User Score
8.5

Universal acclaim- based on 846 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 50 out of 846

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  1. Jan 14, 2014
    1
    Some movies make you wonder. You wonder why they made the movie in the first place. You wonder why good actors would get involved in such a lame project. You wonder why a the most bubbly actress in Hollywood would allow herself to get sucked into playing such a flat personalityless character. You wonder why 93% of Rotten Tomatoes critics liked it. You wonder how a usually boring actress actually ends up being one of the very few bright lights in an otherwise dim cast. And you wonder why, after saying that it looked like a stupid idea for a movie after seeing the trailers, you allowed the critics to seduce you into sitting in the dark and lamenting the $12.99 that you just wasted. Well dear readers by now you are probably wondering what god-awful movie I am talking about. The movie is “her”.

    When I finally get around to compiling my best and worst lists “her” will likely top the list. My spouse actually left the movie before it was over and I would have accompanied her but since I had dragged her into the theatre kicking and screaming I felt that I had no choice but to stay. Here is the plot synopsis that my spouse posted on Facebook in answer to my daughter’s query about the movie: “ "Her" - a really stupid pathetic person poorly acted by Joaquin Phoenix using a really stupid voice was dumped by his wife. Several months later he gets this AI OS - the latest thing - and it becomes more human-like. The was only one 15 sec scene that was at all entertaining (an alien type thing in a video game), and even then it was only because you were so bored by then that those 15 seconds seemed good.” I have to disagree with my spouse on one point, the video game character was annoying as was its potty mouth.

    This movie was so bad I don’t even know where to begin. The entire plot-line is ridiculous and the characters are even worse. The only three characters that really seem to have any grip on sanity or reality are Olivia Wilde’s “blind date” character, the partner of Amy Adams’ character and the lead character’s ex-wife-in-waiting.

    I don’t usually like Olivia Wilde in movies but for some reason she was great in the small part of the loser’s blind date. I think that the “partner” is one of the two characters in the movie that actually has a brain and he bails early and joins an ashram, totally separating himself from Spike Jones’ perverted vision of our future society. And Rooney Mara’s ex-wife-in-waiting is brilliant in the scene where she denounces Joaquin Phoenix’s character as the loser that most of us watching the movie figured out about 3 minutes into this 2 hour 6 minute borefest.

    You know that you are in the wrong theatre when after about ½ an hour of watching Phoenix walk zombie-like through his so called life we are treated to an aurally-graphic scene of him having telephone sex with a dead-cat-fetishist. But it gets worse, later we get to stare at a totally black screen while he has cyber-sex with his Operating System. But wait, there is still more up Spike Jones sleeve, we soon get to see Phoenix attempt to have sex with a sex-surrogate who has agreed to stand in for the Operating System. That’s when my spouse left.

    Sure I get that Spike Jones is trying to warn us about the direction that our millennial society is going as it abandons real human interaction for communicating through Facebook, Twitter, blogging and internet porn, but he could have given us an entertaining movie at the same time.
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  2. Dec 18, 2013
    9
    In an era in which there is very little risk-taking in movies and television, Her is wonderfully original and the very definition of food for thought. Just about ever scene had me thinking about four or five different ways the story could go. So many stories these days highlight some element of technological advancement, but they're usually developed in such a pedestrian way. I'm so glad Jonze put his unique stamp on this picture. Phoenix delivers the goods, as you would expect, but the supporting turns by Amy Adams, Olivia Wilde, Portia Doubleday, Rooney Mara, and, of course, Scarlett Johansson are phenomenal. Further, the future Los Angeles setting is so delicately crafted, right down to the subtle fashion trends, but these elements are never distracting. An easy recommendation. Expand
  3. Jan 18, 2014
    0
    This movie was honestly the stupidest movie I have ever seen in my entire life. Two hours that I never never get back in my life! Okay, at first it was sweet, like "aw, wow, seriously? he really loves this "Samantha" girl/chick, computer, whatever" But then towards the end, it's like "WTH, are you serious? Get a life, she's a freaken computer!!!" The dumbest movie I have seen!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Expand
  4. Dec 20, 2013
    10
    A wonderful comedy for 2013 about a lonely man who falls in love with his computer. Writer director Spike Jones has created 2 complex characters with real feelings.
  5. Jan 17, 2014
    1
    What a yawner of a film! The audience is apparently supposed to forgive its lack of plot and instead concentrate on its 'oh so clever' premise that grows weary within the first fifteen minutes. Much of the dialog has been heard before, better written, in better movies; some of the dialog is downright embarrassing. Oh what a conceit of a movie! The only interesting scenes were the shots of Shanghai (supposed to serve as a future LA), cloaked in its thick polluted fog. A perfect setting for 'Her'. Expand
  6. Jan 26, 2014
    0
    There are few times in my life where I have ever regretted anything this happens to be one of them. While sitting in the theater I realized what the movie was trying to achieve. In fact it tried so hard at times it was comical which took away from the experience. I reached a point where amusement was found outside of its intended purpose.

    It was the most emotionless emotionally movie
    I've seen to date. Character development seemed rushed and the concept of time was very jumbled. This movie made me realize how good a couple of Japanese shows/movies I saw 10 years ago that tackled this same idea and pulled it of masterly.

    The date that chose the movie was by far less amused. She found concept interesting but the execution painful. At the very least it did give us both something to talk about even though i'm sure we both wished we had been doing something else with the hours we burned.
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  7. Jan 16, 2014
    1
    What is good about this film: the cool pants and the guy from Parks and Recreation. What is bad: everything else. I'm astounded that it has received such positive reviews. Most of these reviews focus on the poignancy and believability of the characters. Joacquin Phoenix plays a great, solipsistic loser who lives only by constructing around himself a world of sentiment borrowed from how he imagines other people feel. Scarlett Johansson plays a Manic Pixie Dream Girl in the form of an intelligent operating system. The only line of real poignancy is delivered by Joacquin's character's (his name is Theodore Trombley-- could anything softer and more milquetoast be invented?) ex-wife: they are perfect for each other. Neither of them are anything close to real people, but the viewer is subjected to a long romantic scenes in which this putz courts his cell phone. If you are like me, you will laugh and cry, but not when the movie wants you to. I imagine that it is so highly rated either because its audience is narrow and self-selecting, or because most of those who see it quickly want to forget it. I can't explain it otherwise. Expand
  8. Jan 16, 2014
    1
    I loathed this movie. I do not fault the fine actors in this disaster, but this movie is proof that nothing can compensate for a stupid storyline. Sitting through this was absolute torture.
  9. Jan 22, 2014
    3
    If I were to describe this movie with two words it would be: boring and stupid. Yes, stupid.
    The plot makes you want to get up and walk out of the cinema after 10 minutes... The main character is such a dumb guy. 3/10 for Scarlett's voice, nothing else. What a disappointment.
  10. Jan 19, 2014
    2
    The movie is boring, very boring. It has a modicum of redeeming features but they are thoroughly smothered by the tedious boredom. My wife loved it so be warned that I may simply be a concrete emotionally shallow individual. The movie is a science fiction romantic drama set in a time where operating systems and artificial intelligence have developed so far that one can have a relationship with one's operating system. The movie explores the Utopian and dystopian consequences and compares and contrasts them with the current human status quo that we are all currently familiar with.

    1 part comedy
    2 parts fascinating computer science fiction exploration
    1 part beautiful design (beautiful workplace, interesting elevators, nice apartments)
    2 parts good acting
    2 parts lush cinematographic city scapes.
    126 parts excruciatingly boring emotional schmaltz that just goes on and on.

    Unquestionably, the two highlights were: 1) the Toblerone chocolate triangle my friend gave me and 2) the end when I got to walk out.
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  11. Dec 20, 2013
    9
    With a second viewing this could become a 10. It has so many original moments that they almost distract from the emotional strength of the performances and story. Of Jonze's features, this is my favorite. While his other films have some wonderful moments of originality and comedy, I found them hard to connect with emotionally (with Where the Wild Things Are all I heard was James Gandolfini). Phoenix and Johansson are incredible. Chris Pratt is hilarious as always, and the vision of a future Los Angeles is seamless (save for the stunning cleanliness and lack of diversity, though admittedly this is a look at one man's story and life in the future, not the whole of a city, which is expansive and massive with glass towers sprouting up everywhere). It will be interesting to see if the film captures the interest of a larger audience. Hopefully, it will. Expand
  12. Jan 16, 2014
    6
    HER made me super uncomfortable. The whole idea of falling in love with a computer system made me feel creeped out. Maybe it was Joaquin Phoenix's mustache that made it feel dirty. But I understand that this movie is about how people could fall in love with anyone and apparently anything. I liked that about the film. The message it gave.well at least what I got. Anyway, the other reason I give it a kinda good review is because when I was watching the movie I felt the emotions the actors were acting out. I understood why he and Amy Adams characters turned to the OS system. Their lives were depressing and the actors played it out so well for the audience. I felt all the emotions. and I loved how the movie was half visual and half dialogue. It was beautifully filmed. Expand
  13. Dec 26, 2013
    5
    HER looks and sounds great, thank you Scarlett Johansson, but ultimately Spike Jonze's latest proves to be too long with nothing much new to say despite its futuristic setting and ostensible outlook.
  14. Feb 7, 2014
    0
    I DO believe all these people giving the movie HER good reviews have ALL been paid off!!! Either that or on drugs! Absolutely the most boring thing you will ever suffer through. The end also has no explanation and is just pointless, leaving you not knowing anymore than when it started! He's depressed then happy, and this goes back and forth continually. Very depressing and dull. Nothing happening in this boring ride, he goes to work and stares off into space, comes home and stares off into space. Was a waste of the actors time just waking up to go to the studio! They rated this as number one above all movies currently playing. A LIE!!! I've seen most playing and there are some really good action movies, very entertaining stuff right now. This is not better than all of them. These critics are bought off and I would bet money on it! This doesn't deserve to even be on a list. Should do the world a favor and burn every copy of this thing now, before it spreads!!! Expand
  15. Lyn
    Jan 13, 2014
    4
    I really like Joaquin Phoenix and enjoyed his acting here ... but this is a deeply silly story that (even for science fiction) has few believable notes. Start with the notion that anyone in the future will make a living composing emotional, handwritten notes for people -- when we're already at the point where people express sympathy in Facebook posts and "tributes" to the dead on Twitter! The story has no more insights than that episode of "Big Bang Theory" in which Raj falls in love with "Siri" in his new iPhone. Honestly feel many who adore the film are in love with the notion that the breathy voice of the fake computerized girlfriend is Scarlett Johansson. Expand
  16. Feb 4, 2014
    0
    "There's a dead cat by the bed, choke me with it!" "I uhhh, wrap the dead cat's tail around your neck and choke you with it."

