Mixed or average reviews - based on 18 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 4 out of 18
  2. Negative: 3 out of 18
  1. The performances and Marcos Siega’s direction put a pleasing sheen on the material.
  2. By creating likable characters and putting them in situations that seem plausible, if a bit of a stretch, the film succeeds where others of its genre fail.
  3. Reviewed by: Ty Burr
    "Maybe" was watchable and blandly pleasant; "Theory" is a smidgen better than that, if not the cruelly funny farce the movie's best impulses and its own trailer would have you believe.
  4. When you watch Canadian actor Ryan Reynolds, there's often a sense that you're not just watching him perform in a movie, you're watching the next stage of his unfolding career plan.
  5. Reviewed by: Dennis Harvey
    The lead performers, the brighter fillips in Daniel Taplitz’s screenplay and Marcos Siega’s (“Pretty Persuasion”) assured direction make this a pleasing item overall.
  6. The picture continuously shuffles moods like tunes on an iPod without ever making any lasting commitments.
  7. Reviewed by: Ken Fox
    Atonal romantic comedy.
  8. Reviewed by: Gregory Kirschling
    Peddles the usual carpe diem movie bunk.
  9. With a title like Chaos Theory, one might expect a little runaway energy or a dash of wild spirit under the antics, but there's little punchy anarchy in this controlled experiment.
  10. Reviewed by: Nick Pinkerton
    Reynolds, called to 180 from anal nebbish to feral beast, is beautifully committed, but he gets no help on the other side of the camera.
  11. Reviewed by: Mark Olsen
    Not exactly bad, but it disappointingly never really discovers the movie that it wants to be.
  12. The comic scenes can be arch or shrill, but director Marcos Siega (Pretty Persuasion) does better when the story turns somber and the emotions feel genuine.
  13. 42
    The big reason Chaos Theory doesn't work is that the gears are visibly grinding away, cranking out neat little ironies and life lessons without any liberating surprises.
  14. The kind of movie designed more for a has-been than a potential leading man, this slapdash dramatic comedy fits the now-established pattern perfectly: Your (Ryan Reynolds) committed performance is the sole reason to see it.
  15. 40
    A predictable romantic dramedy that isn’t particularly tender, moving or amusing, Chaos Theory suffers first and foremost from featuring the least engaging couple to headline a movie in some time.
  16. 38
    Chaos Theory stumbles from one contrived circumstance to the next, and there's not a moment in this entire mess that conveys any sort of genuine human emotion or reaction.
  17. In Chaos Theory, Reynolds's performance is taut, crabby and tense. And his beard and glasses, which intensify those already narrow eyes, suggest a mad bomb-builder rather than a hapless soul with whom we can identify.
  18. 25
    The audience, if any, for Chaos Theory is going to be hit with a little puff of celluloid flatulence. The movie won't linger in the air, but that doesn't make it any less embarrassing.

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