Greenberg

User Score
5.3

Mixed or average reviews- based on 136 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 69 out of 136
  2. Negative: 48 out of 136
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  1. Apr 3, 2011
    10
    Greenberg is a brutally honest and raw look at what is is like to wake up and be 40 and realize your life is not what you expected and you aren't who you thought you would be. Ben Stiller is excellent and shows he can be more than a one trick pony. This is first time I have actually forgotten Ben was Ben in a role. He is troubled frustrated, arrogant and abrasive, acting out andGreenberg is a brutally honest and raw look at what is is like to wake up and be 40 and realize your life is not what you expected and you aren't who you thought you would be. Ben Stiller is excellent and shows he can be more than a one trick pony. This is first time I have actually forgotten Ben was Ben in a role. He is troubled frustrated, arrogant and abrasive, acting out and inappropriate. You have to wonder why Florence would find him attractive and keep coming back for more. Brilliantly written and shot, it showcases life in LA as only one who actually lives here knows it. Jennifer Jason Leigh produced the film and as in past collaborations with Noah Baumbach show they are auteurs of creating emotional train wrecks that make us uncomfortable but can't stop watching Expand
  2. Jan 27, 2011
    7
    It doesn't surprise me that, after-the-fact, I found out that this movie was directed by Noah Baumbach. The direction is unique, painfully slow at times (intentionally) and physically makes me squirm in my chair while watching because the uncomfortable things happening to the characters in this movie are entirely too real. Mid-life crisis is an understatement here. A man so arrogantIt doesn't surprise me that, after-the-fact, I found out that this movie was directed by Noah Baumbach. The direction is unique, painfully slow at times (intentionally) and physically makes me squirm in my chair while watching because the uncomfortable things happening to the characters in this movie are entirely too real. Mid-life crisis is an understatement here. A man so arrogant that he believes he's better and deserving of so much more than he's received in life, which has turned to pure bitterness. At the same time, that bitterness is tempered with sporatic episodes of maturity and responsibility. That dichotomy results in very schizophrenic behavior toward the friends and family he loves. At times he's defensive of the mistakes he's made that brought him to the misery he is currently experiencing, while he also calms down and realizes that he shouldn't blame and that he, in fact, is causing his own misery. It's painful to watch and so uncomfortable to the viewer, especially me who experiences bouts of the same thing every now and then (though to a lesser extent). One almost has to be older to appreciate what this movie is saying, but even those open to its content have to also get past the brutal way Noah brings it to the screen. The Squid and the Whale was depressing enough. It makes me wonder how depressed Noah is to consistently present this much raw pain. However, what makes the movie is its optimistic, and sweet, ending. Expand
  3. Oct 25, 2010
    10
    Ben Stiller really proves to be a great actor. He makes you love and hate Greenberg at the same time. He has a very awkward personality, but in the other way you sympathise with him. The film's dark humor is very well thought of. Great script. I had a few laughs. If you like black comedies, this is a film you have to see. 2.0
  4. TerryB.
    Mar 27, 2010
    7
    Very interesting premise; some very powerful scenes; high-quality acting. Just wish the lead character were not so thoroughly hard to like and the ending were stronger. But well worth seeing.
  5. MitchS.
    Mar 27, 2010
    9
    Excellent movie. Greta Gerwig is a true revelation. The dialog is fantastic. Definitely on a level with the director's other outstanding film, Margot at the wedding...
  6. JH
    Apr 1, 2010
    10
    Brilliant movie. SEINFELD meets ANTONIONI
  7. ChrisM
    Apr 2, 2010
    9
    This movie isn't for everyone, but if you like indie type movies and enjoy quirky and sometimes dark humor, give this one a shot. Ben Stiller and all the other actors give great performances. His character is a self absorbed jerk, but I think many of us can find a little bit of ourselves in him if we take the time to look. It's not a feel good movie where you are rooting for the This movie isn't for everyone, but if you like indie type movies and enjoy quirky and sometimes dark humor, give this one a shot. Ben Stiller and all the other actors give great performances. His character is a self absorbed jerk, but I think many of us can find a little bit of ourselves in him if we take the time to look. It's not a feel good movie where you are rooting for the character and he overcomes his failings and ultimately redeems himself for a cheap dramatic payoff. It is just a good story with a valuable message to us all. Even if you don't take anything else away, it is still a damn funny movie. Expand
  8. LindaM
    Apr 3, 2010
    8
    If you like a self-absorbed narcissistic protagonist (Stiller) admist similar people in LA, you'll love this movie. Greta Gerwig as the easy-going housesitter, is a gem. Rhys Ifans as an old band buddy gives a solid andhonest performance. The cinematography is creative.
  9. DaleM
    Mar 28, 2010
    8
    Stiller does a good job of portraying an narcissistic artistic type guy who once had idealistic dreams but now finds himself middle-aged and feeling bitter at life. Not a film for everyone, but this is a good film. Despite how unlikeable the character Greenburg is, you still end up kind of living him and hoping he will find more happiness.
  10. TroggL.
    Apr 11, 2010
    8
    People who rated lower than 2 are idiots who saw Ben Stiller's name and expected Meet the Fockers.
  11. WaldoJ
    Mar 28, 2010
    10
    An excellent film, funny, moving, sharp, engrossing. Ben Stiller gives his best performance yet, and Greta Gerwig is an instant star with her excellent performance. It is a dark comedy, but in an odd way, it's director Noah Baumbach (The Squid and The Whale, Margot At The Wedding)'s most hopeful film.
  12. TerryM
    Apr 14, 2010
    9
    Much better than I thought, judging from the low reviews here. A moment in the life of a forty-year-old that probably rings true for many. (You know who you are).
  13. Sep 28, 2010
    8
    In an evident time of depression, several modern Independent filmmakers have focused on the lowliness and deadbeats of society. Noah Baumbach's exceptional Greenberg focuses on a 40 year old one time musician (Ben Stiller) who has just been released from a mental hospital. When attempting to adjust to society, he faces a living that honestly emulates the emotion of present day urban lifeIn an evident time of depression, several modern Independent filmmakers have focused on the lowliness and deadbeats of society. Noah Baumbach's exceptional Greenberg focuses on a 40 year old one time musician (Ben Stiller) who has just been released from a mental hospital. When attempting to adjust to society, he faces a living that honestly emulates the emotion of present day urban life in its dismal state. And taking on a similar position of most Indie films, the film conveys that love can still be present in any circumstance.

