Broken Flowers

User Score
5.9

Mixed or average reviews- based on 174 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 86 out of 174
  2. Negative: 50 out of 174
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  1. NickN
    Jul 5, 2007
    10
    A clever and meaningful film about a middle aged man reflecting on his life and his future. If you think the movie has no end, you're an idiot and you have no idea what they're trying to say. I can see the criticism that it moves slowly, because some people aren't able to engage without constant fireworks.
  2. ChadS.
    Oct 30, 2005
    8
    Don(Bill Murray) hardly seems to be a racist, but derrogatory terms like "spade" and "raisin" are used, albeit in a different context outside of Winston's hearing range. Don calls his wife "the sweetest grape on the vine," and in naming detectives to Winston's daughter, Sam Spade is evoked. Curious, no, especially in light of the wonderful friendship Don and Winston seem to Don(Bill Murray) hardly seems to be a racist, but derrogatory terms like "spade" and "raisin" are used, albeit in a different context outside of Winston's hearing range. Don calls his wife "the sweetest grape on the vine," and in naming detectives to Winston's daughter, Sam Spade is evoked. Curious, no, especially in light of the wonderful friendship Don and Winston seem to share. It's the film's chief delight. Jarmusch and John Sayles are two white men who often write great characters for African-American performers. Winston's passion towards detective stories seems quirky, but that would be a racist notion, because there would be the assertion that a black man doesn't read. As for the women, my favorite stop, and performance, belongs to Laura, as played by Sharon Stone. Jarmusch cleverly acknowledges the former sexpot is aging and passes on the nudity duties to her daughter/protege, as played by Alexis Dziena. The road trip might've been more fun with Winston(Geoffrey Wright) tagging along, but his presence in the guise of a mix tape is a clever subversion of the buddy movie. "Broken Flowers" is an art film, but it's a lot easier to watch a long take of Murray on a couch than an obscure Thai actor sit in a tree in what seems like eternity(this is in reference to "Tropical Malady"). A long take, people, isn't categorically pretentious. Expand
  3. PatC.
    Mar 27, 2006
    8
    A gem of a movie similar to Lost In Translation, but even more flagrant in its audience exclusion. The story is basically Bill Murray embarking on a journey where he encounters the kind of people who would be clueless to understand this movie. This creates an atmosphere of alienation and loneliness through which Murray perseveres by force of habit. The movie truly is a work of genius, but A gem of a movie similar to Lost In Translation, but even more flagrant in its audience exclusion. The story is basically Bill Murray embarking on a journey where he encounters the kind of people who would be clueless to understand this movie. This creates an atmosphere of alienation and loneliness through which Murray perseveres by force of habit. The movie truly is a work of genius, but with one glaring flaw. Murray needs more facial expressions in his arsenal. OK, I get it, deadpan implies emotions roiling under the surface, but any nominally human father would have cracked a smile at the end of the movie. Given all that preceded it, that would have been awesome. Expand
  4. vanvera
    Nov 30, 2005
    8
    Slow and good. very good for your soul.
  5. JonathanZ.
    Oct 3, 2005
    7
    Ever since I saw Lost in Translation (although Rushmore is a close second), I've enjoyed seeing Bill Murray on the silver screen. His ability to play incredibly remote (even glacial) characters with just the right amount of nuanced humor always strikes me as the mark of genius. In this film he plays the part of Don Johnston, an aging and lonely Don Juan. Events are put into motion by Ever since I saw Lost in Translation (although Rushmore is a close second), I've enjoyed seeing Bill Murray on the silver screen. His ability to play incredibly remote (even glacial) characters with just the right amount of nuanced humor always strikes me as the mark of genius. In this film he plays the part of Don Johnston, an aging and lonely Don Juan. Events are put into motion by a mysterious pink letter with no return address telling him he has a son. With the help of his neighbor and MapQuest, he goes off to visit four women he dated 20-odd years ago in hopes one of them will reveal herself to be the mother. I found the combination of mystery and episodic road trip to work particularly well, considering I was expecting an indie film. Sure, the pacing is off at points and the humor is tinder dry, but I didn't really mind that. I don't think anyone will argue against the fact that Murray drives the entire picture. His face is a stoic mask, and every subtle gesture hints at some deeper form of melancholy. BOTTOM LINE: Though short of greatness and a little confusing, this film is definitely an enjoyable change of pace from the mainstream. Expand
  6. jasons.
