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Overall Rating

Worth A Look: 22.22%
Just Average: 4.44%
Pretty Crappy: 2.22%
Sucks: 2.22%

3 reviews, 27 user ratings

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In the Company of Men
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by Filmink Magazine (owes us money)

"Fiercely original first feature."
5 stars

Don't expect to 'enjoy' this film. Expect to be provoked, confronted and challenged in this fiercely original first feature from writer/director LaBute. It's the twisted tale of Chad (Eckhart from In and Out) and Howard, (Malloy from Trust), two junior execs who hatch a grim plan to emotionally destroy a woman, "Let's do it," they agree, "let's hurt somebody."

They conspire to simultaneously date and then dump the same girl, thus getting revenge on all the women who have ever hurt them. In their sterile office-world, they find their prey - the deaf, vulnerable Christine (a brilliant Edwards - from the TV show Chicago Hope). It's difficult to believe that Edwards is not actually deaf, her portrayal of Christine is beyond criticism.

It's painful to watch the manipulative, "charming" Chad sweep her off her feet one moment, only to tell cruel jokes about the deaf minutes later. While Chad is without conscience, Howard's having moral problems - what's more, he's falling in love with Christine.

Meanwhile, as the bizarre love triangle becomes dark and dangerous, momentum builds to an unpredictable conclusion.

In the Company of Men also makes a harsh, clinical assessment of the corporate world. The offices are impersonal, the workers faceless, the company nameless.

In its most confronting scene, Chad intimidates an underling, a black man, to drop his trousers - he wants to see whether the guy's got "balls". Chad does this only because he can. It's got nothing to do with sex, and everything to do with power.

LaBute gives no real justification for Chad's malevolence - no childhood flashbacks to elicit sympathy. He also refuses to supply the standard ending for a character like Chad.

A minimalist set and a sharp script add to the starkness of the story. This film, which has a sting in its tail, is likely to spark debate as to LaBute's intentions. Some women may find it offensive, a real boys' club offering. But others will see that the central female is the only one with the director's sympathy. The three main characters are all flawed, but Christine less so, her only sin is to see two men at once.

There are times that you want to get up out of your cinema seat and scream out a warning to Christine. She, and this film draw you in, but it's none-too-comfortable once you're in there. ---Annette Basile

link directly to this review at http://www.hollywoodbitchslap.com/review.php?movie=258&reviewer=14
originally posted: 09/13/98 11:53:41
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User Comments

5/19/12 Dane Youssef LaBute has re-defined what the film itself is all about. Take a look at the genuine evil. 5 stars
9/03/06 Indrid Cold Wow! Didn't expect it to be so good. Intellectually and emotionally intense. 5 stars
3/18/05 dbx awesome. really gets a reaction out of you. 5 stars
3/03/03 Jack Sommersby Wallows in the same depravity it pretends to condemn. Eckhart is admittedly very good. 1 stars
9/01/01 Butterbean Would have been awesome if it didn't drag at the end 4 stars
6/23/01 JohnBoy And to think it actually makes Fort Wayne look like a nice place to live. lol 5 stars
2/25/01 Will made me feel kinda dirty 5 stars
7/25/00 Paulo Vieira the violence in words hurts more than the physical one. It makes you uncomfortable. 5 stars
7/11/00 Jami One of the most brilliantly disturbing and harsh films I have seen in a long time. 5 stars
4/04/00 Mike Leskow A great break-up chick flick 5 stars
6/15/99 Dylan MY girlfriend hated it, obviously. 4 stars
4/09/99 Randall I never knew us mean could be so evil 5 stars
1/31/99 Vick Di Brecci Some one-note shock films work (Kids). This one was too lazy to work. 3 stars
1/01/99 Guess? A brilliant, emotional roller coaster! 5 stars
11/27/98 Mr.Pink One of the best black comedies I've ever seen! 3 leads are brilliant! This movie kicks ASS! 5 stars
11/26/98 G if you don't like this you don't appreciate film. Eckart's great 5 stars
11/21/98 JIZMO an obvious,trite,not to say boring attempt at provocation 2 stars
11/14/98 Barrie Sent me reeling - so damn nasty and so damn brilliant. 5 stars
11/01/98 MR HOLLYWOOD !! Never laughed and frowned so much in my life !! 5 stars
10/27/98 Silent Rob LaButes man-hating debut. A snarling commentary, bound to make you think! 5 stars
10/18/98 Kwyjibo Great nasty little movie. Will make you think. And spew. 5 stars
10/12/98 joseph okay--notvery intriguing 3 stars
10/07/98 Maegs Provacative film, lets hear it for the hometown boy 4 stars
8/24/98 The Capital City Goofball LaBute has a big future. So does Eckhart. 5 stars
8/20/98 The Man With The Helmet A vicious little film. Great stuff. 5 stars
8/16/98 {{{OZ}}} Again, Johny's right. A cracker. 4 stars
8/16/98 Johny A starling and brilliant film 5 stars
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  01-Aug-1997 (R)



Directed by
  Neil LaBute

Written by
  Neil LaBute

  Aaron Eckhart
  Stacy Edwards
  Matt Malloy

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