    The film commences with a quirky Steve Miller Band song that undoubtedly contrasts with the rest of the movie. The audience is then introduced to Roger Greenberg, who is returning to his native Los Angeles to house sit for his brother. Greenberg is a loser; This can be seen as he reconnects with his past acquaintances who have, unlike himself, moved on from their dreams and faced the responsibility of life. But although it seems as if Stiller's character has nothing going for him, he develops subtle fondness with his brother's assistant who is played by Greta Gerwig. The film then balances between Greenberg's "relationships" and how he deals with the mediocrity of his existence.

    Stiller takes on a role similarly to how Jim Carrey played in "Eternal Sunshine," and almost completely matches the dramatic level in which Carrey performed. Greenberg's intricacies are played well enough to strike emotion with the audience who possess a sympathy for the character. Stiller does not act like a mainstream Hollywood actor in this film. He does not necessarily execute a good dramatic performance, but acts in a way that forms emotional depth and honesty. He is also backed with solid performances by Greta Gerwig, who performs in a direct but unstable manner, and Rhys Infans.

    Greenberg is categorized as a "Dramatic Comedy," which in fact that categorization could be seen falsely. While there are some laughs, the movie emphasizes true emotion and does not simply attempt to try to create humor. Apart from the one-liners, ("Does the pool overflow?") the movie is as dramatic as one can get. But that is what is so appealing about the movie; the shell of the movie can be assumed as a comedy but the interior is a true viewpoint of current life.

    With all positive aspects said of Greenberg, there is somewhat a sense of emptiness within plot. The film does not necessarily go anywhere. While there is some development within Greenberg's relationship, nothing really develops around the character. The film simply focuses on the beginning of Greenberg's stay in Los Angeles and the near end. While this is not a major problem as the movie is not intended to be a storyteller, but a vantage point, it prevents Greenberg from reaching near perfection.

