Generally favorable reviews - based on 32 Critics What's this?

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Generally favorable reviews- based on 67 Ratings

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  • Starring: , , , , ,
  • Summary: Luke and Kate are co-workers at a Chicago brewery where they spend their days drinking and flirting. They're perfect for each other, except that they're both in relationships. Luke is in the midst of marriage talks with his girlfriend of six years. Kate is playing it cool with her music producer boyfriend Chris. But you know what makes the line between "friends" and "more than friends" really blurry? Beer. Collapse
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 24 out of 32
  2. Negative: 1 out of 32
  1. Reviewed by: A.O. Scott
    Aug 22, 2013
    Drinking Buddies, Joe Swanberg’s nimble, knowing and altogether excellent new film, refuses to dance to the usual tune.
  2. Reviewed by: Richard Roeper
    Aug 22, 2013
    Writer-director-editor Swanberg should actually get first billing, as it’s his touch that makes Drinking Buddies something special.
  3. Reviewed by: Catherine Bray
    Oct 29, 2013
    It can be very funny, but there’s a bittersweet streak underpinning even the lightest moments.
  4. 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.
  5. Reviewed by: Rene Rodriguez
    Sep 5, 2013
    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.
  6. Reviewed by: Peter Bradshaw
    Nov 3, 2013
    It's an intriguing and distinctive story, soberly told.
  7. Reviewed by: Odie Henderson
    Aug 23, 2013
    Watching Drinking Buddies is like being the designated driver for a most uninteresting bunch of drinkers.

See all 32 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 7 out of 18
  2. Negative: 8 out of 18
  1. Dec 9, 2013
    Plot: Luke and Kate are co-workers at a Chicago brewery, where they spend their days drinking and flirting. They’re perfect for each other, except that they’re both in relationships. Luke is in the midst of marriage talks with his girlfriend of six years, Kate is playing it cool with her music producer boyfriend Chris. But you know what makes the line between “friends” and “more than friends” really blurry? Beer. Drinking Buddies (2013)
    Now this right here, is what I call a true indie. The whole thing is stunning and marvelously done. Now this isn’t your typical romantic comedy film, this is very realistic and focused on a lot more than just two characters and love but more focused on the friendships and work. The characters are really brought to life by the fact that the whole film is improvised. No script, just a synopsis of what the movie was about and let me tell you these wonderful actors did a phenomenal job! I really felt like I was right there with them, with the laughs, camera setting’s, the emotional stuff, all of it. I almost cried at how well this film was made and produced. I highly recommend watching it, it’s realistic, cute, funny, beautiful and just a brilliant film. You also get to see the actors (Anna Kendrick, Ron LIvingston, Olivia Wilde, & Jake Johnson) in a different view, because everything that they’re saying is coming from them, not a script, them. And it’s just mind-blowing and I can’t wait too see more from Joe Swanberg. Watch this very brilliant, stunning, beautiful film. You will laugh, cry, and just fall in love with these characters and actors. Also in this film they really are getting drunk, that just shows how talented they truly are. In my opinion this is the best of 2013.


    Rated: R (profanity throughout film)

    Film Directed and Written by: Joe Swanberg
  2. Aug 31, 2013
    Solid acting from the four leads, but it sagged in a few places. It was an interesting story, the writing was solid, but I wasn't thoroughly engaged throughout. But it was still enjoyable and unique, at least. Expand
  3. Sep 11, 2013
    I had an inkling on how Drinking Buddies was going to end going in but being right didn't mean I didn't enjoy the overall experience because I did. In fact its a smart and well directed film with a fresh improvised style that makes the film performances shine so much that it ultimately didn't matter how the film ended, the ride was enough. The film follows best friends Kate (Olivia Wilde) and Luke (Jake Johnson) who work at a Chicago brewery together. When Kate and Luke introduce each other to their respective partners things start to change for these two friends even though they don't realize it is happening. Director Joe Swanberg, uses his unique filming and story telling techniques to bring new life to a story as old as time. While an unrequited love story is my Kryptonite, Drinking Buddies is the anti rom-com, rom-com as it isn't concerned with the trivial questions of who ends up with who, it's a tale of life not just for Kate and Luke but everyone. It's a story of personality, how these people interact with each other, warts and all. Joined by Anna Kendrick as Luke's partner Jill and Ron Livingston as Kate's partner Chris. Kendrick turns in yet another stand out performance as a supposedly chilled out yet secretly neurotic girl seeking more from Luke, a man with a serious commitment phobia. Livingston is an unexpected touch but an excellent choice none the less. The real highlight though is Olivia Wilde who proves her worth after a slew of bad film appearances (Cowboys and Aliens, Ultimately a film like this doesn't come along very often despite Swanberg's impressive film turnout over the last 9 years and we should embrace it for what it is, a heartfelt look at the frustrating nature of man and their ability to miss the simplest of things. While a little long it all comes down to your personal taste as the film is all about the little things, the small inconsequential moments that make up a persons life. If that's not your thing thats fine but if it is your going to love it. Expand
  4. Aug 23, 2013
    'Drinking Buddies' is a lethargic look at what happens when platonic friends tip-toe the line between friendly and flirty; that they drink is merely a device in which we're given to understand their commonplace. While the plot is essentially aimless for the first three-quarters of the movie, the actors hold your attention by slowly and gently stroking the tension, which comes to a head when Johnson's Luke helps Wilde's Gate move between Chicago apartments. Ultimately, the stars of 'Drinking Buddies' give us some fun-enough characters to hang out with for 90 minutes. The true feelings and prerogatives of the main characters are reserved but for a few meaningful moments, of which many are apparent to the audience only. Despite (and perhaps because of) the creative control the actors were given in terms of improvised dialogue, there's a lot of people not saying what they're thinking in this movie. It's that frustrating passive aggression that makes this film feel as authentic and at times as too-close-to-home hitting of any of Swanberg's films to date. Expand
  5. Nov 25, 2013
    This movie has no story. Its very long and very boring. They drink beer and that about it. Don't waist your time watching this horrible movie. It look like if a college student made a movie about his friend drinking beer. Expand
  6. Nov 9, 2013
    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.
  7. Nov 24, 2013
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. This is the worst movie I've seen during 2013. The best part is when the male lead broke his hand.

    I hanged myself after I watched this movie. If you wanna kill your husband or boyfriend, tell him to watch this movie.

See all 18 User Reviews