Poolman is low-key infamous. It is Chris Pine’s directorial debut, but that is not what gets it the infamy. It premiered at the Toronto Film Festival last year and was ripped apart. It is currently hovering around 20% on Rotten Tomatoes. Mashable says:

“Poolman plays an inside joke that never let its audience inside.”

Meanwhile, The Guardian called it:

“Not only the worst film I saw during the fall festival season but would likely be one of the worst films in any year it came out.”

Not exactly ringing endorsements, are they? The first trailer has now dropped for Poolman, so we can start to form our own opinions.

The mystery comedy stars Pine as Darren Barrenman. According to the blurb, he is a hapless dreamer who spends his days maintaining the pool of a Tiki-themed L.A. apartment block and crashing city council meetings with his neighbors (Danny DeVito, Annette Bening).


When he is tasked by a femme fatale to uncover the truth behind a shady business deal, Darren enlists the help of his friends to take on a corrupt politician and a greedy land developer. His investigation reveals a hidden truth about his beloved city and himself.

Jennifer Jason Leigh, DeWanda Wise, Ray Wise, Juliet Mills, Stephen Tobolowsky, and Clancy Brown co-star. Pine, Stacey Sher, Patty Jenkins, and Ian Gotler produced. Pine and Gotler co-wrote the script and it is dubbed (by them, no doubt!) as The Big Lebowski meets Chinatown with a splash of La La Land.

Vertical will release Poolman in cinemas on May 10th.

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