Maximum Truth (2023)

Maximum Truth (2023)

A political mockumentary that tries to deliver comedy and commentary but fails on both accounts



Andrew Friedman, Beth Grant, Blake Anderson
91 min


You’re better off watching paint dry than sit through this slog of a film.

What it's about

Right-wing grifters Rick Klingman (Ike Barinholtz) and Simon Tarnum (Dylan O’Brien) search far and wide for any evidence that could incriminate a rival politician running for Congress.

The take

There is a clear and wide gap between what Maximum Truth wants to be and what it actually is. What it wants to be is a silly but smart sendup of right-wing activism and the rampant disinformation the movement propels. What it ends up being is an occasionally funny but mostly tiresome film that falls flat thanks to caricature performances and flimsy arguments that essentially work against the film's supposed ideals. In a self-contradictory twist, it actually helps the conservatives it claims to poke fun at by proving just how dumb liberal humor can be. The running gag about Rick being in the closet feels outdated at best and offensive at worst, while Simon being the typical airheaded jock does nothing to subvert the trope. It’s baffling that a film like this could come out in 2023; ultimately it just seems like a terrible waste of everyone’s time. 

What stands out

About the only good thing you could say about Maximum Truth is that it brings together several cast members of The Mindy Project in what might be the sitcom's first reunion since it wrapped in 2017. It’s a nice treat for those familiar with Barinholtz's work, but it’s also a niche reference and not quite worth the trouble. If anything, seeing Barinholtz with his former cast mates underscores just how deeply boring this attempt at satire is. Given the right material, as they had in The Mindy Project, these actors can and will shine easily. But here they’re simply wasted.


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