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In PRETENDERS, life imitates deadly arts as a French New Wave obsessed film student, Terry, finds his muse in mysterious and beguiling actress, Catherine. Both Terry and his best friend, Phil, fall under the spell of this beautiful woman. But they soon realize that the more time they spend with her, the more enigmatic she becomes. After years of sex, betrayal, and collateral damage, the three end up in a dangerous situation that leaves one of them fighting for his life.


  • James Franco
  • Juno Temple
  • Jane Levy
  • Brian Cox
  • Dennis Quaid
  • Shameik Moore
  • Mustafa Shakir
  • Jack Kilmer
  • Danielle Burgess
  • Antoni Porowski

Did You Know?


  • Anton Yelchin was in talks to be part of the film until his unexpected death in 2016
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Atom User Reviews

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Oct 4, 2019

Pretenders pretends to be Bertolucci’s The Dreamers in its meshing of a saucy young love triangle with an impassioned ode to cinema of yore. Alas, Mr. Franco’s not quite there yet.

Metacritic review by Alex Saveliev
Alex Saveliev
Film Threat
Oct 3, 2019

Not only does the film offer a superficial reading of all the famous movies that inspired it, but there’s also an incredibly bro-ish sentiment to the whole thing, as if Franco and Boone binge-watched half the Criterion Collection while slamming down brewskies on the couch.

Metacritic review by Jordan Mintzer
Jordan Mintzer
The Hollywood Reporter
Oct 3, 2019

While the film’s sense of experimentation carries a fair amount of intrigue, it traps its central threesome in an Easter egg-filled intellectual exercise punctuated by melodramatic strokes. It’s skillful enough to tickle the mind and the emotions but not effective enough to fully engage them.

Metacritic review by Mark Keizer
Mark Keizer