Rated 5.0

Few performers have been as financially successful in the last decade as Ben Stiller, and certainly none have been as annoyingly ubiquitous or made as many terrible movies over the same span (at least a dozen, by my count). His performance in Noah Baumbach’s humorously brittle, small-scale character study Greenberg may be for the sake of indie credibility, but it’s inspired and award-worthy work nonetheless. Looking appropriately gaunt and frazzled, Stiller plays Roger Greenberg, an ex-rock musician who has perversely turned a youthful act of self-destructive rebellion into his dominant personality trait (much to the detriment of his sanity and personal relationships). He starts a cruelly teasing relationship with his brother’s nanny-slave Florence (Sacramento native Greta Gerwig, also excellent), a sweet but similarly self-destructive lost soul who treats every encounter—even traffic merging—as a referendum on her lovability.