Metascore
52

Mixed or average reviews - based on 20 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 9 out of 20
  2. Negative: 6 out of 20
Watch On
  1. Reviewed by: Anthony Lane
    Mar 12, 2012
    80
    It is the greatest biblio-climax of any film since "Fahrenheit 451," although Truffaut's prayer was that reading might yet survive calamity and carry the torch of the civilized. Detachment snufffs out that faith; books it warns us, are the first thing to go. [19 March 2012, p.91]
  2. Reviewed by: Ella Taylor
    Mar 19, 2012
    75
    Nobody's idea of "Mr. Holland's Opus," but it winds up in a similar place, more or less.
  3. Reviewed by: Peter Travers
    Mar 15, 2012
    75
    Adrien Brody deserves superlatives for his acting in the alternately mesmerizing and maddening Detachment.
  4. Reviewed by: Owen Gleiberman
    Mar 14, 2012
    75
    When it stays in the classroom, Detachment is a scrappy testament - to the futility of even trying to reach students who are cut off from the possibilities of knowledge, and to the way that our teachers are slowly being driven nuts.
  5. Reviewed by: Robert Abele
    Mar 22, 2012
    70
    A movie you keep expecting to fizzle because of its punching-the-air gracelessness, but there's something weirdly effective about the artistic desperation, which includes inserts of chalkboard animation and to-the-camera testimonials.
  6. Reviewed by: Frank Scheck
    Mar 12, 2012
    70
    Adrien Brody, delivering his finest performance since "The Pianist," plays the central role of the disaffected Henry Barthes.
  7. Reviewed by: Andrew O'Hehir
    Mar 12, 2012
    70
    People will either love Detachment or hate it, and either way it provides powerful testimony to the unrivaled passion and undiminished craft of director Kaye, whose notoriety in the film industry is matched by his near-total invisibility to the general public.
  8. Reviewed by: Sam Adams
    Mar 14, 2012
    67
    For all its untrammeled excesses - and Kaye has proved that he'd sooner torpedo his own career than accept a little constructive trammeling - Detachment is almost forcibly moving, body-slamming its audience into submission.
  9. 63
    Ultimately, Detachment invites us to feel precisely what it warns against – detached.
User Score
7.9

Generally favorable reviews- based on 50 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 8 out of 8
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 8
  3. Negative: 0 out of 8
  1. Mar 17, 2012
    7
    Adrien Brody's performance is very good, and the movie ends up being an inspiring drama.
  2. Jul 21, 2012
    9
    Superb movie with great messages for the US education system (and the worldwide one, too) !! A must for parents, students and professionalSuperb movie with great messages for the US education system (and the worldwide one, too) !! A must for parents, students and professional teachers. Also, proof that small budget films are usually much much better than their blockbusters cousins. Full Review »
  3. Jan 12, 2013
    10
    Adrien Brody was fantastic as the frazzled teacher trying to live despite the world seemingly going mad around him. Sami Gayle was alsoAdrien Brody was fantastic as the frazzled teacher trying to live despite the world seemingly going mad around him. Sami Gayle was also impressive as Erica.
    Despite the rather depressing subject matter, the quality acting made it so believable and Henry so endearing that I have fallen in love with this film.
    Brilliant!
    Full Review »