Generally favorable reviews - based on 35 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 31 out of 35
  2. Negative: 0 out of 35
  1. 100
    Causes us to leave the theater quite unreasonably happy.
  2. When director Stephen Frears worked with (Jack Black), he must have yelled "Let 'er rip!" instead of "Action!"
  3. Like laughing into a mirror for 113 minutes.
  4. (Cusack) has never been more effective onscreen.
  5. The meandering story and channel-surfing style prevent it from gathering the emotional momentum it would need to get below the hero's skin and let us know what really makes him tick.
  6. Reviewed by: Steve Simels
    One of the sharpest and emotionally resonant romantic comedies in what seems like years.
  7. A smart, funny, and youth-savvy relationship film.
  8. It's aimed squarely at a young dating audience, and is not likely to be hugely captivating for anyone out of that demographic.
  9. For all its music-trivia affection, High Fidelity is finally a pretty thin melody.
  10. Reviewed by: Joe Leydon
    Trenchantly witty and acutely insightful.
  11. 100
    A guaranteed pleasure for anyone who ever loved pop music, owned a record collection or suffered in love
  12. 90
    Every single actor here rises to the occasion.
  13. Reviewed by: Zac Crane
    The film is so much like the book, it might as well come with a bookmark to hold your place when you step outside to use the restroom.
  14. Reviewed by: John Hartl
    Hilarious and high-spirited.
  15. Reviewed by: Tom Keogh
    The extent to which Black and Louiso help make this film terribly witty and caustic and worth every minute of its almost two-hour running time is immeasurable.
  16. A sharp and satisfying romantic comedy.
  17. Witty, exquisitely fine-tuned screen adaptation of Nick Hornby's 1995 novel
  18. 80
    (Cusack)'s genius, however, is in his continual ability to be the most likeable of everymen.
  19. The humor about male neurosis doesn't try to remind you of Woody Allen at every turn.
  20. 60
    High Fidelity wants to be hip, but it's comically square.
  21. Reviewed by: David Edelstein
    It's almost criminal the way the central relationship of High Fidelity has been left such a void.
  22. 40
    It may seem perverse to fault a movie for being too accurate, but when surface accuracy is coupled with tunnel vision about self and society the result is a wee bit irritating.
  23. 74
    Even if it sometimes skips, it's consistently wittier and more idiosyncratic that most studio movies.
  24. With its knowing take on men, messed-up romance and music, is like one long, hook-filled pop song for the eyes.
  25. 88
    The quirky High Fidelity really deserves being called the first must-see movie of the century.
  26. Reviewed by: Jay Carr
    Sad, funny, brilliant.
  27. 88
    The movie is, to borrow Rob's phrase, unassailably cool.
  28. Reviewed by: Marc Caro
    Easily cracks the top five list of reasons to go to the movies these days - and defies categories in doing so.
  29. 63
    Ultimately too slight for its own good: It's a genial little doodle, light on plot and heavy on quotable, pithy observations.
  30. 63
    Isn't all that romantic and is only half as funny as it thinks it is.
  31. 100
    It's so spry and lively and warm that you want to dance to it.
  32. 80
    All the pieces hang together. You can't say that about many movies.
  33. Reviewed by: David Ansen
    Cusack is a master at playing smart, frazzled, self-flagellating hipsters, and the movie, propelled by his arias of angst, lets him strut his best stuff.
  34. 80
    High Fidelity’s hip structure and offbeat characters provide consistent laughs and a good time.
User Score

Universal acclaim- based on 56 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 17 out of 20
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 20
  3. Negative: 3 out of 20
  1. May 13, 2013
    This would make my Top 5.
    The secret to making a good film is the soundtrack and this film nails it. Its a story of heartache, love and the
    bits inbetween told pretty much first person by a Record Store owner.
    The characters in the film are padded out well and do draw you in and you begin to feel who they are rather than empty vessels. There are some nice little double take moments and moments where the plot is directly told to camera. These feel correct in the context of the film and explain emotions and thoughts of the people on screen. Casting fits well with Jack Black doing his normal over the top character, John cusack as the confused Store owner. Even a Cameo by 'The Boss' Bruce Springsteen does not feel out of place. All in all a good solid film which I have watched several times and enjoyed them all.
    Full Review »
  2. Oct 29, 2012
    This review contains spoilers, click full review link to view. At the beginning of the movie I was thinking of just close it and surf the net. But I didn't !!! There is something that made me want to see more. This is NOT a boring romantic comedy; instead its a vivid enjoyable, fresh, peerless movie. Its like Cusack presenting his relationship more than just acting. I LOVE BONET!!!! and also Jack Black. I think the music references are the spark for everything. Full Review »
  3. Oct 18, 2011
    High Fidelity's best attribute is that it is so incredibly self aware and through that self awareness it exudes this sense of realism. High Fidelity is so incredibly real that your connection with John Cusack's Rob is so strong you get invested and you also understand him despite the fact he is an incredibly well thought out, written and acted character. He is joined by Jack Black and Todd Louiso's Barry and Dick who add a sense of fun to the proceedings which is sorely needed because the main tone set by Rob is one of doom and gloom as he discusses the breakups that ruined him the most. Black especially pulls out all the stops with Barry being a delight because he is just so incredibly self confident despite the fact he is the most despicable of the bunch. This would have been hard to show if it wasn't for Black who really does pull out his best performance. Cusack is great as the bleak Rob and the only reason I don't say this is his best role is because he was just fantastic in Say Anything. (if you thought I was going to say 2012 you deserve to be shot). Overall the film has a confidence you rarely see in films and it knows what its trying to do in a way that by the time you leave the viewing you are extremely happy and satisfied, like me after a roast dinner Full Review »