    Oct 4, 2005
    8
    The pace of this film has so much to do with Don's character. Who hasn't had a period of time in their own life where nothing happens, nothing is felt? Why else do so many people spend billions of dollars at the theater each year? To fill a void? The trip Don takes is the "hero's journey" where we watch tepid Don's metamorphosis into a man engaged with the world and The pace of this film has so much to do with Don's character. Who hasn't had a period of time in their own life where nothing happens, nothing is felt? Why else do so many people spend billions of dollars at the theater each year? To fill a void? The trip Don takes is the "hero's journey" where we watch tepid Don's metamorphosis into a man engaged with the world and the people around him. I praise Jarmusch for steering clear of a Hollywood morality treatment to the film. There's no huge happiness, or "meaning of life" smashed over the viewer's head; just a story about a man who steps up to responsibility. And in this world that's not so minor of a thing. Oh, I laughed a lot, too. Expand
  7. sjb.
    Aug 16, 2005
    9
    Bill murray follows "Lost in Translation" with yet another brilliant under-stated performance.
  8. Mark
    Aug 8, 2005
    10
    By far the best movie of the year. As per usual in his latest movies, Bill Murray turns in a stellar performance, simultaneously hilarious and tragic.
  9. DrSuess
    Sep 15, 2005
    10
    Lovely.
  10. DanC.
    Jan 4, 2006
    9
    I really enjoy this movie. Although the character acted by Bill Murray evokes the one he made in Lost In Translation, they are totaly similar.
  11. PaulW.
    Jan 8, 2006
    8
    I enjoyed it...but can see why other may not.
  12. DanielJ.
    Feb 3, 2006
    9
    Refreshingly slow, honest and open ended. It's not a revolution, but it's good to see a film that is detailed, but not in a specific or convenient way- i.e. only to move the plot along. I didn't 'realise', if that is the word, that this was a comedy. But, it's definitely not a downer- just light hearted in a completely non middle-of-the-road way.
  13. Andrew
    Mar 5, 2006
    8
    Sometimes a movie is more about what is not shown than what is and what it does not say. Should a movie always entertain? No. Should a movie always force you to think? No. Bu,t either one or the other done well is worth the time, providing you know and appreciate the difference.
  14. zztop
    Oct 11, 2005
    8
    Perfect.
  15. Triniman
    Aug 14, 2005
    7
    Broken Flowers is the latest film from director Jim Jarmusch. Don (Bill Murray) is a seemingly retired person, who made a fortune in the computer business. One day, he receives a letter with no return address or signature, claiming that he fathered a child with the writer and that the child, almost 19 years old, is now one his way to find his unknown father. With the help of his would-be Broken Flowers is the latest film from director Jim Jarmusch. Don (Bill Murray) is a seemingly retired person, who made a fortune in the computer business. One day, he receives a letter with no return address or signature, claiming that he fathered a child with the writer and that the child, almost 19 years old, is now one his way to find his unknown father. With the help of his would-be detective novelist neighbour (Jeffrey Wright, someone we should see more of in film), Don embarks on a trip to unexpectedly drop by a few former girlfriends, to try to figure out who sent the letter and who his child is. There are too many quiet, contemplative moments that worked in Lost In Translation, that don't quite work here. It's true that sometimes less is more, and that much can be communicated without relying on a lot of dialogue. But after a while, the numerous quiet moments made the film seem tedious. There are also parts that are meant to titillate, always involving females, but they don't really add to the story in any germane way, with the exception of playing on men's interest in attractive women. Was this some type of social commentary on the director's part? Probably. The real estate agent former flame (Frances Conroy)looked embarrassed and the dinner scene was painful to watch. However, it was also realistic. We've all been in situations with that type of tension. Jarmusch also tried to juxtapose the dry real estate agent and her bourgeois lifestyle with the hippie that she used to be when Don knew her. The change is apparent without having it trumpeted. The animal communicator on one hand seemed loopy and self-important, but on the other hand, stand-offish. Real people are like that: more complex than mere stereotypes. The redneck former girlfriend (Tilda Swinton)and her reasons for reacting to him upon his surprise visit, didn't develop any intrigue and didn't contribute to the story in a positive way. Broken Flowers is not predictable, and that is one of its strong suits. It's slow moving pace and ending may turn off mainstream audiences, however. Those with different tastes may find this to be one of the best films of the year. I can respect this film for trying to be different, but I don't think I would see it again or recommend it to everyone. Winner of the Grand Prix prize at the 2005 Cannes Film Festival. Expand
  16. Tanya
    Aug 20, 2005
    10
    Murray and Jarmusch, mastering the gravitas of the minimal, deliver a comtemplative film (often evoking the same mood as About Schmidt) that explores instead of explains. A great examination of half-hearted lament over something lost -- when you don't know what it is that was lost. We learn far more about all the characters surrounding Murray than about Murray himself, which provides Murray and Jarmusch, mastering the gravitas of the minimal, deliver a comtemplative film (often evoking the same mood as About Schmidt) that explores instead of explains. A great examination of half-hearted lament over something lost -- when you don't know what it is that was lost. We learn far more about all the characters surrounding Murray than about Murray himself, which provides an intriguing distance to watch his character plod reluctantly but disinterestedly through his past. Marvellous! Expand
  17. FredW
    Aug 30, 2005
    10
    There's probably a reason reviews are so bifurcated; either you like minimalistic/philosophical perspective or you don't. This ain't Stripes or Caddyshack, and not even Lost in Translation. Murray has never been so understated and used so little in creating so much.
