2 Movies Like Self Reliance (2023)

Staff & contributors

The new stand-up special from Pete Davidson won't win over any skeptics, but there's something to admire in how the comedian heads straight towards edgy material, tells us he's going to go there, and still manages to surprise when he follows through. Which is to say Davidson's audacity might be more impressive than any of his actual writing in this special, with a good number of his jokes highlighting the bizarre situations his fame leads him into, but little more than that. It's stoner comedy for better or worse—observations about a strange world from a hazy point of view that may not always be coherent.

Genre: Comedy

Actor: Pete Davidson

Director: Jason Orley

Rating: R

After a strong first act that has lots of fun playing with fake identities donned by its characters (and with a particularly entertaining supporting turn from Bill Nighy), Role Play slows down significantly and only ends up spinning its wheels. In its attempt to inject some more drama into the central relationship between Anna (who goes by Emma with her family) and Dave, the film articulates itself awkwardly, overemphasizes the obvious, and loses precious time for the plot develop in interesting ways. By the third act, Role Play practically teleports itself into entirely new circumstances, where the emotional stakes are neither high enough or clear enough to begin with.

Genre: Action, Comedy, Romance

Actor: Angus McGruther, Bill Nighy, Connie Nielsen, Cornell Adams, David Oyelowo, Dominic Holmes, Jade-Eleena Dregorius, Jonathan Failla, Julia Schunevitsch, Kaley Cuoco, Lucia Aliu, Moritz Berg, Rudi Dharmalingam, Simon Delaney, Sonita Henry, Stacy Thunes, Steffen Jung, Stephanie Levi-John

Director: Thomas Vincent

Rating: R