User Score
8.3

Universal acclaim- based on 163 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 6 out of 163
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  1. GaleG.
    Dec 30, 2009
    10
    All Colin Firth all the time. And, of course, he's perfect. Beautiful movie about living through a paralyzingly ugly part of life: loss.
  2. Oct 27, 2010
    10
    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
  3. RobbieC
    Jan 4, 2010
    10
    Absolutely gorgeous.
  4. MicheleM.
    Jan 6, 2010
    10
    A stunning film that should have received better media handling and a wider release.
  5. BillyS.
    Jan 19, 2010
    9
    The Dignity in which Colin Firth portrays the unbareably grief-stricken George in A Single Man is the stuff Oscar nominations are won, because it is set in a time (early 60's) that he can't reveal his devastation simply makes his performance sheer brilliance. Tom Ford has brought his sense of design to his new medium with the same perfection. A Single Man is a stunning debut and The Dignity in which Colin Firth portrays the unbareably grief-stricken George in A Single Man is the stuff Oscar nominations are won, because it is set in a time (early 60's) that he can't reveal his devastation simply makes his performance sheer brilliance. Tom Ford has brought his sense of design to his new medium with the same perfection. A Single Man is a stunning debut and heartbreakingly sublime. Expand
  6. KathleenC.
    Jan 31, 2010
    9
    Colin Firth deserves to win the Academy Award for best actor, but he won't.
  7. AlfonsoA.
    Jan 31, 2010
    10
    A superb movie in every way. Quietly magnificent with no bombs, murders or flying saucers.
  8. TomR.
    Feb 2, 2010
    10
    I was very fortunate to stumble upon this film on a rainy Sunday afternoon. Beautifully filmed with incredible attention to detail and acted by two of the best in Hollywood, A Single Man was one of the best of the year. At least Colin Firth got a nomination for his performance. I've never seen an actor express the depth of grief that Mr. Firth conveyed early in the movie when the I was very fortunate to stumble upon this film on a rainy Sunday afternoon. Beautifully filmed with incredible attention to detail and acted by two of the best in Hollywood, A Single Man was one of the best of the year. At least Colin Firth got a nomination for his performance. I've never seen an actor express the depth of grief that Mr. Firth conveyed early in the movie when the camera focused just on his face! Incredible! Collapse
  9. LornaS
    Feb 28, 2010
    7
    This too beautiful and cold film is saved by the amazing Colin Firth,who is left on his own because the film doesn't go below the surface.To make it worse,while trying to be arty,the director overused string music taking us back and forth.
  10. janetm
    Mar 14, 2010
    10
    Truly a masterpiece. Colin Firth's brilliance, yes, has been said... But the impeccable attention to detail in design that evokes emotional & psychological memories of an era from which those of us who lived through it will never entirely heal. Exceptional. Thank you Tom Ford.
  11. Katy
    Apr 25, 2010
    10
    Mesmerizing from the first moment. So original, moving, enchanting. The eyes, the colors, the music. Nothing else like it. What a joy!
  12. AlessandraS
    Jan 29, 2010
    10
    So poignant and beautiful that I am still thinking about it a week after i saw it. Colin Firth at his finest. This movie will move you and make you think. A masterpiece. Enjoy.
  13. AstridI
    Feb 25, 2010
    10
    Unforgettable. Colin Firth was magnificent.
  14. KyranW
    Mar 13, 2010
    10
    Just glorious. Captivating art directiona nd cinematography. loved it, haven't given 10/10 in a long time. feels good
  15. MichaelL
    Mar 19, 2010
    9
    Almost a flawless movie, with such a beautiful understated performance by Colin Firth. He portrays the slow, quiet and almost invisible agony over the loss of his lover.
  16. AustinR.
    Mar 25, 2010
    10
    You don't need to be gay to enjoy this film. It's a surrealist experience. I'm a huge David Lynch fan, and found the imagery of this movie very appealing. If you, too are a Lynch fan, you're not exactly a-shooing to love this movie. There is, however, no reason to dislike this movie unless you are horribly homophobic... Keith Uhlich of Time Out New York. Man, fucking You don't need to be gay to enjoy this film. It's a surrealist experience. I'm a huge David Lynch fan, and found the imagery of this movie very appealing. If you, too are a Lynch fan, you're not exactly a-shooing to love this movie. There is, however, no reason to dislike this movie unless you are horribly homophobic... Keith Uhlich of Time Out New York. Man, fucking rot in hell. Drill Sergeant, what do you have to say? "I didn't know they stacked shit as high as 5' 9"." Well put. Expand
  17. DaveW.
    Dec 11, 2009
    9
    Visually stunning and the best performance of Firth's career.
  18. OttoD.
    Dec 26, 2009
    9
    This film like any film has its downfalls (most of which are minor and fail to take away from the beauty of the piece), yet the expert cinematography and well written script capture the essence and emotion that is of Prof. Falconer as he goes through what he hopes will be his last day on earth. Tom Ford does an amazing job in his directorial debut, and it would certainly appear that this This film like any film has its downfalls (most of which are minor and fail to take away from the beauty of the piece), yet the expert cinematography and well written script capture the essence and emotion that is of Prof. Falconer as he goes through what he hopes will be his last day on earth. Tom Ford does an amazing job in his directorial debut, and it would certainly appear that this fantastic film will receive plenty of accolades during the award season. Please go see this. Expand
