Mixed or average reviews - based on 37 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 8 out of 37
  2. Negative: 6 out of 37
  1. That rare animal, a dialogue-driven comedy -- and a good one at that. While one or two of its scenes may seem a tad too talky for today's low-attention spans, the script is mostly razor-sharp acerbic and sophisticated.
  2. Reviewed by: Simon Braund
    Crowe is still a master navigator of swampy territory, and any movie that can warm the heart and tickle the funny bone without selling its soul is to be cherished, warts and all.
  3. 75
    Nowhere near one of Crowe's great films (like "Almost Famous"), but it is sweet and good-hearted and has some real laughs.
  4. 75
    It's an uncommonly optimistic meditation on death and lament, befitting a filmmaker whose movies (Jerry Maguire, Singles, Say Anything), no matter their subject matter, always double as a celebration of life.
  5. 67
    There are wonders here, but there are as many things that just plain make you wonder. By the end you're too addled to be truly moved.
  6. 63
    What's sad is that Elizabethtown contains two GREAT sequences.
  7. Reviewed by: Allison Williams
    Beyond the tunes, however, Elizabethtown falls short of actual emotional resonance, and is really nothing more than a passable "Garden State" doppelgänger.
  8. Crowe likes to work with large ensembles...But he doesn't know when we've had enough, however interesting they all may be; he's like a guy who decorates a Christmas tree with so many ornaments that you can't see the foliage.
  9. 60
    Crowe's undeniable gifts -- his well-crafted individual scenes and his love for his characters -- are more evident here than his flaws.
  10. 60
    Only a truly great director can make a film of high artistic merit, filled with personality and memorable scenes, that's still a borderline disaster. (Think One From The Heart or 1941.) So the heartfelt and woefully miscalculated Elizabethtown may be the film that marks Cameron Crowe's arrival as a truly great director.
  11. Think of Elizabethtown as Cameron Crowe's rambling amateur travelogue, one from a well-liked professional filmmaker momentarily so distracted by private notes scrawled on his souvenir map that he gets lost en route to telling his story of self-renewal. This undershaped, overlong warmedy is an homage to the memory of his late father.
  12. Cameron Crowe crams at least three movies' worth of plotlines into Elizabethtown, and gives short shrift to all of them.
  13. Tedious humor and sentimentality bury what could have been a pretty good road picture.
  14. 50
    The film's problems lie with the lack of spark between a wired Dunst and a bland Bloom, and the meltdown of Drew's mother (Susan Sarandon), who grieves by tap-dancing.
  15. An unmitigated, inexplicable, unforgivable flop.
  16. That gift doesn't desert him [Crowe] in Elizabethtown, but he clutters his movie with plot elements that confuse the focus, the central character and, ultimately, I suspect, Crowe himself.
  17. 50
    This lighthearted meditation on life, death, love and timing contains some genuinely lovely scenes, but they're buried in a shapeless jumble of cutesy-pie vignettes.
  18. Reviewed by: Claudia Puig
    Though it's no fiasco -- there's nothing mythic about its disjointed story -- it is a failure.
  19. 50
    Audiences of a certain hipster disposition, in fact, will see Elizabethtown and pine for Zach Braff's ''Garden State," the movie to which Elizabethtown bears an unfortunate and inferior resemblance.
  20. It may not be much of a movie, but it's a terrific concert.
  21. 50
    Where the earlier flick (Garden State), in its smallness, felt like an honest representation of writer-director-star Zach Braff's struggles with notions of home, Crowe's is a hodgepodge of great ideas and moods in search of a plot to enrich.
  22. It's a mess, absolutely, more a collage than a narrative.
  23. A mess of a movie -- but a warm, friendly mess that's hard not to like, even when it tests your patience.
  24. Elizabethtown is a long, lurching trip to nowhere in particular, but Elizabethtown is a place where you wouldn't mind spending some more time, though perhaps under different circumstances.
  25. Reviewed by: David Edelstein
    For all sort of reasons, I was disappointed that there is barely anything of Bruce McGill as the family's hearty swindler. And there is too much of Sarandon, whose big scene--a speech at her late husband's memorial service, complete with jokes and a tap dance--is the movie's most egregious misfire.
