User Score
7.2

Generally favorable reviews- based on 283 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 53 out of 283
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  1. sM
    Sep 3, 2005
    3
    Great to look at. Nothing more. Critics loved it because it's provocative and controversial. Washington Post got it right. Highbrow s..t.
  2. DuncanB.
    Oct 23, 2006
    1
    I have a profound loathing of this film. Real people do not talk like this. It asks hard questions like "Why do rich, beautiful, vain, self centered, urbanites treat love as a commodity and sex as a form of power politics". The film looks great as do the actors but it is presented as an authentic look at modern relationships, but this is as divorced from reality as any fantasy. The I have a profound loathing of this film. Real people do not talk like this. It asks hard questions like "Why do rich, beautiful, vain, self centered, urbanites treat love as a commodity and sex as a form of power politics". The film looks great as do the actors but it is presented as an authentic look at modern relationships, but this is as divorced from reality as any fantasy. The characters are emotional children, real people do not act or talk like the people in this film, it is a rich coffee table intellectuals view of humanity. This is a world view that has not been informed by genuine hardship. It is an A Level students view of modern love. I like a bleak film as much as anyone, the bleaker and more pessimistic the better, but this film lacked a key ingredient: RELEVANCE. This film explores the sexual politics of a metro-sexual elite, it is not a genuine universal exploration of love and the damage it does. Expand
  3. RitaP.
    Jan 26, 2006
    3
    Mildly entertaining but unltimately empty and lacking in so many areas. Cannot remember another film where ALL of the main characters are so unsmpathetic and unlike able. At the end of the day I didn't care what happend to any of them, just hope I never meet people like them in my personal life.
  4. LoicS.
    Apr 26, 2006
    10
    I just had to react to some of the coments left here. First time I do, but I think this movie is worth it. Some people here have obviously never seen a bad movie and should go to the cinema more before they drop comments. calling this movie " the worst [they] have ever seen" is either admitting they have very little to compare to or conceiding they were shocked/felt insulted by the movie I just had to react to some of the coments left here. First time I do, but I think this movie is worth it. Some people here have obviously never seen a bad movie and should go to the cinema more before they drop comments. calling this movie " the worst [they] have ever seen" is either admitting they have very little to compare to or conceiding they were shocked/felt insulted by the movie (which in itself doesn't mean the movie is bad). Some may never have lived such situations or felt such feelings, and/or find them to be the expression of a pervers nature. This just isn't a movie on the way human beings sometimes cooperate to make a better world. Deal with it. As for the dialogue's they may not be realistic when removed from the scenes to which they belong, but who cares ? cinema isn't about writing everyday life exactly like it is, it's about giving the illusion of everyday life. If you watch this movie with an open mind, you'll get sucked in. If you're just waiting for an occasion to rate julia roberts acting, or if you came because the big names printed on the big posters reminded you of sweet love stories (be it in a galaxy far far away or in a nearby brothel), go chat on the forums, write to your favourite magazine, yell out your anger, but don't give this film a 0, your deception has nothing to do with its value. Every word, every sentence, especially in the breaking-up/fighting scenes came when and how I wanted them to come. Maybe noone in real life would be so crude (and I honestly don't see why not) but we've all deeply wanted to ! (I actually came to admire Clive Owen's character for his raw honesty) And since when do the characters have to be likeable to make a good film ? You may hate these people after seing the movie... but how is that bad ? you've felt strongly against them : this movie has brought you strong feelings ! Now you know who you definetly are not (although I dare think that whoever says he/she is not even a little bit concerned is either a liar or has lived his/her entire life in a box, alone). Now to the "honest but shallow/hollow exploration of the human nature". I am French and have lived in France many years. I was culturally