Swimming with Sharks
Swimming with Sharks (1995)

Originally screened at Telluride as The Buddy Factor, Swimming With Sharks is an uneven but engrossing picture, and a possible warning to anyone with plans to break into the motion-picture business. When Guy (Frank Whaley), a recent… More

Directed By:
Rated: R
Running Time:
Genre: Comedy
Release Date: March 21, 1995
DVD Release Date: August 18, 1998
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Rotten Tomatoes™
Critic Score
User Score

Critic Score: 80% Rotten Tomatoes™ Critic Reviews

Consensus: Swimming With Sharks is a smart, merciless Hollywood satire that's darkly hilarious and observant, thanks to Kevin Spacey's performance as ruthless studio mogul Buddy Ackerman.

Geoff Andrew
Time Out

The picture's raison d'être has to be Spacey's 'loud and nasty' performance: he's the sort of actor who grabs you by the throat and beats you about the head without ever lifting his feet from the desk.

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Peter Rainer
Los Angeles Times

To outsiders, all this rage and gnashing of teeth may seem silly and self-absorbed.

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Emanuel Levy

Despite some sharp dialogue, this is a nasty, derivative film, sort of a cross between Tarantino's Reservoir Dogs and Altman's The Player.

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Janet Maslin
New York Times

Mr. Spacey's Buddy is a caricature so dazzling that even Buddy might have to say something nice about it: cool, withering, studiously suave, and spurred by impulses that might seem peevish even in a 2-year-old child.

Mary Brennan

Sharks is a one-joke movie, and the joke wears thin less than halfway through.

David Nusair
Reel Film Reviews

...Spacey delivers one of his most memorable performances...

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Liam Lacey
Globe and Mail

This excessively talky, incoherently plotted, would-be film noir is not very good.

Roger Ebert
Chicago Sun-Times

[Huang's] plot may be overwritten and the ending may be less than satisfying, but his eye and ear are right.

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Scott Weinberg

It's darkly hilarious, smoothly entertaining, and almost sinfully cruel. And the finalé packs a real stinger.

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More reviews for Swimming with Sharks

Flixster Audience Score: 79% Flixster User Reviews
Samuel Riley
Sometimes knowing fairly little about a film makes it better when you finally see it. Let me tell you, Swimming With Sharks can make you laugh, be shocked or… More
Lucas Martins
Swimming with Sharks, is a good film, that presents a intelligent and surprising script with a Hollywood satire. Kevin Spacey's acting is one of the top… More
Spencer S.
This tawdry little drama crossed some delicate lines drawn in the sand during the nineties. It was bold, innovative, and in the indie frame of mind. The sheer… More
Lorenzo von Matterhorn
<i>"Before you go out and change the world, you have to ask yourself, "What do you really want?"</i> A young, naive Hollywood studio… More
Melvin White
Rex: This is not a business, this is show business. Punching below the belt is not only all right, it's rewarded.  "Life is not a movie" I… More
Alice Shen
Pretty awesome ending, but the torture plot is like the equivalent of gratuitous boobs for pubescent fantasies. It is vicarious fun, yet unmotivated. A… More