The Promotion

Rated 4.0

A Chicago supermarket assistant manager (Seann William Scott) counts on being promoted to full manager of a new store in the chain—until a transfer employee from Canada (John C. Reilly) threatens to snatch the dream job away from him. Writer-director Steve Conrad’s basic story is reminiscent of the birdbrained, mean-spirited Employee of the Month (2006), but his movie, by contrast, is sharp and intelligent, and it fairly drips with decency and the milk of human kindness. It’s that rare kind of script where people do dumb things but nobody’s really stupid, and do things they shouldn’t but nobody’s really bad. The movie is very funny in its deadpan, low-key way, and performances are spot-on. Fine work from Reilly is to be expected, but Conrad gets the best performance to date from Seann William Scott.