brought up by french cinema and I therefore know what a hollow movie on human nature is, I have seen many failed attempts, (Just think that only the "good" ones make it abroad, and even they have a hard time), watched everlasting minutes of raw rape scenes, bared crying men on stools in empty rooms for half an hour, and heard endless, pointlessly intellectualized dialogs. This is not one of them, this movie goes to the point and it gets there fast. Sure, it doesn't explore every aspect of the characters' lives but that just makes it more universal. Most people agreed on the fantastic acting (Owen, Law, Portman AND Roberts) and the beautiful score, so I'll just skip that. Actually I'll stop here all together, I'm growing tired of English grammar and I've made my point. Closer is a great movie. Period. Expand
  5. Fred
    Jul 21, 2006
    2
    This movie tries to do a lot. It tries to be thought provoking, it tries to be raw, it tries to be deep and it tries to be brutally honest. It was not truly any of things. The dialogue was forced and contrived, attempts to be profound merely come off as beautiful, spoilt people displaying their idiotic and warped notions of life, formularized to the last drop. The film is so horribly self This movie tries to do a lot. It tries to be thought provoking, it tries to be raw, it tries to be deep and it tries to be brutally honest. It was not truly any of things. The dialogue was forced and contrived, attempts to be profound merely come off as beautiful, spoilt people displaying their idiotic and warped notions of life, formularized to the last drop. The film is so horribly self conscious it made me grimace to watch it, it was as though the only thought given to the film was that raw automatically equals artistic quality. I hate to say it, but it does not. A soulless and sterile movie that is void of any depth, despite far too obvious attempts to the contrary. It is the Da Vinci Code of films; garbage that is made to appeal to the pseudo intellectuals. Expand
  6. DaveC.
    Feb 11, 2007
    2
    Cloying, affected and tiresomely self-important. Performances are lacklustre, from the insufferably dull Clive Owen to the overemployed Julia Roberts and the altogether useless Natalie Portman. Even the usually impressive Jude Law doesn't do this a lot of favours. Not that it's an easy task to be asked to spew out such trite, pretentious dialogue at the behest of a pretentious director.
  7. DarrenR
    Mar 1, 2007
    10
    This is a film so complex and clever that it is bound to go over the heads of most of the viewing audience. Every word that is spoken has a double meaning to it, and if viewed with the understanding of this ironic level, the experience is far richer.
  8. Nick
    Dec 12, 2004
    3
    Ouch. It hurts so bad that this is a completely depressing movie and it hurts even more that Julia Roberts was cast as Anna. She completely fails as Anna and seems completely detached and unemotional during any of the "lovers quarrels" in the movie. Natalie Portman and Clive Owen are especially good and Jude Law okay in their roles. However, none of the characters are worthy of attention, Ouch. It hurts so bad that this is a completely depressing movie and it hurts even more that Julia Roberts was cast as Anna. She completely fails as Anna and seems completely detached and unemotional during any of the "lovers quarrels" in the movie. Natalie Portman and Clive Owen are especially good and Jude Law okay in their roles. However, none of the characters are worthy of attention, empathy or any feelings, other than possibly Portman's character, who is the least guilty of anything. All in all, there is no great plot, no great statement made by this movie. Don't take a date to it, it would only lead to trouble. The characters are simply horrible people (again, with exception of Alice/Jane who remains somewhat of a mystery) and not worth watching. The only redeeming quality of the movie is the way in which it talks about sex, completely bluntly, never fearing to use words like "cunt" or even "perenium" and illustrates the farce of the "online" sex world. So, if you want to see how lewd a movie can be, and feel like wasting some money, go see it. Otherwise, avoid this. Expand
  9. NCoste
    Dec 18, 2004
    3
    Early the twists and interplay of the characters were interesting, but the twists became just plot points, until a great ending--that is it was great that the movie had ended. Think of the various couplings, break-ups, and re-couplings in the 10 years of "Friends" condensed into two hours, add swearing, subtract humor...you got "Closer." Some nice scenes though.
