The Civilization of Maxwell Bright


by Tuna

Maxwell Bright is a complete asshole. He owns a TV sales outlet, and is a total slob and misogynist. As the film opens, he chases his naked girlfriend into the front yard. He is also naked. Two female cops arrive, and they take her side - until she opens his chest with a garden hoe.

Later, during a drunken poker game, he decides what he needs is an Asian mail order bride. Then his life changes completely,

The film starts out as a dark comedy, but makes its way through an examination of cultural differences, and ends up a three-hanky weeper. Act one is a portrait of a totally unsympathetic character, act two becomes a dying man drama, and act three features redemption and enlightenment.

I should have hated this film, but found it the best thing I have seen so far this year.  It garnered numerous festival awards and many positive reviews, but also a few negative ones. This is decidedly not a studio sort of film, which I see as a good thing, and it is uniformly well acted, especially by Patrick Warburton, Marie Matiko and Eric Roberts. Also watch for Jennifer Tilly and Carol Kane.




Our Grade:

If you are not familiar with our grading system, you need to read the explanation, because the grading is not linear. For example, by our definition, a C is solid and a C+ is a VERY good movie. There are very few Bs and As. Based on our descriptive system, this film is a:


Offbeat indie, but a winner.

The Civilization of Maxwell Bright DVD Sex & Violence

It has yet to be released on Region 1 DVD. It is available from on an all-region PAL.




6.8 IMDB summary (of 10)
  Men 6.3; women 8.6


Minor festival circuit, then straight to DVD - and not available at all Region 1


  • Nicole Gian and Patrick Warburton do full-frontal nudity in the opening scene.