Mixed or average reviews - based on 20 Critics What's this?

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Generally favorable reviews- based on 44 Ratings

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  • Starring: , , ,
  • Summary: Henry Barthes is a substitute teacher who conveniently avoids any emotional connections by never staying anywhere long enough to form a bond with either his students or colleagues. A lost soul grappling with a troubled past, Henry finds himself at a public school where an apathetic student body has created a frustrated, burned-out administration. Inadvertently becoming a role model to his students, while also bonding with a runaway teen who is just as lost as he is, Henry finds that he’s not alone in a life and death struggle to find beauty in a seemingly vicious and loveless world. (Tribeca Film) Expand
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 9 out of 20
  2. Negative: 6 out of 20
  1. Reviewed by: Anthony Lane
    Mar 12, 2012
    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: Peter Travers
    Mar 15, 2012
    Adrien Brody deserves superlatives for his acting in the alternately mesmerizing and maddening Detachment.
  3. Reviewed by: Robert Abele
    Mar 22, 2012
    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.
  4. Reviewed by: Alison Willmore
    Mar 15, 2012
    Comes across like the creation of a precocious student. I don't mean that to be a damning critique, though Detachment is a mesmerizing misfire -- it's just that it has the uncomplicated earnestness and hyperbolic melodrama of teenage poetry.
  5. Reviewed by: Joshua Rothkopf
    Mar 13, 2012
    The movie is one big scream, clichéd and hardly credible as an oblique call to civility.
  6. Reviewed by: Kyle Smith
    Mar 16, 2012
    [Director Kaye's] dedication to the material is admirable, but his tactic of following one dismal development with an even more depressing one comes to seem monotonous and pointless.
  7. Reviewed by: Bill Weber
    Mar 11, 2012
    Endng in risible bathos, Tony Kaye's urban high school melodrama is all about the cute teacher's crises and the girls who love him.

See all 20 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 8 out of 8
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 8
  3. Negative: 0 out of 8
  1. Jan 12, 2013
    Adrien 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.
  2. Jul 21, 2012
    Superb 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. Expand
  3. Jul 6, 2012
    La educación es una de las grandes esferas de la estructura social y siempre se relaciona con la otra base, la familia. Hoy ambas están en crisis y genera fenómenos de todo tipo. La denuncia o la simple mirada de la transformación que se vive hoy en la escuela, hace que la reflexión y el legado que se está dejando no auguren un buen futuro. Detachment es una película contundente que llega a confrontar el rol que todo espectador ejerce en esta sociedad, pasivo o activo, estudiante o padre, comprometido o no con un entorno cada vez más salvaje para las nuevas generaciones.
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  4. Jul 14, 2012
    Great cast Adrien Brody is brilliant it's nice for a change to go see a movie that makes you sit up and think about life and how every day is a challenge and effects people in different ways and how we make it from day to day with whatever problems we have its a must see movie which will hopefully give you a new out look on life. Expand
  5. Sep 26, 2012
    Adrien Brody as seen better days (in terms of picking movies)... Detachment if off the hook providing the viewer an intense story about schools nowadays and great performances but fails short in terms of directing and a script so full of pseudo-philosophy that can confuse most of the people. It´s good but hard to understand. Expand
  6. Mar 17, 2012
    Adrien Brody's performance is very good, and the movie ends up being an inspiring drama.
  7. Mar 20, 2013
    Altho the film is a nearly relentless downer, the acting is terrific. All that makes my rating so low is that an awful lot of what the characters do makes little sense since we don't know who they are or what their story is. That being said, is it worth watching? Very much so, you might even leave with a pinch of hopefulness. Collapse

See all 8 User Reviews