  10. ChadS.
    Dec 19, 2004
    6
    "Closer" gets off to a very strong start; kinda like "Before Sunset" with engaging dialogue. Jude Law and Natalie Portman have more chemistry than any movie couple we've seen all year. But "Closer" is about adultery, and seems to be, wait, let me google: Nichols, Pinter, "Betrayal", "Closer"; yes, it's similar to Harold Pinter's "Betrayal". Too bad, because a great "Closer" gets off to a very strong start; kinda like "Before Sunset" with engaging dialogue. Jude Law and Natalie Portman have more chemistry than any movie couple we've seen all year. But "Closer" is about adultery, and seems to be, wait, let me google: Nichols, Pinter, "Betrayal", "Closer"; yes, it's similar to Harold Pinter's "Betrayal". Too bad, because a great romantic-comedy could've been built around Law and Portman. It becomes an endurance test, as scene after scene gives us people behaving badly, talking dirty, and acting as if they're in a movie based on a play. Expand
  11. YuH.
    Dec 2, 2004
    10
    One of the best movies of the year and in my opinion, the best acted one.
  12. ClaudiaG.
    Dec 2, 2004
    9
    This film is beautifully made, the acting is superb - mike nichols is flawless.
  13. MarlonV.
    Dec 24, 2004
    10
    There's a subtle, darkly urban gothic eroticism that devours the viewer upon seeing the first scene. the sense of doomed romanticism is palpable. stylishly jagged dialogue and riveting performances swell in certain scenes (larry/anna break up, larry/alice lap dance). and one outstanding performance by a certain julia roberts. there's a rousing sadness behind her eyes, and There's a subtle, darkly urban gothic eroticism that devours the viewer upon seeing the first scene. the sense of doomed romanticism is palpable. stylishly jagged dialogue and riveting performances swell in certain scenes (larry/anna break up, larry/alice lap dance). and one outstanding performance by a certain julia roberts. there's a rousing sadness behind her eyes, and it's a shrewdly subdued performance, as if she could fade into her own heartbreak any minute. hers is one of the most under rated performances of the year. one that will not be awarded by an award just for the sheer invisible value in it. Expand
  14. RoyR.
    Dec 25, 2004
    9
    Unsettling, troubling cinema. it reminds of the conversational pieces of woody allen, only more abrasive and neil labute's emotional monsters, only more romanticized. three wonderful performances and one absolute standout. julia roberts gives a shrewdly subdued, complex performance, chilly and painfully sad. it's the most under rated performance of the year.
  15. MayerB.
    Dec 25, 2004
    7
    The burden of the cast is tremendous. they have to incite feeling without having sustained history, but the skillfull actors play their parts really well. clive owen is savagely sexy, chewing the scenery almost everytime, jude law once again proves that he's a good actor, giving his character a childish edge. but the women really bring it. natalie portman sizzles in her first adult The burden of the cast is tremendous. they have to incite feeling without having sustained history, but the skillfull actors play their parts really well. clive owen is savagely sexy, chewing the scenery almost everytime, jude law once again proves that he's a good actor, giving his character a childish edge. but the women really bring it. natalie portman sizzles in her first adult role, bringing a charmed sexuality to alice. and julia roberts in her best performance ever. formless, sad and ravishingly damaged, her anna is a creation of perfect pain. Expand
  16. EmmaD.
    Dec 31, 2004
    10
    Julia rules in this movie best acting ever.
  17. GregW
    Dec 3, 2004
    8
    Searing, vicious and none too nice. But refreshing that things aren't as easily resolved with one conversation, or with one discretion. Performances are all excellent here, with Owen a real standout as the creepiest guy you'll ever sympathize with in the movies.
  18. SteveS
    Dec 3, 2004
    0
    I just can't believe the rating that was given for this movie. Usually I agree with metacritic....but this was literally one of the worst movies I've ever seen. It is utterly boring all the way through and leaves you wondering when something is going to happen. When something does actually come around and happen, its the same as what just happened 10 minutes before in the movie. I just can't believe the rating that was given for this movie. Usually I agree with metacritic....but this was literally one of the worst movies I've ever seen. It is utterly boring all the way through and leaves you wondering when something is going to happen. When something does actually come around and happen, its the same as what just happened 10 minutes before in the movie. I am spellbounded by the other reviews on this movie. It was just plain terrible....terrible. Expand
  19. [Anonymous]
    Dec 5, 2004
    1
    Terrible movie....I dont understand why the reviews are so bad. Has no real plot, just a bunch of people cheating on their boyfriends and girlfriends. The artistic value of the movie in no way makes up for how boring it is.
