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A Futile and Stupid Gesture ()

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In the 1970s and '80s, National Lampoon's success and influence creates a new media empire overseen in part by the brilliant and troubled Doug Kenney. (imdb)

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A Futile and Stupid Gesture belongs to 5 collections
1. Netflix Original Movies (public: moderated by NhanLa)
2. 2018: Year in Review (private: magnolia1283)
Browse the full list of collections
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All Rankings | With Reviews
Order by:
TCI | Percentile | Date Ranked | # Stars (Reviews)
Date User Score
Apr 22 tyVmTS
80 44%
Apr 22 CCranston
67 54%
Apr 14 kjones77
40 6%
Apr 14 eomert eomert
70 49%
Apr 11 MetaCritic2 MetaCritic2
55 37%
Apr 11 Hawkins Hawkins
54 20%
It's a Wonderful Life except the guy realizes life would have been more fulfilling if he died of a coke overdose about thirty five years ago. Or he realizes he should have killed Chevy Chase about thirty five years ago. I'm pretty sure one of those two things is the message of this movie.
Apr 09 Darren Darren
68 48%
I'm a big Forte fan. i think he is one of the more underrated comedic actors our generation has seen so this was enjoyable for me. Does it really work as a biopic? ehhh. but NL didn't always work as a comedy magazine.I never really identified with that generation of comedy but they got some great stuff.There's a certain level of heartbreak that you feel when SNL overtook them but I feel that certain eras of snl are far more radical and dangerous than NL could ever be b/c of the nature of TV
Apr 08 RTCritics
38 25%
Apr 06 zachsavage
73 26%
Apr 05 SnorlaxJones SnorlaxJones
52 31%
Apr 02 dividential
86 65%
Apr 01 joelbrandt joelbrandt
70 45%
I guess it was just his personality, but the modern-Doug narrative device (his words, to the film's credit) unfortunately tends to laugh off some of the more disturbing elements of his rise to fame (namely death, drugs, and sexism). Still, it's one of a few fun bits that add some freshness to what is mostly a formulaic (though funny) biopic. Forte and Gleason are great (with a shout-out to McHale's on-point Chevy) and an effectively emotional final scene is a testament to their character work.
Mar 31 goodedward
64 44%
Mar 30 Box Of Frogs
1 %
Mar 28 FreddieQuell FreddieQuell
70 56%
Mar 27 orium orium
86 79%
Mar 27 EmreZabun3 EmreZabun3
73 48%
Mar 26 Seethruskin Seethruskin
4 53%
Extremely likeable, but forgettable.
Mar 25 peeky
70 19%
Mar 25 thedimwit
76 31%
Mar 24 Asgarth NhanLa
70 53%
Mar 22 heapshake heapshake
40 22%
I don't know if it is just me but Will Forte is always Will Forte. I think it is a bit of a disservice for him to be the lead in a biopic - even one as unconventional as this.
Mar 21 estragon
50 37%
Mar 20 areoharewhy
9 34%
Mar 14 RottenT
60 36%
Mar 14 RavynLoony RavynLoony
50 38%
Mar 13 exolstice exolstice
72 26%
Mar 12 PlasticSoul
69 43%
Mar 11 Jlschnei
85 80%
Mar 11 capodelnulla capodelnulla
60 39%
Mar 07 thewire thewire
74 65%
Mar 07 ssabetti
83 49%
Mar 06 BionicNinjas BionicNinjas
75 54%
More interesting than I could have possibly thought, and Will Forte is surprisingly good in the lead, but the production suffers from the the sort of direct-to-streaming quality that Netflix has become known for.
Mar 06 toxicwind toxicwind
7 46%
Mar 05 hellboy76 hellboy76
65 46%
It's pretty light for dealing with a mental illness but it's a fun cast and the dig with McHale playing Chase is pretty classic.
Mar 05 Naeramarth Naeramarth
55 19%
Mar 02 zairakas zairakas
80 87%
Mar 01 sharkeyj1
100 50%
Mar 01 Darko Vandelay1
68 65%
good movie
Feb 28 beardmetals beard_metals
50 36%
A fun experience for the actors to play their comedic heroes, but not so much for the audience.
Feb 27 peanutgrigio
55 11%
Feb 26 FennisDembo
2 21%
Feb 25 WWallce4prez WWallce4prez
60 25%
I would recommend this solely for those who Love Will Forte. It is over 90 minutes of Forte spitting one-liners which was worth it for me. The story is mediocre as it has the very familiar ebb and flow of a biopic without diving deep enough into Doug Kennedy beyond a few blantent lines. Shouting "I don't want to be a failure" doesn't really cut it as mature dialogue. At least everyone looked like they were having a good time.
Feb 24 myfavchords
74 37%
This film has some interesting moments and it deals with the history of the National Lampoon. Some of the casting is good but some of the actors don't seem like the real life counterparts at all. Overall I would recommend this film.
Feb 23 mismatched02
72 72%
Feb 23 bizort
70 52%
Entertaining but found the characters more irritating than funny, especially Forte's character
Feb 21 cairosmith
74 71%
From the perspective of a viewer with a near-zero awareness of the National Lampoon or its history, the film delivers a well paced and expensively staged period comedy as it explores the tragic successes of a skilled, unlikeable comedian and his team.
Feb 21 ArkadyFalls
65 61%
Feb 21 sdiama sdiama
41 31%
Feb 20 msprague msprague
65 47%
It has some funny parts and the most extensive wig collection seen on film since Dangerous Liaisons.