  18. PatG.
    Aug 5, 2005
    8
    Yes, this film feels slow at times. But it is intriguing, and Murray is always interesting. The slowness, the ever-present emptiness, are part of the point, I think. And the bouquet of actresses is a special treat. As for the ending--we do want more, but I agree that it is credible and has its own power.
  19. ATHoward
    Aug 8, 2005
    10
    This movie was brilliant and will be easily misunderstood. Bill Murray is the most interesting leading man in Hollywood right now. I hope he gets nominated for the Oscar and wins for his moving portrayal in this film.
  20. Josh
    Sep 11, 2005
    10
    Fantastic, hilarious, and touching movie. This is a movie people who like constant action will never understand, and thats too bad for them. Someone needs to give Bill Murray an Oscar.
  21. NigelW
    Jan 10, 2006
    7
    Bill Murray put in a wonderfully restrained performance and each of his leading ladies shone in their own way, albeit briefly. I enjoyed the quietness and how the desperateness of Murray's character came through from what was not said. Great music and some laughs from Jeffrey Wright. However I can totally understand why this film did nothing for some. Overall I wanted to like this Bill Murray put in a wonderfully restrained performance and each of his leading ladies shone in their own way, albeit briefly. I enjoyed the quietness and how the desperateness of Murray's character came through from what was not said. Great music and some laughs from Jeffrey Wright. However I can totally understand why this film did nothing for some. Overall I wanted to like this movie more than I actually did. Expand
  22. ScottM.
    Jan 15, 2006
    10
    I saw people walking out on this film...and note some giving zero scores here..to love this film you need to have some life experiences that youth cannot give...however this is as close to Tolstoy in a film i have seen..and it doesn't get any better than that.
  23. BobA.
    Jan 16, 2006
    9
    A great movie destined to never be accepted by a mainstream public that can't stop wondering what happens next and simply enjoy what's happening now.
  24. NickH.
    Jan 16, 2006
    9
    In Broken Flowers, it
  25. miker.
    Jan 2, 2006
    10
    The most heartfelt and soulful film of the past year.
  26. ChrisS.
    Jan 27, 2006
    9
    After watching this movie with my girlfriend, we discussed what it meant and how we felt about it for a good hour. When was the last time a movie sparked a conversation like that for you? I guess the better question is "do you want to have a conversation like that after a movie"? If the answer is yes, then this movie is right for you, if not, continue down the aisle at your local movie After watching this movie with my girlfriend, we discussed what it meant and how we felt about it for a good hour. When was the last time a movie sparked a conversation like that for you? I guess the better question is "do you want to have a conversation like that after a movie"? If the answer is yes, then this movie is right for you, if not, continue down the aisle at your local movie store to the "hollywood - business as usual" section. If your idea of a good movie is wacky humor, action, formulaic plots, well, this is not for you. I attributed this movie to a good short story that makes you think about the characters past and how they got to where they are, rather than spelling it out word for word. I think those of you out there that are rating this movie below a 6 are probably missing the point. Sometimes less is more. Expand
  27. AndreasD.
    Apr 24, 2006
    9
    One of the best movies last year. It deserves a good rating... This movie has no ending, which is only one reason to watch it.
  28. NickS.
    Nov 27, 2005
    9
    I must say that I really enjoyed the film. My favorite part is the ending.... there is something to be said for films that leave you to try and finish the story parhapse this is forshadowed in Winston's love of detective novels?
  29. ElwynC.
    Dec 29, 2005
    9
    OK. I think the advertisement that proclaims this to be a "laugh out loud" movie will annoy many people but the Winston moments were mainstream LOL. I think that for most people, it may be too subtle... and I don't even know what to say about the bit when Don rolls his eyes. The ending is really unsatisfying but leaves you wondering long afterwards.
  30. AlistairD.
    Oct 23, 2005
    10
    Very similar to Wes Anderson stuff and lost in translation, but couldn't hope for any more with this film.
  31. TimD.
    Oct 31, 2005
    7
    I wanted this film to grab me more than it did. As it was, it had me for about the first two-thirds of the ride, providing many nicely subtle touches and some extremely funny passages. It began to lose steam for me, though, during the third and fourth encounters, and by the end I believed it all less than I did earlier and found myself caring less. Regardless, kudos to Bill Murray (and to I wanted this film to grab me more than it did. As it was, it had me for about the first two-thirds of the ride, providing many nicely subtle touches and some extremely funny passages. It began to lose steam for me, though, during the third and fourth encounters, and by the end I believed it all less than I did earlier and found myself caring less. Regardless, kudos to Bill Murray (and to the rest of the cast!) -- may we get the pleasure of seeing him do this kind of deeply-felt, offbeat work far more often. Expand
  32. BillyBob
    Aug 14, 2005
    9
    This is a movie about itself, a movie about interpreation. It's very cool.