  20. Josh
    Dec 6, 2004
    10
    Just because the movie is real doesn't mean its bad. This is possibily the most true to life movie I've ever seen. It seems to only have 0-1 or 8-10, with no ratings in between; that should tell you something.
  21. ClintM
    Dec 6, 2004
    8
    This is definitely a *love it or hate it* movie. Personally, I loved it. The main reason being that I love to see those *Oscar-Watch* performances/movies that have potential for gold! And I wasn't let down at all by the refreshing turns by any of the four main characters. Clive Owen IS the standout as the reviews have mentioned. But that's not to discredit any of the other This is definitely a *love it or hate it* movie. Personally, I loved it. The main reason being that I love to see those *Oscar-Watch* performances/movies that have potential for gold! And I wasn't let down at all by the refreshing turns by any of the four main characters. Clive Owen IS the standout as the reviews have mentioned. But that's not to discredit any of the other three. The only thing I can say negative is that the way the story is told is very *jumpy*; it moves from present time to past memories to future relationships. So if you're not too quick or bright you may have a little challenge keeping on top. But truly the actors and the story were real and alive. And I expect to CLOSER to see some form of Gold next year! Expand
  22. Rick
    Dec 6, 2004
    5
    Slooooooooooooow going. You feel guilty finding it boring until you finally realize that it IS boring. Everyone is quite attractive and seems to take it all very seriously though so it is relatively painless. Don't go short of sleep though or you might not make it.
  23. ChuckS.
    Dec 9, 2004
    10
    Outstanding. Real. Anyone wanting happy endings or 'everything explained' should stick to Disney. This is what real life is like. Deal with it.
  24. EricM
    Dec 14, 2005
    9
    I can understand where moviegoers looking for an escape may be turned off by this movie. However, for those of us whether we are sentimentalists, cynics, heartbreakers or heartbroken this movie speaks to you. In an age where knowing people exists via chatrooms and notions of true love are scoffed at by those who have actually loved, this movie encapsulates what many of us go through. For I can understand where moviegoers looking for an escape may be turned off by this movie. However, for those of us whether we are sentimentalists, cynics, heartbreakers or heartbroken this movie speaks to you. In an age where knowing people exists via chatrooms and notions of true love are scoffed at by those who have actually loved, this movie encapsulates what many of us go through. For those who have loved, who cant love, or who want to.....check this out. Expand
  25. MiaG.
    Jan 23, 2005
    8
    One of the most painful films to sit through. You cannot really identify with a character as they're all so cold. You can't cry. Instead you end up with this heavy weight in your chest for the rest of the day.
  26. DocA.
    Jan 29, 2005
    0
    People learn about sex from the movies and Closer is sex ed from hell. I say this as a nationally recognized sex therapist. It comes close to being an exposé of male sexual obsessions and insecurities but turns out to be endorsing them. Men really do have to prove how virile they are, the test being to outdo other men at satisfying women who are so unpredictable and untrustworthy People learn about sex from the movies and Closer is sex ed from hell. I say this as a nationally recognized sex therapist. It comes close to being an exposé of male sexual obsessions and insecurities but turns out to be endorsing them. Men really do have to prove how virile they are, the test being to outdo other men at satisfying women who are so unpredictable and untrustworthy that even after four anniversaries a woman may not reveal her real name. These are women who have no need for romance and who passively go with whomever meets their erotic needs. Sex is not for sissies. The writer has no idea what sex is about or what really goes on in heterosexual relationships. No one has commented on the subtext, that straight men are gay underneath. Both women are essentially irrelevant, only vessels through with the men bond and compete, beginning with Jude Law Expand
  27. DarranL.
    Jan 29, 2005
    2
    A drab dreary film in need of a spark for the four talented actors to work with. One hour and forty minutes of my life that i wont get back.
