Manodrome (2023): A Descent into Toxic Masculinity



The psychological thriller “Manodrome” is an unsettling yet gripping exploration of toxic masculinity, social pressures, and human psychology. Directed by John Trengove and starring Jesse Eisenberg, Adrien Brody, Odessa Young – Ralphie is a man trying to find his place in an ever-increasing hostile world he now finds himself.

Release Date:

November 23, 2023 (USA)


John Trengove


  • Jesse Eisenberg as Ralphie
  • Adrien Brody as Father
  • Odessa Young as Wendy

Ralphie, played with raw intensity by Eisenberg, is an isolated man struggling with feelings of inadequacy and purposelessness. When Ralphie meets up with an unknown group called Manodrome, led by a charismatic yet manipulative Father (Brody), who preaches their doctrine of hypermasculinity through violence and suppression of emotions as means to reclaiming patriarchal power, life takes an unexpectedly dark turn for him.

As Ralphie becomes more immersed in its ideology, his sense of reality becomes warped by its toxic beliefs. He becomes increasingly aggressive and violent while justifying these actions under the pretext of reclaiming his masculinity – something the film’s title, “Manodrome,” plays on in terms of toxic masculinity – while this highlights its central theme: how societal expectations about manhood can lead to destructive and harmful behaviors.

The film’s examination of toxic masculinity is nuanced. It recognizes that its root often lies in deep-seated insecurities and an absence of positive role models; Ralphie’s descent into violence was not simply his choice but instead resulted from his struggle for identity and acceptance.

The Film is not for those prone to avoidance. This film presents unsettling truths about masculinity’s darker aspects and examines how social pressures may distort and manipulate individuals. Furthermore, this film poses challenging questions regarding masculinity as a concept as well as its consequences: suppressing emotion while accepting violence are two primary concerns addressed here.

Eisenberg’s portrayal of Ralphie is particularly captivating, depicting Ralphie’s inner turmoil and gradual unraveling as his mind becomes further subsumed into its ideology. Brody’s performance as Ralphie’s charismatic yet manipulative father evokes the allure of toxic masculinity with ease.

Young’s performance as Ralphie’s girlfriend adds depth and complexity to the narrative, offering audiences a reminder of human connection and empathy that Ralphie seems increasingly to abandon.


“Manodrome” is an emotionally stirring yet thought-provoking film that leaves no easy answers for audiences to take away. It pushes viewers to consider the darker sides of masculinity as well as its consequences of suppressing emotions and adopting violence. Its legacy remains long after viewing is complete, prompting reflection on human behavior and social factors that shape our perceptions of masculinity.

What is Manodrome about?

Manodrome is a psychological thriller film about Ralphie (Jesse Eisenberg) as he attempts to navigate life on his own terms. Ralphie joins it – an organization which practices hypermasculinity by advocating violence and suppressing emotions as means to reclaiming patriarchal power – but quickly learns his mistake; soon realizing Manodrome may not be what it seemed at first glance.

What are the themes of Manodrome?

Manodrome tackles themes related to toxic masculinity, social pressures and the dark corners of human psyche. Furthermore, this film examines how social expectations of manhood may lead to destructive or harmful behaviors.

How does Manodrome portray toxic masculinity?

Manodrome portrays toxic masculinity in a nuanced fashion, taking into account that its roots often lie deep-seated insecurities and an absence of positive role models. Ralphie’s descent into violence was not simply his choice but rather a result of his struggles to define himself and seek acceptance.

What is the significance of the film’s title, Manodrome?

“Manodrome” is a play on “toxic masculinity.” This ties in directly with its main theme – how societal expectations of male masculinity can distort and manipulate individuals.

What is the message of Manodrome?

Manodrome doesn’t offer easy answers. Instead, this film forces viewers to confront some of the darker sides of masculinity, and consider its implications when applied in ways that suppress emotion or embrace violence. It remains thought-provoking long after its credits roll – prompting reflection upon human behavior as well as social factors that shape our perceptions of masculinity.