
Shared Darkness

An often funny and finally poignant documentary about the bizarre nature of modern fame (indeed, infamy) and the healing powers of community, human connection, and, yes, laughter.

August 6, 2010 Full Review Source: Oregonian | Comment (1)
Oregonian

Audience Reviews for Winnebago Man

A poignant, in-depth look at arguably the first YouTube star before YouTube even existed, that being swearing RV salesman Jack Rebney. Instead of the documentary being a mash-up "greatest hits" of this figure, director Ben Steinbauer makes a concerted effort to find out what happened to this man who was last seen by the public eye in 1989 when he was flipping out between takes of these marketing videos he would make for RVs. What makes this film so interesting is the "everyday man" tone the current Jack Rebney strikes with the viewer. He may be a bitter, angry old man, and we might not ever figure out what makes him that way, but it does not stop us from pulling for him to feel appreciated for those many lives he has, almost inexplicably, touched and all the people he made laugh through the years. Not an ordinary documentary by any means, and certainly not a film for everyone, but still a film that shows a man looking for one last run at glory before retiring into his cabin in the woods with his loving dog for good.
April 11, 2013
Dan Schultz

Super Reviewer

Who is Jack Rebney? And why is he so angry? These are the questions that film maker Ben Steinbauer wondered for years. Finally he decided to answer his own questions by finding Jack Rebney and documenting the experience. What we get is a look into the life of an interesting man. It may not answer every question you have, but it has heart and you feel a human connection with Jack Rebney. It's all about the human experience. What we find is a real, comedic adventure that I'm glad to be apart of (even as just a viewer).
March 29, 2013
Dr114
Chris Miele

Super Reviewer

Jack Rebney: I don't believe that I have the capability of being able to couch anything in a vernacular that's going to be understood by the people that you want me to talk to. 

Winnebago Man is an interesting enough documentary, in that we get to see the person behind the viral video. "Going viral" is a term we hear all the time now, but it has never really been anything I concern myself with. Honestly, I don't give a fuck if someone is playing with a sword, trying to do a backflip, or cussing up a storm. There's just more important stuff in the world. So I'm with Jack Rebney on that one, as he to, fails to understand the love for the video. Honestly, I don't even find the outtakes funny. Why I liked the movie to the extent I did, is because I grew to like I guy I really didn't know anything about or really care about.

A filmmaker who was obsessed for years over the viral video makes a documentary on the man himself. He wants to know if the guy is truly as angry as it appears. Is he mad about the publicity? Does he care that people find his rants amusing? Who is this guy? These are all questions the film asks, and like a good filmmaker, he answers them through his subject.

If there's anything we can take from a film like Winnebago Man... actually there is nothing I can truly take away from it. I didn't learn anything about the human condition or about anything that truly matters. I just learned that Jack Rebney is a pretty cool old guy that loves to swear and thinks Dick Chaney is the worst human being to ever live. That's enough for me. This little documentary did enough to entertain me, while presenting a story I can't say I really care about.
June 30, 2012
blkbomb
Melvin White

Super Reviewer

Who knew that under all those layers of cynicism and misanthropy that Jack Rebney would turn out to be the most likable old bastard on the planet?
April 21, 2012
flixsterman
Randy Tippy

Super Reviewer

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