Metascore
46

Mixed or average reviews - based on 41 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 19 out of 41
  2. Negative: 9 out of 41
  1. Reviewed by: Pete Hammond
    Dec 20, 2011
    90
    It's an emotional powerhouse of a film, an unforgettable and rewarding motion picture experience.
  2. Reviewed by: James Berardinelli
    Dec 22, 2011
    88
    Director Stephen Daldry has fashioned an emotionally powerful cinematic testimony about that horrific late summer day.
  3. Reviewed by: Todd McCarthy
    Dec 18, 2011
    80
    Best of all, von Sydow is absolutely wonderful, with the great veteran actor clearly relishing this very unusual role as he darts, skulks and, in a stealthy way, mugs across town. Without saying a thing, he dominates the middle part of the movie.
  4. Reviewed by: Wesley Morris
    Jan 19, 2012
    75
    So all the handsome shots that turn the city into a toyland and all the superb editing and vibrant art direction - all the formal tricks Daldry uses to whip you up and work you over - risk being too much. After 45 minutes, it can feel like junk on a sundae. But the movie has a human coup.
  5. Reviewed by: Carrie Rickey
    Jan 19, 2012
    75
    In supporting roles, Bullock and Hanks deliver performances that are low-key and perfectly scaled. Viola Davis and Jeffrey Wright are, likewise, excellent as a couple Oskar meets on his reconnaissance expedition.
  6. Reviewed by: Bill Goodykoontz
    Jan 18, 2012
    70
    Luckily, Horn is so good -- as is Max von Sydow, in a wordless role -- that the film resonates in spite of the tear-jerking strings Daldry pulls.
  7. 70
    But the question hangs: Does this artificial, three-hankie scenario justify its 9/11 appropriations? Dry your eyes and decide for yourself.
  8. Reviewed by: Betsy Sharkey
    Dec 26, 2011
    70
    Director Stephen Daldry has taken great care in looking at it through the eyes of a precocious New York City boy in a film filled with both sentiment and substance.
  9. Reviewed by: Shawn Levy
    Jan 19, 2012
    67
    The quality of the craft at the best moments of the film is undeniable. But it depends, finally, to how well you can embrace a young man named Horn -- a terrific gamble for a film and a subject of such size.
  10. Reviewed by: Kimberley Jones
    Jan 19, 2012
    67
    As a portrait of what happens to a family when its glue disappears, Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close wrung a bucket of tears out of me.
  11. Reviewed by: Peter Rainer
    Dec 26, 2011
    67
    Daldry and his screenwriter Eric Roth make the mistake of showing bodies falling from the Twin Towers – it's a mistake because its graphic power seems more exploitative than cathartic – but they otherwise thankfully refrain from pulling out all the stops.
  12. Reviewed by: Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Dec 20, 2011
    67
    A polarizing load of quirkiness in Extremely Loud gunks up (at least for this hometown mourner; your results may vary) what is at heart a piercing story.
  13. Reviewed by: Mike Scott
    Jan 20, 2012
    63
    All along, though, I was struck by an even stronger feeling, that I was sitting in on somebody else's therapy session. That's not a comfortable feeling -- and that makes Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close considerably less rewarding than it should be.
  14. Reviewed by: Lawrence Toppman
    Jan 19, 2012
    63
    He (Horn) gets so deeply into the whirling mind of Oskar Schell, dominating every scene he's in – which is almost every scene, period – that he lifts the movie out of the realm of "Forrest Gump"-like emotional manipulation.
  15. Reviewed by: Roger Ebert
    Jan 18, 2012
    63
    No movie has ever been able to provide a catharsis for the Holocaust, and I suspect none will ever be able to provide one for 9/11. Such subjects overwhelm art.
  16. Reviewed by: Peter Travers
    Dec 29, 2011
    63
    Solidly crafted, impeccably acted and self-important in the way that Oscar loves, Extremely Loud is also incredibly close to exploitation.