  26. Reviewed by: Leslie Felperin
    Although rich in screwball silliness and sharp one-liners, film lacks the narrative drive one finds in the classic comedies of Preston Sturges, Frank Capra and Billy Wilder, whom Crowe always seems to try to emulate.
  27. 40
    The biggest problem with Elizabethtown isn't in its shopworn theme, but that it's perhaps the first of Crowe's movies (though "Jerry Maguire"comes very close) that really feels forced.
  28. 40
    When she's (Dunst) off the screen, Elizabethtown goes dark and broody, stranding us with the morose Bloom during a third-act road trip that goes everywhere and nowhere at once.
  29. 40
    Elizabethtown is a sprawl, perhaps the victim of a kind of ADD of the heart.
  30. 40
    Crowe is attempting a modern screwball comedy--the kind of thing that, sixty years ago, Howard Hawks, directing Gary Cooper and Barbara Stanwyck, would have turned into romantic farce--but he has scaled the movie as an epic and turned his gabby heroine into a fount of New Age wisdom.
  31. 40
    An especially lame variation on Crowe's feel-good formula.
  32. Crowe was going for something magical in all this, but the film is so affected and mannered, so preciously in love with itself, that it's painful to watch. Scenes go on and on, and when you think the movie's over, it goes on and on some more.
  33. 38
    Rambling, schmaltzy romantic comedy.
  34. A saga of static set pieces and strenuously clever notions, this is a fiasco of a film if ever there was one.
  35. Reviewed by: Michael Phillips
    So many romantic comedies come and go without making the slightest impression. Elizabethtown is not one of them; I found it galling.
  36. It's obvious now that the cinematic junk routinely released every Friday can be safely categorized as a mere failure. But this alleged comedy is a whole other species entirely. This is a bona fide, absolute, unmitigated fiasco.
  37. It's hard to believe the creative mind that gave us "Almost Famous," "Jerry Maguire," "Say Anything" and "Fast Times at Ridgemont High" looked up with satisfaction after typing 117 pages of this.
User Score

Mixed or average reviews- based on 107 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 37 out of 73
  2. Negative: 31 out of 73
  1. Jan 27, 2013
    This movie is pretty good. The one thing that you have to know before you watch this movie is that if you describe it in one word that word would be: cute. This movie in every sense of the word is cute. Filled with chuckle worthy moments good acting and yeah I'll admit it some pretty hokey moments. It's not a movie for everyone but it certainly is enjoyable. It really doesn't deserve a lot of the criticism it has gotten. The only scary part is seeing Paula Dean dance to Freebird. Full Review »
  2. Dec 8, 2012
    A short movie, it didn't bring me to any mood at all.
    After the movie, I felt like I just wasted an hour and a half of my life.
    I learned
    something. But still, a very typical movie. Full Review »
  3. Nov 11, 2011
    Elizabethtown is a great and hilarious comedy with many reflections of how to appreciate life and understand what's really important in life. This movie tries to bring an interesting message. To me Cameron Crowe succeeded brilliantly. I don't understand all of the criticism towards the movie because I believe that the people and critics who disliked this movie simply weren't open about the main concept and somewhat skeptical. I hear many people saying that Elizabethtown is the worst copy of Garden state. Indeed I believe that it's totally the opposite thing because I believe that Elizabethtown is far superior. This movie has really precious moments.It's easy to sympathize with the leading character. Bloom,Dunst and Sarandon gave truly great performances.Orlando Bloom is for the first time rightly cast and I must say I found him really good.Kirsten Dunst was perfect and her performance is not always easy as it would seem. Susan Sarandon was really amazing and is the protagonist of a really funny but nevertheless moving sort of monologue that is the point of the entire movie. Cameron Crowe shows once again that he's a very original director. Simply one of the best of our generation. To enjoy Elizabethtown you have to abandon every last easy judgment. This movie is one of the most original in the recent years.It's not a romantic comedy as it was sold.It's about life,hope,love and how to deal with the difficulties of life.And how sometimes you need to search of your own origins to build a new life.And I was moved by that concept. Full Review »