In the Company of Men

1997

In the Company of Men

Critics Consensus

Neil LaBute's pitch-black comedy is a masterful exploration of male insecurity, and it's elevated by a breakout performance by Aaron Eckhart as a businessman who likes to play psychological games.

89%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 54

80%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 7,805
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Movie Info

Two frustrated young executives vent their pent-up rage via a childish prank and end up paying a price in this psychological black comedy, the feature-film debut of writer-director Neil LaBute. Former college buddies Chad (Aaron Eckhart) and Howard (Matt Malloy) are in their early 30s and work in the same company. One day the two encounter each other in the men's executive washroom and begin expressing their mutual frustration regarding their lack of rapid advancement at work and their most recent bad luck with women. In hopes of gaining revenge against the fairer sex and bolstering their battered egos, the two hatch a nasty scheme to be enacted over an upcoming six-week-long business trip: Find a vulnerable young woman to court, slather with affection, and then callously dump. They choose a lovely, hearing-impaired typist named Christine (Stacey Edwards), a woman who hasn't dated in many years. Not realizing that she is about to be the metaphorical mouse between a pair of hungry cats, she laps up the sudden attention, but in no time it becomes apparent that Chad is the man she prefers. When Howard discovers this, it creates escalating tension between the two men who begin playing more psychological games, not only with hapless Christine, but also with each other.

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Critic Reviews for In the Company of Men

All Critics (54) | Top Critics (15) | Fresh (48) | Rotten (6)

  • A dazzling, repellent exercise in which the case against men is closed before it's opened.

    Feb 11, 2008

    David Edelstein

    Slate
    Top Critic
  • LaBute, a playwright and former drama teacher, has succeeded in creating a study of banal, everyday evil.

    Feb 11, 2008 | Full Review…

    Jeff Giles

    Newsweek
    Top Critic
  • A dark, probing, truly disturbing exploration of yuppie angst and male anxieties as they manifest themselves in both the work and personal arenas.

    Feb 11, 2008

    Dennis Harvey

    Variety
    Top Critic
  • Cruel, cool and pleasingly provocative.

    Feb 9, 2006 | Full Review…

    Geoff Andrew

    Time Out
    Top Critic
  • Prepare for the conversation to grow heated.

    Apr 12, 2002 | Rating: 3.5/4 | Full Review…
  • In the Company of Men is a singularly unpleasant movie. And from the point that Chad and Howard settle on Christine, it's an increasingly unbelievable one, too.

    Jan 1, 2000 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for In the Company of Men

  • Aug 01, 2014
    It's interesting to watch "In the Company of Men" unfold, but the contents are so incendiary that it threatens to explode in our faces.
    Eddie C Super Reviewer
  • Mar 19, 2013
    It wrings some good tension out of its bonkers plot, but by the end "In the Company of Men" feels like it's all concept, middling craftsmanship, and no valuable message.
    Sam B Super Reviewer
  • Nov 29, 2011
    What we have here is a rare kind of a movie. It relies solely upon dialogue for entertainment. The director/writer Neil LaBute shows off some of the best writing imaginable, going from scene to scene, one static shot after another. It's just the life of two employees and what happens at the workplace. Without a doubt, "In the Company of Men" portrays life so realistically that it manages to capture the interest of the audience. We're intrigued by what's happening, even though it's shocking, disturbing, and painful to watch, and we're drawn to it.
    Stephen E Super Reviewer
  • Oct 19, 2011
    As abhorrent as the plan the characters in Neil LaBute's, 'In the Company of Men', concoct it's only matched by long takes of heavy misogynistic dialogue scenes. Which character is the victim, the smartest, the least despicable? There's no correct answer and LaBute is at his finest as a provocateur with his brilliantly acted debut 'In the Company of Men'.
    Jonny B Super Reviewer

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