User Score
5.9

Mixed or average reviews- based on 172 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 50 out of 172
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  1. richardb.
    Aug 20, 2005
    5
    I saw Dead Flowers last night. And yes, Bill Murray does do world weary well. I get it. And the mature actresses do look pretty good for their age, although not compared to the starlets, who look GREAT!! And there are some mildly enjoyable nuances and seemingly evocative moments. But no plot. No murder to be solved. No class struggle. No surprising revelation of something. And no point. I saw Dead Flowers last night. And yes, Bill Murray does do world weary well. I get it. And the mature actresses do look pretty good for their age, although not compared to the starlets, who look GREAT!! And there are some mildly enjoyable nuances and seemingly evocative moments. But no plot. No murder to be solved. No class struggle. No surprising revelation of something. And no point. Instead we get "only black people have happy families". Middle-aged white women are casually sexy,soulless (actually most everyone is soulless) or dog whispering lesbians. And bikers are bad. Wow. All of this would be fine background to a gory zombie movie. Alas, all we get is vague mood and a vague disengaged put down of America? all white people?Ford Tauruses? But on a happier note, since my wife made me see Flowers last night, tonight we're seeing Grizzly Man. Expand
  2. ShawnB.
    Jan 3, 2007
    4
    Meaningful story but f.cked up acting and script.
  3. DanB.
    Aug 14, 2005
    6
    Ehh. I dunno. It doesn't build up much steam, its episodes aren't so witty or poignant... and neither is the film. It is amusing though. I just kept imagining Wes Anderson doing it better. And the ending... I think people who like the ending are liking the idea of a vague, non-standard ending, while not realizing the ending as-is is a lukewarm finish to a lukewarm film. If I Ehh. I dunno. It doesn't build up much steam, its episodes aren't so witty or poignant... and neither is the film. It is amusing though. I just kept imagining Wes Anderson doing it better. And the ending... I think people who like the ending are liking the idea of a vague, non-standard ending, while not realizing the ending as-is is a lukewarm finish to a lukewarm film. If I could I'd give it 6.5. Expand
  4. DougR.
    Aug 22, 2005
    4
    A mediocre movie that did not live up to the critics raves. I think they liked the director and actors and wanted to find something nice to say. Even my wife almost fell asleep and she really was looking forward to it from the reviews. How you could walk out and rave about that movie is beyond me.
  5. JulieR.
    Aug 23, 2005
    5
    Mediocre at best. Murray has moved way beyond the subtle, introspection of his work in "Lost in Translation" to deadpan, expressionless, non-acting. How did this guy with the personality of a doorhandle attract so many intelligent, quirky women?
  6. MarcK.
    Aug 24, 2005
    5
    Another overrated movie in a horrible year for movies...maybe since movies are so awful this year, critics are jumping on anything that might be remotely interesting. As someone noted below, Murray plays just about the same character as he did in "Lost in Translation." What a stretch. The thing that I did find interesting about the movie that no one (thus far that I read, at least) has Another overrated movie in a horrible year for movies...maybe since movies are so awful this year, critics are jumping on anything that might be remotely interesting. As someone noted below, Murray plays just about the same character as he did in "Lost in Translation." What a stretch. The thing that I did find interesting about the movie that no one (thus far that I read, at least) has talked about is the theme of self-examination of the choices we make in life, and how those choices affect us as we move on in our lives. Expand
  7. HowardS.
    Aug 25, 2005
    4
    Very disappointing, especially after reading the glowing reviews! Murray's deadpan expression worked well when he was "Lost in Translation" in Japan, but his comatose personality is boring here. Too much time wasted on camera shots of Murray in his apt and motel rooms; needed better editing! Only life in movie was with Sharon Stone and "Lolita" dgtr. At least, if his current Very disappointing, especially after reading the glowing reviews! Murray's deadpan expression worked well when he was "Lost in Translation" in Japan, but his comatose personality is boring here. Too much time wasted on camera shots of Murray in his apt and motel rooms; needed better editing! Only life in movie was with Sharon Stone and "Lolita" dgtr. At least, if his current girlfriend did write the letter, it caused Murray to "come to life" a bit! No Oscar nom for this one, Bill! Expand
  8. GilJ.
    Aug 7, 2005
    4
    Bill Murray has spread himself too thin. Can someone say Samuel L Jackson. Hey Bill, what about Bob?
  9. KenG.
    Sep 14, 2005
    6
    Movie is dealing with some meanful themes but the handleing of it felt slight and thin.
  10. johnj.
    Sep 3, 2005
    6
    Most of the movie was fine but the Worst ending of any movie ever.
