Metascore
55

Mixed or average reviews - based on 40 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 20 out of 40
  2. Negative: 4 out of 40
  1. Reviewed by: Glenn Kenny
    100
    The result is by far the most original comedy of the year. Russell might alienate some audience members here--but it’s possible they literally won't know what they're missing.
  2. The film is a snort-out-loud-funny master class of controlled chaos.
  3. Reviewed by: Ty Burr
    88
    Among the most insane mainstream movies ever released.
  4. Watching I Heart Huckabees was like taking my first Manhattan cab ride with a madman behind the wheel. As the skyscrapers whizzed by, I thought, "What a view! I just wish we'd slow down, so I could take everything in."
  5. Reviewed by: Dan Jolin
    80
    A fresh, funny little romp.
  6. 80
    A fresh, buoyant, mischievous and rather jolly meditation - if that's the word for a movie as divinely nuts as this one is - on the meaning of life in an unhappy world.
  7. 80
    One of the boldest, most audacious American movies of the last 25 years, a freewheeling cerebral carnival of energy and ideas, if not always coherence or cohesion.
  8. 75
    Best of all is Mark Wahlberg as Tommy, an angry post-9/11 firefighter so against Big Oil that he rides to fire scenes on his bike.
  9. Reviewed by: Allison Benedikt
    75
    As one might imagine, with such a neato premise and lofty goal, the plot's a little messy. So points docked for execution.
  10. 75
    The frantic nuttiness of the stylistically dynamic Huckabees is often laugh-out-loud funny, but amid the pandemonium there's a sense of truly rigorous soul-searching.
  11. A risky, foolish, intelligent comedy.
  12. 75
    A lot of people are going to describe it as a waste of time, yet there's a likeability to the quirky characters that held my interest while tickling my funny bone.
  13. 70
    There's more than a bit of Charlie Kaufman to the heady premise, although the scenario doesn't double back on itself--except perhaps in the joke of having Schwartzman's actual mother, Talia Shire, play his mother on-screen.
  14. Reviewed by: Carina Chocano
    70
    The movie is undeniably weird, though it's hardly what you'd call "experimental." My hunch is that whether you love it or reject it as obtuse, incoherent or self-involved will be a generational thing.
  15. Reviewed by: David Rooney
    70
    Clever but distancing, this existential comedy bounces along on the backs of its tasty cast, witty writing and stylistic verve.
  16. Reviewed by: Teresa Wiltz
    70
    With razor-sharp performances, zingy one-liners, broad slapstick humor and a message of sorts, there's enough to distract the viewer from becoming hopelessly lost in the lint-filled chaos that is the umbilicus.
  17. Despite a consistent tone of all-out absurdity, it's a very demanding movie, and its goofiness is never inspired or laugh-out-loud funny enough to carry us along on its leap of imagination.
  18. Reviewed by: Claudia Puig
    63
    What emerges is part screwball comedy, absurdist farce, social satire and earnest self-exploration. If it had the unwavering focus and clear-eyed vision of Russell's previous two features, I Heart Huckabees might have been brilliant.
  19. So I didn't Huckabees, nor did I entirely not it. Rather, when the end draws nigh and judgment beckons, I'm doomed again to dither in the tepid netherworld, that vast limbo where movies are only half-decent and movie-going is merely half-ed.
  20. Huckabees boasts an impressive cast, and every one of them is fun to watch. But there's a strong sense that no one really knows what's going on here.
  21. Despite the unique premise and some truly inspired casting, the picture remains stuck in an existential rut of its own.
  22. 60
    Feels weirdly impersonal; very little love, or even true thought, shows up on the screen.
  23. 60
    A philosophical comedy about man's place in a universe colonized by Targets and Wal-Marts.
  24. 50
    Individual moments and lines and events in I Heart Huckabees are funny in and of themselves. Viewers may be mystified but will occasionally be amused. It took boundless optimism and energy for Russell to make the film, but it reminds me of the Buster Keaton short where he builds a boat but doesn't know how to get it out of the basement.
  25. David O. Russell hasn't yet developed enough filmmaking savvy to juggle so many intellectual, emotional, and narrative elements. He's clever and ambitious, but perhaps too much so.
  26. 50
    Everyone up on the screen appears to be having so much fun, you wish the movie found a way to let you into the party.
  27. The cinematic equivalent of the mad-scientist experiment gone awry. It seems to be grooving on its own strangeness, at the expense of its connection with a paying audience.
  28. 50
    When the average comedy is aimed at juvenile 12-year-olds of all ages, the fact that Russell's target audience is precocious 12-year-olds of all ages is a significant improvement without actually being a triumph of mature wit over boorish puerility.
  29. Reviewed by: Pete Vonder Haar
    50
    The resulting product is so disjointed it's hard to tell if Russell dumbed down the film in the hope of garnering a larger audience, or if I Heart Huckabees simply isn't as smart as it likes to think it is.
  30. What in the Buddha's name is going on in I Heart Huckabees? Russell has come up with a grab bag of ideas that don't stick with you because they don't stick together.
  31. 50
    With its lackluster surfaces and thin core, his (Russell) film displays neither heart nor brains enough to earn its whimsy.
  32. The philosophic notions in I Love Huckabees are ultimately not much more than window dressing for some fancy slapstick.
  33. Reviewed by: David Ansen
    50
    Ultimately, Huckabees doesn't work. But it sure does stimulate. This is just the kind of "failure" we could use plenty more of.
  34. 50
    Huckabees is the real thing--an authentic disaster--but the picture is so odd that it should inspire, in at least a part of the audience, feelings of fervent loyalty.
  35. Where Russell wobbles in this screenplay, which he wrote with Jeff Baena, is not in his intent but that he omitted to make it funny.
  36. Russell, a former student of Buddhist monk-philosopher Robert Thurman's, is reaching too far, straining too hard, saying too much that adds up to so little after all the mumbos and jumbos tallied up by film's end.
  37. Reviewed by: David Edelstein
    10
    Russell is a manically inventive writer-director--maybe the most fearless talent of his generation. It's not a contradiction to say that I admire him more than ever while pronouncing Huckabees an unmitigated disaster.
  38. Huckabees is godawful, a mirthless, bilious bore in which the vividly focused fury of "Three Kings" has become free-floating anger at the follies of human existence.
  39. It's uncompromisingly bad, single-mindedly off-target.
User Score
7.4

Generally favorable reviews- based on 135 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 57 out of 78
  2. Negative: 14 out of 78
  1. CJMorris
    Dec 11, 2007
    10
    WARNING: this movie is NOT for a general audience like all books are not written for one person, etc. If you like philosophy and ideas, this is as good a dramatization as has been realized on screen. That's Russell's real achievement here. As for the cast, score, design, etc. it's terrific. Well done, Mr. Russell. This film has a heart and a voice that is infinite. An undeniable classic that captures the times. Full Review »
  2. PatC.
    Mar 12, 2007
    5
    Excellent movie on a cerebral level, and proof that genuine creativity is still possible in Hollywood. Too bad the film is structurally weak. The convolutions of the thought processes presented spill over into the plot presentation - just a little too much to juggle on the fly. And sure, it's a comedy, but the music mocks the content. End result: Less than the sum of its parts. Full Review »
  3. Mar 9, 2014
    6
    It's about as frantic and as unpredictable as a hummingbird on blow, but David O. Russell's crack at existentialism does prove to be a clever and entertaining philosophical piece at times. Full Review »