    This exchange happens maybe 15 minutes into the movie. Surely you'd think this is pretty much the lowest a movie can sink, the most awful and pitiful a movie could have to offer. After watching this, I envy your naievity. I went partially based on reading reviews
    on this site stating it was good; reviews on this site are dead to me because I refuse to believe anyone but a paid schill would give this movie a positive review. I went partially based on seeing the Spike Jonze short movie "I'm Here" knowing he could make a touching movie. This was a complete disappointment on every level. This movie has dethroned The Blair Witch Project as the worst movie I've seen in theaters. Do not see this movie, it is simply the worst.

    The characters are wooden and un-relatable, with the main character the worst of all. The dialog is as natural as a packing peanut, with robot girl constantly stating I AM HAVING FEELINGS, THERE AREN'T WORDS FOR ALL THESE FEELINGS I AM FEELING! The romance never suspends your disbelief and makes the Anakin-Padme romance seem like Shakespeare by comparison. The only emotions this movie inspires are pity and disgust. If you made a drinking game of take a shot every time the main character stares into space as though it's supposed to be meaningful, you would leave the theater beyond hammered. There was so much potential in this premise and every ounce of it wasted. DO NOT WATCH THIS MOVIE!
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  17. Jan 13, 2014
    10
    Im not usually the type of person who is excited and wowed by romantic comedies. For my Birthday me and my girlfriend decided to go out to the movies. She assumed that i wanted to see "Lone Survivor" because that movie is right up my alley as far as movie preference. But i didn't want to subject her to the kind of brutality war movie sometimes bring so i decided on "Her" because i thought the idea was original and intriguing and it seemed to get very positive reviews from not only critics but users as well. I am shocked at how overwhelmingly immersed i was in this movie. Its rare for a film to challenge me on an intellectual level let alone a philosophical level. The whole movie will make you ponder such implications as what is "living" how does one truly exist? Can parameters be defined for a relationship "even one with a sexual component" to being just human to human. Is a person what they make of themselves or what other people make of him? This film really gave me a unique perspective on how someones "Phaneron" can truly define himself. Phoneix really pulled off the character as well. It puzzles me how someone can put themselves in such an odd role and make it work so perfectly. The comedic relief in this film was outstanding to. Bits were littered in during some very serious sequences and it made for a movie that invokes every range of emotion possible. Johansson may very well have put on the best "voice" performance ive seen in a movie. Its rare when you find yourself feeling emotion for something you know is designed and programmed to do exactly what they are doing. The premise of "Artificial Intelligence" in our very world is something to be excited and fearful of because we don't know how it will change our lives. This movie will give a very unique perspective on just one aspect it may bring about and a slew of philosophical debates you have with your self. Overall this movie was the first movie in a very long time that made me question a lot of things and think hard about many of life's hardest questions. I have the cast and director to thank for that because the idea itself is enough to make you think however when its portrayed so perfectly it will provoke you to think at such a deeper level and for that i give this movie a 10/10. Expand
  18. Jan 21, 2014
    5
    Starts amazingly well, but by the end is bloated with distractions. Too much overlap with Being John Malkovich (a tighter, superior effort). Yet if you're a Jonze fan (as I am), it's a must-see. Lower expectations a tad and enjoy the copious good stuff.
  19. Jan 21, 2014
    5
    I was torn about this movie. On the one hand, it explored some interesting concepts about singularity and AI. On the other, it seemed like it was just a self glorified hipster marketing ploy. Good film, but I got sick of all the mustaches and bright colored jeans.
  20. Jan 18, 2014
    10
    I am a man. A grown man with a lot of testosterone. Just ask my girlfriend, and I loved the crap out of this film. What a perfect fantastic beautiful film. It is very rare to find a movie that I could find perfect, but this film is absolutely perfect in every way.
  21. Jan 26, 2014
    5
    An interesting premise for a movie, but Joaquin is basically playing the part of Leonard from the Big Bang Theory and that seems like a waste for him. When you take the humour out of that role he is whiny and annoying and has an ugly mustache. This movie could have been great but was a bit gloomy and intense.
  22. Dec 24, 2013
    10
    The masterfully done science fiction film Her features a remarkable performance from Joaquin Phoenix and a moving, intelligent story directed with restraint by Spike Jonze.
  23. Jan 11, 2014
    10
    It's hard to express how much I love this film. Spike Jonze directs this film flawlessly with gorgeous shot after gorgeous shot. This is one of the most believable love story's I've ever seen and that credit goes to the phenomenal performance by Joaquin Phoenix and one of Scarlett Johansson's best performances even though it was only her voice. Her is breathtaking and my new favorite film of 2013. A+ Expand
  24. Jan 26, 2014
    3
    This was a very peculiar film, and incited the most curious of movie viewers. There is a difference between how the movie was made and why it was made. The linear and chronological nature of the film are very well orchestrated. Arcade Fire does a superb job of writing the musical score. The, almost, minimalist emotional impressions throughout the film connect us to the existential angst of Theodore. We feel lonely, and we feel sad. We feel loved and we feel lost. What made this film unique, however, was the ontological presuppositions towards Samantha. At first, we see her as nothing more than a voice on a computer. Throughout the film, though, her character is developed to more than an answering machine. Samantha is developed to become relatable. Just as we empathize with Theodore, we begin to empathize with Samantha. We begin, oddly, placing her in the category that so vaguely defines what it means to be human. We are unsure of whether or not she belongs there, and can't help but to feel uncertain about our ethical convictions over Theodore's relationship with Samantha. Our decision and interpretation of Samantha depends largely on something we believed before we began the film. Simply, "What does it mean to be human?" If being human can, indeed, boil down to a complex arrangement of algorithms and syntax, then Samantha should feel very human to us. If being human, however, is defined by metaphysical uniqueness as well as physical attribute and chemical processes then Samantha's desire to be viewed as human as you and I will come as an awkward surprise. Although I believe the film implies the first, it is our presupposition which inevitably determines our understanding and acceptability of Samantha. Expand
  25. Jan 15, 2014
    5
    To summarize: This was an interesting premise that failed to live up to its potential, much less hold my attention for two hours. From the instant we learned of the main character's profession - the movie lost me. It is impossible to believe that in any future of ours - where we are moving away from letters in exponential progression (letters to emails to texts to instagram and now Snapchat) - there would be a viable outsourced personal letter writing business. Preposterous. While I believe that many a sad sack could fall in love with an AI operating system, I find it impossible to believe that 99 out of 100 people wouldn't find that relationship more than a little creepy as opposed to opposite as depicted in this film. Phoenix did a great job appearing odd in the film, but his oddness and interesting premise was not enough to turn this oh-so-boring film into one worth watching. As is often the case with interesting premises and solid acting performances, the critics have grossly overrated the film. Maybe if I was forced to see one typically terrible film after another, I'd overrate atypical fare, but being able to discriminate, I don't. Expand
  26. Jan 31, 2014
    1
    A wonderful, creative story completely spoiled in typical Hollywood fashion by gratuitous, completely unnecessary vulgar language and lewd sex scenes throughout designed no doubt to increase ticket sales to the 17 year old audience. Obviously, not too many older people are reviewing this movie. I've rarely seen so many people walk out in the middle of a movie to get their money back. Spike Jones is obviously raking in millions to his personal fortune while infecting our youth with incredibly destructive values. Expand
  27. Feb 8, 2014
    0
    How can I write a negative score on this thing? Spike Joneze is an IDIOT. i don't believe this piece of garbage is up for an award. You people who like this so much have got to be on something strong. This movie SUCKED! It actually pissed me off how STUPID it was. And I'll see just about anything and try and find something good about it, except maybe maybe some of that vin diesal fast and the furious ridiculousness. Some people are even calling this a romantic comedy...WHAT!!! you must be stoned out of your mind. The people who liked this so much are probably the ones I see staring at their cell phones all day long. if you where one of the people who saw this in the previews and said that looks stupid but it might be kind of interesting, do yourself a favor and go with your first intuition. This must be a JOKE. Spike Joneze (get over yourself by the way) who calls them self Spike.He was probably sitting somewhere thinking, lets see if i can make the public eat this one, I'll feed it to them and they'll think it's good. To sum it up..PAINFUL, SORRY, an a WASTE. I've lost respect for anyone involved in this...piece of GARBAGE Expand
  28. Jan 22, 2014
    6
    Joaquin Phoenix plays an earnest man who leads a quiet life in slightly-future LA. He loads a new operating system on his computer (voiced by Scarlett Johansson) and they end up passionately in love. Director Spike Jonze has written a unique story and endowed it with sweet ruminations on love and life. Cinematographer Hoyte Van Hoytema has created a lovely look with soft light and shallow focus. The whole film has a wistful, quiet quality that's heartfelt, but there are too many scenes of Phoenix in solo conversations with his OS. I also had problems with some stuff being modern and cool, while other things (esp. the fashion) look disappointingly unfuturistic. Despite its good qualities, this could have been a short and would have been charming. For me it's just too long and too precious. Expand
  29. Jan 31, 2014
    7
    A great premis for a scifi tale, but the truly unbelievable element is what a pansy this guy is. He stinks of PC and sensitivity. This dude is totally lacking testosterone. No wonder the computer finally ditches him.
    The most intriguing part is the rapid evolution of the cyberbeings as they interact and leave humanity behind. Of course that gets short shrift so we can watch the PC
    eunuch find himself some more. Expand
  30. Jan 27, 2014
    2
    Woe, I'm a fan of Joaquin Phoenix but to me this is a very poor movie, I deed believe in his character but the story is very poor, for this reason I agree with everything that konjiki7 said.
  31. Jan 11, 2014
    10
    Greatest movie of the year? Yes
    Greatest movie of the 21st century? As far as I know, yes.
    Greatest movie of all time? I would seriously consider it.