  33. JakeH.
    Sep 11, 2005
    9
    Absolutely wonderful. An a emotionally satifying film that leaves you think about life.
  34. TedC.
    Feb 21, 2006
    9
    A great movie, possibly my #1 for the year. One of the best endings to a movie I've seen in ages, and a great soundtrack to boot. The kind of movie that sticks with you for a long time after watching it. It will go down as one of Jarmusch's finest and possibly Murray's best late-career performance.
  35. JeffM.
    Aug 11, 2006
    8
    Delightfully low-key. Could have been a truly great film had there been more insight into Bill Murray's character, but as it is, it's still a subtle charmer.
  36. JohanS.
    Jan 31, 2007
    9
    Every human being is an island. No matter what you do. Bill Muray shows this unbearable loneliness in a superb way.
  37. jw
    Aug 11, 2007
    9
    (9.5) Those not familiar with Jarmusch, perhaps anticipating a reprise of life-altering happy sadness in the vein of Lost In Translation, were probably disappointed. They are similar in some important ways, though. Both achieve realism by way of non-resolution, for one. Compare it, on the other hand, to Shopgirl (which I believe tried for the same airspace as Lost In Translation) and I (9.5) Those not familiar with Jarmusch, perhaps anticipating a reprise of life-altering happy sadness in the vein of Lost In Translation, were probably disappointed. They are similar in some important ways, though. Both achieve realism by way of non-resolution, for one. Compare it, on the other hand, to Shopgirl (which I believe tried for the same airspace as Lost In Translation) and I think you'll find that Broken Flowers succeeds in all the ways that movie, I think, failed. Jeffrey Wright - whose characters are typically very busy with everything from redefining postmodern art to diligently defending the interests of big oil companies - seems to have an abundance of time on his hands here. His hyper-interest in Murray's affairs is hilarious, his meddling a direct countercurrent to the rest of the movie's listless forward drift. While the episodic, cameo-driven quality of Dead Man and Coffee and Cigarettes remains intact, there are no (or few) intricate arcs of mysticism swivelling overhead. This makes the movie almost unbelievably real and modern, I think. So does the blatant (considering Jarmusch) use of color, in everything from the mysterious pink letter to the name of the lovely young florist, Sun Green. The soundtrack is typically strong, and stray shots of overgrown typewriters, etc. delight throughout. A meaningful, if quiet, performance by Murray is punctuated by a scene in a graveyard. In a film mad with unanswered questions and dead ends, this scene has beautiful resonance, dignity, and despite itself, explanatory power that entire dialogue-heavy movies of greater ambition failed utterly to achieve. Expand
  38. Nov 2, 2010
    8
    I love Bill Murray. With that out of the way you might want to take my review with caution because it seems not everyone thinks this movie is great. I find slow depressing movies very touching and I simply like the way I feel and connect with these type of films. If you can relate to this then you need to go rent or even buy this movie ASAP.
  39. Apr 30, 2015
    8
    This one is slow and I can get why the audience is a little mixed on it, but the critics hit this one right on. Bill Murray is excellent in this one, as is Jeffrey Wright in a supporting role. A tale about a man going on a journey to discover if he has a son and if so, which woman is the mother of that child, this one is simply a slice of life type of film. Nothing extraordinary happensThis one is slow and I can get why the audience is a little mixed on it, but the critics hit this one right on. Bill Murray is excellent in this one, as is Jeffrey Wright in a supporting role. A tale about a man going on a journey to discover if he has a son and if so, which woman is the mother of that child, this one is simply a slice of life type of film. Nothing extraordinary happens and it is debatable as to if anything happened at all. However, I really do enjoy these type of films for the insight they provide for the characters presented. In Broken Flowers, you really get to really understand Murray's character and his problems and really, you feel bad for him since he is so alone, though he has always been surrounded by people. In addition, Jim Jarmusch's direction is brilliant. He really manages to capture the beauty of life by emphasizing the beauty of the landscape that Murray transverses. Much like life, the beauty is in the details and this film really underscores that. A subtle film that is so subtle it will not really touch a lot of viewers, this one really was moving. On top of that, the comedic moments were well done and actually really funny, but you had to pay attention to catch them. As a whole, Broken Flowers is a very good film that works on multiple levels. Expand
  40. Aug 5, 2015
    9
    Great film from top director Jim Jarmusch. It's an open film with several mensages and an ambiguous ending. I liked very much, but i must say who didn't like Jarmusch other works, won't like this one.
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.