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Stanleyville

✭ ✭ ✭   Read critic reviews

Canada
·
2021

1h 28m

Director Maxwell McCabe-Lokos
Starring Susanne Wuest, Julian Richings, Cara Ricketts, Christian Serritiello

Genre Comedy

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A bored office worker leaves behind her banal life and enters a mysterious contest that promises both philosophical enlightenment and a chance at winning a new car. Once in the contest, she finds herself and the other four eccentric participants being subjected to an escalating series of absurd and violent competitive tasks.

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WHAT ARE CRITICS SAYING?

67

IndieWire by David Ehrlich

If Stanleyville initially assumes the posture of an Off-Off-Broadway adaptation of “Dogtooth” — one happy to revel in half-baked ideas and hand-me-down humor — its commitment to entropy randomness gradually coheres into an identity of its own.
67

The Film Stage by Jared Mobarak

The experience is as much about the eye of the beholder for the audience as the game is for its contestants. You get back what you put in. I got entertainment. Maybe you’ll get more (or less).
60

Paste Magazine by Matt Donato

An under 90-minute runtime does the film a massive favor, but Stanleyville is still an overextended last-person-standing confrontation of life’s ultimate acceptance that fulfillment may not ever be achievable.
70

Variety by Michael Nordine

With a firm commitment to its alluringly offbeat premise and a grounding lead performance from Susanne Wuest, this indie oddity is an enjoyable descent into the absurd despite an apparent lack of interest in answering most of the questions it raises.
30

Los Angeles Times by Michael Rechtshaffen

What starts out as a screwball “Squid Game” ultimately yields a paltry payoff in the case of “Stanleyville,” a self-consciously quirky social satire that is content to coast on its waning surface weirdness.
40

The New York Times by Teo Bugbee

The contest intentionally lacks meaningful rewards, an obvious metaphor for life’s arbitrary stakes. But as cinema, the lack of purpose becomes a test of patience.