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. Aug 19, 2010
    3
    This was a potentially good movie ruined by the classic combination of a Big Star wanting to be in a small indie film. It. Having to watch Ben Stiller in every scene was so painful, especially when Greta Gerwig and Rhys Ivans were so good. There was no nuance or depth or humanity to his character. It reminded me of Punch Drunk Love, in which Adam Sandler just looks stone faced theThis was a potentially good movie ruined by the classic combination of a Big Star wanting to be in a small indie film. It. Having to watch Ben Stiller in every scene was so painful, especially when Greta Gerwig and Rhys Ivans were so good. There was no nuance or depth or humanity to his character. It reminded me of Punch Drunk Love, in which Adam Sandler just looks stone faced the whole movie, which seemed to be his way of 'Acting'. A similar self-involved character, the dad in Squid and the Whale was so much better with Jeff Daniels, a much much better actor.

    I am sure that this is why Alexander Payne retains control over casting. Imagine a good script, good director, and a Big Star know for a specific type of comedy is forced on you. It ruins the movie.
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  2. TerenceS
    Mar 30, 2010
    3
    First of all, if you're expecting any moments where Ben Stiller freaks out in the movie and makes funny voices, you'll be sadly disappointed (which is a positive in my mind). However, that's the only good thing about the film. Baumbach struck out for me again. I hated Margo at the Wedding, and while this was slightly better than that film. It was still bogged down with so First of all, if you're expecting any moments where Ben Stiller freaks out in the movie and makes funny voices, you'll be sadly disappointed (which is a positive in my mind). However, that's the only good thing about the film. Baumbach struck out for me again. I hated Margo at the Wedding, and while this was slightly better than that film. It was still bogged down with so much complaining about getting old (which seems to be a predominant theme in Baumbach's movies), that I couldn't enjoy it. I actually think most of the actors did a fantastic job, but in the end, it is the screenwriting and the directing that is a monumental fail for me. Nothing redeemable about this movie. Expand
  3. Catherine
    Apr 2, 2010
    3
    Don't believe the critics (75? Really?) this film is a stinker. Ben Stiller trying so hard to act, and you never forget for a minute it's him. Loathsome characters, unfunny dialog, a really jaundiced look at Los Angeles which I'm sure many people who don't live here will think is true. It's not. It's a tiny little slice of a microcosm of horrible narcissists Don't believe the critics (75? Really?) this film is a stinker. Ben Stiller trying so hard to act, and you never forget for a minute it's him. Loathsome characters, unfunny dialog, a really jaundiced look at Los Angeles which I'm sure many people who don't live here will think is true. It's not. It's a tiny little slice of a microcosm of horrible narcissists who hang out with people like Jennifer Jason Leigh and make this world a slightly more depressing place. Don't subject yourself to this film. Expand
  4. Ron&Linda
    Apr 4, 2010
    2
    This movie couldn't move any slower. It seemed longer than a 2 1/2 hour movie we saw yesterday. How disappointing--a bad movie and almost two hours of our lives we'll never get back. Some people got up and left the movie, even at the price of movies these days.
  5. AngelaC
    Apr 12, 2010
    2
    Great performances couldn't save this insufferable script. Only a few laugh out loud lines (pretty much all included in the trailer). I loved The Squid and the Whale and found Margot at the Wedding morbidly fascinating, but his movie was a chore to sit through. You're either going to love it or hate it, so don't spend theater ticket prices and just wait for it to come out Great performances couldn't save this insufferable script. Only a few laugh out loud lines (pretty much all included in the trailer). I loved The Squid and the Whale and found Margot at the Wedding morbidly fascinating, but his movie was a chore to sit through. You're either going to love it or hate it, so don't spend theater ticket prices and just wait for it to come out on DVD or On Demand. Expand
  6. JaneS
    Apr 3, 2010
    0
    Utterly boring and pointless. Doesn't even have a point of view, in the sense that it makes Los Angeles look like it has some sort of character. Could be set anywhere. Ugh.
  7. KrisF.
    Apr 5, 2010
    2
    Tedious, boring, predictable, interminable movie. Very disappointing.
  8. JosephF.
    Mar 22, 2010
    2
    Just dragged. The story went nowhere and the characters were boring. Don't know what the producers saw in the script.
  9. AnnF.
    Mar 27, 2010
    1
    Boring, nothing redeemable,and I am a Ben Stiller fan...the audience was unresponsive, and in the lobby after the film, lots of complaints...no one liked it.
  10. DWilly
    Mar 28, 2010
    3
    I was so, so very disappointed in this movie because I absolutely loved Noah Baumbach
  11. LeoF
    Mar 30, 2010
    3
    Ben Stiller channels Woody Allen, but without Woody's wit, insight, and intelligence. Just another self-loathing neurotic doing a dull vanity piece as self-therapy.
  12. judyf.
    Apr 15, 2010
    1
    This is one of the worst movies i ever saw. I kept waiting for the point, or it to make ane sense. The reel broke 1/3 of the way through,& house lights. came on till theyfixed it. I was going to leave then, & should have Waste of my time.
  13. MikeK.
    Apr 4, 2010
    1
    I've seen worse movies, but not many.
  14. MikeMike
    Apr 4, 2010
    2
    Nearly complete bore. A couple of laughs here an there were not enough. Plotless and pointless. Too bad, I love Ben Stiller. He couldn't single-handedly save this yawner, but he tried. I kept looking for the nuances all the critics must have seen. Couldn't find anything. Renewed my contempt for the megacritics. Zzzzzzzzzzzz.
