Corner Office (2023)

Corner Office (2023)


It has a promising premise and a compelling lead, but Corner Office isn’t a memorable entry into the ever-growing canon of corporate dark comedies



United States of America
Comedy, Drama
Allison Riley, Christopher Heyerdahl, Danny Pudi
101 min


You’re better off binge-watching the TV series Severance, which executes a similar thesis in quicker and more entertaining ways.

What it's about

Orson (Jon Hamm) is optimistic about starting his new job as an office clerk, but when he struggles to fit in with his colleagues, he soon finds refuge in a room that only seems to reveal itself to him.

The take

Corner Office nails the look and feel of corporate claustrophobia. The cars parked in anonymous rows, the flat gray of the office walls, the endless drone of the copier, and the senseless watercooler babble—these are among the harmless rituals of office life, but they take on a nightmarish glare in this corporate satire, which starts off strong and strange and promising. Apart from the unnerving setup, it also finds a compelling lead in Hamm, who trades in his signature cool for the mousy and delusional Orson (imagine, Don Draper, mousy!). It’s a transformative performance that remains impressive throughout. But then the film loses its way somewhere in the middle. Orson finds a room no one else sees, and instead of playing into the absurdity of the phenomenon and mining meaning out of it, the film stretches it into a mystery that eventually, inevitably, loses intrigue. Corner Office is still a good film, a haunting experience for anyone who has been traumatized by their respective nine-to-five jobs, but it lacks the structure and edge to be the best it could be. 

What stands out

It bears repeating: Jon Hamm is thoroughly impressive as Orson, who is in every way the opposite of Hamm’s most iconic character, the debonair Don Draper. When Hamm first retired from the role in Mad Men, he looked like he could be the next George Clooney or Brad Pitt, but instead of leading parts, Hamm has since collected a plethora of eccentric roles. He is a committed character actor and I, for one, would like to see more of this side to him.


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