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Crimes Against Humanity2014

  • 3.4
A darkly comic series of unusual and unfortunate events spin out of control for a sophisticated couple. Lewis, a passive-aggressive, manipulative boyfriend, explains over coffee to his maudlin girlfriend, Brownie, how people feel fulfilled by their careers as he leaves for his job as a dean's assistant at a local university. Alone, disconnected and suffering from a nosebleed, things go from bad to worse until she finds herself in the arms of a seemingly perfect guy. Meanwhile, an existential crisis ensues for Lewis as he investigates the possibility of a Satanic cult within the ethnomusicology department of the university. Academia is satirized as a vanity fair of gossip, egos and cocktail parties. Filmed entirely at the University of Chicago (where its gothic architecture provides a perfect backdrop for Jerzy Rose's awkward, surreal detective story), CRIMES AGAINST HUMANITY retains the nihilistic irreverence of his earlier films. - Stela Jelincic

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"...a talky chronicle of the inanity and asshattery of academia." - Melinda Green, Boston Underground Film Festival


3 members like this review

Script seemed it could use a second and third polishing at points (or perhaps it's intended to be that groan-worthy & awful/repetitive - in which case - bravo!) and it's all rather bleak, what with the Brownie and Frenchie characters, who (IMhO) steal the show, hardly getting enough screen-time, but, given that it's a dark comedy set in the surrealistic world of US Academia, their (Lyra Hill, Adebukola Bodunrin) being a tiny island of near-sanity beset against a vast sea of churning & waffling prolixity does seem a bit dead on to me, too. I gave the film 4 stars despite its faults for the plucky warts-and-all performances and engaging location/sets-camerawork/casting (although, I did think I might've spotted a director's friend/relative of the producer/director, perhaps, in the midst of the flick's otherwise genius talent, which did jar here and there against my suspension of disbelief - again - possibly an intended artistic choice. W/need to read up more on the makers to ascertain this). Uneven but potentially enjoyable (unless you're a stick in the mud)!

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Member Reviews (15)

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top reviewer

Script seemed it could use a second and third polishing at points (or perhaps it's intended to be that groan-worthy & awful/repetitive - in which case - bravo!) and it's all rather bleak, what with the Brownie and Frenchie characters, who (IMhO) steal the show, hardly getting enough screen-time, but, given that it's a dark comedy set in the surrealistic world of US Academia, their (Lyra Hill, Adebukola Bodunrin) being a tiny island of near-sanity beset against a vast sea of churning & waffling prolixity does seem a bit dead on to me, too. I gave the film 4 stars despite its faults for the plucky warts-and-all performances and engaging location/sets-camerawork/casting (although, I did think I might've spotted a director's friend/relative of the producer/director, perhaps, in the midst of the flick's otherwise genius talent, which did jar here and there against my suspension of disbelief - again - possibly an intended artistic choice. W/need to read up more on the makers to ascertain this). Uneven but potentially enjoyable (unless you're a stick in the mud)!

3 members like this review

Odd, quirky characters, that are darkly humorous twists on academic stereotypes and situations. I enjoyed this film; it was well paced. I need to think about it a bit more to get the story to hang together better for me.

2 members like this review
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Part of the draw of this film is waiting for it to make sense. Spoiler Alert: it abstains from happening. Undoubtedly there is some form of subtext or latent storyline being developed, but it is difficult to conjure the patience to consider what that may be. The characters are awkward and quirky, and there is oddly enough appeal to have empathy for the characters and toil through the progression of the storyline to see the characters fare well. Love And Peace.

1 member likes this review

Not my cup of tea. The constant monotonous nasal whine of the characters who are all to one degree or another horrible and self-centered in that obnoxious Seinfeld sort of way coupled with the one-note tone of the story just put me off. This may have made a good short film but as a feature it drowns in its own mundanity. If only it lived up to its synopsis.

1 member likes this review

commendable acting for a flick with no traction. it was like national lampoon of fake academia. a short film gone on too long, a base type of direct and put-on dark comedy lacking depth or profundity...

1 member likes this review

Tiresomely quirky, little to no depth...

1 member likes this review

yes, agreed. Miranda July does this kind of annoyomg numbing relationship story better, and I haven't liked her since her first film.no juice.

If you love witty, absurdist, smart comedy, you will dig this.

1 member likes this review
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It got my attention for being filmed at the good ol' U of C, where I actually wouldn't be all that surprised to find an administrative witch-hunt being waged against a group of satanic ethnomusicologists.

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so funny!

Sup Lyra!

Dark, cruel, hilarious, and, in a subtle way, tonally immersive. The comedic performances outshine a decent, if off-kilter script. Not the politically delicate or easily outraged, its Feminist brutality will either repulse or crack you. Jerzy Rose drifted a touch toward the mainstream from SOME GIRLS NEVER LEARN, at least narratively, which serves his wry brilliance very well.

good low budget dark comedy

First of all...One of the best trailers I have ever seen. Stands on its own! The film itself is not a disappointment if you like the dark, the unusual and can appreciate the light side of piling tragedy of operatic proportions.

love the understatement, I'm from California, where the very idea of less-than-awesome has been forgotten!