  11. Joanne
    Oct 2, 2005
    6
    Bill Murray does Lost in Translation all over again. So this is the guy everyone finds irresistible? And Jarmusch, yes, you HAVE gone mainstream. Unlike your previous films, this is not a movie only you could have made.
  12. MarieM.
    Aug 11, 2005
    4
    It dragged. And the ending was uneventful and disappointing. Murray was good at playing a numb person, but ... there was really no great acting or story to keep one interested.
  13. MarkG.
    Aug 22, 2005
    4
    Parts of the scenery were interesting making me wonder where the travelouge was taking Murray - a lot of flying to visit place after place that all looked alike. Of course Sharon Stone was good. Perhaps the critics are mailing this one in after the much more interesting 'Lost in Translation.' The ending made me say "That's It??!!" Apparently the message is that white men Parts of the scenery were interesting making me wonder where the travelouge was taking Murray - a lot of flying to visit place after place that all looked alike. Of course Sharon Stone was good. Perhaps the critics are mailing this one in after the much more interesting 'Lost in Translation.' The ending made me say "That's It??!!" Apparently the message is that white men over a certain age are comotose. Expand
  14. MarkB.
    Aug 24, 2005
    4
    A vaguely well-to-do but endlessly unhappy permanent emotional burnout (Bill Murray) receives two pieces of news that would rock anybody else's world but barely causes a ripple in his: a son he never knew is now a near-adult and may be visiting him soon, and a typewritten, anonymous letter from the boy's mother--any one of several past lovers Murray's had--has just arrived. A vaguely well-to-do but endlessly unhappy permanent emotional burnout (Bill Murray) receives two pieces of news that would rock anybody else's world but barely causes a ripple in his: a son he never knew is now a near-adult and may be visiting him soon, and a typewritten, anonymous letter from the boy's mother--any one of several past lovers Murray's had--has just arrived. (The letter is typewritten, but the envelope is hand-printed, and yet he still has no idea who wrote it. I can instantly recognize the handwriting of several people I haven't seen in years or even decades; is Murray's failure to do the same an indication of his total lack of involvement or just a screenwriting glitch?) Cult director/writer Jim Jarmusch chronicles Murray's subsequent, heavily reluctant cross-country odyssey to lean which woman from his past (Sharon Stone, Frances Conroy, Jessica Lange, Tilda Swinton) owns the incriminating typewriter. Jarmusch's last effort, the multi-skit crazy quilt Coffee and Cigarettes was, to me, a smug, unbearably self-indulgent misuse of normally talented actors and intriguing personalities in a film that made me acutely aware that I have a pair of buttocks that can be subject to intensely wrenching pain under the right circumstances, which Coffee and Cigarettes certainly provided. I got into a lot of arguments about this (including on this website!), and since I've normally admired Jarmusch's past efforts (especially Ghost Dog: The Way of the Samurai and his alternately hilarious and poignant global jaunt Night on Earth) I really wanted to like this one. But I'm afraid Broken Flowers was pretty much more of the same, with no conversation in Jarmuschland existing without a 30-second pause filling in space between every line of dialogue, and lots longer dead spaces when only one person's in the room or on the road. (I mean, I love Marvin Gaye's hit "I Want You" as much as anyone, but I have no desire to hear the whole song while staring at Murray's lump-of-white-Play-Doh-dropped-on-the-floor-next-to-the-radiator-and-left-there-for-a-month puss the entire time it's playing!) Just because both this and the last two films of Alexander Payne, About Schmidt and Sideways, all involve journeys doesn't make comparisons between Jarmusch and Payne fly; Payne, an American Charles Dickens, loads his films with incredibly well-observed detail while Jarmusch fills his with blank spaces and emptiness. Only the amusing sequence involving Jessica Lange (don't call her an animal psychic!), Chloe Sevigny and Ramon the cat brings much life to the archly slow proceedings; Jeremy Wright as Murray's mystery-loving neighbor is so likable that he helps tremendously as well--but the rub here, as poster richard b. astutely indicated, is that with Wright's character Broken Flowers is pushing the facile stereotype that Black people are by definition all happy and uncomplicated while Whites are neurotic and empty-souled. (Donald Bogle calls this the "huckfinn syndrome", and it's subtly racist.) Pauline Kael once wittily described Michaelangelo Antonioni's films as "come dressed as the sick soul of Europe parties"; insert "White America" in place of "Europe" and you've got the essence of Broken Flowers. And, quite frankly, I'm getting awfully tired of watching Murray repeatedly play these lonely, pathetic, emotionally-stunted, ennui-infested closet cases: I treasured his performance in Lost in Translation partially because it represented a CHANGE OF PACE, but whether you're discussing his 1980s Stripes/Ghostbusters period or his current The Life Aquatic/Broken Flowers one, a rut is still a rut. If nothing else, Murray's work here inspired in me a desperate desire to race home, throw my What About Bob? DVD in the machine, and take some delightful baby steps. Expand
  15. Derek
    Sep 10, 2005
    5
    This has all the makings of a good movie...focus features, Bill Murray...and then, what a letdown. It has the pacing and dry humor of a potentially classic indie. Then, blah. What was the point?