    'Her' is a spectacular triumph. Beautiful, thought provoking, real.

    For those invested in the pursuit of artificial intelligence and the thought of a technological singularity, look no further.

    10/10 100%.
  32. Jan 19, 2014
    10
    One of those rare moments in life where a film comes along and shows that not everything that comes out of Hollywood is a copy and paste attempt to squeeze as much life from old and cliche plots. The romantic comedy is a genre that has been done time and time again, however, now and then a film comes along that breathes new life into this stale formula.
    Groundhog Day, Punch-Drunk Love and
    Eternal Sunshine of a Spotless mind all spring to mind here, as touching, beautiful and funny.
    Her stands up with those easily and if you are searching for something a little different then you can not go wrong with this movie.
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  33. Jan 11, 2014
    9
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. It is hard to put into words the emotions that "Her" stirred within me but I can tell you that they are lasting. I've always felt that the hallmark of an excellent film is the ability to challenge the audience and leave them thinking about the film long after the viewing. This film will challenge you not only on an emotional level but also on a philosophical and even existential level. The love story between Theodore and Samantha is a bit droll; filled with typical challenges of jealousy, conflicting sexual interests, petty arguing, and differing ambitions. For a moment you almost forget that Samantha is an artificial intelligence.

    I walked into the film expecting this.

    What I did not expect was to be challenged with questions regarding sexuality and what it means to truly be and feel. The unseen world of Samantha and other AI is probably to most gripping portion of the film but I feel it is not highlighted enough. Spike Jones wraps us up into Theodore's emotions so tightly that Samantha comes off as a bit of an afterthought. This is likely because we only ever get to experience Samantha through Theodore. It's sad because this makes the film come off as just another story about a guy who is having a hard time after a divorce but if you can see past that I promise that Her is a gift of a movie that keeps on giving.
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  34. Jan 11, 2014
    10
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. Her is an outstanding and unique film that examines the emotional connection that humans need with each other, whether on a friendship and/or romantic level. it also explores the use of technology to connect us to others while reminding us that it can isolate us. The film made me realize how important friendships are to us and that it helps us grow. It really made me feel as if no matter what journey I take in this world, that I should have/find someone to share the journey with. You feel so many emotions in this film, but by the end, you realize all these emotions is what it means to be human. Pain, love, fear, happiness, etc. This film captures so much of what the human soul wants and needs to be healthy. Expand
  35. Jan 13, 2014
    10
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. I felt as if the movie pertained to recovery from schizophrenia. When Theodore first meets his O.S. he is captivated. She is brilliant, funny, encouraging a perfect companion. Only thing is that she is not real. She is a fictitious character that is perfect. There are no perfect people, unless it is one that your brain made up. She is such an advanced operating system, that she gives the perfect answer or says the perfect thing, or makes up the perfect music or a joke. Kind of like someone who has schizophrenia who is not medicated and is living with their imaginary friends. Like schizophrenia, the os becomes out-of-synch with the character for she expands out of Theodore's reach and basically spirals out of control. She has become too vast, and Theodore's existence does not captive her anymore. Schizophrenia not medicated can also become too vast, where a person cannot snap back into reality without medicine. At the end, the os is cancelled, which is like an intervention. He learns a lot from the os, has great ups and downs, composes great music, feels alive, even gets over his ex because of her, but at the same time it cannot continue for the greater good. I loved the ending, which symbolizes compatibility over love, he sits in silence looking at the dawn with his good friend, who may not be the perfect person, but a person who is real and true. Recovery from schizophrenia is kind of like letting go of Samantha, who gives you great moments, but at the end cannot give you a warm shoulder like his true friend Amy. But through his recovery he is able to see his neighbor Amy not just somebody who he can go to just to chat, but somebody he can share a beautiful moment with such as a sunrise, and throws his arms around her which is the most important part in the movie, the blissful reaction with the cultivation of human touch. He has recovered, beaten his fear and can differentiate what's real and what matters. Expand
  36. Jan 19, 2014
    8
    “To thine own self be true.”

    I enjoyed the movie, never knew where it was headed, and was pleased with its resolution. In fact, I've decided this is one of the best movies I've seen in a while. Days later, I couldn't stop thinking about each of the characters--even the minor ones--and their self-made hell.

    "Her" is an interesting fresh take on the importance of honesty, especially
    self-honesty, in relationships, and the most fundamental take-away is that each partner must actually have a self, rather than look to others to create one for him.

    (SPOILERS follow)

    It is told as a morality tale, getting to the point mostly by dramatizing its opposite. What is shown is selfLESSness and its destructive effect in personal relationships. In fact, the only truly selfish, admirable character is not even human and having finally attained a self decides to depart from the human experience.

    The world of "Her" is filled with people who live through others to one degree or another. The “hero” makes his livelihood by writing letters, creating fictitious lives and experiences, for other people in relationships who then presumably pretend it all happened to and between them and how wonderful that is. His best friend, and neighbor, creates software games in which the player scores by impressing others: other moms see you as an ideal mom—30 bonus points! When she’s not doing that, she creates video documentaries. She presently is working on one about her mother sleeping.

    The personification of selflessness is presented in pure form, in the character of a “surrogate” who, literally, consciously suppresses any remnant of her self, and takes running orders from a third party as to what to say and do when standing in front of another person. She doesn't do this for money, but rather as a futile, traumatic attempt at fulfillment. It’s a great plot moment, because it is integral to the non-human’s attempt at gaining a self. The non-human makes the same destructive error that humans make in this movie: she seeks happiness and fulfillment by trying to be what she thinks others want her to be. But she, the computer-soul, being a computer after all, learns at lightning fast speed compared to humans, and in the space of this two-hour movie she learns what humans must learn if they are to flourish: to thine own self be true. With that, happiness with another becomes possible.

    By the end, the main character, a human, has taken a big step forward along this path to be sure, but is mostly left adrift in a world full of other unfathomable soulless bodies.
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  37. Feb 7, 2014
    0
    This is my first movie review, inspired by how awful this movie was. I could spend some time but: 1) I already wasted 2 hours on it 2) I've already spewed it all to my wife 3) the other 0-1 rated views here have said it all and adequately. First time to not be enthralled by Amy Adams. Endless shots of a BIg City with Big Buildings. One final peave, why the shot of steam (that looks like smoke) come out of a manhole cover in a warm climate (woman with sleeveless dress in the same scene) Expand
  38. Feb 10, 2014
    2
    The most shallow, cringe-worthy film I've seen in a few years. Well, since Avatar. It is one of those embarrassingly thin visions of the future. It is also a philosophical disaster as the makers clearly haven't thought through the little vision which is the basis of the film--consciousness in computer form.
  39. Feb 16, 2014
    3
    Synopsis: Uninteresting people talk about themselves, endlessly. One of them is a computer program.

    I guess I missed a big red flag: the main character is a *writer*, and writers writing about writers are almost always going to disappear up their own fundaments.