  17. Reviewed by: Rick Groen
    Dec 26, 2011
    63
    Yet these are precisely the sort of pictures that divide audiences over a central question: Are those strings being honestly played or just shamefully pulled? Of course, the answer determines whether you feel moved or merely manipulated.
  18. Reviewed by: Claudia Puig
    Dec 22, 2011
    63
    In Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close, director Stephen Daldry must walk a tricky line between poignancy and pathos. He occasionally slips into maudlin turf.
  19. Reviewed by: Rex Reed
    Dec 20, 2011
    63
    Certainly not a bad movie, but a disappointing one. It knocks itself out trying to break your heart, but it's too starched and blow-dried for its own good. Maybe if it had manipulated me less, it would have moved me more.
  20. Reviewed by: Mary Pols
    Dec 22, 2011
    60
    Dodging the twin minefields of preciousness and an exploitative 9/11 premise, Horn races away with the movie and makes it believably, genuinely sad.
  21. Reviewed by: Joshua Rothkopf
    Dec 20, 2011
    60
    We might have all felt like lost children for a while, but ten years later, the innocence is shameless.
  22. Reviewed by: Peter Debruge
    Dec 18, 2011
    60
    With its re-enactments of that fateful day, Extremely Loud plays a bit too much like one of those perfectly lit, heart-tugging segments TV networks air during the Olympics. It hardly matters that Horn manages to give such a naturalistic, unmannered performance as the young Oskar when everything around him has been so deliberately orchestrated to provoke a specific reaction.
  23. Reviewed by: J.R. Jones
    Jan 21, 2012
    50
    This precious story line, adapted from a novel by Jonathan Safran Foer, keeps shriveling up against the backdrop of a traumatized city; only gaunt Max von Sydow, as a mute old man who accompanies the young hero on his rounds, supplies the grave authority the premise demands.
  24. Reviewed by: Joe Williams
    Jan 20, 2012
    50
    Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close is supposed to promote healing, but as they say in New York: close, but no cigar.
  25. Reviewed by: Mick LaSalle
    Jan 19, 2012
    50
    It's a far better thing to remember Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close than to watch it. Looking back, much of what is irritating, precious and tiresome about the movie recedes and drops away, while all the movie's virtues, which are considerable, rise to consciousness. There are good things here - just be prepared to blast for them.
  26. Reviewed by: Steve Persall
    Jan 19, 2012
    50
    The terror of Sept. 11 feels like little more than a dramatic hook, an easy way to make audiences cry. Oskar and the event defining him deserve better.
  27. Reviewed by: Nick Pinkerton
    Dec 20, 2011
    50
    Such an abundance of "epiphanies," one after another, amount to a tactical assault on viewer sentiments. The deluge of tears is Daldry's idea of pathos, but to these eyes, it's Oscar-trolling 9/11 kitsch.
  28. Reviewed by: Stephanie Zacharek
    Dec 26, 2011
    45
    The only bright spot in Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close is Max von Sydow, as a mysterious, and mysteriously mute.
  29. Reviewed by: Angie Errigo
    Feb 13, 2012
    40
    It's just too tempting to dismiss it as extremely long and incredibly disappointing. It's challenging, divisive and has moments of beauty but leaves you cold.
  30. Reviewed by: David Denby
    Jan 9, 2012
    40
    Much of what Oskar says in the book is amusingly beside the point. Onscreen, however, the sound of a hyper-articulate boy talking semi-nonsense becomes very hard to take.
  31. Reviewed by: Manohla Dargis
    Dec 22, 2011
    40
    Yes, you may cry, but when tears are milked as they are here, the truer response should be rage.
  32. Reviewed by: Joe Neumaier
    Dec 22, 2011
    40
    The result is that, as with Hanks' performance, what's missing - subtlety, truth, an earned sense of rebirth – is stronger than what's here. Despite all the connections in Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close, it never connects to us the way we need it to.
