Metascore
71

Generally favorable reviews - based on 32 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 24 out of 32
  2. Negative: 1 out of 32
  1. Reviewed by: A.O. Scott
    Aug 22, 2013
    100
    Drinking Buddies, Joe Swanberg’s nimble, knowing and altogether excellent new film, refuses to dance to the usual tune.
  2. Reviewed by: Zachary Wigon
    Aug 20, 2013
    100
    With dexterity and care, Swanberg illuminates our muddled perceptions of our own relationships. He fixates on the minutiae of hanging out, the stuff of little loves and lies, the feints and thrusts we make in sorting matters of head and heart.
  3. Reviewed by: Eric Kohn
    Apr 23, 2013
    91
    Swanberg once again shows a capacity for capturing small moments that exist outside the direction of the plot. At the same time, the effective fragments of "Drinking Buddies" take his oeuvre in a new direction by accumulating into a reworking big picture.
  4. Reviewed by: Claudia Puig
    Aug 29, 2013
    88
    It's a meandering film that prompts the viewer to anticipate characters' actions. Fortunately, they don't take predictable paths.
  5. Reviewed by: Richard Roeper
    Aug 22, 2013
    88
    Writer-director-editor Swanberg should actually get first billing, as it’s his touch that makes Drinking Buddies something special.
  6. Reviewed by: Owen Gleiberman
    Aug 21, 2013
    83
    The actors all blend terrifically, making this the film equivalent of great hang time.
  7. Reviewed by: William Goss
    Apr 23, 2013
    82
    In a film about how hard it is to know what you want, and then to express it, Swanberg gets to the heart of the matters of the heart with disarming doses of both charm and wisdom.
  8. Reviewed by: Stephen Kelly
    Nov 3, 2013
    80
    Best of all, though, is the uneasy ring of truth, which will definitely still be with you the morning after.
  9. Reviewed by: Catherine Bray
    Oct 29, 2013
    80
    It can be very funny, but there’s a bittersweet streak underpinning even the lightest moments.
  10. Reviewed by: Bill Goodykoontz
    Sep 5, 2013
    80
    What makes Drinking Buddies so compelling is that feeling that these are real people, behaving in real ways.
  11. Reviewed by: Robert Abele
    Sep 4, 2013
    80
    Swanberg achieves an occasionally heady aura of improvisational flirtatiousness mixed with a churning will-they-or-won't-they suspense.
  12. Reviewed by: Joe Neumaier
    Aug 22, 2013
    80
    Drinking Buddies is full of relatable dilemmas, guileless moments of kindness and character-based humor.
  13. Reviewed by: Kimberley Jones
    Sep 11, 2013
    78
    Much has been made of the fact that Swanberg has cast for the first time bona fide movie stars and not just his mumblecore pals: In fact, it's the making of the movie. If you're going to build an entire film on microexpressions, then a certain innate magnetism is required. Swanberg gets it in spades from his top-shelf cast.
  14. Reviewed by: Joe Williams
    Sep 26, 2013
    75
    Here’s a toast to the cast and crew: Drinking Buddies is a three-dimensional movie that doesn’t require beer goggles.
  15. Reviewed by: Ty Burr
    Sep 12, 2013
    75
    Drinking Buddies is further evidence that Wilde has more depth and ambition than mainstream Hollywood can currently handle, and it marks Swanberg as one of the subtler talents of his generation — a deceptively casual moralist whose films observe their characters without judging them yet whose conclusions are unmistakable.
  16. 75
    Not much happens in Drinking Buddies, which, frankly, is refreshing.
  17. Reviewed by: Rene Rodriguez
    Sep 5, 2013
    75
    All the actors are strong, but Wilde is particularly good as the impetuous Kate, who doesn’t realize how incredibly selfish she has become. The actress’ great beauty could have been a distraction, but her performance is so complex and alive that she blends right into this world of ordinary, working-class people with modest aspirations who are trying to find happiness but often go about it in all the wrong ways.
  18. Reviewed by: Mick LaSalle
    Aug 29, 2013
    75
    This is a special movie. For almost 20 minutes, Drinking Buddies does almost nothing to indicate where the story is going or whether there is even going to be a story. And yet everything onscreen is interesting, because of the truth of the emotion and the specificity of detail.
  19. Reviewed by: Sara Stewart
    Aug 22, 2013
    75
    In some ways, it feels like an indie meditation on the eternal “When Harry Met Sally” question: Can men and women be just friends? Here, though, the focus is on the small, often unsaid moments that define a friendship — and a murky attraction.
  20. Reviewed by: Ben Kenigsberg
    Aug 21, 2013
    75
    The entire film unfolds in a recognizable register of ominous hesitation; the results are a bit schematic but nevertheless hit on something real.
  21. 75
    We knew Livingston, Kendrick and Johnson (“Safety Not Guaranteed”) would work in this setting. But Wilde adds to the growing repertoire she showed off in “Deadfall” and “Butter,” films no one saw but which revealed that she’s a lot more than a pretty face.
  22. Reviewed by: Cory Everett
    Apr 23, 2013
    75
    Credit Swanberg who served as both director and editor for making a film that feels loose without ever being ponderous or phony.
  23. Reviewed by: David Denby
    Sep 6, 2013
    70
    Citing Chekhov at this early time in Swanberg's career may be unfair, but an amiable movie like Drinking Buddies cried out for the revelations that a great dramatist--or even a talented screenwriter and director working together--can give us. [9 Sept. 2013, p.90]
  24. Reviewed by: Jesse Cataldo
    Aug 2, 2013
    63
    Less precise and cohesive than much of Joe Swanberg's recent work, as its small, improvisational skeleton struggles to meet the demands of the more ambitious story it's trying to tell.
  25. Reviewed by: Peter Bradshaw
    Nov 3, 2013
    60
    It's an intriguing and distinctive story, soberly told.
  26. Reviewed by: David Fear
    Aug 20, 2013
    60
    The best thing you can say about the movie is that you couldn’t accuse it of being a sellout — nor would you think it was a Joe Swanberg movie.
  27. Reviewed by: Ella Taylor
    Aug 24, 2013
    55
    If Drinking Buddies is meant to be his ticket into mainstream comedy, it feels mumblecore-ishly vague and rambling in its construction, like "Hannah Takes the Stairs" without the raffish charm.
  28. Reviewed by: Michael Phillips
    Aug 22, 2013
    50
    The skillful quartet at the center of Drinking Buddies reveals the weaknesses in the material.
  29. Reviewed by: Nathan Rabin
    Jul 26, 2013
    50
    It deserves credit for avoiding the conventions of romantic comedies and defying audience expectations, but only to a degree. Instead of hitting the expected notes and beats, Drinking Buddies instead ambles sideways. It’s headed nowhere in particular, but at least the voyage is pleasant.
  30. Reviewed by: Nick de Semlyen
    Oct 28, 2013
    40
    Flat as day-old beer.
  31. Reviewed by: Peter Debruge
    Apr 23, 2013
    40
    Relative to the major brands, the intimate, handcrafted approach should yield more flavor. Instead, Drinking Buddies offers mostly froth.
  32. Reviewed by: Odie Henderson
    Aug 23, 2013
    25
    Watching Drinking Buddies is like being the designated driver for a most uninteresting bunch of drinkers.
User Score
6.2