  28. MackeJ
    Feb 16, 2005
    8
    Excellent film that gets better and better even after the cinema closes for the night and you get more time to think it through. A terrible exhibition of human behavior only because it is so true. The scenes in the end brings it up from a weak 8 almost to a 9.
  29. MistyS.
    Feb 16, 2005
    9
    Emotionally charging, out of breath, depressing sort of a film. Natalie Portman and Clive Owen's best work to date (and Croupier). Only quirk is that there are a few actors that would have fit Anna's (Roberts) part better.
  30. MichaelH.
    Feb 28, 2005
    9
    I fail to see why this movie has engendered such controversy among reviewers here...so what if the characters are not likeable? The acting is great, Julia Roberts is really not bad at all and great to look at, the other actors do a terrific job, the dialogue is mostly very fresh and refreshing, the plot is difficult to predict yet is not just an intellectual game... Not a perfect movie, I fail to see why this movie has engendered such controversy among reviewers here...so what if the characters are not likeable? The acting is great, Julia Roberts is really not bad at all and great to look at, the other actors do a terrific job, the dialogue is mostly very fresh and refreshing, the plot is difficult to predict yet is not just an intellectual game... Not a perfect movie, maybe not a masterpiece but a very engaging piece of work. Are we, I assume, Americans, so puritanical even in the "liberal" precincts of the art movie going public, that we cannot stand to look at the uglier side of life even if it is draped in such visual beauty? Expand
  31. billym.
    Apr 23, 2005
    6
    This movie would be a prime time movie to pick up chicks with, but is really somewhat boring if there are no chicks around. Now, please be aware that you should be prepared to see some extremely hot shots of Natalie Portman as a stripper, and I would personally say that this would be worth the price of a rental. Clive Owen is awesome, and Portman is also quite entertaining, though Jude This movie would be a prime time movie to pick up chicks with, but is really somewhat boring if there are no chicks around. Now, please be aware that you should be prepared to see some extremely hot shots of Natalie Portman as a stripper, and I would personally say that this would be worth the price of a rental. Clive Owen is awesome, and Portman is also quite entertaining, though Jude and Julia aren't the worst. Also there is a cool Simths song, How Soon Is Now? somewhere alonh the line as well. Expand
  32. MichaelS
    Apr 28, 2005
    9
    Unusual and unexpected...I enjoyed it completely...I find it hard to believe some found it "pornographic"... Certainly not for the kiddies, but pornographic??? Lighten up, ya prudes!!! Great film.
  33. ColbyC.
    Jun 29, 2005
    10
    This is proof that a movie doesn't need to make you feel good to be effect. Its purpose is to make you loathe these people, and hope that you don't become like them. It exposes their weaknesses (smoking as a metaphor here). Films this powerful are very rare, and performances like Clive Owen's do not come often, and should be embraced and praised when they do. My favorite This is proof that a movie doesn't need to make you feel good to be effect. Its purpose is to make you loathe these people, and hope that you don't become like them. It exposes their weaknesses (smoking as a metaphor here). Films this powerful are very rare, and performances like Clive Owen's do not come often, and should be embraced and praised when they do. My favorite film of last year. Expand
  34. BrentU.
    Mar 25, 2006
    9
    This is definitely a movie that will be either loved or hated. The acting is really outstanding, not hollywood cliche, but powerful and gritty with so much substance that it is easy to relate to each character as they develop through the film. The story contains an overwhelming amount of raw emotion and honesty, and unfortunately I think this turns alot of viewers away, but the reality of This is definitely a movie that will be either loved or hated. The acting is really outstanding, not hollywood cliche, but powerful and gritty with so much substance that it is easy to relate to each character as they develop through the film. The story contains an overwhelming amount of raw emotion and honesty, and unfortunately I think this turns alot of viewers away, but the reality of the story is what I really appreciate about this film. If you have ever known love and heartache, this is a must see. Expand
  35. BarbieL.
    May 22, 2006
    7
    Problematically, Closer feels exactly like a play. Then in the credits I had my suspicions confirmed. The 4-person cast, ostentatious time lapses,and perpetually heady dialogue make a great play but a mediocre film. If only those like the paralleled opening and closing sequences occured more frequently, Closer could truely be called a film.
