Diagnosed with a terminal illness, Sarah (Karen Gillan) employs some cutting edge but deeply suspect technology to have herself cloned so that her loved ones needn’t do without her. But after a miraculous recovery, it becomes apparent that everyone prefers her more outgoing and assertive double. Challenging her other self to a televised duel to the death, Sarah enlists a combat instructor (Aaron Paul) in hopes of giving her a fighting chance of coming out on top. Delighting in affectless deliveries and attention to absurd details, Riley Stearns (The Art of Self-Defense) ratchets up both the stakes and ridiculousness while maintaining an amusing deadpan register. There’s practically a musicality to the staccato dialogue and equally precise editing. As the Sarahs are set on their collision course, Gillan skilfully delineates her two characters and transforms the underdog original into someone innately relatable. After all, sometimes we all need a stark, stone-faced reminder that life is worth fighting for.
A dry-as-hell dark comedy… Dual adds a fresh sprinkle of doom to the already savage deadpan of Stearns’ previous work, and bitterly crystallizes the existential anxieties that have crushed down on so many of us…
David Ehrlich, IndieWire
A rewarding and gut-busting film that’s lingering ideas are nearly as strong as its humorous, thoughtful construction.
Jacob Oller, Paste
It’s a strange and memorable film with a unique voice and a unique perspective, and that alone makes it worth seeking out.
Tasha Robinson, Polygon
Tyler Gould, Tom Harberd, Matthew Helderman, Phil Hunt, Compton Ross , Luke Taylor
Nate Bolotin, Maxime Cottray, Lee Kim, Nick Spicer, Riley Stearns, Aram Tertzakian
Sarah Beth Shapiro
Emma Ruth Rundle
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