Critics Consensus

Part dark satire, part compelling drama, Reality occasionally struggles to communicate its message, but it's never less than entertaining.



Total Count: 79


Audience Score

User Ratings: 1,300
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Movie Info

From acclaimed director Matteo Garrone, REALITY is a darkly comic look at Luciano, a charming and affable fishmonger whose unexpected and sudden obsession with being a contestant on the reality show "Big Brother" leads him down a rabbit hole of skewed perceptions and paranoia. So overcome by his dream of being on reality TV, Luciano's own reality begins to spiral out of control, making for one of the most compelling tragicomic character studies since Scorsese's The King of Comedy. (c) Oscilloscope

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Critic Reviews for Reality

All Critics (79) | Top Critics (25)

  • It's clear that Garrone is lamenting the death of culture. But the movie is more compassionate than screed-y. It's a portrait of the preoccupation with fame in an age in which in fame is cheap.

    Jan 3, 2014 | Full Review…
  • The satire here is finespun, and the film's conclusions ambiguous.

    Apr 5, 2013 | Rating: 2.5/4 | Full Review…
  • A dark allegorical comedy about the nature of fame, about obsession, about madness - and the point where they converge: on Big Brother, a TV show watched by millions.

    Apr 4, 2013 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…
  • For all its ups and downs and occasional detours into boorishness, it's an original that will surprise if not necessarily delight fans of Garrone's very different crime drama, "Gomorrah."

    Apr 4, 2013 | Rating: 2.5/4
  • Matteo Garrone follows his crime epic Gomorrah with a comedy about reality TV, and though it hardly rivals the earlier movie in its social complexity, it still offers the spectacle of a vibrant and vividly realized Neapolitan neighborhood.

    Mar 28, 2013 | Full Review…
  • As cautionary tales go, this one's ripely knowing, and it speaks in a lot more languages than Italian.

    Mar 28, 2013 | Rating: 4/4 | Full Review…

    Ty Burr

    Boston Globe
    Top Critic

Audience Reviews for Reality

  • Apr 12, 2014
    Matteo Garrone, the 2008 winner of the Grand Prize of the Jury at the Cannes Film Festival for the excellent <i>Gomorrah</i>, transfers his ambitious directing style with hundreds of extras, dozens of characters and invigorating environments to bring something that might sound questionable at first glance: a comedy about a charismatic fish stand owner who agrees to audition for the next Big Brother show and, in the wait of his possible acceptance into the House, develops an increasing paranoia that begins to affect his own life, his family relationships and his acquaintances. I'd never have the act of stereotyping as one of my intentions, but you know how the Italians are filmwise: intense dramatic overacting (which makes everything even more fun), complete families giving opinions actively about everything, a dynamic directing that moves the camera constantly here and there, towards every corner, because something is happening everywhere, all the time. Garrone is no exception to this approach of giving life to his little universe, and of portraying the complete family of the protagonist, which in this case, allows the entire plot to acquire a meaning. It is very important to point out that the topic of obsession presented here is tragic, even if overused. Garrone's scope allows to take a conventional audience message to a higher level of entertainment, making the situations more absorbing and his paranoia more tangible, especially with his occasional use of complicated long shots. Unfortunately, he never found the balance between drama, tragedy, comedy and satire. At the end, however, it is a story worth remembering, with a big payoff at the end. Personally, the ending scared me. 76/100
    Edgar C Super Reviewer
  • Sep 10, 2013
    A fishmonger from Naples loses his grip on reality as he waits to hear back from his audition for the Italian version of the "Big Brother" TV show. Slow but rich, with layers of satire and allegory and great long tracking shots of glorious Naples.
    Greg S Super Reviewer
  • Oct 06, 2012
    Garrone uses many elegant long takes and an evocative score to tell this fascinating, dream-like character study about a common fishmonger who gradually becomes obsessed with the idea of being famous - leading him to mix his yearnings with reality.
    Carlos M Super Reviewer

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