  36. JoelT.
    Nov 27, 2007
    0
    Insufferably pretentious plot, insufferably contrived dialogue, insufferably self-important film. In short: insufferable. A hollow and disappointing offering from Nichols. And Natalie Portman may be purty, but she's a soulless phony. I don't think that piece of driftwood could act her way out of a paper bag if it had a hole cut it in. Don't get what all the fuss is about Insufferably pretentious plot, insufferably contrived dialogue, insufferably self-important film. In short: insufferable. A hollow and disappointing offering from Nichols. And Natalie Portman may be purty, but she's a soulless phony. I don't think that piece of driftwood could act her way out of a paper bag if it had a hole cut it in. Don't get what all the fuss is about over her performance. Expand
  37. Abbyl
    Jun 28, 2007
    7
    Closer was a surprising twist on love. Those who claim it is 'the worst' movie they have ever seen, have obviously never viewed the movies Norbit and Epic Movie. The characters were involved, the only disappointing part was that this movie was borderline pornography, not in the visual sense.
  38. IgnatK.
    Sep 14, 2007
    10
    One of the very few movies showing true relations - with uniquely truthful direct speech between the characters, and amazing music selection!
  39. adant.
    Dec 17, 2005
    10
    One of the best movies I have ever seen.
  40. 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 ofThis 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. Expand
  41. Aug 17, 2012
    7
    I think this movie is not too bad, and I guess there is no joy in this movie but overall the cast in this movie is very good in the act it. This movie is stated about the honesty
  42. Jun 25, 2014
    8
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. Closer is a movie about fear and maturity. It is about lonely people seeking lovers capable of fulfilling themselves and saving them in a certain way. People looking for strangers to entertain them in a childish attempt to find their own happiness. And they cover their fears with lies until the very end of the movie.

    Dan lies to Alice for a year not telling her that he is dating Anna. Anna hides her feelings for Dan from Larry and Alice lies about his real identity to everyone the whole movie (except in the scene in which Larry asks her real name in the strip club, because she knew he was not going to believe it anyway).

    Ironically, the only character that always tells the truth is Larry, what does not redeem him from his rudeness against people. Attitude which equals him to the others in the maturity level.

    Each of the four characters idealize people, fall in love and start relationships when they are actually not ready for them. They never try to figure out why the relationships are not working, they simply jump to another crush when they are bored or face the other person imperfections, showing immaturity to deal with problems. Dan falls in love with the beautiful red-haired foreigner and then suddenly goes after the pretty photographer in a demonstration of unstable emotions.

    The movie is full of smart dialogues and outstanding quotes. Most of them performed by the characters of Portman and Owen, which received some nominations and won a few awards for their supporting roles. I guess Alice most memorable quote defines the movie accurately. In the strip scene she says to Larry "Lying is the most fun a girl can have without taking her clothes off - but it's better if you do." And this is what the movie brings us: an intricate and fascinating plot of individuals living a world of lies to fill their empty lives with fleeting pleasures. The director allows us viewers to be closer enough so we can see the dynamics of this relationships that reflect perfectly well the complex nature of our interactions in the world as human beings and the masks we use to hide ourselves and live as strangers.
    Expand
  43. Apr 29, 2015
    10
    one of the best movies I've seen, visually stunning and great acting.Portmans performance was brilliant, and because she played the most interesting character. Roberts character was also interesting and she played her self well in this role.
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. 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.
  2. Determined to be faithful to the strong, often shocking language and in-your-face drama in Marber's mannered writing, Nichols and his actors find no way to lift Closer into a realm that enlightens.
  3. 88
    Mike Nichols' haunting, hypnotic Closer vibrates with eroticism, bruising laughs and dynamite performances from four attractive actors doing decidedly unattractive things.