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
Watch On
  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.
User Score
5.9

Mixed or average reviews- based on 163 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 26 out of 64
  2. Negative: 13 out of 64
  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.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 negativeThis 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 viewExtremely 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 »