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C.O.G. Review

Other Critics provided by

Critics scores range from 0 to 100, with higher scores indicating more favorable reviews.

  • 3.0

    out of 100

    Mixed or average reviews
    based on a weighted average of all
    critic review scores.

  • 40

    out of 100

    Village Voice

    What was very funny in print becomes serious and occasionally dour onscreen, with fewer laughs than you would expect from a Sedaris project.

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  • 40

    out of 100

    The New York Times Jeannette Catsoulis

    Despite smatterings of wit and a stable of skilled performers, C.O.G. struggles to find a consistent tone, its episodic structure veering from farcical to poignant to dangerously raw.

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  • 50

    out of 100

    The Hollywood Reporter David Rooney

    It’s not bad, but it’s ineffectual -- shuffling from one semi-satirical vignette to the next and then veering into soul-searching territory while generating only mild engagement.

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  • 63

    out of 100

    Chicago Tribune Michael Phillips

    Modest and good-looking, the film starts as dark comedy and ends in pathos. Director Alvarez makes the Oregon scenery a character unto itself.

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  • 80

    out of 100

    Variety Peter Debruge

    The source material may be David Sedaris (this marks the first time the essayist has allowed one of his pieces to be adapted), but the tone couldn’t be more Kyle Patrick Alvarez, who once again steers auds to some gloriously uncomfortable places.

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For Families provided by Common Sense Media

not for kids

Strange, edgy movie based on David Sedaris story.

What Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that C.O.G. is a coming-of-age comedy/drama based on a story by humorist/essayist David Sedaris -- though his many fans are likely to be disappointed. The movie is strange, confused, and not very funny. It features a main character who may be gay, though the movie doesn't really discuss this. A sexually aggressive male partner tries to force the lead character into sex, but the attempt is stopped before anything very serious happens. There's also some violent imagery in the dialogue. Language is extremely strong, especially during the movie's first third, and includes just about every word under the sun. There are a few quick sexually suggestive moments, and adult characters occasionally drink beers and smoke cigarettes in a casual, background way.

  • Families can talk about the sexually aggressive "Curly" character. What does this character represent? How does he affect the main character? How does this violent episode change the mood of the story?
  • How does the movie depict religion and/or Christianity? What do the characters get out of their belief? Where does their faith get tested?
  • How does C.O.G. the movie differ from the original David Sedaris essay?
  • Is this a "coming of age" movie? What does that genre usually entail?

The good stuff
  • message true0

    Messages: This movie doesn't really seem to know what it wants to say: The bulk of it advocates becoming Christian and taking God into your heart, but then it abruptly drops this idea, and, additionally, doesn't provide many positive examples.

  • rolemodels true0

    Role models: The lead character is a cynical, smart Ivy League graduate who views everyone else with contempt. When he gets to know a few people, he starts to understand kindness, but for whatever reason, all of these friendships end or fall apart abruptly. He's left even more confused and sad than he was at the beginning.

What to watch for
  • violence false3

    Violence: A character comes on to the main character in an aggressively sexual way; one scene comes very close to being a rape scene, but it's stopped in time. The predator slaps his victim and has him pushed up against the wall, with the victim pleading for him to stop. Another character tells the story of how he lost his leg in war. A woman uses some verbal, violent abortion imagery while telling a story.

  • sex false4

    Sex: The main character and another male character flirt. The second male character shows the lead character his extensive collection of sex toys, all of which are mounted on the walls and on shelves in his room. This character comes on strong to the main character, who rebuffs him, but the other character starts to force himself onto the other man. Background characters are seen passionately kissing on a bus, and a woman is shown doing something sexual to her partner under a blanket.

  • language false5

    Language: Language is very, very strong during the movie's first half, and especially in its first 10 minutes, though it eventually tapers out to nearly none by the final half hour. Words include "f--k," "s--t," the "N" word, "p---y," "c--t," "c--k," "t-ts," "a--hole," "cum," "ass," "son of a bitch," "f----t," "d--k," "motherf----r," "crap," "retard," "slut," "c---sucker," "dyke," and "bastard."

  • consumerism false1

    Consumerism: Mountain Dew is mentioned. The main character gulps some NyQuil to try to get to sleep on a bus.

  • drugsalcoholtobacco false2

    Drinking, drugs and smoking: The main character gulps some NyQuil to try to get to sleep on a bus. Two guys drink beers in a social way after work. Adult characters smoke cigarettes in one scene.