Punching the Clown
Punching the Clown (2010)

A modern-day troubadour learns the whimsical rules of the record industry after moving out to Los Angeles and becoming the subject of a vicious rumor. Henry Phillips travels through the heartland singing his satirical folk songs to anyone… More

Directed By:
Rated: Unrated
Running Time:
Release Date: October 22, 2010
DVD Release Date: January 18, 2011
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Critic Score: 86% Rotten Tomatoes™ Critic Reviews
Richard Brody
New Yorker

The comic folksinger Henry Phillips stars in this wry, poignant, smartly satirical comedy as himself, and puts himself into uneasy situations in which he doesn't always come out as the hero.

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Mike Hale
New York Times

[If it] isn't entirely successful, it's partly because the music -- late-night satire swathed in gentle folkie chords -- and Mr. Phillips's modest but knowing manner don't quite match up with the "Star Is Born" clichés of the plot.

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Frank Lovece
Film Journal International

A quiet jewel of smart, unexpected laughs...as old vaudevillians would say, "It's funny because it's true."

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Elizabeth Weitzman
New York Daily News

Every aspiring performer will appreciate Gregori Viens' unassuming comedy, which cheerfully skewers industry pretensions and media-fueled trends.

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Kyle Smith
New York Post

Punching the Clown is welcome proof that there remains at least one industry in which the US can compete with New Zealand: the parody folk-song business.

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Chuck Bowen
Slant Magazine

Punching the Clown can be too cute, but it's a quietly sad portrait of just barely getting by.

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Frank Scheck
Hollywood Reporter

Familiar show-business satire is enlivened by genuinely witty, off-kilter humor.

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Aaron Hillis
Village Voice

A partly biographical, drolly fabricated comedy.

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Michelle Orange

The result is a shaggy rise-and-fall story that is deceptively well-wrought, playing at times like an extremely hip, deep-access concert film.

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