The Assistant

2019, Drama, 1h 27m

230 Reviews 100+ Verified Ratings

What to know

critics consensus

Led by a powerhouse performance from Julia Garner, The Assistant offers a withering critique of workplace harassment and systemic oppression. Read critic reviews

You might also like

Where to watch

Show all services

Rate And Review

User image

Verified

  • User image

    Super Reviewer

    Rate this movie

    Oof, that was Rotten.

    Meh, it passed the time.

    It’s good – I’d recommend it.

    Awesome!

    So Fresh: Absolute Must See!

    What did you think of the movie? (optional)



  • You're almost there! Just confirm how you got your ticket.

  • User image

    Super Reviewer

    Step 2 of 2

    How did you buy your ticket?

    Let's get your review verified.

    • Fandango

    • AMCTheatres.com or AMC AppNew

    • Cinemark Coming Soon

      We won’t be able to verify your ticket today, but it’s great to know for the future.

    • Regal Coming Soon

      We won’t be able to verify your ticket today, but it’s great to know for the future.

    • Theater box office or somewhere else

    You're almost there! Just confirm how you got your ticket.

  • User image

    Super Reviewer

    Rate this movie

    Oof, that was Rotten.

    Meh, it passed the time.

    It’s good – I’d recommend it.

    Awesome!

    So Fresh: Absolute Must See!

    What did you think of the movie? (optional)

  • How did you buy your ticket?

    • Fandango

    • AMCTheatres.com or AMC AppNew

    • Cinemark Coming Soon

      We won’t be able to verify your ticket today, but it’s great to know for the future.

    • Regal Coming Soon

      We won’t be able to verify your ticket today, but it’s great to know for the future.

    • Theater box office or somewhere else

The Assistant Videos

The Assistant Photos

Movie Info

Jane, a recent college graduate and aspiring film producer, just landed her dream job as a junior assistant to a powerful entertainment mogul. Her day is much like any other assistant -- making coffee, ordering lunch, arranging travel accommodations and taking phone messages. But as Jane follows her daily routine, she grows increasingly aware of the abuse that insidiously colors every aspect of her workday, an accumulation of degradations against which she decides to take a stand.

Cast & Crew

Matthew Macfayden
Wilcock
Noah Robbins
Male Assistant
Clara Wong
Tess
Purva Bedi
Executive Assistant
Kitty Green
Screenwriter
Philipp Engelhorn
Executive Producer
Avy Eschenasy
Executive Producer
Leah Giblin
Executive Producer
Sean King O'Grady
Executive Producer
Michael Latham
Cinematographer
Kitty Green
Film Editor
Fletcher Chancey
Production Design
John Arnos
Art Director
Dani Broom-Peltz
Set Decoration
Rachel Dainer-Best
Costume Designer
Tamar-kali
Original Music
Show all Cast & Crew

News & Interviews for The Assistant

Critic Reviews for The Assistant

All Critics (230) | Top Critics (59) | Fresh (212) | Rotten (18)

