Father of Invention (2011) - Rotten Tomatoes

Father of Invention2011

Father of Invention (2011)



Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

Father of Invention Photos

Movie Info

Millionaire infomercial guru, Robert Axle (Kevin Spacey) loses everything when one of his inventions has a design flaw that accidentally chops off the fingers of thousands of customers. After serving eight years in prison, a disgraced Axle is released, and ready to redeem his name and rebuild his empire with a new innovation. However, Axle's ex-wife (Virginia Madsen) has spent all of his money and moved into his house with her new husband (Craig Robinson). Out of desperation, he finds a part-time job as a janitor, and is forced to move in with his estranged daughter (Camilla Belle) and her over-protective roommates. Despite these setbacks he is determined to pitch his newest gadget and rebuild his infomercial empire. But the world has changed in the last decade, and Axle finds himself out of step with current technology, his family, and the self-confidence that made him king of the infomercials in the past. With all his wheels spinning, Axle soon realizes before he can be successful with his new creation, first he must reinvent himself. -- (C) Anchor Bay

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Kevin Spacey
as Robert Axle
Camilla Belle
as Claire Axle
Johnny Knoxville
as Troy Coangelo
John Stamos
as Steven Leslie
Red West
as Sam Bergman
Michael Rosenbaum
as Eddie the Ex
Danny Comden
as Matt James
Jack McGee
as Parole Officer
Craig Robinson
as Jerry King
Marc Macaulay
as General Store Clerk
Morgan Saylor
as Young Claire (12 Years Old)
Zachary Foppe
as Customer at Familymart
George Cooper
as Handball Kid
Lara Grice
as Mom in Park
Julia LaShae
as Lily's Mother
Marel Medina
as Stock Boy
Kristen Shaw
as Bank Teller
Walt Elder
as Harold
Audra Marie
as Business Man's Date
Joe Nemmers
as Business Man
Rhoda Griffis
as Penny Camp
Brett Rice
as Howard Camp
Randy Austin
as Security Guard
Mary-Charles Jones
as Young Claire (6 Years Old)
Sam Best
as Mailbox Patron
Carol Sutton
as Bingo Caller
Kim Holden
as News Anchor
Tiffany Morgan
as Mother in Infomercial
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Critic Reviews for Father of Invention

All Critics (16) | Top Critics (7)

For all its eagerness to please, you'd think Father of Invention could come up with at least one sister of independence.

October 18, 2011 | Rating: 2/5 | Full Review…
Top Critic

Highly predictable...

October 14, 2011 | Rating: 2/4 | Full Review…

Like Graham and Madsen, Spacey too often gets lost in smaller projects that aren't worthy of his talents. He, and his costars, deserve a more inventive movie than this one.

October 14, 2011 | Rating: 2/5 | Full Review…
Top Critic

The screenplay, by Mr. Cooper and Jonathan D. Krane, is so sketchy that it feels like a hastily executed first draft.

October 13, 2011 | Rating: 1.5/5

The film promises a nasty little satire for a while but finally goes soft and self-pitying.

October 13, 2011 | Rating: 2/4 | Full Review…

Colorless exposition and a lack of imagination or wit stall Father of Invention at the starting gate.

October 12, 2011 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Father of Invention


Robert Axle is a millionaire infomercial guru. His life is going great until one of his products maims thousands of people. After serving around a decade in prison for gross negligence, he returns to the world, only to find his money gone, and his empire in ruins. Before he can rebuild all that however, he must first deal with his nutty ex-wife, and her new lover who is obsessed with him, and rebuild his relationship with his estranged daughter, as well as her man hating roommate, his new boneheaded boss, and the man who has taken over his old company. This is a star-studded dramedy, and it's pretty decent. It's got a lot of the same old same old in the broad strokes of the plot and themes, but it's definitely the cast and their performances who make it all worth it. Spacey is great as Axle, and it's fun seeing him with goofy facial hair and looking like a bum. Virginia Madsen is okay, but underused as his e. Craig Robinson is fun as her lover, Camilla Belle is okay, but probably the weakest link as Axle's daughter, and then we get an okay, but also underused John Stamos as the business rival, and delightful work from Johnny Knoxville as the boneheaded boss (and he really is solid. I'm serious.) and Heather Graham as the bitchy roommate. Had the cast not been decent, then this wouldn't be as enjoyable or memorable. I did like it aside from then, but it really isn't all that original. It is fairly well played and decently shot though, so yeah, if you want a good redemption story as well as proof that Knoxville has a bit of chops, then give this a shot.

Chris Weber
Chris Weber

Super Reviewer

This was quite a surprise, especially after seeing so many bad reviews. I really enjoyed this. I have to admit, a good Kevin Spacey film is very rare these days. This one, though, I found very enjoyable. It's funny, but not always laugh out loud funny..more smiles and chuckles, and I like that in a movie. I didn't have high expectations for this one, but it is a wonderful little dramedy, in my opinion..........

Cynthia S.
Cynthia S.

Super Reviewer

Father of Invention is an interesting drama that's fairly entertaining. With a story about redemption and second chances, the film follows a former inventor who tries to reconnect with his family and rebuild his life. The casting is pretty good, and includes Kevin Spacey, Camille Belle, Heather Graham, and Craig Robinson. The story takes a few twists, and not always for the good, but when all's said and done it ends up being rather conventional. While most of Father of Invention is mediocre, it has a lot of fun and is pretty entertaining.

Dann Michalski
Dann Michalski

Super Reviewer

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