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314 Ratings


Directed by Joel Potrykus
United States, 2012


Trevor is a struggling comedian and a pyromaniac. Not only does his stage act bomb, but he bombs at everyday life, too. All he wants is a break. But instead of getting himself together or channeling his anger, he turns inward, to the loud din of his headphones and the glow of fire to ease his mind.

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Ape Directed by Joel Potrykus

Awards & Festivals

Locarno International Film Festival

2012 | Winner: Best Emerging Director (Filmmakers of the Present)

2012 | Special Mention: Best First Feature





Critics reviews

In many ways Ape feels like a workshopped version of Buzzard, a precursor of things to come for Potrykus’ cinematic vision. His feature debut is still plenty fascinating, however, particularly its depiction of stand-up comedy for the existential hellhole that it is.
March 14, 2015
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What are people saying?

  • dave gunn's rating of the film Ape

    A cold, dry humor hangs over this surreal descent into madness as our antihero treads a thin line between reality and his own fabricated anecdotes. Like a more radical version of the epiphany had in Office Space, he liberates himself through extreme outlets while his hopeless fate follows him around, perhaps in an ape outfit.

  • muse_x's rating of the film Ape

    Oh, man. I needed that! It's like Igby goes down (& he gets back up, swinging); which would make for a good double-feature. Anyway, now I feel bad I've "Fight Club" in my film library, when it's this film that's much better ––in that genre.

  • OcioActivo's rating of the film Ape

    A very fun and awkward character study. Quite distinctive filmmaking vision at play with how the dialogue and characters function. Loved Buzzard a deal more but Ape serves as a great start and cannot wait to see the next animal-film.

  • Marcus Jones's rating of the film Ape

    Impressive indie film with a great director/star combo. It works really well in context with Coyote and Buzzard, the other two films that make up Potrykus' Animal Trilogy.

  • DrFirestone's rating of the film Ape

    A good deal of dry humour and some hilarious situations (in a good way). The lead performances are strong and the surreal tint gives it an interesting vibe. Unfortunately, just as the main character, the film doesn't seem to go anywhere - and like him, we start to feel numb. It's a humorous, slow descent into madness, but one that leaves you rather indifferent to what happens on the screen...

  • Diogo Pires's rating of the film Ape

    Potrykus amateur style reminds me, in a way, of the early Kevin Smith. All of the cast and crew seem to be having fun and that's probably all it takes here. the last part (the third act?) is actually really relieving and that constitutes the great advantage of the film - the character's numbness becomes ours and his frustration. it's a good thing we both made the voyage.

  • Octavian Albu's rating of the film Ape

    Was prepared to dismiss this film and think of it as a project that fell apart for its multiple instances of bad acting. The first half of the movie was thoroughly unrewarding and left me with a stale taste in my mouth but it was definitely worth sticking with it as it delivered punchy memorable scenes that became cohesive, ultimately overwriting what I initially thought of it. 3.5/5

  • easypz's rating of the film Ape

    Mubi notes it is "discomfiting & can't-look-away." For me these were only passing effects. Film incited too little emotion, humour or imaginative interest to make a claim on my memory much longer than it took to watch. Mobile camera used routinely, perfunctory staging renders static result. Character & study are both active... yet anaemic. Blandness is a kind of provocation, so I give it points for that.

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