  33. Reviewed by: Michael Phillips
    Jan 19, 2012
    38
    If actors this good cannot overcome their material, then we can only say: Tom Hanks, Sandra Bullock … Max von Sydow, Zoe Caldwell, Viola Davis, Jeffrey Wright, John Goodman… thanks for your honest efforts in the service of a fundamentally dishonest weepie.
  34. Reviewed by: Eric Kohn
    Dec 26, 2011
    33
    If "Extremely Loud" came out in the weeks or months following 9/11, more audiences (and critics) might find an excuse to appreciate the way its soul-searching protagonist works through his grief. Ten years later, his struggle actually feels outrageously old-fashioned.
  35. Reviewed by: Andrew O'Hehir
    Dec 26, 2011
    30
    Renders Jonathan Safran Foer's best-selling 2005 novel into unconvincing Hollywood mush.
  36. Reviewed by: Ann Hornaday
    Jan 19, 2012
    25
    There's a fine line between precocious and insufferable, and it's a line continually crossed by Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close.
  37. Reviewed by: Rene Rodriguez
    Jan 19, 2012
    25
    You need lots of gifted people chasing after the same bad idea to make a movie as colossally misguided as Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close.
  38. Reviewed by: Lou Lumenick
    Dec 23, 2011
    25
    About as artistically profound as those framed 3-D photos of the Twin Towers emblazoned with "Never Forget'' that are still for sale in Times Square a decade after 9/11.
  39. Reviewed by: R. Kurt Osenlund
    Dec 22, 2011
    25
    This film buries its soul beneath its own pretentious rubble, and the youthful, labyrinthine mind in which it places viewers feels less like an offbeat vehicle for healing than it does a kaleidoscopic prison.
  40. Reviewed by: Joe Morgenstern
    Dec 22, 2011
    10
    The production's penchant for contrivance is insufferable - not a single spontaneous moment from start to finish - and the boy is so precocious you want to strangle him. It's surely not the fault of Thomas Horn, the remarkable young man who plays him.
  41. Reviewed by: Scott Tobias
    Dec 22, 2011
    0
    It will always be "too soon" for Extremely Loud And Incredibly Close, which processes the immense grief of a city and a family through a conceit so nauseatingly precious that it's somehow both too literary and too sentimental, cloying yet aestheticized within an inch of its life.
User Score
5.8

Mixed or average reviews- based on 154 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 34 out of 63
  2. Negative: 12 out of 63
  1. Dec 26, 2011
    2
    As somebody whose son died on 9/11, I found this film to be both exploitive and inaccurate. It was forced and poorly done. A disappointment. And boy is Sandra Bullock getting old. Full Review »
  2. Apr 15, 2012
    10
    This is the most touching movie i have ever seen. It's hard to find a more moving film than this. I simply do not understand all the negative reviews about this. This is definitely a must see! Full Review »
  3. Feb 27, 2012
    8
    Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close is the most underrated film of the year. Although the topic is a little bit repeated, the point of view that shows is new: the perspective of a boy in the 9/11. The plot of the film is not very interesting and also predictable.
    Definitely Thomas Horn performance increases the value of this film. The character of Oskar is heartbreaking; he is boy trying to turn the senseless in sense. Being completely rational, everybody and everything it is turn into a number of a big equation that needs to be solved. But sometimes Oskar forgets that he is also a human being, and for us is aloud to make mistakes. The scene that represents best the whole character is the one that Oskar start running and shouting, but never stops playing his tambourine. The performance of Max Von Sydow is also remarkable, because he is trying to make changes in his life and in the life of the boy, but he is trap by a Yes/No sign in his hand, a pencil and a notebook. The scene that explains all this is when Oskar is showing him the recording of his father, he begins to despair, but what he writes is not enough to show it well.
    The contrast between a boy who knows little and what know a lot against a old man who knows a lot and what to know little is priceless.
    Full Review »