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Based on 11 Reviews
critic reviews (10)
fan reviews ( )
  • 50
    Jack Mathews New York Daily News

    A guy flick, but I can't imagine many male viewers actually identifying with Elliot or his friends. The depression would be unbearable. show more

  • 60
    Frank Scheck The Hollywood Reporter

    Pantoliano brings his usual degree of wily, understated humor to his role and is ably supported by the terrific ensemble, but he's unable to elevate a film that is ultimately as directionless as its protagonist. show more

  • 25
    New York Post

    If it weren't for "Sideways," Second Best probably wouldn't have been released at all, but the earlier film made you root for a hapless schmo. This one doesn't, mainly because its protagonist is so obnoxious. show more

  • 60
    Film Threat

    Two things make this worthwhile: The realistic relationship between Elliot and Richard, and Pantoliano playing against type and actually humanizing a possibly loathsome character. show more

  • 40
    Maitland McDonagh TV Guide

    Weber's losers really are losers -- envious, spiteful, complacent, mean-spirited and ultimately boring malcontents pickled in their own poison, and they drag his film down with them. show more

  • 50
    Owen Gleiberman Entertainment Weekly

    Second Best might have made a good stage monologue, but as a film it's overstated and barely baked. show more

  • 70
    Stephen Holden The New York Times

    Sloppy but smart-enough-to-make-you-squirm comedy. show more

  • 60
    David Rooney Variety

    While Second Best is mildly engaging thanks largely to an appealingly self-effacing turn from Joe Pantoliano, writer-director Eric Weber's script could have used an extra polish or two. show more

  • 50
    Kevin Crust Los Angeles Times

    The strongest scenes are those between Elliot and Richard, which give Second Best a verisimilitude lacking in the rest of the film. The truest thing here is that these two guys have been friends forever and always will be. show more

  • 40
    L.A. Weekly

    It tries too hard for sincerity, when it's actually more sincere when cynical. Filmed in 17 days with hand-held cameras that give it a home-movie feel, the movie takes blue-collar pride in its own hopelessness. show more

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