  19. CharlesS.
    Dec 26, 2009
    10
    A wonderful film beautifully set and acted! The sexual tension between Firth and his young stalker was palpable. This film rates right up there with Brokeback Mountain. Oscars for everyone!
  20. A
    Dec 27, 2009
    10
    My favorite film of the year! I walked in not knowing what to expect and left stunned. The true test of a great film, at least for me, is whether it transports you to another place and time and when it does, whether it has something meaningful to say. This film succeeds on both fronts.
  21. Jack
    Dec 11, 2009
    10
    Visually beautiful and elegantly acted. Should be an Oscar nod for Colin Firth. Kudos to Tom Ford!
  22. JerryC.
    Dec 11, 2009
    9
    Beautifully shot film. And the casting of Firth and Moore was perfection. The only weak point in the movie was the slo-mo owl toward the end. (And no, it's not a spoiler).
  23. LucyD
    Dec 12, 2009
    9
    A bit of an obsession with floating nude male bodies and it's symbolism with either death or rebirth but that is my only complaint and why I gave it a 9. Magnificent performance by Colin Firth which was the impetus for the unveiling of this moving story.
  24. Aug 19, 2010
    10
    I'll give it a 10 because Colin Firth plays a homo. I like homos. I thought Harvey Milk was great too. Also Brokeback Mountain. And let's not forget Quinten Crisp, John Hurt plays the homo, Quinten crisp. All good. Anything with homos.
  25. Sep 17, 2010
    9
    Tom Ford 's directorial debut is definitely a surprise hit. Not something you'd expect with the man who helped turnaround Gucci when it was almost bankrupt. You'd expect the film to be a depressing, dull and painful to watch when actually it is like a beautiful, glamorous treat for the eyes and ears. Colin Firth is marvellous as George, an English professor living in California who hasTom Ford 's directorial debut is definitely a surprise hit. Not something you'd expect with the man who helped turnaround Gucci when it was almost bankrupt. You'd expect the film to be a depressing, dull and painful to watch when actually it is like a beautiful, glamorous treat for the eyes and ears. Colin Firth is marvellous as George, an English professor living in California who has lost his love of 16 years Jim (Goode). Firth brings so much more to his character and his presence is outstanding. His supporting co-star Julianne Moore is also brilliant as Charley, she doesn't have much screen time but Moore uses it wisely and cherishes every second she has on screen. The film is accompanied with a haunting score, beautiful costumes and perfect art direction. Ford's film is definitely worth a watch and will be one to remember for a long time. Expand
  26. Sep 17, 2011
    9
    It's funny as children, at least in my case, when we think adults have it completely together. That don't have to deal with the day-to-day uncertainty and learning we do. That they know it all. A Single Man is a misnomer. Not knowing the story line, I felt as though the movie was literally about a single man. And, yes, while he IS a single man, the reality is, this movie is rooted atIt's funny as children, at least in my case, when we think adults have it completely together. That don't have to deal with the day-to-day uncertainty and learning we do. That they know it all. A Single Man is a misnomer. Not knowing the story line, I felt as though the movie was literally about a single man. And, yes, while he IS a single man, the reality is, this movie is rooted at perspective. More precisely, the differences in perspective. Male vs. female. Old vs. young. Teacher vs. student. Happy vs. sad. Such a very human film, A Single Man is a rivetingly written and acted portrayal of a love unexpectedly lost. In all its flaws and sadness, a man struggles with the sudden loss of his true love, feeling like he's supposed to move on, to live and tries very hard over a year to do so. Yet, he realizes time doesn't heal him and the clarity he finally comes to is that death is much better than the life he's made to live without his love. He attempts to take his life and just can't seem to do it, no matter how much he may want to. In the end, life takes him, just as a part of him is shown a slice of being able to move forward. Colin Firth's performance is even better than his Oscar-winning role in the King's Speech, proving he is one of the most underrated talents in film. The key to this film though is the story and flawless direction. This one is not to be missed. Expand
  27. Oct 12, 2010
    8
    A director with vision, with an eye for detail and and understanding of photography (Tom Ford one of the top designers for Gucci has all that in abundance) and a strong character performance (Colin Firth delivers a potent, eloquently internalized, award winning performance) combined bring us a beautiful, stylish and emotionally charged film worth watching.
  28. Oct 20, 2010
    10
    This is the best picture of 2009. Achingly sad and wonderfully acted. The cinematography is astonishingly romantic, full of life and death and everything in between.
  29. Nov 20, 2010
    10
    A commanding directorial debut from Tom Ford. The film's color literally runs out as George Falconer's (Colin Firth) life meanders toward the completion of his suicide plan.