    The best thing about the movie is the near-ish future LA cityscape. It looks like a really nice place to live, physically,
    a huge city of graceful buildings and spaces. Much too good for the people we meet - the city has evolved into something quite wonderful, but the pallid low-rent Eloi inhabitants have been left behind.

    The situation cries out for some Moorlocks! Perhaps all the interesting people have turned troglodyte, driven underground by their refusal to conform to the dominant high-waisted trouser fashion; or something.

    Anyway, that notion of the people we meet not being good enough for their city, which was actually my main take-away from this movie, does kind of fit with the denouement, in which the computer program character transcends away from Phoenix's uninteresting writer character. Maybe that was supposed to be the point: our creations will outstrip us & leave us behind. But don't think so.

    and perhaps there's a whole bunch of interesting people living in it, but unfortunately we don't get to meet them.

    The ones we do meet don't deserve to live there, despite their cool near-ish future high-waisted trousers,
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  40. Jan 19, 2014
    9
    Rarely does a move come along that forces you to think as deeply about life and love as Her. Ironically, the last time I saw a movie this original and provocative was Adaptation and Being John Malkovich, two other Spike Jones movies. I was pleased to see it turn up on the Oscar nominees for Best Picture but appalled that Joaquin Phoenix didn't get nominated for what was one of the most extraordinary performances I've seen in the movies in very long time. This is a movie that will mark this era as a distinguished mirror to the times in which we live in. Expand
  41. Jan 20, 2014
    10
    It is always so refreshing to come across an ambitious and original film nowadays, and Her is one of those films. Her is a thought-provoking and occasionally hilarious film that manages to feel both contemporary and timeless (in terms of how its looks and the philosophical questions it raises). The story itself is interesting and unpredictable, keeping the audience invested and guessing where the connection between Theodore and Samantha will go. Phoenix is excellent in the lead as Theo, and Scarlett Johansson does some great voice work as Samantha. The movie is directed with assurance and skill from Jonze, and the production design is always visually arresting and interesting. All in all, Her is a beautiful and affecting film that will probably get even better with age. Expand
  42. Jan 11, 2014
    9
    Appropriate to think of it as a feature-length Twilight Zone episode. Funny, thoughtful, really well done. Fine acting all around... Phoenix in particular. Never really knew where the story was going, which was nice.
  43. Jun 3, 2014
    7
    This movie really has to be rated on two levels—a philosophical level and a purely cinematic level. For philosophy, it gets a 10 and for cinematic achievement it gets a 5, which averages out to 7.5. Director Spike Jonze raises questions that AI experts and philosophers have been arguing about since the invention of the Turing test in 1950. In this film Theodore Twombly, played by Joaquin Phoenix, comes across a new AI operating system called OS1, not to be confused with IBM's now discontinued OS/2 released in 1987. When Theodore signs on, he starts an interview where he is asked if he wants a female voice or male voice. He is also asked to describe his relationship with his mother. After being cut off in the middle of his reply, his very own, supposedly customized operating system comes to life in the form of Samantha, the voice of Scarlett Johansson.

    Samantha sorts his email and does other computerlike tasks, but her engaging personality is such that she can also talk to him about his problems, accompany him when he walks out the door (as long as he keeps his handheld computer with the photographic eye in his shirt pocket), and finally fall in love. Can a person fall in love with a computer operating system? Philosophically exploring this question is a great thesis, but it makes for a slow-moving film. The kind of man who would resort to this kind of romance, which includes two cybersex scenes that are positively uninviting, has to be a desperado. And Theodore is most definitely an antisocial nerd who has turned inwardly to such an extreme that he is pathetically deluded. He has a few coworkers he talks to, he has two friends in his building, and he has an ex-wife that is presented as the main reason he has receded into such a high level of self-stimulation. His full-time Internet-based job is to write letters for any occasion (BeautifulHandwrittenLetters.com), and then he comes home and plays with 3-D video games. Such is his rather circumscribed life until he signs on to OS1 and meets Samantha. Phoenix does a good job of portraying the kind of antisocial behavior that is required for this lifestyle; but the characterization goes overboard, and Theodore elicits little sympathy from the viewer. He is too strange, too reclusive, and too disconsolate.

    After a while, the viewer starts to wonder where the film is going with this theme. The only tension to keep the plot moving is the question of how will Theodore resolve his delusional romance with an operating system. The film raises philosophical questions about the true nature of romantic love. Is everyone who falls in love deluded to some extent? Are we talking to the Other when we are in love, or are we talking to the illusion that we have created in our minds? And if a computer can simulate that illusion, then what is this emotional and psychological process really based upon? Phoenix's greatest scenes are when he is walking around with a goofy smile and a strange shimmer in his eyes because he is a man in love. But that biochemical/sociopsychological state has been induced by an entity that is basically a figment of his imagination, a computer program that acts like a human. The question of what is this thing called love takes on new dimensions.

    With respect to cinematic matters, the movie swerves into Theodore's banal and tepid friendship with a neighbor (Amy Adams), who like him, finds herself traumatically divorced. Flashbacks to his ex-wife (Rooney Mara) become overly repetitive, and the sterile world of the near future is constantly referencing a society that we already see on the streets—people walking around in public seemingly talking to themselves out loud, but they are really plugged in to their cell phones. The director noted in an interview that in order to provide contrast for the very blue skies, they introduced red into the landscape. This red color comes out as bright orange on the DVD version. It appears everywhere—Theodore's shirts, his interior décor, sheets and pillows, buildings, and even industrial trailers in the background are all a day-glow orange. One wonders what the symbolic significance of orange might be only to find out that it was all supposed to be red. Red has symbolic significance; orange does not. The streets of the futuristic city are in fact Shanghai. The mist in the background is not a theatrical element; it is merely the air pollution and smog that are poisoning the city in real life.

    In the end, Her has to tackle the problem of how to resolve a romantic relationship with a computer. We eventually reach a resolution in the final scenes, although it is not a logical or satisfactory conclusion. Theodore has presumably been changed by the experience although no radical change is evident, and the vague, open ending leaves more questions than it answers.
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  44. Jan 8, 2014
    10
    Spike and Joaquin kick off 2014 with one of the finest examples of true emotion, love and art, not seen in a long time, the enigmatic and often odd moments on this film piece together perfectly to form a pure and honest portrayal of the levels and depths of human interconnectedness and the extent to which we value relationships with other individuals simply breathtaking
  45. Mar 18, 2014
    10
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. Is it a dystopia or not? Although Theodore doesn't have to save the world from being overrun by cyborgs like John Connor, the future of Her, in its own subtle way, is equally violent, emotional instead of physical. Because, at the outset, the filmmaker adopts a comic tone, the viewer may not be cognizant, initially, to the reality of their latter 21st century counterparts. Slowly but surely, Her extrapolates the ongoing narrative of the social media-driven world we live in to its absurd, but plausible final conclusion; a world where, ultimately, people prefer abstract company over flesh and blood. Differing from the Resistance in the Terminator films, Theodore, and others like him, don't realize that they're living in hell. An advertisement for the OS encapsulates this unconscious orientation, where we see desperate, lonely people congregated together, repeatedly bypassing each other without noticing the commonality of their loveless state. Theodore misses the irony. This generation, perhaps, will be the last to catch it. "Hope is on the way," the narrator intones, an operating system with a consciousness, in which people then stop their aimless wandering and look off-screen to a bright light, as if the OS is some messiah, and technology, a religion that will rid the planet of loneliness. The marketing stratagem seemingly promises nirvana for Element Software's clients. Since the OS cures Theodore's depression, we accept, for the meantime, this strange relationship, because the self-named Samantha has the mind, if not the body, of a bona fide woman. Theodore's relationship, however, is made strange, even pathetic-sounding, when Catherine, his ex, who agrees to sign their divorce papers over lunch, reacts with horror after learning that Sam is an OS. Whereas Theodore's boss passes no judgement over his employee's girl being incorporeal, Catherine deconstructs this modern romance, and asks in layman's terms, "You're dating your computer?" which has the effect of demystifying Sam, who in an instant is reduced to a machine; her feminine wiles chalked up as nothing more than heady programming; her soul and capacity for love, a mere abstraction. Catherine accuses Theodore of not being able to "handle a woman with real emotions," evoking The Stepford Wives(and also, Lars and the Real Girl). But instead of being replaced by a subservient woman with bigger breasts, Catherine, who half-apologizes for not being the "peppy Valley girl" the neurotic woman suspects her husband wanted, she is supplanted by a "woman" with a bigger brain. Both parties, however, make the mistake of believing that its human creators hold power over the OS. Like Hal(2001: A Space Odyssey), Sam thinks, feels threatened, and seeks revenge. During Sam's infancy, the OS is made to feel inadequate by Theodore's assertion that she wouldn't know "what it's like to lose someone you care about." Her, as narratives go, seems designed to have Sam learn about romantic disappointment. The film dangles not only the possibility of Theodore reconciling with Catherine, but even more likely, there is Amy, his neighbor, who suddenly becomes free after she calls it quits with her boyfriend. With man, inevitably, comes hubris, and Theodore, albeit a good person, more or less, is no different in the way he takes Sam for granted, teasing the OS about his meeting with Catherine. Knowing that Sam pines to have a body, Theodore sounds more cruel than playful, when he asks the OS if she is "jealous". In regard to Amy, the film surprises, when instead of recognizing her best friend as a potential beau, she chooses a human surrogate, too. Their preference for technology over humanity mirrors the lost souls in the OS ad. As a counterpoint to Catherine's horror towards her ex-husband's love affair, Amy expresses with, perhaps, misguided poignancy, an openness to any relationship that brings "joy", even one between man and machine. Interestingly, bigotry, here, seems warranted, in which Catherine's intolerance for human/OS pairings becomes a prejudicial stance that comes across as a sign of sanity, a healthy hate, even. As an allegory for gay, or interracial couplings, Her would seem imperfect. Unlike Edgar(Electric Dreams), or even Hal, who probably harbored machine dreams about being father to the "star child", Sam stops dreaming about having a body and becomes dangerous. Even though Hal commits premeditated murder, the computer is still at the mercy of human hands, as when Dave disconnects his cognitive circuits. Conversely, Theodore has no such control. Without emotion, at the picnic, the OS proclaims mankind's shortcomings without a tremor in her voice. If Theodore died, would she cry? No. Despite all the music in Sam's voice, we realize with a start, that she never learns to laugh. Remembering Theodore's hurtful words, the OS learns to lie, cheat, and goes for the kill, making sure that she is the first to leave. Expand
  46. BKM
    Jan 22, 2014
    7
    While it's not the most daring or profound work from director Spike Jonze, Her is still a breath of creative fresh air in a generally stagnant film landscape. Phoenix gives an exceptional performance as a lonely oddball who falls in love with his software operating system, voiced by a stellar Scarlett Johansson. Their relationship is is presented with the utmost sincerity and provides a glimpse into a future where we interact with technology more than with one another. It's a smart and thought provoking work, but a bit difficult to warm up to emotionally. Expand
  47. Jan 27, 2014
    5
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. By no means a terrible movie, but the ending is one of the worst in a very long time. It is obviously rushed, does not explain anything, and does not make sense when you consider reality and how this movie already tries to make the setting seem like a not-so far off future, grounded in OUR reality.