  16. RDawg
    Sep 28, 2005
    4
    Boring, nothing gets accomplished. and I love bill murray, but could you at least try to show emotion??
  17. SusanG.
    Jan 22, 2006
    5
    Bill Murray was completely implausible as an alleged Don Juan type personality. He certainly doesn't boast those looks and in Broken Flowers his almost sedated performance covers up any wit or charm.
  18. MeghanR
    Jan 9, 2006
    6
    A movie that thinks it's better then the rest. those involved obviously think they are higher then most people. the movie aims to be simple and meaningful, but in the end, a self-centered movie is produced that offers no meaning. could have been so much better. bill murray turned in a one note performance that resembles a mock "lost in translation" performance. he is much better then this.
  19. JohnW.
    Feb 3, 2006
    6
    Very poor follow up to Lost in Translation for Murray and an almost completely humorless film. This film' s story is utterly pointless and I strain for reasons to care about any of the characters.
  20. SoiD.
    Apr 26, 2006
    5
    Seems like people either think this film is genious or a total bore. I'm inclined to go with the 'bore' side. The pacing is too slow, there's no resolution, the story doesn't hold together - it's all pretty senseless. It has good moments, but makes a point of making every scene as dull and uncomfortable as possible. Also? Free Bill Murray! He's trapped Seems like people either think this film is genious or a total bore. I'm inclined to go with the 'bore' side. The pacing is too slow, there's no resolution, the story doesn't hold together - it's all pretty senseless. It has good moments, but makes a point of making every scene as dull and uncomfortable as possible. Also? Free Bill Murray! He's trapped here. In Lost in Translation, he was near perfect; here his stone face, on which camera lovingly lingers for hours, conveys little; there's zero believalibility that this guy can be - or can ever have been - a Don Juan. Expand
  21. Clay
    Apr 12, 2007
    6
    It's very slow, and many scenes feel like the cameraman took a lunch break during a shot. However, there are several interesting moments, like the crazy mom and daughter.
  22. LindaL.
    Nov 20, 2005
    5
    I'm a big fan of Bill Murray, but felt I had seen this character before -- in all his recent movies, in fact. Don't expect a midlife "High Fidelity," with the guy gaining all kinds of insights through women from his past. Murray's hangdog character asks little, reveals little and learns nothing.
  23. JeffJ.
    Sep 16, 2005
    4
    A man goes on a journey of self-discovery -- a journey which goes around and around to end up nowhere and discover nothing. Slowly. I liked a lot of things about this movie, many moments and scenes are great, but in the end it adds up to nothing. Bill Murray's performance is so ultra-understated that I couldn't engage with his character at all. Why is he doing all this? What A man goes on a journey of self-discovery -- a journey which goes around and around to end up nowhere and discover nothing. Slowly. I liked a lot of things about this movie, many moments and scenes are great, but in the end it adds up to nothing. Bill Murray's performance is so ultra-understated that I couldn't engage with his character at all. Why is he doing all this? What does he feel? What has he learned? Who knows? He's so opaque, it's impossible to tell. He is supposed to be this "Don Juan" who apparently has wooed countless beautiful women, but we don't see why. This movie was almost brilliant, but some crucial part is missing which makes the whole thing fall flat. Sorry. Expand
  24. MADirck
    Nov 6, 2006
    6
    A road movie that meanders so much that it gets lost and never finds its way. Interestingly enough, Bill Murray is the one character who doesn't hold your interest.
Metascore
79

Generally favorable reviews - based on 39 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 34 out of 39
  2. Negative: 0 out of 39
  1. Reviewed by: David Ansen
    90
    Funny, bittersweet, its understatement yielding surprising depth charges, Broken Flowers is a triumph of close observation and telling details.
  2. 88
    Broken Flowers may be too low-key for laugh junkies, but Jarmusch fills his sharply observed comedy with wonderful mischief. The mix of humor and heartbreak brings out the best in Murray.
  3. It skips merrily along the surface with its over-the-top vignettes but never seems to arrive at a destination. Nevertheless, the journey is more than half the fun as every actor attacks his role with relish.