User Score
7.7

Generally favorable reviews- based on 64 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 46 out of 64
  2. Negative: 7 out of 64

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User Reviews

  1. DaveM.
    Aug 28, 2007
    10
    Extraordinary cast and performances by all. Cinematography is great of the East Coast cities portrayed. A must see.
  2. MichaelH.
    Oct 7, 2002
    2
    [***Potential first scene Spoiler***] Igby is an insufferable character, so insufferable in fact, that by the end of the movie, I was wishing he'd taken the poison instead of his mother. The ultra-hip think there is some great revelation in this movie (see review by Slate), but there isn't; it's just good looking crap.
  3. JuliaP.
    Oct 13, 2002
    10
    See it, you'll love it.
  4. [Anonymous]
    Feb 9, 2003
    10
    Igby Goes Down is one of the most intelligent dark comedies I have seen in awhile, and Igby is very reminescent of other great characters such as Holden Caulfield and Donnie Darko. All in all, this movie has it all, great acting, great script and some of the most colorful characters around.
  5. Baycyd
    Mar 2, 2003
    3
    Culkin seems a young robert downey. other than that, this movie is icky. igby (& everyone else in this self-indulgent smarm) is icky.
  6. BlancoA.
    Sep 14, 2002
    6
    I had a very mixed reaction to this movie. The acting is pretty amazing, especially Susan Sarandon's performance. Jeff Goldbum is in rare form as well. Oh, and Bill Pullman, in a brief but powerful role, is terrific. The story as a whole, however, didn't do it for me. From the jump, it seemed as if the filmmakers were trying to be as extreme and "edgy" as possible while I had a very mixed reaction to this movie. The acting is pretty amazing, especially Susan Sarandon's performance. Jeff Goldbum is in rare form as well. Oh, and Bill Pullman, in a brief but powerful role, is terrific. The story as a whole, however, didn't do it for me. From the jump, it seemed as if the filmmakers were trying to be as extreme and "edgy" as possible while forsaking the story and adequate characterization. I got a little tired of the protagonist's whiny predicament. It's tough to sympathize with snobby rich kids who despise their mothers, sleep with their godparent's mistresses, and get kicked out of every posh secondary school on the east coast. Definitely irritating more than anything else. Many individual situtations were terrific, but nothing bound the story together for me. Worth seeing, though, I suppose. Expand
  7. StanJ.
    Feb 26, 2003
    6
    Strangely watchable, this movie is proof that intellectual banter eventually becomes stilted, and so obviously scripted, this movie is very so-so, and Claire Danes really did join the "big-head" club, gain some weight girl!!!
  8. Maggie
    Mar 9, 2003
    10
    An amazing movie.
  9. JoachimW.
    Apr 14, 2003
    10
    It's hilarious and intelligent!
  10. VladR.
    May 2, 2003
    10
    It has a somewhat unprogressive plot until the very end but other than that it is sad and yet funny.
  11. JamieL.
    May 2, 2003
    10
    If i could, i would rate this movie higher!!! it is the best movie i have ever seen. in my opinionthis film is perfect in every aspect of a movie, the casting was perfect, the cinamatography was exelent, the movie was just great. if you havent seen it, then watch it.
  12. JoseR.
    Nov 7, 2005
    10
    Amazingly casted, tremendously acted, superbly directed. From the very first scene of this film, you want to get wring every little drop out of it. Every conversation is bursting with pop culture references; if you're bored it's because you're not listening. Kieran Culkin is a gem, the Marlon Brando of our times.
  13. WiliamB.
    Dec 7, 2005
    7
    Having observed this social class from the vantage point of a middle-class kid who got to go to private school, I find Igby accurate and funny. Ryan Phillipe is particularly hilarious as Igby's brother, and it's a funny script all the way through. A dire update of Salinger, with many funny moments. Recommended to preppies, New York division.
  14. AshL.
    Feb 22, 2005
    0
    Blind leading the blind. huge waste of money and time.
  15. SuziB.
    Nov 14, 2002
    10
    One of the best movies I have ever seen!