Feb 18 falcor84
100 96%
Feb 18 redheelblues
7 60%
Feb 17 coldesser
60 20%
Feb 16 lupister lupister
69 81%
Feb 15 BillyShears BillyShears
60 34%
Feb 15 mattorama12 mattorama12
72 69%
The cast is a real who's who of comedy, playing the who's who of comedy from a generation past. It's probably a little too self-aware, but it's really funny and does do some creative things. I also think this may be my favorite Will Forte role--even though you never forget it's him, he's excellent in this.
Feb 15 KeanuGrieves KeanuGrieves
75 48%
Feb 14 jgollner
70 41%
Feb 13 cdub12
40 7%
Feb 12 Insti
74 44%
Feb 12 kissgyozi
75 56%
Feb 12 Mjfa Mjfa
77 48%
Feb 11 ReCreation07 ReCreation07
92 80%
Feb 11 Devilishmess
6 41%
Feb 10 fakefeudal fakefeudal
75 53%
Feb 10 cloondog
71 80%
Feb 10 adamja
59 39%
Feb 10 drummerx357
86 49%
Feb 10 Mr_Nobody Mr. Nobody
13 59%
Feb 09 SirStuckey SirStuckey
70 50%
Much like Walk Hard (which is a parody of biographies so it makes sense there) this film cares more about being a comedy than the biography portion. Also like Walk Hard much of the most interesting bits of the movie is seeing who they cast to play certain famous people. It's entertaining to watch but not a must see by any means.
Feb 09 OhYes OhYes
57 34%
Feb 09 FR6 FR6
65 13%
Feb 07 avgcrtckr avgcrtckr
51 45%
Feb 07 filmaffinity filmaffinity
58 38%
Feb 07 JakeAesthete JakeAesthete
17 17%
I probably should have turned this off as soon as I realized they weren't going to say anything about George Trow.
Feb 06 SundayJim
60 34%
Feb 06 TheMadcap
79 70%
Feb 06 blucthulhu
60 36%
Feb 06 filmcricket
58 49%
Feb 05 jthusky
68 51%
Feb 05 Catfishwon
90 82%
Feb 05 mebeqa
60 23%
Feb 05 Kortee Kortee
64 40%
Feb 04 Zangin
77 76%
A very engaging film that's equally successful as a biopic and as a comedy. The ending, in particular, is very well done.
Feb 04 bernardobrum bernardobrum
60 14%
Feb 04 andycarhart
71 42%
Feb 04 daniel daniel
70 85%
Feb 04 neurophate neurophate
56 25%
Feb 04 Phantom_Nook Phantom Nook
75 59%
Feb 03 kastenm kastenm
20 0%
Feb 03 nobamba
75 57%
Feb 03 bisterd
88 70%
Feb 03 toro913
31 17%
Feb 03 mrharrison
65 48%
Feb 03 ereshkigal
60 15%
Feb 03 twincinema twincinema
45 26%
Not really that good, but it's a hoot to watch all the cameos.
Feb 03 Mirelurk Mirelurk
75 61%
Feb 02 piratejerk piratejerk
8 58%
Feb 02 stuie299 stuie299
85 76%
Unlike most Biopics it's a Comedy first and foremost. This helps keep things considerably more interesting when the film inevitably wades into more standard Biopic territory. If you're a fan of Will Forte or director David Wain then don't miss this one. Both of them did an outstanding job. Could the film had been a little more in-depth and emotional? Yes, but that's not really the story the filmmakers wanted to tell. What the audience ends up with is probably a better overall film because of it.
Feb 02 Scarface Scarface
70 57%
Feb 02 howler19 howler19
26 16%
Feb 01 IDYmilkshake IDYmilkshake
40 33%
Feb 01 Charlie Charlie
60 31%
Jan 31 nickv nickv
45 18%
Jan 31 Jonrock411
8 76%
Jan 31 ulashbulut ulashbulut
70 38%
Jan 31 cmzsfl
71 72%
Jan 31 Warren Warren
60 9%
Eh, kind of a disappointment. It's about a landmark in irreverent, satirical comedy but doesn't really succeed on those terms in its own right. Not that it needs to but it seems to be trying that approach and it's just not that funny or lively. It's also not that great of a biopic either, as it just kind of coasts along recreating moments without really digging into Doug Kenney with any depth. Generally well made and amusing but nothing special.
Jan 31 VTJoker
75 56%
Jan 30 badjuice bad_juice
35 40%
Jan 30 denial
70 52%
Jan 30 bybrt bybrt
60 45%
Jan 30 semitozge semitozge
65 42%
Jan 30 Koalafish Koalafish
60 28%
Jan 30 ethsings72
75 25%
Jan 30 Mahasamatman
60 32%
Jan 30 wetwillies wetwillies
60 10%
Viewed January 26, 2018.
Jan 30 slassy slassy
80 66%
Jan 30 addeh addeh
55 20%
Jan 30 deadbill
95 76%
Jan 30 Kraven1905 Kraven1905
68 47%
Jan 30 Matthew_Parkinson Matthew Parkinson (CineMarter)
50 47%
Anyone looking for a true-to-life, in-depth look into the creation and downfall of National Lampoon is going to want to look past A Futile and Stupid Gesture. But if you want a light, breezy, moderately engaging comedy that tells that story at a surface level of depth, well, it works as that. It'll make you laugh a bit and it'll awe you with its talented cast. It just won't engage you on an emotional or intellectual level, which is something most people like from their biopics. [Full Review]
Jan 26 ECR E.C.R.
65 60%
Average Percentile 44.63% from 123 Rankings rss