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An unremarkable parking-enforcement officer living a low-key existence of solitary lunches in the park, lonely dinners at home, and superhero comics that at least afford him the quiet release of fantasy enrolls into a clinical trial for antidepressant pills, only to find that it has some decidedly unexpected side effects, in directors Hal Haberman and Jeremy Passmore's quirky comic-book superhero comedy. Les Franken (Michael Rappaport) leads an unassuming life that rarely deviates from a strict regiment of working, eating, sleeping, and comic book reading. His only two friends are a pair… More

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Rotten Tomatoes Score: 57%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"I just thought it was a cool indie film with a great leading performance from an actor we don't usually get to see in a lead."
‑ Ben Lyons, At the Movies
"It may not be perfect, but this under-the-radar indie from Hal Haberman and Jeremy Passmore is smart enough to leave you glad you found it."
‑ Elizabeth Weitzman, New York Daily News
"Special offers a unique spin on the superhero template but rarely soars beyond its sly premise."
‑ Christian Toto, What Would Toto Watch?
"Special works as an honest portrait of little people with big dreams even if it remains itself a little movie without a big impact."
‑ Todd Gilchrist, IGN Movies
"Shot for pennies -- a cash limitation that benefits the production's creativity and credibility -- this haunting film keeps shifting the ground under our feet"
‑ Amy Nicholson, I.E. Weekly
"The premise is intriguing, and the film is occasionally amusing, but it feels stuck between a completely satirical farce and an aching drama."
‑ Ben Mankiewicz, At the Movies
"Ultimately it adds little to our understanding of the curious return of the superhero as our paradigmatic pop archetype."
‑ Nathan Lee, New York Times
"The quiet-yet-hip tone of the film reminded me a lot of Roger Dodger, another indie film that let's its script and acting do the talking."
‑ Cole Abaius, Film School Rejects
"The sight of him, bloodied but eternally unbowed, in his ridiculous, homemade superhero costume may indeed be totally iconic for true pulp believers."
‑ David Noh, Film Journal International
"A beautiful metaphor for the desperate need to be important in a world where we rarely make personal connections any more, Special deserves to be seen."
‑ Jenna Busch, UGO
"Rappaport does a yeoman's job in this tonally confused oddity."
‑ Lou Lumenick, New York Post
"Special is an inexplicable downer that favors pathos over satire."
‑ Mark Holcomb, Time Out New York
"Eccentric, depressing thriller won't grab teens' attention."
‑ S. Jhoanna Robledo, Common Sense Media
"Take[s] a page from the cartoonist Bill Watterson, who noted of the tiger protagonist in his great Calvin & Hobbes, 'The nature of [the character's] reality doesn't interest me, and each story goes out of its way to avoid resolving the issue.'"
‑ Keith Uhlich, House Next Door
"What begins as a mildly amusing indie lark descends into a depressingly unappealing exercise in mico-budget filmmaking."
‑ Geoff Berkshire, Metromix.com
More reviews for Special on Rotten Tomatoes

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