Critics' Pick

Ingenious (Lightbulb) (NR)

Comedy 90 October 19, 2012
By Chuck Wilson
The rather brave thing about this modest but lovingly crafted comedy-drama from director Jeff Balsmeyer (Danny Deckchair) and screenwriter Mike Cram is that its leads don't try to save themselves from their gambling troubles by pulling off a clever illegal scam. Instead, they try through sheer force of will and imagination. Best friends and business partners Matt (Dallas Roberts) and Sam (Jeremy Renner) are gadget kings (Matt invents; Sam sells) who have launched more ill-fated products than they can count, including an automatic toothbrush that brushes all your teeth at once. Eternal optimists, they have a bad habit of taking their stake money to the race track or casino. When the duo gambles away $7,000 lent to Matt by his girlfriend (Ayelet Zurer), she leaves him, even as the men are forced to dissolve their company and take retail jobs (shudder). Based on a true story, Ingenious has been sitting on the shelf since 2009 but is getting a second chance thanks to Renner's recent jump to big-star status. In truth, the film belongs more to the always superb Roberts, but it's fitting that Renner's good fortune has trickled to a movie about two guys who always expect lightning to strike twice.
Jeff Balsmeyer Dallas Roberts, Jeremy Renner, Ayelet Zurer, Marguerite Moreau, Amanda Anka, Richard Kind, Eddie Jemison, Judith Scott, Debby Rosenthal, Michael Kagan Mike Cram Greg Goodell, Tim Flood, Mike Cram


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