Roger Dodger


Roger Dodger

Critics Consensus

The movie could have benefited from a more experienced director, but a great cast and script overcome any first time jitters the director may have had.



Total Count: 123


Audience Score

User Ratings: 8,227
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Movie Info

Writer/director Dylan Kidd got a chance to make his script for Roger Dodger into a feature film when he boldly approached Campbell Scott in a café in Greenwich Village and made his pitch. Eventually, Scott would agree to executive produce and star in the film, and was responsible for bringing Jennifer Beals and Isabella Rossellini onboard. Scott stars as the eponymous Roger, a successful New York ad man and self-proclaimed master of reading and manipulating women. The film begins with Roger out for drinks with his co-workers and demonstrating his verbal gifts. "Words are my stock in trade," he explains as he expounds. But he soon learns that his boss, Joyce (Rossellini), wants to end their clandestine sexual relationship. Roger gets another shock when his teenaged nephew, Nick (Jesse Eisenberg of TV's Get Real), shows up unannounced the next day at his job. Nick explains that he's in town for an interview at Columbia and soon admits that he wants Roger to take him out and give him a crash course on women. Soon the pair is out carousing, but when they run into the lovely Andrea (Elizabeth Berkley) and her friend, Sophie (Jennifer Beals), Roger discovers that despite Nick's sexual desperation, the teen is temperamentally unsuited to Roger's transparent womanizing mode of operation. In short, Nick is a sweet, open, and sensitive boy, while Roger proves himself to be a misogynist pig. Their differences grow even starker when Roger decides to crash a party Joyce is throwing that night, and brings Nick along. Roger Dodger was named the Best Narrative Feature in competition at the 2002 Tribeca Film Festival.

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Critic Reviews for Roger Dodger

All Critics (123) | Top Critics (34) | Fresh (108) | Rotten (15)

  • A fascinating, uneven first feature from the young writer-director Dylan Kidd.

    Jan 16, 2003
  • We journey from appreciating Roger as the ideal over-drinks conversationalist to someone we would cross the street to avoid.

    Jan 3, 2003 | Rating: 4/5
  • Scott's low-key portrayal makes Roger interesting.

    Dec 5, 2002 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…

    Mike Clark

    USA Today
    Top Critic
  • Doesn't really add up to much.

    Nov 15, 2002 | Rating: 2.5/4 | Full Review…
  • Roger Dodger is an impressive first-time effort by Dylan Kidd, the director and writer. But like the teen in the movie who is trying to lose his virginity, the film never quite scores.

    Nov 15, 2002 | Rating: C+
  • Even at its grimmest, the movie hums along, thanks to the edgy, hand-held, on-the-fly cinematography and the snappy performances.

    Nov 9, 2002 | Full Review…

    David Edelstein

    Top Critic

Audience Reviews for Roger Dodger

  • May 01, 2014
    This is a smart and insightful sex comedy without relying on the over-the-top antics of the raunchier American Pies of the world. The majority of the film sees Nick and Roger having conversations about the opposite sex and what's the right way to go about getting women to go to sleep with you. Roger has a pretty cynical point of view on this and he's also pretty misogynistic for most of the film whereas Nick is far more sensitive and looking for something more than Roger is willing to help him with. Roger's just trying to get Nick laid, by any means necessary, and I really do mean that. Thankfully, though, the film sees Nick and Roger meeting a pair of beautiful women, Sophie and Andrea, at a bar and they spend a lot of the night with them having conversations about women's point of view when it comes to sex and relationships, so it adds a little dimension to the script that, for the most part, is centered on Roger's point of view, and he's this big macho, misogynistic guy. So the addition of Sophie and Andrea did add a different viewpoint to the film, and it was one that was definitely needed. The script takes an adult look at relationships and sex and, even if the film is 12 years old, it's still a breath of fresh air. And it's not just a film about conversations about the opposite sex, which would still be insightful, but it'd be kinda boring, the film does have a little bit of an arc and seeing how Roger's cynical views on relationships and women change, despite the fact that the relationship he had with his boss, clandestine relationship of course, the gender roles were completely reversed. Roger was, in as unoffensive a manner as I possibly can say this, the woman that was dumped by her boss, the man, in favor of someone younger. So it's interesting to see those roles being reversed, while at the same time seeing Roger's point of view on relationships and women, and how that affects him. That was a pretty good arc and seeing him mend the strained relationship with his family, while not as upfront, was also a good arc for the character. It also helps that Campbell Scott is pretty damn good in this role. Not saying the guy is like this character at all, but it almost feels like an extension of his real life personality, so it almost doesn't feel like he's acting. Jesse Eisenberg is great as always. The rest of the cast is quite, but this is really all about Campbell and Jesse and they deliver the goods. Granted, they have a strong script to work with, so I'm sure that makes it easier for an actor, but they still deliver the goods. Not much else to say really, this is a damn good film. What it lacks in over-the-top raunch, it makes up for in an intelligent/insightful script and a great cast. The directing's a little hit and miss, but the rest of the film is damn good.
    Jesse O Super Reviewer
  • May 20, 2013
    Gotta love high-functioning sociopaths like HIMYM's Barney Stinson and Campbell Scott's titular Roger in this dark, delicious gem. Roger's tried-and-true tricks aren't just cheesy pick-ups, but carefully honed skills that show off the Darwinningest male. Jesse Eisenberg, in his first film role, is sweet and endearing with a hint of rebellion, and the brief roles of 80s-90s dream queens, Elizabeth Berkley and Jennifer Beals, make for a bittersweet sex education. It was so bittersweet that I wished something would happen for Nick and Sophie at the end - not necessarily sex but just SOMETHING instead of Uncle Dad once again aiding and abetting a lame flirtation with high school queen bee whom the audience hasn't gotten the chance to know and fall in love with yet.
    Alice S Super Reviewer
  • May 05, 2012
    A fast-paced, dialogue-driven, well-constructed little film about the immorality of our times, specifically playboy Roger (Campbell Scott) and how he decides to give his 16-year old nephew (Jesse Eisenberg) in town a crash course in how to get laid after his nephew asks for his help. It is at times a little unbelievable, but still irrefutably fascinating despite its shortcomings and uneven pacing. This is mostly due to Scott's powerhouse performance as a man stripped of any conceivable morals, which serves as a fascinating though depressing study of sex and its agonizing grip on some individuals lives. Eisenberg is also fantastic playing the insecure, virgin character he and Michael Cera have made a living off of for a little over a decade now. It is explicit, sometimes a little full of itself, and sometimes lacking some editing, but is is nevertheless a successful, memorable look on the lack of morality in our culture.
    Dan S Super Reviewer
  • Mar 08, 2012
    It was interesting to see Bruno from Royal Pains (Campbell Scott) in the role of a bitter paper pusher who gets dumped by his boss and takes to mentoring his nephew (Jesse Eisenberg) in the art of racking up notches in his belt. Eisenberg was absolutely adorable! He had to be the best thing about this film. Scott's character's pontifications (before getting dumped) were pretty fascinating, if not possibly one-sided to gas up potential prospects. It was funny how quickly he switched gears once he was back on the market.
    Remi L Super Reviewer

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