The Alarmist


Heinrich Grigoris, the owner of a sleazy L.A. home-security firm, has a plan that guarantees profits: he burglarizes clients’ houses until they purchase his expensive “armed response” upgrade. But when Grigoris (portrayed with insinuating charm by Stanley Tucci) reveals the scam to Tommy, his newest sales rep (an endearingly meek David Arquette), he finds that his protégé is far too honest for corporate criminality. Based on Kevin Reddin’s Off-Broadway play Life During Wartime, The Alarmist shifts uneasily between Mamet-esque satire and awkward erotic comedy. It’s as though first-time writer-director Evan Dunsky didn’t want to assert himself over rich source material, even as he shows that he’s more than capable of doing so.