  16. TimP.
    Nov 15, 2002
    3
    Kind of a shallow hipster movie. Too dependent on background pop music, much like the Royal Tenenbaums. I didn't believe the relationships between any of the characters, and the dialogue rang hollow. I'd be interested in reading this guy's plays to see if they sound the same. Not sure why everyone is doing that stupid cross-marketing "if you liked Catcher in the Rye, Kind of a shallow hipster movie. Too dependent on background pop music, much like the Royal Tenenbaums. I didn't believe the relationships between any of the characters, and the dialogue rang hollow. I'd be interested in reading this guy's plays to see if they sound the same. Not sure why everyone is doing that stupid cross-marketing "if you liked Catcher in the Rye, you'll like..." thing. Expand
  17. SamL.
    Oct 14, 2002
    10
    Challenging and wonderfully acted.
  18. JonB.
    Oct 21, 2002
    8
    Turan and LaSalle are completely off the mark. I wonder what they would say of Warton's Lily Bart? Their inability to identify with Igby is not the fault of Steers but the obvious reaction of crotchety, OLD, and out of touch men. I'd have given it a 9, but the soundtrack is horrid. First KCRW knocks Gilles Peterson off the air and then they deliver one of the most cliched Turan and LaSalle are completely off the mark. I wonder what they would say of Warton's Lily Bart? Their inability to identify with Igby is not the fault of Steers but the obvious reaction of crotchety, OLD, and out of touch men. I'd have given it a 9, but the soundtrack is horrid. First KCRW knocks Gilles Peterson off the air and then they deliver one of the most cliched soundtracks in recent memory (the music supervisor is the KCRW music director). The film is tons of fun, and if you're looking for Whit Stillman/Antoine Doinel type fare check out Igby. Expand
  19. NolanB.
    Oct 6, 2002
    1
    Do not be fooled, this "film" is pure garbage. The script was flat, the actors were disappointing, and the editing was abismal. If you want to see a "coming of age" movie, see Almost Famous. If you want to see Susan Sarandon in a movie about death, see Moonlight Mile. This movie is not worth the two minutes it takes out of your life to watch the trailer. You have been warned.
  20. EllenK.
    Sep 24, 2002
    6
    Thought the acting was universally excellent and the film looked okay, though not innovative. Some good laughs at the beginning, and the Igby character initially was moving. But . . . an awful lot of sensibility repitiition which made things ultimately a bit boring. A decent premise. Too bad the writing didn't live up to it.
  21. SheriA.
    Sep 27, 2002
    8
    This is a dark and quirky look at dysfunctional family (and other) relationships which somehow manages to be funny and charming even though so many moments in it are painfully sad. Kieran Culkin eerily reminded me of a young Robert Downey, Jr. in this film.
  22. CharlesD.
    Sep 29, 2002
    4
    This movie was one tired, long, overwrought cliche. Igby brought nothing new to the "coming of age" or "black comedy" genres. Sarandon's performance was good, but not worth the price of admission. And what was with that irritating "pop-punk" music used during every montage sequence. Who listens to that? It was really distracting.
  23. Reina
    Jan 2, 2003
    10
    Mix Igby with American Beauty and a little bit of LOTR and maybe Basquiat, and you got me.
  24. RoseD.
    Oct 24, 2003
    10
    "Igby Goes Down" is a wonderful movie, drenched in satire and dark, disturbing comedy. As a former movie reveiwer, I have never seen a screenplay as myriad as this one, and I must say, I thought it was quite original and creative, even with the cliche "poor little rich kid" theme.
  25. Marc-o
    Oct 27, 2003
    10
    I saw this movie by accident my flatmate who usually makes horrible chick-flick choices picked it and after watching the trailer on the DVD i was ready to go to bed. However i did'nt and what i got from my loss of 1 and a half hours of sleep was one of the most interesting and cruely funny films ever. Kieran Culkin (originally what put me off the film) was nothing short of excellent I saw this movie by accident my flatmate who usually makes horrible chick-flick choices picked it and after watching the trailer on the DVD i was ready to go to bed. However i did'nt and what i got from my loss of 1 and a half hours of sleep was one of the most interesting and cruely funny films ever. Kieran Culkin (originally what put me off the film) was nothing short of excellent i just hope that Hollywood does let him fall by the wayside. The comparisons to Royal Tenenbaums is warranted but this is a far greater film (i actually laughed) and as for Almost Famous i usually like Crowe but that film was cheese. Anyway i'm off the point if you want to be truly surprised but not nessasarily uplifted then this is for you. HOLLYWOOD LISTEN CULKIN IS A SKILLED YOUNG ACTOR HIRE HIM!!! Collapse
  26. Dave
    Feb 8, 2003
    5
    One of those movies that gets you kicked out of the pretentious critics club if you don't say you like it. A big hit among those who like to use the word "obdurately." Not nearly as good (on any level) as you have been seduced into believing.
