Generally favorable reviews - based on 35 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 32 out of 35
  2. Negative: 1 out of 35
  1. Some films aren't revelations, exactly, but they burrow so deeply into old truths about love and loss and the mess and thrill of life, they seem new anyway. A Single Man is one such film, one of the best of 2009
  2. A singularly enjoyable and moving film.
  3. Firth plays him as a man of his time who is also mournfully ahead of his time. He's addicted to his own broken heart. A Single Man may break yours as well.
  4. 91
    It’s a film of stunning beauty and deep underlying sadness, a self-financed labor of love filled with impossibly gorgeous, oft-unclothed men and dazzling eye candy.
  5. Reviewed by: Bob Mondello
    An exquisite, almost sensual grief suffuses every frame of A Single Man.
  6. For the most part, Ford has done good by the film, infusing a sad story with warmth and humor to spare. While loss is what makes George's experience universal, heart is what gives him such life.
  7. Reviewed by: Richard Corliss
    Tom Ford -- the Texas-born fashion designer who for a decade was the creative director at Gucci -- financed this first feature himself. The producer couldn't have hired a smarter director.
  8. Reviewed by: Leslie Felperin
    Like the speck of sand that seeds a pearl, it’s the tiny fleck of kitsch at the heart of “A Single Man” that makes it luminous and treasurable, despite its imperfections.
  9. 89
    Everything fits perfectly, from titles to fin, but most of all Firth, who dons the role of George like a fine bespoke suit.
  10. 88
    The film belongs to Firth. Uncanny at showing the heart crumbling under George's elegant exterior, he gives the performance of his career.
  11. Reviewed by: Ty Burr
    There’s a lot, in fact, that keeps this film from greatness. One performance alone recommends it. That’s enough.
  12. 88
    An exquisite character study in grief.
  13. 83
    Built around Firth’s fine work, A Single Man is a handsome film that, like its slender source novel, is stylish, quiet and sure.
User Score

Universal acclaim- based on 147 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 34 out of 42
  2. Negative: 4 out of 42
  1. Oct 27, 2010
    Love, love, love it! If you are familiar with Wong Kar Wai and love 50s era cinema recreations, this is a film for you to watch. I celebrate Tom Ford has such a detailed and suave eye for moviemaking as he does for fashion. One truly expects his second film to have the consistency of this marvelous piece, the acting is superb and the overall feel is ... sheer delight. @cinemaquote Full Review »
  2. Apr 17, 2014
    One of the best movies of Firth. It is a really well told story. First of all, the topic that transcends genders, the hurt one, sad because of the lose of the love of his life. A must see Full Review »
  3. Apr 20, 2013
    fashion designer turned director/writer/producer Tom Ford provided the biggest cinematic surprise in the whole year 2009 with his debut picture A Single Man. I've always liked films about homosexuality (okay, most of them. There's rubbish in this genre as well) and this one is an absolute stand-out. Colin Firth foreshadowed his creaming off the profits for follow-up The King's Speech, with his ceaselessly realistic turn as a secretly gay college professor who grieves about the death of his long-time lover. While 2010's TKS is a such a flawless perfection of movie making, ASM's plot is more interesting and the final good is mesmerizingly artsy. Nicholas Hoult, relatively unknown by the time this film was made, impresses as the young student who comes in the life of Firth's character after his loss, and Matthew Goode makes the best out of his little screen time. I never expected that a first-time-filmmaker would be able to stun me as much as Tom Ford did with this movie. The use of colors to express emotions, the ability to turn mundane conversations into such absorbing dialogue, the knowledge of how to use the score (oh, so beautiful!) in due time, etc. It's not a movie to watch many times since it gets a bit boring then, but at first watch, you'll be overwhelmed by this movie. Full Review »