    Greenberg is not for everyone. An average moviegoer will not find much entertainment in the story or its exterior. The gem that is in the movie, the emotional depth, must be found by analyzing the character itself. If you are not willing to think during the movie, it is best to skip Greenberg. But if you are, you will find an extraordinary film that you will be thinking about for weeks to come.
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  14. Oct 12, 2010
    8
    Great performances from Ben Stiller and Greta Gerwig. Smart, funny script from Baumbach. Not as good as "The Squid and the Whale," but will definitely hold up as quality film in the Baumbach/Anderson canon.
  15. NachoC.
    Apr 11, 2010
    9
    I feel the need to defend this film. I feel like I understood where Noah was getting at. The entire film was meant to be minimalist and awkward. Greenberg, being an unlikable character has to be unbearable, and the audience must feel the discomfort that the characters do on screen whenever he is present in a scene. The film is about the reality that most people grow up to be nothing and I feel the need to defend this film. I feel like I understood where Noah was getting at. The entire film was meant to be minimalist and awkward. Greenberg, being an unlikable character has to be unbearable, and the audience must feel the discomfort that the characters do on screen whenever he is present in a scene. The film is about the reality that most people grow up to be nothing and simply take up room. Greenberg felt as though he had some sort of life calling but chickened out and ruined it for the rest because he was selfish. He did nothing just as many people do here in real life. He was stuck in his past. In one scene which he is sitting with several teenagers he is essentially acting the same age as them; refusing to grow up and conversing about the contradicting ideologies of their generations. When a friend approaches him and tells him that he has come to "accept the life that he did not plan," Greenberg refutes his opinion. It is because most people cannot accept the irrefutable reality that is unpredictability and instead find it easier to find comfort in productivity. Greenberg was more of a mirror to 20-40 year old's than any other film I have ever seen. I recommend it 100%. Expand
  16. EvanS
    Apr 13, 2010
    10
    Easily one of my favorite movies of all time. This movie has an emotional depth like no other.
  17. JRS.
    Apr 15, 2010
    10
    Another great film made by a interesting and intelligent director.. Obviously, this film is for people who are capable of abstract thought and not for the mindless dreck that encompasses most of America. If you didn't like this movie, you are not smart enough to be going to real films.. where u see this as boring, the thinking man will find truth in great writing and original Another great film made by a interesting and intelligent director.. Obviously, this film is for people who are capable of abstract thought and not for the mindless dreck that encompasses most of America. If you didn't like this movie, you are not smart enough to be going to real films.. where u see this as boring, the thinking man will find truth in great writing and original thought. here's how you know I'm right: you went to see this movie because ben stiller is in it. sad sad sad.. how dumb people are. Expand
  18. Jan 8, 2011
    7
    The first time I watched this, It was very difficult to understand, and I think that can be said for pretty much all of the people who saw this movie. I had to review it again to understand it and I realized that Ben Stiller gave quite a good performance and the writing is actually quite good and funny. Some of the events still confuse me, but I still defend this movie, saying it has goodThe first time I watched this, It was very difficult to understand, and I think that can be said for pretty much all of the people who saw this movie. I had to review it again to understand it and I realized that Ben Stiller gave quite a good performance and the writing is actually quite good and funny. Some of the events still confuse me, but I still defend this movie, saying it has good writing, great performances and an unconventional storyline which is hard to find these days. Expand
  19. Jan 7, 2011
    9
    This should be nominated for Best Drama. Baumbach has a great skill in creating character nuance that is not always pleasant, but certainly realistic. Those unaware of their own personality blind spots will feel uncomfortable during this movie. However, Greenberg is fully formed and expertly played by Stiller. There is a part of Greenberg in all of us.
Metascore
76

Generally favorable reviews - based on 39 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 35 out of 39
  2. Negative: 0 out of 39
  1. Reviewed by: Richard Mowe
    60
    Although Ben Stiller’s brand of nervy comic ticks can prove irritating on occasions, here he is kept in check so that the humor and the pathos shine through.
  2. While winning no points for originality, Baumbach and his co-conspirator in the script, Jennifer Jason Leigh -- have created an all-too-convincing portrait of a 40-year-old man in emotional freefall.
  3. Reviewed by: Todd McCarthy
    70
    As a study of stasis and of people conscious of not living the lives they had imagined for themselves, the picture offers a bracing undertow of seriousness beneath the deceptively casual, dramatically offhand surface.