The Oath Reviews

October 24, 2018
[Barinholtz] lacks storytelling chops, aiming for wildly provocative satire but instead churning out a technically spotty screed.
Full Review | Original Score: 1/4
October 19, 2018
The Oath appears to crave several things at once, all diametrically opposed.
October 18, 2018
"The Oath" has a sharp tongue and plenty to say about our times. It's just too bad it can't finish the conversation.
Full Review | Original Score: C+
October 18, 2018
I found it to be the equivalent of a free-swinging slugger who is willing to strike out once, twice, even three times - but then hits one clear out of the park. It's worth the risk-reward ratio.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
October 18, 2018
One thing that's admirable about The Oath is that Barinholtz never apologizes.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
October 18, 2018
Political satire is one of the trickiest of genres; this one, running out of steam and nerve, ultimately becomes a too-familiar example of another genre: the 93-minute movie that feels way, way too long.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
October 18, 2018
Barinholtz doesn't fully explore his dystopian premise and he doesn't make the best use of his cast. But The Oath has the scary energy of an all-too-plausible scenario.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
October 16, 2018
For all the darkness and pessimism, there is a hopeful strain to "The Oath," if you're willing to pay close attention.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
October 16, 2018
"The Oath" manages to raise the moral stakes along with the mortal ones, ultimately arriving at some pretty tough questions.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/5
October 15, 2018
Wants to have its pie and eat it too - lobbing political hand grenades and then running away, refusing to engage in the consequences the scenarios set up.
October 12, 2018
The Oath lands in an unpleasant middle ground that is too close to reality to feel like escapism, and too antic to feel equipped at anything like incisiveness.
October 12, 2018
There oughta be a law against casting Tiffany Haddish in a movie that squanders her talents.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
Top Critic
October 11, 2018
The Oath wants to interrogate belief, but... it's only thinking about events. Its biggest joke might be the idea that politics alone can start and stop human evil, or heal a family.
October 11, 2018
The movie's dystopia-meets-family-dinner mix feels like it's building to something bigger than the sum of its rants ... and then it doesn't.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/5
October 11, 2018
Mr. Barinholtz has enough cachet to assemble an excellent cast, although he's not as canny about using it.
October 10, 2018
The laughs laced with a sigh as we watch arguments play out that have brought us to a collective national state of exhaustion and despair.
Full Review | Original Score: B-
October 10, 2018
A blistering political satire that may rip the bandage and the scab, as well as a lot of the skin, off a political wound that has barely had time to heal.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
October 8, 2018
The movie isn't always up to the delicacy of [its] ambitious balancing act, but even the attempt is engaging.
Full Review | Original Score: B-
September 28, 2018
A satire like The Oath compels the audience to confront [today's headlines], albeit in fictionalized form.
September 26, 2018
[Barinholtz] manages to derive some amusing observations about toxic masculinity.
Full Review | Original Score: B-
September 26, 2018
The film struggles to find a satisfying conclusion to such an interesting set-up, and the disappointing finale Barinholtz settles on has the frustrating effect of muting the film's arguments.
September 26, 2018
The film is often hard to take, offering laughs that are rarely cathartic enough to compensate.
September 26, 2018
Nothing spoils a family gathering quite like politics, and no movie has captured the way such debates can turn ugly quite like Ike Barinholtz's "The Oath"...