The Promotion

Critics Consensus

With a workplace-related theme worthy of satire, The Promotion features some sharp witticisms but ultimately disappoints.



Total Count: 77


Audience Score

User Ratings: 84,735
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The Promotion Photos

Movie Info

A war of wills takes place between two men who want to run the same grocery store in this offbeat comedy from writer and director Steven Conrad. Doug (Seann William Scott) is a seemingly ordinary guy who works as the assistant manager of a supermarket near Chicago. When the owners of the market announce they're opening a new branch near Doug's neighborhood, he applies to become manager of the new store, and both he and his wife (Jenna Fischer) assume he's a shoo-in to get the job. But Richard (John C. Reilly), a gregarious recent hire at the store who has relocated to Illinois from Canada, announces he's also applying for the management position, and a keen rivalry develops between Doug and Richard even as they strive to act like friends on the surface. As the competition grows between the two, their personality flaws become increasingly evident -- Doug's short temper, Richard's history of drug abuse -- and when Richard's wife (Lili Taylor) leaves him, the contest starts taking an uncomfortable turn. The Promotion also stars Fred Armisen, Gil Bellows, and Bobby Cannavale. ~ Mark Deming, Rovi

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Critic Reviews for The Promotion

All Critics (77) | Top Critics (29)

  • The Promotion may not be much, and you get to know that supermarket uncomfortably well by the end of the 85 minutes. But as I say: He's an interesting writer.

    Oct 18, 2008 | Rating: 2.5/4
  • By taking the time to make that connection with the audience, The Promotion ensures we'll forgive these guys anything -- and laugh along with them -- in their quest to advance their lots.

    Oct 18, 2008 | Rating: 3/4
  • A nice little comedy about what it takes to climb the corporate ladder and the toll such actions take on the psyche of a decent individual.

    Oct 18, 2008 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…
  • The Promotion works as a comedy because, in the depths of our dark hearts, we enjoy seeing the woes that beset our comic antagonists.

    Jun 27, 2008 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…
  • This is one of the more original movies of the year, and it's the rare film that's primarily about the workplace.

    Jun 16, 2008
  • The directorial debut of Pursuit of Happyness writer Steve Conrad, The Promotion carries a deadpan corporate-absurd whiff of Office Space but never quite scans.

    Jun 13, 2008 | Rating: 1.5/4 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for The Promotion

  • May 21, 2011
    Considering the cast and the concept, The Promotion should be a much funnier comedy. It has some likeability, and has a few authentic and funny moments, but ultimately you keep waiting for it to reach something it doesn't obtain.
    Jeffrey M Super Reviewer
  • Aug 23, 2010
    I wanted this movie to be so much more than what it was. I felt like it was a wasted cast. It was a boring Step Brothers with out Will Ferrell. The whole movie is beyond frustrating, but it had a happy ending. I don't know. It was just okay.
    Alexis N Super Reviewer
  • Aug 20, 2010
    I laughed my ass off.
    Sean G Super Reviewer
  • Jul 24, 2010
    not a really hilarious movie but it has funny parts and has a good story and is entertaining. B
    Richard C Super Reviewer

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