Focus Features | Release Date: March 19, 2010
5.4
USER SCORE
Mixed or average reviews based on 143 Ratings
USER RATING DISTRIBUTION
Positive:
61
Mixed:
34
Negative:
48
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8
LindaMApr 3, 2010
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 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. Expand
1 of 3 users found this helpful
8
DaleMMar 28, 2010
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 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. Expand
1 of 3 users found this helpful
8
TroggL.Apr 11, 2010
People who rated lower than 2 are idiots who saw Ben Stiller's name and expected Meet the Fockers.
1 of 3 users found this helpful
10
WaldoJMar 28, 2010
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 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. Expand
1 of 3 users found this helpful
9
TerryMApr 14, 2010
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).
1 of 3 users found this helpful
8
RyanGeeSep 28, 2010
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 beenIn 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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1 of 3 users found this helpful12
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8
TonyOct 12, 2010
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.
1 of 3 users found this helpful12
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9
NachoC.Apr 11, 2010
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 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
1 of 4 users found this helpful
10
EvanSApr 13, 2010
Easily one of my favorite movies of all time. This movie has an emotional depth like no other.
1 of 4 users found this helpful
10
JRS.Apr 15, 2010
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, 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
1 of 4 users found this helpful
1
RichardWApr 2, 2010
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.
0 of 1 users found this helpful
5
howardpApr 16, 2010
Two words: Simple Jack. (Fans of Tropic Thunder will get my reference to the Oscar-bait film Stiller's character starred in.) I get why viewers hate the film. And I get why critics basically like it -- it's so not Hollywood Two words: Simple Jack. (Fans of Tropic Thunder will get my reference to the Oscar-bait film Stiller's character starred in.) I get why viewers hate the film. And I get why critics basically like it -- it's so not Hollywood mainstream. The seduction scene was so explicit, so awkward, so awful and so hard not to watch. But it stuck in my head. Expand
0 of 2 users found this helpful
6
conschobharSep 28, 2010
I loved this film but I agree with many of these reviews which criticize the casting of Affleck. Baumbach is famous for his unlikable characters, but Stiller's performance is so distracting and forced that he nearly ruins this film. AnI loved this film but I agree with many of these reviews which criticize the casting of Affleck. Baumbach is famous for his unlikable characters, but Stiller's performance is so distracting and forced that he nearly ruins this film. An excellent script and breathtaking performances by Greta Gerwig and Rhys Ivans saved the film for me. Expand
0 of 3 users found this helpful03
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5
Dajbman22Oct 7, 2010
I wanted to like Greenberg. I really did. I am a fan of subtle slice-of-life indie dramedies. I am a fan of Ben Stiller. I was not a fan of Greenberg, though. I was entertained through most of the movie, and it kept me intellectuallyI wanted to like Greenberg. I really did. I am a fan of subtle slice-of-life indie dramedies. I am a fan of Ben Stiller. I was not a fan of Greenberg, though. I was entertained through most of the movie, and it kept me intellectually stimulated at parts, but in the end it left me feeling nothing but disappointment. There was no emotional connection to the characters in the film, and each character never showed any more than 2 dimensions. They were all generic indie characters who never seemed to have an internal motivation. Everyone seemed to behave based on what they prescribed character type was meant to be. Do not get me wrong, this is not a bad film by any means, but it is also nothing I am going to remember a few years down the line. I would much rather watch this movie again than sit through Stomp the Yard 4. Expand
0 of 1 users found this helpful01
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7
D-SliceJan 8, 2011
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 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
0 of 1 users found this helpful01
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9
EvolutionaryJan 7, 2011
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 thisThis 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. Expand
0 of 1 users found this helpful01
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5
wiggipopMar 25, 2011
I'll admit, I came to this film knowing I might not like it; I'm generally not a fan of Ben Stiller (at one point I had to fight an image of Simple Jack out of my head), and knew it was a Baumbach film (I wasn't a big fan of Margot at theI'll admit, I came to this film knowing I might not like it; I'm generally not a fan of Ben Stiller (at one point I had to fight an image of Simple Jack out of my head), and knew it was a Baumbach film (I wasn't a big fan of Margot at the Wedding). The reason I was interested was Greta Gerwig. Thank God for Gerwig and Rhys Ifans, who save the film from being a complete wreck. Ben Stiller's Roger is so unlikeable it's maddening; it gets tiresome very quickly. The film gets more interesting toward the end, when Brie Larson and Juno Temple bring some much needed levity, but it's too little too late. Ultimately, it's just not the type of film I respond to wholeheartedly. Expand
0 of 1 users found this helpful01
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0
praystationApr 14, 2014
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.
0 of 1 users found this helpful01
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9
VonSeuxJan 15, 2016
Honest and tought provoking; normal life isnt always fun and inspiring as many other movies try to portrait. This is more close to the avarage-joe. This movie gives the opportunity to take a good look at the mirror and ask ourselves of ourHonest and tought provoking; normal life isnt always fun and inspiring as many other movies try to portrait. This is more close to the avarage-joe. This movie gives the opportunity to take a good look at the mirror and ask ourselves of our life goas and relationships. Expand
0 of 0 users found this helpful00
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8
EpicLadySpongeApr 5, 2016
Sometimes, I'll never get Metacritic's users... even they have a huge amount of logic to talk about same with the critics on this site. This movie's one of the examples for user logic. Don't listen to the users. Greenberg's worth going to andSometimes, I'll never get Metacritic's users... even they have a huge amount of logic to talk about same with the critics on this site. This movie's one of the examples for user logic. Don't listen to the users. Greenberg's worth going to and you'll love every single second of it. Expand
0 of 0 users found this helpful00
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