Metascore
65

Generally favorable reviews - based on 42 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 28 out of 42
  2. Negative: 2 out of 42
  1. 100
    They are all so very articulate, which is refreshing in a time when literate and evocative speech has been devalued in the movies.
  2. Reviewed by: Richard Corliss
    90
    Funny, hurtful, splendidly acted.
  3. 89
    Closer is an un-love story as honest and naked as Cupid in the devil's dock, the whole truth, and nothing but.
  4. 88
    Mike Nichols' haunting, hypnotic Closer vibrates with eroticism, bruising laughs and dynamite performances from four attractive actors doing decidedly unattractive things.
  5. Few directors are more adept at playing with all this anguish and exhilaration than Mike Nichols.
  6. 88
    From Marber's fiercely polished writing, Nichols wrings every drop of acid, yet it's a show of the director's goodness that a movie fundamentally preoccupied with interpersonal ugliness is allowed to end on a convincing note of beauty.
  7. 88
    This is most definitely NOT a date movie. But if you appreciate films that are more substance than style, that take challenges and don't follow formulas, and that feature Oscar-caliber performances, Closer is not to be missed.
  8. Reviewed by: Pete Vonder Haar
    80
    An intelligently written, well-acted, and thoughtful film about adult relationships. I’m surprised it came out of Hollywood.
  9. Reviewed by: Kim Newman
    80
    It’s almost as structurally daring as "Memento," demanding that the audience fills in the gaps.
  10. Closer is marred by some drippy music courtesy of Damien Rice and a small-surprise ending that feels like gimmicky irony. But the film's core idea is compelling.
  11. 80
    Dramatically leaps through time, covering months or sometimes years in the span of a single cut. The effect is jarring and exhilarating, but it also bucks the common idea that relationships deepen over time.
  12. 80
    Full of intellectual stimulation as well as low, dark pleasures--"Carnal Knowledge" redux!
  13. Reviewed by: Sean Smith
    80
    Here's a surprise: of the four actors in Closer, Clive Owen is the least famous, but he delivers the most memorable performance.
  14. If you're the sort of person who laughs at funerals, train wrecks, earnest political documentaries and stories about the rape of nature, you'll love Closer.
  15. It's too emotionally honest and psychologically dense for its own good. It's a movie that demands more than one viewing to absorb all its ideas and feelings.
  16. 75
    An impeccably acted and directed - but quite icy - portrait of deception and betrayal.
  17. Closer, in the end, lacks a certain heft. The language and the actions of the characters are brutal and devastating. The movie itself, a little too nice.
  18. Reviewed by: Glenn Kenny
    75
    Most of the dialogue is pretty fresh, and it’s delivered with great brio, particularly by Owen. Roberts, alas, is not at her best here, but she has almost nothing to work with.
  19. Despite Marber's sardonic wit and Nichols's intelligent direction, the film winds up in the ironic position of practising exactly what it preaches: Closer invites and even gains our intimacy, only to finish by driving us ever farther away.
  20. 70
    Overall, Owen and Law are more nuanced than Roberts and Portman, but Portman's dewy youth is 90 percent of Alice (the remaining 10 is an eleventh-hour twist), and Nichols uses the unkindly costumed Roberts so skillfully that her performance looks like a revelation.
  21. 70
    Closer casts a smugly amused eye on the human capacity for betrayal. But because it also seeks to congratulate its audience for its urbane unshockability, it never strays beyond the limits of middlebrow complacency.
  22. Reviewed by: Todd McCarthy
    70
    The caustic wit and brute force of Patrick Marber's acclaimed play come across with a softened edge in Mike Nichols' bigscreen version of Closer.
  23. The finish is so asymmetrical that it, too, seems a comment on the kind of film this might once have been.
  24. The last thing Marber's quartet of modern miserables needs is to be admired; they are the very worst of average people, but on screen they have become the very best of the baddest.
  25. 67
    It's in its aspiration to depict deceit and obsession, selfishness and recklessness, bitterness, revenge and fury that the film's power lies. There and in Clive Owen's sure and powerful hands.
  26. While its execution is fine, the movie is almost shockingly vapid.
  27. Reviewed by: Claudia Puig
    63
    Offers a bleak though thought-provoking take on relationships. The challenge for the viewer is in caring enough to become invested in characters who seem hellbent on hurting one another.
  28. It's the most claustrophobic, airless movie of the year, a menage a quatre among unstable, manipulative, needy people who prey on each other like sharks at a feeding frenzy of the emotions.
  29. Despite involved acting and Nichols' impeccable professionalism as a director, the end result is, to quote one of the characters, "a bunch of sad strangers photographed beautifully."
  30. Unlike most movie love stories, Closer does have the virtue of unpredictability. The problem is that, while parts are provocative and forceful, the film as a whole collapses into a welter of misplaced intensity.
User Score
6.6

Generally favorable reviews- based on 226 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 90 out of 141
  2. Negative: 45 out of 141
  1. May 12, 2012
    9
    Strange, weird. beautiful, endearing, funny and one of the great play adaptations. Closer features all the actors in their best form and the direction is great. I give this movie 88%. Full Review »
  2. Sep 1, 2012
    10
    The acting was great and very believable. It has some amusing moments, and it was very heart-felt. The love square was artfully portrayed. Overall an enjoyable film with great actors. Full Review »
  3. Jul 6, 2011
    10
    This movie captures something about love that most romantic dramas do not - the unpredictability. The only flaw I can find in this movie is the way it clumsily skips through years without warning. Natalie Portman was slightly underused also despite out-shining the rest of the actors and having the most interesting and relatable character by far. Owen also displayed a tremendous amount of talent, however. Full Review »