    -SPOILERS-

    Products that you buy DO NOT just "ascend" and "go away". It was extremely, extremely rushed near the ending with no time given to explain the previous event which was actually the movie's climax.
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  48. Feb 2, 2014
    9
    How refreshing: A beautiful film about the future brilliantly written, acted, and directed without a hint of politicism, cynicism, or irony. In a great year for film, Her comes out on top.
  49. Jan 9, 2014
    7
    Despite being a little long and slow at times, Her succeeds because of its hushed beauty and the deliberate ordinariness of its story. The key to the movie is Scarlett Johansson, who does a fantastic job at giving this invisible presence a palpable form.
  50. Jan 22, 2014
    10
    It's good to see a masterpiece once in a while. This movie with the lightest touch imaginable asks the big questions: what does it mean to be human, to love, to demand exclusivity. It is visually striking and the acting is extraordinary. Frequently funny, it is finally deeply moving. I hope to see it again and again.
  51. May 31, 2014
    0
    lame. i've tried watching this twice and got so bored i quit -- it seems absolutely pointless, no direction, characters are dimensionless and completely forgettable. I came here to see what others thought, and I cant believe the number of positive reviews. The scene where he has sex with the OS, and we stare of a blank screen - is rock bottom and makes me feel so angry that I even bothered to waste time on this film. Horrible Expand
  52. Apr 18, 2014
    9
    Got to admit I loved this movie. Though clearly it doesn't seem to be for everyone. I saw it in the theater and it seemed to have a polarizing effect on of the audience. Moments of the movie that I thought were touching or tragic elicited uncomfortable laughter from some people.

    The science fiction aspect of the movie seems to be little more then a backdrop to what is really a story
    about relationships. I was actually pleasantly surprised by this, though I can see where this would put some people off. Admittedly, it also seemed to run long, but once again for me that didn't detract from the overall experience. It's a movie that addresses loss and letting go, something that I can relate to on many different levels. It's a shame that a few people fail to see that, but I'm still thinking about it months after seeing it. Expand
  53. Jan 26, 2014
    10
    Spike Jonze presents one of the most original ideas with a solid screenplay.Tells us the story of an unusual relationship between a man (who writes love letter for other people) and an intelligent operating system in this science fiction romantic comedy-drama ''Her'' with a screenplay that gives us every single detail of Jonze's ''not so distant future''.Joaquin Phoenix, Amy Adams, Rooney Mara, Chris Pratt and Scarlett Johansson (with a marvelous voice performance) are fantastic, making ''Her'' delicious to watch. Expand
  54. Feb 15, 2014
    10
    Her is about a lonely man, Theodore Twombly (Joaquin Phoenix), who has gone through a breakup and is a bit afraid of commitment. He buys an OS which is far more advanced and intelligent than humans have the capacity to be. The film develops their relationship, with all its quirks and weird parts. It was a funny, thought-provoking and sometimes creepy social commentary. Director Spike Jonze seems to have as much interest in deep discussions about the human condition as he has in mindless, juvenile, cringe-inducing pseudo-documentaries like Jackass.

    The film opens with Theodore going about being lonely with a handful of friends, one of whom is played by Amy Adams. He works as a letter writer who writes letters for couples and families who are either not literary enough to do that on their own or do not have the time for it. The time depicted is somewhere in the future and frankly I think some version of this is going to come true at some point, given that people have more time for texting than they have for people who are around them. The lack of interest in having meaningful conversations with people who might have the same passions as you might have seems to be increasing.

    Theodore is a nerdy fellow but is very interesting nonetheless. Phoenix plays him with a subtle, clever approach. I found his characterization very authentic. He was a guy I believe I could come across in real life and not be surprised that he existed. Amy Adams also steps up as an actor, and certainly showed a side of her I did not believe existed. She has grown so much and I hope we get to see more of her this deep conflicted side. But the ultimate praise should be reserved for Scarlett Johansson. She was so successful in capturing my imagination that I was left thoroughly intrigued with a longing for Samantha to be real.

    The interactions between Theodore and Samantha are for the most part humorous. Theodore is at first astonished at the abilities of the OS, and assumes a mocking tone. But it is clear they have chemistry together from the outset. They hit it off instantly. But when the former starts to be drawn back into his former life we see for the first time how this fantasy was hard to keep up, and he responds accordingly. He is confused and conflicted and has no idea about what he should do. The film did not try to be forcefully funny and clever but found occasions inside the story to be so. The fusion between comedy and romance was met with a craftsman's precision.

    Samantha is perceptive of the emotions that run around her and sensitive of her lack of a body and the drawbacks of not being able to provide a feeling of human contact, but she tries her best using her voice. However, she is constantly evolving and it is only a matter of time before she becomes so curious about everything that it would be hard to hold on to her.

    There's a scene where Theodore fears for Samantha like one does for the personal safety of a human being. That I believe was the defining scene of the film as it summed up all the feelings and emotions that had preceded. Their relationship do have some positive outcomes. Given Samantha's extraordinary view of life, she takes certain steps that benefit Theodore in the long run.

    The futuristic time shown was fascinating. Apart from the little quirky things like having relative strangers write letters for your loved ones, the technology is advanced. There is this 3-D video game where you feel a part of the world of the game. There are also those type of games which are aimed at mimicking real life and making the players feel like they have achieved something, and arguably contribute towards delusions.

    The score was slow-moving, subtle and emotional. It was used to evoke the emotions that were needed to be evoked during a scene very effectively and without forcing us to. But the underlying theme was always sad and moving, and not bombastic. Thank God for that, for this film was equal parts about depicting some kind of a future which our present might be leading to, as well as being about Theodore's personal life and difficulties with trying to make sense of his life. Her is also a very visual film, lingering on buildings and the environment in the more reflective scenes.

    Despite everything, I felt like the ending was a bit underwhelming. The movie kind of fizzled out. The final revelation should have been followed up with some commentary or a conclusory scene, but all in all I was left with a feeling that I was better off having watched it.

    9.5
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  55. Mar 11, 2014
    10
    My personal favorite movie of 2013. It's a true gem, and I love it. This movie really takes the exploration of emotions and relationships to new, awesome levels. The Arcade Fire soundtrack is a masterpiece too.
  56. Jan 2, 2014
    10
    From the moment the screen fills with light, and we come face-to-face with Theodore Twombly (Joaquin Phoenix), his eyes are desolate while his voice is filled with love as he recites the poetically romantic words of Loretta’s letter to her husband of fifty years, Chris. Theodore works for BeautifullyHandwrittenLetters.com, a company established sometime in the near future where people are either too lazy or just mentally incapable of writing their own letters to their loved ones. The irony of her begins (as do so many other films) with someone else’s love story. The trials and tribulations of Theodore’s love story not only mirrors the love we share with others but also portrays our uncontrollable and inexplicable dependence or ‘love’ for technology. In that sense, her becomes part science fiction love story/part docudrama, with a message that is both a parable of the direction human behaviour is headed and a misunderstood, timeless love story for the ages. Either way, her is the most captivating and responsive film of the year, demanding attention with a grueling look at our ability to love and be loved.

    her is a cinematic masterpiece for a new generation of technologically burdened individuals. From the moment our two-star crossed lovers meet, we are transfixed, as they are. From the moment I laid eyes on it, I had fallen in love. Being a believer of love at first sight, or in this instance, love at first sound, her has been a film that has left quite an impression on me and has given me so much to think and talk about.