  15. ArnoldE.
    May 3, 2010
    0
    Could see nothing positive about the movie. A waste of time.
  16. DavidB.
    Mar 27, 2010
    3
    This was a disappointing movie. Surprised that it received such critical acclaim. It was boring, had no real plot or direction, and lacked any sort of dramatic tension to propel it forward. The funny moments were few and far between. It was another one of those indie flicks that are about nothing and think they can get away with it. Granted, I like a lot of those indie flicks, but this This was a disappointing movie. Surprised that it received such critical acclaim. It was boring, had no real plot or direction, and lacked any sort of dramatic tension to propel it forward. The funny moments were few and far between. It was another one of those indie flicks that are about nothing and think they can get away with it. Granted, I like a lot of those indie flicks, but this one did not cut it. Expand
  17. JeffS.
    Mar 28, 2010
    2
    A horror movie. The film convinces you these people may exist which is chilling. The Stiller character is 90% zombie and 10% pure evil. His romantic interest is 50% zombie and 50% 3 year old child......totally dysfunctional. The movie should never have been made.
  18. DanG.
    Mar 28, 2010
    2
    The best part about this flick was the cashews i snuck in. how refreshing, i thought... no explosions, no blaring fx, just a story. then it started... a snail slow pace. it'll pick up fer sure, i thought. ha! in a pig's behind! this self-absorbed (stiller, not me) creature... fresh out of a 'hospital'... trying (more at being an ass than getting civil) to put his lifeThe best part about this flick was the cashews i snuck in. how refreshing, i thought... no explosions, no blaring fx, just a story. then it started... a snail slow pace. it'll pick up fer sure, i thought. ha! in a pig's behind! this self-absorbed (stiller, not me) creature... fresh out of a 'hospital'... trying (more at being an ass than getting civil) to put his life back together. from the look of it, he'd always been an ass. and the earwig woman... why'd she fall for him? ickypoo. don't see this movie. guaranteed to put you off your popcorn. Expand
  19. PatR
    Mar 31, 2010
    4
    This is painful to watch--cringeworthy from first to last--but well written, well-directed and well-acted. Still, why does it get a 75 score on Metacritic --it's a draining experience to watch and you are bummed when you walk out (unless you already left in the middle). Okay, these are (unfortunately) pretty real people and complex enough, not typical Hollywood stereotypes--but does This is painful to watch--cringeworthy from first to last--but well written, well-directed and well-acted. Still, why does it get a 75 score on Metacritic --it's a draining experience to watch and you are bummed when you walk out (unless you already left in the middle). Okay, these are (unfortunately) pretty real people and complex enough, not typical Hollywood stereotypes--but does that really make this worthy of all this critical praise. Are these critics all Florences at heart? (i.e., masochists)? Collapse
  20. TedW
    Apr 18, 2010
    0
    Dreary, boring and pointless.
  21. Oct 18, 2010
    0
    Minimalism is no excuse for a poor screenplay, and artsiness is no justification for poor direction. Paolo Sorrentino is a minimalist director, and his films are brilliant. David Lynch is an artsy director, and his films are brilliant too. The problem with Noah Baumbach's films -well, ONE of the problems with his RECENT films- is that he seems to have picked up that terrible habit that WesMinimalism is no excuse for a poor screenplay, and artsiness is no justification for poor direction. Paolo Sorrentino is a minimalist director, and his films are brilliant. David Lynch is an artsy director, and his films are brilliant too. The problem with Noah Baumbach's films -well, ONE of the problems with his RECENT films- is that he seems to have picked up that terrible habit that Wes Anderson had for a little while until a couple of years ago. See, Anderson too thought for a few years that he could get away with compiling a series of quirky vignettes and calling it a screenplay. Thus, The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou (2004) and The Darjeeling Limited (2007) are nowhere near as accomplished and coherent as Rushmore (1998) and The Royal Tenenbaums (2001). Bottle Rocket (1996) is a different case, as it was his first film. Its imperfections have to do with lack of experience, and they are easily forgiven. Anderson's latest film, Fantastic Mr. Fox (2009, co-written by Baumbach, by the way), saw him come back to form. Now, Baumbach's best film to date is clearly the outstanding The Squid and the Whale (2005), after which, he decided to hit us in the head with the bluntly morose Margot at the Wedding (2007). Greenberg, unfortunately, is in the same vein of the latter, not the former. It is so absolutely bourgeois (anyone outside of the upper middle-classes simply does not exist), that Sofia Coppola might feel challenged when it comes to the position of "Most White-Bread Director in the World." Ever since The Squid and the Whale Baumbach has been directing films that are uninspired and uninspiring collections of eccentric details and overly wacky situations. No story, no depth, no character development. Just irritating, adolescent forty-somethings complaining about their Beaujolais. Ignore the hype. This is not a good film. Expand
  22. Oct 23, 2010
    3
    Wow! I was really expecting to like this movie and it was just ridiculous. This film tries way to hard. There are periods of slight entertainment and good humor, but holistically this movie doesn't even warrant the time if its watched free of cost. Da, that was stupid movie.
  23. RichardW
    Apr 2, 2010
    1
    Excellent work by Gerwig and Ifans don't offset Stiller's self-absorbed performance in this boring drama about a self-destructive character. Writing and directing produce one singular boring piece of dreck.
  24. Apr 14, 2014
    0
    I want an hour and a half of my life back. There's really nothing more to say about this movie. I am posting a review hoping to save a few people from wasting their time.
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.