Comedy, Mystery, Thriller Rated: R 107 min

The setup of Vengeance is what you might expect from comic writer and actor B.J. Novak (The Office), as are several memorable gags, including one extended opening bit with singer John Mayer. Ben Manalowitz, a This American Life-like podcast producer—with a name like a TCM host—attempts to solve the murder deep in the heart of Texas of a girl he once hooked up with, embedding himself with her quirky, endearing family and sleeping in her childhood room. For his first feature as writer-director-star, Novak has assembled a slyly deceptive set of characters and cast members, with a surprising turn by Ashton Kutcher. As he veers away from his pretty-boy roots to rummage around on the fringes of society, Kutcher comes alive on screen.

“The shrewdness of Novak’s approach in Vengeance lies in how he lampoons podcast tropes while simultaneously borrowing from them.” — Natalia Winkelman, The Boston Globe
directed by
B.J. Novak
written by
B.J. Novak
B.J. Novak, Issa Rae, Boyd Holbrook, Dove Cameron, J. Smith-Cameron
United States