    The writing shows remarkable restraint in avoiding a too harsh indictment of the anti-gay morality of the 1960's.

    A terribly sad movie from the first frame, beautifully acted, and designed.
  30. Dec 20, 2010
    8
    this movie may suffer from being too "fabulous" and sleek, but its heart is in the right place and Firth makes sure that nobody loses sight of that. undoubtedly a great debut for any first-time director.
  31. Jul 10, 2011
    9
    it's one of the best movies ever.
    Nicholas Hoult and Colin Firth makes this movie one you can't miss. their performance of their character is absolutely amazing and Tom Ford has really made a movie that is worth a 10!!!
  32. Sep 1, 2014
    8
    So powerfully poignant, it's sure to strike the heart of any. A Single Man explores the unique life of one man, his sexuality and his relationship with a younger version of himself. With a superb story and cast--it's a masterpiece.
  33. Apr 20, 2013
    9
    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, withfashion 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. Expand
  34. Apr 17, 2014
    9
    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
  35. Jul 31, 2014
    7
    Sensual stylish and sad

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Metascore
77

Generally favorable reviews - based on 35 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 32 out of 35
  2. Negative: 1 out of 35
  1. Reviewed by: David Ansen
    80
    A Single Man's sleek surface may go against Isherwood's crisp, understated prose, yet the story's beating, wounded heart and its spiky intelligence still come through, personified in Firth's moving, eloquently internalized performance.
  2. 88
    The film belongs to Firth. Uncanny at showing the heart crumbling under George's elegant exterior, he gives the performance of his career.
  3. Reviewed by: Deborah Young
    80
    Sensitive and stylish.