Reality
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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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Rotten Tomatoes Score: 79%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"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."
‑ Wesley Morris, Grantland
"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.""
‑ John Hartl, Seattle Times
"Reality is a little too thin to be truly satisfying. However, Garrone's elegant visual palette and Arena's remarkable central performance shift a potentially trite message into a gloriously warm and novel experience."
‑ Richard Haridy, Quickflix
"Those who found Gomorrah embarrassingly overrated can relax. Despite a first half that's basically a spin-off of the 2008 movie that brought Matteo Garrone international acclaim, Reality turns out to be its veritable refutation."
‑ Marco Grosoli, Film Comment Magazine
"It is a brutal, frank, painful and highly meticulous look at an ordinary man undergoing a very modern crisis amidst a very simple life."
‑ CJ Johnson, ABC Radio (Australia)
"The satire here is finespun, and the film's conclusions ambiguous."
‑ Michael O'Sullivan, Washington Post
"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."
‑ J. R. Jones, Chicago Reader
"The story is too slight."
‑ Dennis Schwartz, Ozus' World Movie Reviews
"... works on multiple levels and Arena, who worked within a prison release arrangement while serving a life sentence, creates an indelible, sad character."
‑ Laura Clifford, Reeling Reviews
"Captures the 21st-century affliction of learned discontent, where perfectly happy people go in quest of something they think is better. Reality is a thoughtful, intelligent film."
‑ Jim Schembri, 3AW
"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."
‑ Steven Rea, Philadelphia Inquirer
"As cautionary tales go, this one's ripely knowing, and it speaks in a lot more languages than Italian."
‑ Ty Burr, Boston Globe
"This movie shows a bit of the human costs of reality TV, but not the full extent of it."
‑ Robert Roten, Laramie Movie Scope
"Italian satire amusingly sends up our obsession with reality TV, but not in a wholly satisfying way."
‑ MaryAnn Johanson, Flick Filosopher
"Part fairy tale, part religious allegory, and part scathing indictment, but the comedy remains light."
‑ Eric D. Snider, EricDSnider.com
More reviews for Reality on Rotten Tomatoes