Generally favorable reviews- based on 70 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 8 out of 19
  2. Negative: 8 out of 19
  1. Nov 9, 2013
    1
    If your looking to absolutely waste and destroy 90 minutes of ur life please I urge u to watch "drinking buddies."

    This 2013 movie has
    If your looking to absolutely waste and destroy 90 minutes of ur life please I urge u to watch "drinking buddies."

    This 2013 movie has absolutely no point to it. It was not a comedy at all and at no point did it peak my interest for even a minute. And I now feel like a worthless loser and lesser IQ than before I watched it.

    It made me feel like a 4 year old watching Winnie the Pooh. It was terrible acting, no script at all, the plot I assume was to make u feel a raw day to day life of co workers and friends/ not sure if this is sexual tension or I really like that person/ many minutes at a time of terrible silence.

    I do feel bad for Olivia Wilde and jake Johnson because they did give it a shot and its a shame it was THIS BAD!

    The director spoiler alert: Who happens to be the writer!) should speak to his financial advisor and if he doesn't owe the mob money he should retire immediately.

    I sincerely apologize to my wife for putting her that painful hour and a half of our otherwise beautiful life.
    Full Review »
  2. Nov 24, 2013
    1
    I chose to watch this movie as other reviews described it as "very funny", and "a refreshing change of pace" However, I found it outrightI chose to watch this movie as other reviews described it as "very funny", and "a refreshing change of pace" However, I found it outright terrible. It started out well enough, and for the first half, it seemed like at any point, the plot might pick up, and go somewhere. However, that was not the case. It slowly ambled along, and by the end, you didn't feel like anything had happened. Also, it is important to note that there was nothing I found remotely funny, except perhaps the fact that a movie this bad was even bade in the first place.

    I must admit, it was a change of pace, though not what you'd expect. Most movies these days are actually interesting, using suspense, action, or humor, along with other elements to keep the audience interested. However, this one had none. Really, you could skip great portions of the movie, and not miss anything. The only reason I kept watching it was because I was expecting the plot to get more interesting, but it really never did.

    Please, don't waste 1 1/2 hours of your life on this wretched movie. It isn't funny, there are no cool action scenes, there is no suspense to keep you on the edge of your seat, and there isn't even a happy ending. It leaves you with a strange, empty feeling. The characters weren't even that likeable!
    Full Review »
  3. Nov 22, 2013
    0
    THIS WAS THE BIGEST WASTE OF MY TIME IN MY WHOLE ENTIRE LIFE. AND I DO PROCRASTINATE LIKE A LOT!!! I WANTED TO SERIOUSLY SLIT MY WRISTS. ITHIS WAS THE BIGEST WASTE OF MY TIME IN MY WHOLE ENTIRE LIFE. AND I DO PROCRASTINATE LIKE A LOT!!! I WANTED TO SERIOUSLY SLIT MY WRISTS. I CONTINUED WATCHING ONLY YO SEE IF MAYBE THIS MOVIE COULD POSSIBLY NOT TURN OUT AS BAD AS I THOUGHT IT WAS.
    I WANTED TO DIE
    I WANTED TO FALL INTO A DEEP COMA AND NEVER WAKE UP
    THE WORST TORTURE THEY SHOULD PRACTICE IN GUANTANAMO IS FORCE PEOPLE TO WATCH THIS MOVIE 24/7.
    LOVE THE ACTORS.
    HATE HATE HATE THE MOVIE
    I HAVE NEEEEVER HATED SOMETHING SO MUCH AND I HAVE BEEN RECENTLY CHEATED ON SO YOU KNOW THERES A LOT OF HATE FOR OTHER STUFF GOING AROUND HERE SO YOU KNOW.. IT IS QUITE SOMETHING FOR ME TO SAY THIS IS THE THING IN MY LIFE I HAVE HATED THE MOST EVER AND EVER AND EVER.
    I WILL HAVE NIGHTMARES OVER THIS MOVIE
    ALWAYS AND FOREVER
    I HATED IT
    IT WAS SO
    SO
    SO
    SI
    SO
    SO
    SO
    SO
    SOOOOOO BORIIIINNNNNGGGGGGGGGG
    BLLAAAAAAA
    Full Review »