  27. HarlanP.
    Apr 16, 2003
    10
    THE best movie ever-barring South Park:Bigger, Longer, and Uncut-it shines in every moment. Although it is a very dark movie, and quite disturbing, it stiil makes you laugh. Kieran is a much better actor than his brother, and does an excellent job. I'm a big movie guy, and undoutedly the best movie of the year, see it, you have to.
  28. ChadS.
    Apr 21, 2003
    8
    Kiernan Culkin handles the "my character actually has some redeeming qualities" quite adeptly, which is a good thing, because the transition from icy to warm comedy can be an awkward one. What "Igby Goes Down" has going for it is Claire Danes' best screen performance to date, and Culkin's ability to be detatched, yet eminently likable. They have so much chemistry, you wonder why Kiernan Culkin handles the "my character actually has some redeeming qualities" quite adeptly, which is a good thing, because the transition from icy to warm comedy can be an awkward one. What "Igby Goes Down" has going for it is Claire Danes' best screen performance to date, and Culkin's ability to be detatched, yet eminently likable. They have so much chemistry, you wonder why Sookie(Danes) falls for Igby's older brother(Phillipe). "Igby Goes Down" gets out of the gate slowly, and it ends with a "Party of Five" sort of vibe, but there's at least 70 minutes of great writing and luminous acting. Expand
  29. AlyssaF.
    Apr 27, 2003
    10
    I truly love this movie. The characters although behind my time, really do a great job. Kieran Culkin performance as igby is excellent, he has the style, and charisma to be igby. I enjoyed watching this movie at home, a million times, because I am always picking up, something that I didn't already know. My favorite dialog between two characters is the one between D.H. and Oliver. "i I truly love this movie. The characters although behind my time, really do a great job. Kieran Culkin performance as igby is excellent, he has the style, and charisma to be igby. I enjoyed watching this movie at home, a million times, because I am always picking up, something that I didn't already know. My favorite dialog between two characters is the one between D.H. and Oliver. "i believe that certain people in life are meant to fall by the wayside to serve as warning signs for the rest of us and signpost around the way" says D.H. Oliver responds "for what?" "SUCCESS" This movie is very successful in making me laugh, cry, and question so many other things, like: Do meat eaters real have sloppy joints, and Am I living reverse darwinism, or big-picture darwinism? Anyone who is anyone should go see this movie, because this is really how movies should be! Expand
  30. CaptainCraig
    Feb 18, 2005
    1
    Typical of untalented productions and studio packaged product. How do they get money to make this kindof stuff? Psyco kids in a Psyco world. How needs to see it on the screen?
  31. GaborA.
    Apr 19, 2006
    8
    The best dramedy of all time beating America Beauty by inches. The story is dramatic, the acting moving, and the dialogue hilarious. Superb film.
  32. HasAnybodySeenGilbertMulroneycakes?
    Nov 29, 2002
    7
    Blah blah not for everyone blah, but at least you can tell if it is for you from the outset. If it IS, then it's well worth your time.
  33. MikeS
    Oct 18, 2002
    3
    Gee guys, I went to see the film due to the 73 rating. Usually I agree with the rating, but I must have missed something. Good acting, yes but give me a good story line something more than all about a looser. You see these guys everywhere, maybe I just want some escaping from the real world once in a while.
  34. JenniferL
    Oct 21, 2002
    10
    I can understand the mixed reactions from both the professional and amateur critics. But I really, really liked this movie. It was just enough real to avoid completely falling into parody. Yes, it has the 'disenchanted rich youth' aura to it, but it was a snapshot into a life some may or may not be familiar, and it didn't need to have a real 'story'. And even if I can understand the mixed reactions from both the professional and amateur critics. But I really, really liked this movie. It was just enough real to avoid completely falling into parody. Yes, it has the 'disenchanted rich youth' aura to it, but it was a snapshot into a life some may or may not be familiar, and it didn't need to have a real 'story'. And even if the other characters seemed a bit one-dimensional compared to Igby, I still think it worked. I believe this is one of those films that you should see, even if you end up not liking it personally. Expand
  35. MaryW.
    Oct 27, 2002
    9
    Captivating, edgy and beautifully acted. Loved the dialog, and the soundtrack rocked. This was far removed from the formulaic movies the major studios churn out. I was thinking and paying attention all the way through.