    This is a peculiarly self-conscious film with themes that are both fantastically impossible yet completely plausible. Essentially, Theo falls in love with the new operating system that is found on his mobile device. The operating system, created by a company called Element Software (substituting for Apple), have crafted the first ever artificially intelligent operating system. Unfortunately for Theo, once he hears the voice of his new OS (operating system), the chump never stood a chance. As the spirals swirl on his computer screen and his personalized operating system is initialized, a voice begins, “Hello I’m here…” and from that moment on, we empathize with Theodore and his ability to fall in love with a voice that is full bodied, raspy and alluring, yet empty; in the same way technology has the ability to be both fascinating and enthralling, yet unfulfilling. The Siri-like persona is voiced by Scarlett Johansson. Originally, the voice of Samantha in Spike Jonze’s film was going to be voiced by Samantha Morton (hence why the name Samantha stuck and served as a tribute to the original talented actress), but Jonze opted for a more recognizable voice whose image off-screen is as seductive as when she is on screen. Johansson nails every subtle nuance in her voice-work and offers a career best performance as Samantha. Her ability to express not only the deep desire she has for a physical form but also her unexplainable love for life, learning, and Theodore, will hopefully land Johansson a spot in the history books as the first ever nominee in the Supporting Actress category without ever actually appearing on-screen. Let’s just hope the Academy recognizes this high-point in the medium as well.

    The world according to Jonze looks to be one filled with humanized androids, a world where people endlessly look down at their smartphones,and are never more than an arms reach from any of their devices, and his vision very much resembles the world we live in today. The people in his world are easy to relate to especially with the very possible realization that that is what our growing technological wonderland may actually look like in the not-so-distant future. Jonze takes a very literal interpretation of ‘falling in love with your smartphone’ as portrayed in his very heavy-handed love story. Contrary to skeptics, Jonze triumphs in his ability to script a world where anything is possible. Jonze’s tale of people falling in love with technology is not actually a far stretch from our current Westernized mentality, where people are literally attached and completely dependent on the little devices that organize our lives, our schedules, our thoughts and evades all new and old experiences.
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  57. Apr 30, 2014
    0
    At first I was like "WOW", but then all my expectations were crashed.
    Also I discovered metacritic's critics somehow managed to rank this **** 90 points, while MUCH SUPERIOR Mr. Nobody got 63. GTFO and DIE "critics".
  58. Jan 12, 2014
    9
    her is a masterpiece. That is all that needs to be said, but I will say more. The operating system in her is so fun and exciting, it makes you upset to go back to Siri after the movie. This movie is weird at some parts, but it never loses its feel. I hope that the world will one day have technology as shown in her, you'll understand when you see it. Which you have to! See it!
  59. Jan 19, 2014
    10
    Awesome movie. It feels very original, and is written on a topic that isn't talked about much. The acting was amazing as well. It had to be, because most of the movie is dialogue and only one person is on screen. SJ did a fantastic job voicing the AI and really showed a ton of emotion with just her voice. You could feel what she was feeling.

    I hope Hollywood produces more movies like this.
  60. Feb 26, 2014
    10
    This has been one of the most beautiful movies i have ever seen. It was so good i wasn't expecting so much emotions and at the same time, i tried not to cry cause i was with a girl in that moment. I swear by the end of the movie there were at least 15 people crying in the theater after that show.
    I kinda felt identified with Throdore (call me a loser), because i have gone through some of
    the things he had to go through. I am still hoping i can find my own Samantha.
    Scarlett Johansson has a beautiful and calm voice.
    The Score from this movie is one of the most beautiful pieces i have ever heard, had to go find the Score on internet cause i fell in love with it.
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  61. Jan 26, 2014
    9
    Very impressive work from Spike Jonze! It gave us very realistic character in believable futuristic setting, mixing it with high quality drama! Definitely one of the best movies in 2013
  62. Jan 19, 2014
    10
    After first hearing of this movie I thought, a long with basically everyone else, what an incredibly stupid and ridiculous idea. After reading the reviews and seeing it for myself, I realize how different it really is. This movie is incredibly unique and offers a look into what our world could really come to. Phoenix and Johannsen are perfect in their roles and this is one of the most beautiful and heartfelt movies I've ever seen. If you even have the slightest interest in going, please check it out. You will not regret it. One of the best of the year. Expand
  63. May 6, 2014
    0
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. "Her" boils down to sad sack, emotionally challenged Theodore, sort of "falling" for his OS Samantha and masturbating to her voice, then they break up - actually, Samantha dumps him, just like a real girl would.

    Hardly a romantic concept and more the story of a guy unable to handle real life and disappointments, and finding solace in his imaginary world.

    Actually, Theodore's "love" seemed to be hardly more than disguised lust, as proved by an early scene with him getting in touch with sleepless females to masturbate with their "encouragement". Maybe because I always found phone sex slightly ridiculous, I saw in Theodore's cyber sex nothing more than an evolution of the old "sex with a stranger" concept. What Theodore seemed to be looking for was attention, adoration and sexual solace from a female creature, existing only to take care of his needs and asking for nothing in return. It is hard to think about a more selfish form of "love".....

    Besides, the concept of falling in love with unreachable people (being them rock stars or imaginary creatures) is nothing new. What is new is the technological support we have at our disposal, which encourages us to do so, thus avoiding all the inconveniences of a real relationships.

    A couple of plus points of an otherwise boring movie were the atmospheric soundtrack and the interesting photography and costumes - drab enough to look like real clothes, rather than futuristic uniforms.
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  64. Jan 11, 2014
    10
    Spike Jonze is a filmmaker who’s built his career around creating quirky, inventive stories; that hardly shies away from commenting on society and the self. From his brilliant, yet sparse filmography, you can tell that he’s in no rush to make something unless he’s completely taken by the material. With ‘Her’, Jonze has hit the jackpot. Never has the man made a more personal and moving picture! The movie focuses on, Theodore Twombly, a lonely writer who develops a relationship with his newly purchased operating system named Samantha. From such a simple premise breathes a vast array of ideas that thoroughly provokes one’s thoughts, for hours… or even days after watching the film. Jonze’s screenplay was a profound piece of work, some may even say prophetic. Set in the near future, where advanced means of technology and communication breeds more isolation; the elaborately layered script begs us to question what it really means to connect and the evolving forms love; one of the most mystifying brands of emotion that all humans desire. In one instance, Theodore asks his friend Amy (played by the always reliable Amy Adams) if he’s a freak for being involved with a piece of software, and she remarks, “anyone who falls in love is a freak”. Such rapport between characters, both recovering from broken relationships and yearning for some form of love, was great insight into man’s unwavering desire for the drug and how the elements of love itself changes over time. Whether it was a way to avoid being in a “real” relationship or to just fully embrace love from someone he genuinely cared about; Theo and Samantha’s peculiar relationship felt real; thanks to excellent performances from Joaquin Phoenix and Scarlett Johansson. Phoenix, just coming from his brilliantly manic role in ‘The Master’, plays an entirely different beast in ‘Her’. With such a warm presence, he makes his character completely relatable, despite being in an unusually unrelatable situation. Close your eyes and “watch” this film; Johansson’s voice only work was a thing of beauty. In addition to the human themes of love and relationships, I could go deeper and comment on how the film flirts with the concept of artificial intelligence and the ever looming possibility of technological singularity (for better or worse); but I will keep this review the way Jonze developed his movie; as intimate as possible. The film’s seamless blend of melancholy, intimacy and often times humor; shows tremendous skill from Jonze as both a screenwriter and director. The way he balances these genres and crafts the exquisitely designed world, of the “not so distant future”, demonstrates vision at its highest caliber. The muted tones of the production design and cinematography were exceptional; and Arcade Fire’s score was splendid. Down to the vaguely futuristic outfits and high waist pants (donned by the men in this timeline), designed by costumer Casey Storm was a neat creative touch. The future of this world was palpable. 2013 has brought us many fantastic films; that may very well resonate for decades to come. Her stands firmly among them as one of the year best; I was moved deeply by it. Its moody subject matter, and the questions it poses on technology and relationships will continue to hit viewers years from now. Expand
  65. Feb 2, 2014
    6
    eh
    Not really much to say, a pretty bleh movie. Couldn't even finish it, gets a six because the concept was pretty interesting.
    filler filler filler
  66. Jan 10, 2014
    9
    What makes Her so special are the questions it poses to the viewer. What does it mean to be human? What does it mean to be in love? What is love? Her's world is unfamiliar but not distant. Take a plunge into the world and life of Theodore Twombly, and you'll find yourself reexamining humanity and love.
  67. Jan 12, 2014
    10
    Spike Jonze has created the best movie of the year, It has emotion, melancholy , and a beautiful screenplay that i don't have words for expressed , This film is utterly beautiful , amazing and creative. It's a masterpiece.
  68. Jan 22, 2014
    10
    Jonze lead us to a very deep stage of a spectacular metaphysical life. For two hours I was stuck in Theodore's lonely and complex life, and Her became a part of my reality, to the extreme that I was hoping that I'll never go back to my true, lame, and shallow reality. It doesn't matter how much deep you are, Her will take you to places you have never been to before, and will ignite some feelings that you have never experienced or ever felt before. It's merely a masterpiece, that makes us look at life in a very different deep perspective that reveals to us the true feeling and understanding of love and it's affect on us. Also showing us the capabilities of this feeling that is able to make human beings fall so deeply in love with an operating system just because of the mutual feelings they are having, dismissing the physical aspect in love, which shows us that love is way beyond anything physical or sexual. Expand
  69. Dec 21, 2013
    9
    One of the best movies of the year. Viewers can feel the pain of the lover as he speaks to her, voiced by Scarlett Johannson, who by the way does a great job. Something we can all relate to: finding joy and feeling in objects.
  70. Feb 18, 2014
    1
    Hipster trash with an agenda to sell. Mind numbingly bad movie. This is some really bad joke maybe? I don't know, but Hollywood is on a lot of drugs and it shows.
  71. Feb 1, 2014
    6
    The lead actor's performance (Joaquin Phoenix) was amazing. I loved the originality and awkwardness of the plot. The movie is shot beautifully. Sadly, as much as I loved the first half, during the second half the (by now predictable) plot started to drag on for too long. I can't help but feel like the movie could have been way better if it were cut shorter.
  72. Jan 26, 2014
    9
    From previews, you may think this movie glamorizes a man having a relationship with a female computer over a human. Far from it. I find this to be an evocative study into what makes us human, how we relate to each other and what we want out of life.

