Daddy Longlegs


Generally favorable reviews - based on 15 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 14 out of 15
  2. Negative: 0 out of 15

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Critic Reviews

  1. I don't know if what the Safdies endured growing up was akin to what audiences experience in Daddy Longlegs. But I'm very glad they survived to make a very good film about it.
  2. At its best, this beautiful, off-the-cuff comedy-drama recalls John Cassavetes' shaggiest, most honest work.
  3. Reviewed by: Bob Mondello
    The Safdies filmed with handheld cameras, an obvious affection for New York and its denizens, and a script that includes so much structured improvisation that it's hard to imagine any of the dialogue was actually written down. Not surprisingly, the result is a character study with an almost documentary feel to it.
  4. 80
    He (Lenny) is completely appalling, and also completely himself, a kind of mad, disturbing integrity that is both matched and mitigated by the honesty of this lovely, hair-raising film.
  5. The real treasure, however, is Bronstein, whose charismatically loopy, caffeinated performance carries an air of suspense: Can he keep his kids out of harm’s way? Will his clownish antics suddenly turn toxic? Is it simply a matter of when?
  6. 80
    A funny, fantastic, genuinely alarming quasi-autobiographical cheapster by twentysomething New York brothers Josh and Benny Safdie.
  7. Daddy Longlegs is a discovery destined for year-end top ten critics lists and comparisons to classics like Vittorio De Sica's "Bicycle Thieves" are expected. Hopefully, Daddy Longlegs will also introduce the Safdie brothers to the larger audiences they deserve.
  8. 80
    Ronald Bronstein, who wrote and directed the disquieting indie Frownland, steps in front of the cameras for this similarly lo-fi drama, and his loose-limbed performance as the brash, irresponsible father of two young boys establishes him as a genuine triple threat.
  9. 75
    Takes a little while to find its way but becomes steadily more compelling as Lenny's character and considerable issues come into focus.
  10. The film's grungy, ultra-low-budget look, thanks to the Safdie's handheld camera, is just right for catching the crummy, hardscrabble, rat-infested milieu.
  11. 75
    Bronstein's performance is crucial. It's difficult to make a manic character plausible, but he does.
  12. 63
    Has a certain dark charm if you can put up with very jittery camera work and editing.
  13. 63
    Any normal mother or father, seeing how the movie’s protagonist, Lenny, ostensibly supervises his two sons (Sage and Frey Ranaldo), is likely to suffer cardiac arrest.
  14. Like other so-called "mumblecore" movies, including Bronstein's own "Frownland," this is an unnervingly intimate glimpse of dysfunction, with a shaky-cam aesthetic and seemingly improvised dialogue.
  15. A disconcertingly jumpy tale of breathtakingly crummy parenting, the windblown movie dares a tolerant audience not to call Child Services.

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