Reviews


 

"Alex Karpovsky is a man of considerable talent whose time has come... As the movie burrows deeper into Paul's psyche, his claustrophobic mindset dominates through an appreciably eerie score and carefully arranged camera angles that generate a noticeable sense of remove. The drab laboratory setting enhances Paul's need to escape from his inner demons, the full extent of which only emerge in the final act... Karpovsky emulates Hitchcock with a lot more restraint than Brian DePalma brought in his prime... quietly builds velocity for its compelling finalé, including a "Psycho"-like revelation that redefines everything from before... shot elegantly in what we’re told are the Boston suburbs, is a tense rendering of a slow burn that flies out of control when it’s fueled with hopelessness." 

—Eric Kohn, INDIEWIRE

 


"Mr. Karpovsky catches and sustains an ominous tone that gets under the skin. He also turns in a nicely broody, moody performance as Paul, a lab worker who has a weekend fling with a colleague (Jaime Ray Newman) and can’t handle her subsequent rejection... New and newly creepy. Evil is one thing; evil plus science is quite another…"

—Neil Genzlinger, THE NEW YORK TIMES

 


"Disclosure: “Rubberneck” was a film I was assigned to review, not one I chose. And yet I can’t thank my editor enough, as it’s the most compelling drawn-out thriller I’ve seen in a while. It also serves as illustration for why the Tribeca Film Festival was created in the first place: to provide a venue for the small-budget indies which may otherwise not get much mileage. The hardest part of this essay has been be to judge what filmmaker Alex Kapovsky did better—write, direct or act... Karpovsky gives a salient performance, not only disproving the notion that directors can’t direct themselves but showing that they may be better at it than those who don’t. The progression of his character is evenly paced both on the page and on the screen, and he manages to avoid the pitfall of predictability."

—Rudy Cecera, SCREEN COMMENT

 


"Karpovsky serves as director, writer, and star, and he excels in all three departments. This is a cleverly-crafted, anxiety-inducing foray into the mind of a seemingly mild and harmless man who works in a research lab... By the time all is revealed I was already totally hooked. Karpovsky has a good future, whether he chooses acting, writing, directing, or any combination of the three skills. Karpovsky's got the goods. This was easily one of my favorites of the festival and I suggest you find it."

—David Kempler, BIG PICTURE BIG SOUND

 


"...a devastating yet relatable look at loneliness and how our past sometimes fuels our present in ways we never see coming. One of the things I admire so much about this film is just how uncomfortable it makes you feel to like and root for a character who's damaged and devious. The film definitely taps into those parts of us that find it necessary to slow down and survey a car wreck even though we know the outcome isn't going to be pretty."

—Erik Davis, FANDANGO

 


"Karpovsky skillfully weaves an aura of disturbance in just about every scene, right down to the most mundane of dialogue exchanges. Karpovsky's own performance adds to the cumulatively disquieting effect; though mostly known for acting in indie comedies (⁠Beeswax⁠, ⁠Tiny Furniture⁠, Sleepwalk With Me, among others), here he ably steps into the role of an introverted, tightly wound medical scientist, smoothly underplaying the character in ways that pull us into this unsavory character rather than push us away... a masterfully sustained, dark-toned mood piece."

—Kenji Fujishima, SLANT MAGAZINE

 


"...a psychologically twisted intense thriller, reminiscent of some of the great 70s paranoid anti-hero films... RUBBERNECK glories in the thriller genre, and features standout performances by all of the leads... There's a certain type of guy who describes himself as nice, and makes a big deal of it, and then feels unfairly victimized when the other guy gets the girl. Karpovsky, with Paul, creates an extraordinarily insightful and accurate portrayal of that kind of "nice guy."... Paul is actually terrifying and Karpovsky is magnificent in his role, funny and frightening, sometimes at the same time."

—Sheila O'Malley, CAPITAL NEW YORK

 


"A character-driven take on true-crime fare, Alex Karpovsky's RUBBERNECK marks a solid dramatic turn for a filmmaker best known for playing comedic parts in indie films like Tiny Furniture. Though not showy in any way, it could find enough support on the fest circuit to justify a theatrical run... Rubberneck breaks a sweat without really abandoning the thoughtful mood it has established... offers surprises without exploitation, and resolves itself far more realistically than thrillers typically do."

—John DeFore, THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER

 


"… a moody and atmospheric piece, full of creeping dread, an emotional reflection of its tortured protagonist... Karpovsky delivers a compelling and skillfully rendered trip through his character's trauma-scarred psyche. …  impresses less with the explanations behind Paul's pathologies than it does with the use of its suburban settings and eerily stark interiors that surround the protagonist and immerse the viewers fully in his headspace.  Also impressive is Karpovsky's performance, rendering with chilly intensity this withdrawn and often opaque character who in many scenes in the film is silently lurking and watching. … a remarkable talent both in front of and behind the camera."

—Christopher Bourne, TWITCH

 


"Karpovsky's range—both with genre and in his multihyphenate capacity as a writer-director-producer-editor who acts, too—is remarkable... RUBBERNECK is a moody, suspenseful drama that marks Karpovsky as a director to watch—and on the acting side, it seems his star is already on the rise."

—Alexandria Symonds, INTERVIEW MAGAZINE

 


"… a grim character study of a man tortured by a reality that he can't solve through reason is just one of the many twists the film has in store for audiences... Karpovsky’s true sophistication behind the camera is only growing, with his ability to subtly wring tension from a seemingly mundane workplace hazard demonstrating an expansion of his skills as a visual storyteller to go with his way with words."

Blige Ebiri, THE MOVABLE FEST

 


"Mr. Karpovsky's performance as a tortured loner haunted by a childhood secret has its antecedents in everything from German Expressionist classics to 1970s slasher flicks to the tense, static psycho-dramas of Michael Haneke. "

—Steve Dollar, THE WALL STREET JOURNAL