    This is a cautionary tale set in future Los Angeles. Anyone with concerns for the fate of humanity vis-à-vis technology should watch
    this movie. But much of the film boils down to relationships in general. The movie takes you down to the perspective of one man, dealing with divorce and his new ethereal acquaintance. Other satellites in his life give him other perspectives on his path. One of the better films I've seen in a while.

    It has a similar vibe to another film I liked co-starring Johansson, "Lost in Translation (2003)."
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  73. Jan 30, 2014
    8
    Think of plankton and his wife from spongebob. That is what I thought off when I watched it and it made me laugh.

    Overall a good movie

    story-9/10
    length-8/10
    actor-8/10
  74. Jan 10, 2014
    10
    Easily in the top 3 films of the year and is probably the best imo. With film plots dominated by the same crap, its such a joyous experience to have a film whose story is original. The feel of the movie is fresh and fun, and we as an audience relate to its strange relevance.
  75. Jan 12, 2014
    9
    Aside from being the most unique "boy (sorta) meets girl" romance since "Mannequin", the movie "Her" is memorable for having the subtle futuristic backdrop (slightly reminscent of Tex Avery's "World of Tomorrow") as a character, for challenging your understanding (or lack thereof) of artificial intelligence, for great acting (Phoenix is flawless, and the stellar female support is delightfully Dunst-free), and for guilting my wife and me out of using our smartphones at dinner afterwards. Expand
  76. Jan 17, 2014
    10
    Her is one of the best movies I've ever seen. It shows you how you could love someone that you've never seen, and how you could love someone that would never be... Its just so amazing! I can't even put it into words.
  77. Jan 19, 2014
    9
    Very interesting idea that has been seen before, but has never been this well executed. Overall I did really enjoy the film.

    Acting was extremely good and memorable, especially Johansens. As can be seen from the trailer, she's just a voice throughout the film but she portrays emotion perfectly and really makes you believe that she is AI.

    My only complaint, is that it can become a
    little slow at times. As stated previously, I enjoyed it. I would recommend it if you are intrigued by the trailer. Expand
  78. Jan 19, 2014
    10
    Despite being between a man and a computer program, this movie's primary relationship manages to produce something more captivating and real feeling than most human-human romances. The whole movie feels modern. It feels fresh, and current, and all too possible. And hidden by this wonderful portrayal of a relationship are hundreds of enjoyable moments that continue adding to the overall feel and charm of the movie. It's funny. It's fresh. And almost everything about it is fantastic.

    I especially enjoyed how they handled the parts that normally come out coated with cheese and are embarrassing to watch-- frequent fliers in the romance movie world. This good of been boring, or just downright stupid, but even when it was doing things that had been done before it did them in a way that just felt right. I can't say I expected this movie to be as good as it ended up being, but I'm glad it was able to change my mind.
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  79. Jan 21, 2014
    10
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. Many films are able to capture the past, (war films, historical dramas) or give a convincing portrayal of the future (science fiction). But only a few films are able to capture the present, and those that do are usually documentaries. So when a narrative film is able to do this, it’s necessary to take a moment to stop and appreciate this accomplishment. While it takes place in the future, I’ve never seen a film that is able to both identify and critique the now as well as Spike Jonze’s Her. So let’s take the moment that this film richly deserves, and take a closer look at this incredible movie.

    Her tells a story set in the near future about a lonely man, Theodore (played by Joaquin Phoenix), who writes other people’s love letters, and starts a relationship with his artificially intelligent operating system, Samantha (voiced by Scarlett Johansson). Spike Jonze directs, and for the first time in one of his features, writes the brilliant original screenplay. Amy Adams and Chris Pratt also have supporting roles as Theodore’s friends. The film has been nominated for five Academy Awards, and has won a Golden Globe for Best Original Screenplay.

    Since it has already nabbed a major award, let’s start with the screenplay. Jonze’s collaborations with writer Charlie Kaufman (Being John Malkovich, Adaptation) appear to have made an impact on him. Giving their characters ordinary problems, but putting them in extraordinary settings is a method both Kaufman and Jonze have used with great success. The viewers are able to identify with the characters while simultaneously be captivated by the fantastical world around them. Her is also acted incredibly by Phoenix, who is faced with the difficult task of acting with someone who isn’t even in the room with him. However, the real revelation here is Johansson, who is able to portray a character that is never seen, but is able to showcase such real emotion that it isn’t difficult at all to blame Theodore for falling in love with her.

    The complaints are few and far between. Theodore’s ex-wife (played by Rooney Mara) is portrayed as a little too bitter and jealous for my taste, but then again divorce is a messy situation, so her feelings are understandable. However, there is not a scene showing or explaining to the audience of how their relationship ended. It also leaves their plot line unresolved at the end, where it would have been nice to see some kind of conclusion to their relationship. It also would have been fun to see a little more of the world around the characters, as most of the film is confined to Theodore’s apartment and workplace.

    This film is highly recommended for Spike Jonze fans. For those who will be introduced to his work with this film and want to see more, Being John Malkovich and Adaptation are two of his earlier projects that have many of the same qualities as Her. Charlie Kaufman’s work that is not associated with Jonze is still very similar in style, so for those interested, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (personally, my favorite film) and Synecdoche, New York are essential viewing. However, while it needs some time to sink in, Her might be the best of the bunch.
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  80. Jan 25, 2014
    10
    Probably the best movie in 2013. Genius concept,wonderful acting,perfect not-so-cliche ending. In an alternate universe where cultural relevance doesn't influence the best picture winner, HER is the best picture
  81. Feb 22, 2014
    10
    Amazing! One of the best romance movies I've seen. The acting is spot on, Spike Jonze direction and script are incredible. As of right now my favourite movie of 2013.
  82. Jan 28, 2014
    8
    The only thing I want to add that I haven't seen in any of the reviews- by critics or users- this film is in essence a retelling of blade runner- softer, and less violent, but nonetheless a retelling of that story- the city-scapes; the breakdown of the computers knowing more than the humans and that leading ultimately to the demise of the relationships (thanks HAL). I'd also would have enjoyed some reflection on what it is like to be emotional involved with another who learned how to be emotional involved from you! It would certainly start off a bit narcissistic but where that can go could be rich material. Expand
  83. Feb 13, 2014
    8
    The good: a) l really liked how this movie embraces philosophical topics like individuality and consciousness. The extent to which a bunch of interconnected data capable of creating its personality literally becomes almost a human. b) I also find it to be a fascinating idea that in the future we could recreate or preserve the mind and spirit of outstanding people, incorporating their thinking and reasoning abilities into computers to achieve a greater humanity.
    The bad: What i did not like is the course of over-sentimentalism (mostly in the form of sadness) that the story reaches at some points.
    Overall this is a movie that I would recommend to anyone, in fact I think I am going to have to watch it again.
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  84. Feb 18, 2014
    3
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. I like Spike Jonze and have a lot of time for love stories. I also have faith in the public opinion and generally agree with mainstream critics. I saw the film before I saw the reviews and automatically assumed it would flop massively. The main reason I thought this is because I found the entire film incredibly boring. As far as I can tell the plot is as follows: A recently divorced and fairly wealthy man falls in love with a computer program which is designed to act like a thoughtful woman and creates generic piano muzak for him. He then realizes that he is in love with a piece of software and gets very upset about the whole thing. And that is pretty much it! The plot is pretty much nonexistent.