Audience Reviews for The Assistant

  • Mar 08, 2021
    Smart enough to not focus on the person in question, but the machinery set-up around that person and those on the other side of his always closed door, Kitty Green's The Assistant is deliberate to a fault. While a story of power and consent this is a story of power and consent told by and from the point of view of a woman. There's no gratuitous and/or sensationalized scenes of what happens beyond closed doors, but instead we remain with a lowly clerk who makes copies, gets lunch, and tidies up after meetings. Nothing here feels exploitative for the sake of such despite the subject matter, but rather Green paints a delicate portrait of Julia Garner's Jane whom no one notices, but whose every internal conflict and struggle is all we see. Garner has an amazing presence that translates almost everything we need to know about what the character is feeling without hardly saying a word. In the similarly themed Promising Young Woman the style is more heightened, but the situations aren't - they're very real and regrettably commonplace - and The Assistant operates in this same area where everything that occurs feels oddly ordinary, unpleasantly familiar, and certainly possible. Green sets her film within the world of the film industry (a detail I initially thought was the wrong - or maybe too much the obvious - choice), but what saves this for general moviegoers is that Jane doesn't necessarily have to be working for a powerful Hollywood producer as this could easily transfer to any other corporate environment. The Assistant is a film made up of small, specific moments that - while not driving towards anything grand or set in stone - analyzes a culture gone awry; lost to the conditions of those in power and where the idea of simple human decency quickly fades away.
    Philip P Super Reviewer
  • May 03, 2020
    I can understand why some audiences are not connecting to The Assistant. The film takes an almost emotion-less approach to the story of a movie executive sexually abusing women and how the people around him - men and women - turn a blind eye. But, I found this movie to be very effecting and applaud Julia Garner's intense and tempered performance.
    Aldo G Super Reviewer
  • Mar 08, 2020
    THE WORKING DREAD - My Review of THE ASSISTANT (4 Stars) We have had our share of horrible boss movies over the years. Think Swimming With Sharks, The Devil Wears Prada, and yes, Horrible Bosses, all of which featured electrifying performances by the actors who got to push their underlings around. Well now, in the age of the #metoo movement, the put-upon support staffer takes center stage and the boss is never seen in documentarian Kitty Green's breathtakingly powerful narrative debut, The Assistant. Told strictly from the point of view of Jane (Julia Garner), the film navigates a dawn to dusk day in the life of an assistant at a New York film production company. We start with a car service picking up Jane at 4:30am and taking her to a dark Soho office building. She turns on lights, makes coffee, prepares paperwork for the executives, and most tellingly, she dons rubber gloves to clean up from what looks like a party of sorts from the night before. Everything about her dead-inside demeanor indicates this to be a routine, however creepy and disgusting her chores become. At least that's how I interpreted it, because this film spoon feeds you nothing. Leaning into her prior experience, Kitty Green has crafted a story around tiny details and micro-expressions. As the office fills with various staffers, their lingo feels impenetrably internal and their job descriptions vague at best. It doesn't matter. They all serve the big boss who hovers over them as an angry voice on the phone or as a bellower from behind his office door. Everyone looks calm and professional on the surface, but their behaviors reveal sheer terror. Watch Jane take a phone call from her boss and you'll witness the tiniest of emotional shifts as she accepts a verbal beating. Her co-workers may have been in her position before, but their gallows humor and distance from Jane indicates a "better her than me" attitude. Green's script offers up one elliptical after the other. Not much really happens except for repetitive tasks, people scurrying around the office, and an assistant who quietly takes the blame for every misdeed, whether it be slight mistakes in travel plans or moving vulnerable people in and out of her boss's path. It's here where the slightest hint of a plot evolves as Julia escorts a young female intern straight from the Midwest around town. Cue the slightly disguised retelling of Harvey Weinstein's grooming techniques in using his staff to lure pretty women into his lair. Through it all, Jane maintains a hardened expression, the painful aspects of her job swirling just beneath the surface. You want her to explode, to fight back, to quit, but The Assistant seems far more interested in the realities of the situation. Jane needs this job. She needs to do whatever she's told or she's kicked to the curb. It's a disorienting, harsh filmgoing experience, but at 87 minutes, it gets its points across succinctly and sends you on your way to wash the ickiness off and hopefully talk to someone else about what you've just seen. Garner owns this film, not only because she's in every frame of it, but because she gives a tour de force performance where the slightest tic feels like a silent scream. You may not understand the minutiae of the film business, but anyone can relate to a person just starting out and having to maintain their poise under dire circumstances. She's riveting. Matthew Macfadyen also excels in his single scene as an affectless HR manager who clearly has zero interest in helping Jane. Despite speaking to her in a soothingly calm manner, his words sent chills up my spine. Everyone at this company is expendable and clearly exist to serve the vile, gross, and illegal whims of their top dog. Green and her cinematographer Michael Latham use the camera to dispassionately observe the series of events. Never showing off or utilizing unnecessary camera movements, the filmmakers merely record and report, and it's just right. Make no mistake, The Assistant does not fall under the category of Popcorn Flick. It's intense, demanding, confusing, rigorous, and captures the culture exactly as it should. It exposes dynamics which have gone unchecked for decades, hits a raw nerve, and then, like its title character, disappears into the night, leaving us to think about how we're going to handle tomorrow.
    Glenn G Super Reviewer
  • Feb 21, 2020
    Understated and characterized by frightening realism, The Assistant is a tense, atmospheric, and crucial film that highlights patriarchal toxicity in the workplace and brilliantly places the experience of the victim (and not the perpetrator) at the center of the story. It's an immersive and anxious watch - an important mirror to and a stinging commentary on our times. Julia Garner gives an award-worthy performance, while the overcast cinematography and skilled direction perfectly cultivate a feeling of dystopian dread.
    Matthew S Super Reviewer

The Assistant Quotes

There are no approved quotes yet for this movie.

Movie & TV guides