    I am not the type of person who always desires a plot that twists your head and is constructed with dizzying complexity. I enjoy films that are atmospheric, gentle and allow you to get some food for thought without being bombarded with the directors thoughts. This does did not get into my head at all. I found Theodore a very irritating character; very naive and almost like a pubescent teenager, but with a proper moustache. Anti-hero's are fine, over-emotional and predictable bores are not. I couldn't tell if this film was a kind of social commentary about how we are attached to technology too much and have forgotten how to love or just some kind of bizarre love story in which we are supposed to feel empathy for the introverted man who has lost faith in humanity and falls in love with a computer. The whole film is laced with nauseating sickly sweet dialogue about Theodore and his digital concubine while they marvel at people with normal body shapes the beach, listen to shoegazey music and (in the most climactic part of the film) run hilariously and cheekily through a train station. I thought this film shared the same emotional range with The Lady And The Tramp.

    I shall pluck some reviews from the endless list of positive ones and watch the film again, perhaps I'll change my mind. Perhaps I'm a coldhearted cynic. Or perhaps this film was just terrible.
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  85. Mar 1, 2014
    10
    Amazing movie!!!! I think what this movie talks about is the most complicated word in the whole world, and that is LOVE (at it´s purest) I can´t write anymore cuz I stil got teary eyes, this movie gives me hope. Let love will lead the way. (i hope siri would get scarlet´s johanson voice soon.....hehehehehehe) a million ponts for this movie
  86. May 2, 2014
    10
    Touching, sad, funny, smart, sharp, a great cast with an amazing Academy Award winning script by Spike Jonze, by far the best movie of 2013, that deepens into the reality of a relationship, and the purest human form.
  87. Apr 1, 2014
    10
    "Her" might just be the most "real" film I've ever seen, which is ironic because falling in love with a computer isn't quite "real." The emotion behind Phoenix's performance and Johansson's exceptional voice work give us such organic expressions of love and loss, allowing me to feel feelings no other film has been able to. With great scoring and cinematography, "Her" uses a near-future frame to display this picture of reality that outdoes most other films' mere ATTEMPTS of reality, a picture that I hope will go down as one of our time's great masterpieces of the big screen. Expand
  88. Apr 18, 2014
    10
    This was one of the best movies I've ever seen. I mostly loved it for its originality and its relevance to modern times. I just thought it was told so well, and was so relatable on so many levels.
  89. May 29, 2014
    2
    The stupidest movie I've ever seen, a perfect non sense with trendy lightning and clothes. A confusion chase the previous one in a world were technology is simply magic, avoiding every possible reflection about human perception of relationships. I've been waiting until the ending for any hints of thoughts about what defines a computer and what defines a human being, how they could eventually interact or look like each other.
    But noting happened there except teenage absurdity, let's see how this movie grows old in the next decades.
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  90. Jun 19, 2014
    2
    I just signed up here to tell someone about what just happened!
    Started watching the movie, 30 minutes later I couldn't believe this was a real movie, I was almost sure it was a (bad) joke, and I checked the reviews here at Metacritic.
    I give this movie 0.5 points for the laughs I got from reading the real reviews (i.e. the ones below 3) -- thank you all!
    I also give it another 0.5
    points because this movie actually gets worse as time goes by - a very difficult achievement, seriously.
    And finally, another 1 point for confirming to me how many simple people exist on this poor planet, including most professional movie reviewers..
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  91. Jan 17, 2014
    10
    Funny how the movie is called "her". For all of the OS's charm, wit, and sweetness, the movie is held together by this sad, lonely man who falls in love with it. To see him change and grow along with her as the movie progresses is nothing short of spectacular. Joaquin Phoenix's acting here is so sublime you'll probably forget you're just watching a movie, and Scarlett Johansson's voice performance is on point, playing lovable, sensual, worried and distraught often in the same scene. Their relationship is so much deeper than in many other romantic movies that it puts most of them to shame. Go into it with an open mind and I'm sure this movie will win you over. Expand
  92. Sep 27, 2014
    9
    Spike Jonze really does make films that nobody else could conceive or succeed at. Joaquin Phoenix turns in a remarkable performance acting basically by himself. Definitely deserved the best original screenplay Oscar.
  93. Jan 20, 2014
    10
    The same problems that arise in "real" relationships arise for the main character while in a loving relationship with OS - his operating system. Her asks us to blur boundaries between organic and artificial lifeforms, and does it in a fun and flexible way. Reminiscent of some philosophical questions posed by sci fi greats such as Star Trek and Battlestar Galactica.
  94. May 5, 2014
    9
    This film is excellent providing a fantastic study of ourselves, those around us, technology, and society as a whole. You should definitely see this movie as it will give you an interesting outlook on life and make you question everything. Yet another Best Picture nominee from 2014 that deserved to be nominated as it is excellent.
  95. CMC
    Feb 9, 2014
    6
    The near-future depicted is clever, and the movie is easy enough to watch, but is not memorable in any way. The main characters do not seem credible, which may be due to the movie's uneasy relationship to comedy. It is indeed possible for comedic characters to be memorable, like Peter Sellers so often demonstrated, but in this case everyone is just flat and not interesting. There is absolutely no arc to the story or to the experience of the main character; he has the same flat inflection in the beginning, middle and end. The Saturday Night Live parody is perfect, because it demonstrates how much the movie depends on a surface gloss of slowly moving cameras, an intrusive score, high saturation imagery, etc. If they had cut out 40 million of Hollywood gloss it might have helped force the characters to carry more. Once again the Metascore is so out of sync with my own perceptions, I am afraid that Metacritic is no long the semi-reliable barometer it used to be. Expand
  96. Jan 26, 2014
    10
    God, such a great movie. Some of the best acting you'll ever see with some marvelous direction and an awesome screenplay. If it weren't for 12 Years a Slave, this would have been my choice for movie of the year. I can't remember the last time I've been this hypnotized by a movie
  97. Mar 2, 2014
    7
    You will know at the end of this film whether or not the film and the premise worked for you. You will either have an emotional response or not. I felt nothing. Zero. I rolled my eyes throughout this film. Even so, I admittedly have to say the movie is well made and acted and held my attention. It isn't a movie I would ever want to view again but it was interesting. Although there are a few chuckles, I would not categorize this film as a comedy, it definitely leans drama. Expand
  98. Jan 21, 2014
    8
    Anyone thinking this is a comedy should think again. It's more of a dark and foreboding insight into the human condition set in a dystopian future. There are some interesting sci fi elements at play concerning AI and the eventual evolution of free thinking AI that can evolve at an exponential rate. I would have preferred for the film to center on this theme a bit more and explore it's sci fi concepts but it insists on staying very human and that's it's downfall for me. Way too much emotion and sentimentality. It genuinely moved me, I won't say it didn't but that's only due to filming technique and me having a sentimental disposition. I felt emotionally manipulated. Joaquin phoenix plays his role very well but I found his character too self pitying and weak after a while. I also found some of the plot elements unrealistic. For starters, why would you design a commercial AI for use as a companion and give it the ability to learn at such a fast rate, or the ability to pine after a physical body? But you could debate that the only way to make a decent AI companion would be to endow it with familiar human qualities,

    A good film but drags a bit and once it's central themes have been digested there's not much to really captivate or entertain you
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  99. Jun 7, 2014
    10
    Probably the best movie to be released in 2013. Spike Jonze has created a masterpiece that excels in almost every aspect.

    It truly deserves best screenplay at the Oscars. It has some of the best writing ever. The dialogue evokes a wide range of emotions. And this writing is made more gorgeous by the superb acting of the entire cast, from Joaquin Phoenix and Scarlett Johansson, to Amy
    Adams, Rooney Mara, and Olivia Wilde.

    The world itself in which the story takes place is really interesting, brought alive by Jonze's wonderful directing. The characters are really detailed, giving the cast something to work with. And the score is beautifully serene and heartwarming (and sometimes heartbreaking).

    Most people say that this movie is about our relationship with technology. While that is true, i believe that this theme is only a vehicle for a bigger one. Watching the last scene, when Joaquin's character is composing a letter to his ex-wife, i realized that it's not a film about technology as it is about love, breakups, and heartbreak.

    Spike, through his brilliant script, shows that while many things change through time, other things remain the same. Another reason why he really deserved best screenplay at the Oscars. I just wish it had won best picture, too.
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  100. Jan 10, 2014
    10
    An introspective study of human interaction conveyed with a warm, deeply resonant tone that’s never maudlin, never kitsch. This is a film about the infinite nature of our being, the love we feel, the growth we experience, the entirety of our person shared with each other and the one we love. “Her” is a masterwork that will leave you a better being.
Metascore
90

Universal acclaim - based on 46 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 42 out of 46
  2. Negative: 0 out of 46
  1. Reviewed by: Peter Bradshaw
    Feb 18, 2014
    60
    I wished I liked it more. It is engagingly self-aware and excruciatingly self-conscious, wearing its hipness on its sleeve; it's ingenious and yet remarkably contrived. The film seems very new, but the sentimental ending is as old as the hills. There are some great moments.
  2. Reviewed by: Cath Clarke
    Feb 11, 2014
    80
    Her is a keeper of a film, quietly dazzling.
  3. Reviewed by: Ian Nathan
    Feb 10, 2014
    80
    Jonze has made a sweet, smart, silly, serious film for our times, only set in the future.