  36. MadeleinC.
    Sep 29, 2002
    10
    This movie is the best product man could have created. the acting was amazing, and the plot impecable. cheers to kieran!
  37. AndreaS.
    Nov 5, 2003
    10
    I thoroughly enjoyed this movie in terms of the witty dialogue and the well thought out "quirky" character development. Overall, a movie that brings about all the emotions that one may want to experience in a story.
  38. Colc.
    Oct 25, 2003
    5
    To be honest, boring.
  39. RitaE.
    Feb 21, 2003
    10
    Watching movies like this makes me have faith in todays entertainment bussness. igby is the typical disgruntled teen thats just confused like every other kid this age. this movies portrays this perfectly.
  40. SamB.
    Feb 25, 2003
    10
    This movie is fantastic. it is one of the best movies of 2002. i think that the way it blends so many different genres together is brilliant. see this movie dammit.
  41. AnnaS.
    Feb 28, 2003
    8
    A rebellious teen and gritty-mouthed smart-ass, Kieran brings his character Igby Slocumb to life with not only attitude and sagacious humor, but also with a suprisingly touching emotion and vulnerablility that really brings the film true authenticity. Sure, there is much realness and coy in the film's dialogue, plot and co-stars, but it is Kieran who really carries this film through A rebellious teen and gritty-mouthed smart-ass, Kieran brings his character Igby Slocumb to life with not only attitude and sagacious humor, but also with a suprisingly touching emotion and vulnerablility that really brings the film true authenticity. Sure, there is much realness and coy in the film's dialogue, plot and co-stars, but it is Kieran who really carries this film through Igby and makes it believable to audiences. His (refreshing) persona and determined vitality not only intrigue and capture an audience, but [as the plot unravels, his journey] also illuminates as he fights in search of some hope admist a world full of mishaps, obstacles and calamity. Igby must struggle against the confinement, torture and adversity of a deranged family, a haunting past and a reality that is even more cutthroat than his sarcasm. He seeks freedom and acceptance as he ventures into a world of drugs, sex and further deception, coming away with frustration and more emotional battle scars, but also a new gaining of knowledge... Igby eventually learns that the only person he can really trust and count on is himself. Perhaps it is this, along with the other numerous sufferings he endures, that give him the strength to finally leave it all behind and not become victim to it. Whether trying to escape his mother, psycho step-dad or the gloom of his supposed fate, Kieran's character Igby is often knocked down, but never completely out. Kieran delivers a powerful perfomance in Igby that has earned him into the ranks of Oscar consideration and undoubted recognition among critics. His performance in Igby shines, even amongst the big names of his co-stars. His natural genuity in film is impressionable and rare, as he does not just "take on" each role that he plays, but becomes it. It is this substantial talent and trait that, along with his drive and commitment to quality filmmaking, suggests he can be in movies for a long time to come... Expand
  42. LolitaA.
    Feb 27, 2006
    10
    One of those movies that just makes you feel good when you watch it. Once over your "feel good feeling" you begin to realize what an amazing movie, in fact, you've just seen. Kieran Culkin is, frankly, charming.
  43. MatthewP.
    Nov 14, 2002
    9
    It was great, particularly strong in dark comedy and deadpan dialogue. I think it would depress people to know how real a lot of the characters are as well - it's broad, sure, but it's definitely grounded in reality.
  44. Aug 28, 2012
    7
    If you enjoy movies like "Running with Scissors" or "Breakfast on Pluto", I think you will like this. It has a really similar structure, you follow a young boy with a dysfunctional life through a period of this life. And like those previous movies mentioned this really is more of a dramady then a striahgt comedy or drama, but alot lighter than the other movies. As for the acting, normallyIf you enjoy movies like "Running with Scissors" or "Breakfast on Pluto", I think you will like this. It has a really similar structure, you follow a young boy with a dysfunctional life through a period of this life. And like those previous movies mentioned this really is more of a dramady then a striahgt comedy or drama, but alot lighter than the other movies. As for the acting, normally actors overplay sarcastic type characters but Kieran Culkin was great, he's sarcastic but not annoying. This was definitely his movie. And Ryan Phillippe was the perfect choice for the douchebag/elitist brother, he just naturally comes off as one because of this voice and speech pattern. As for the rest of the cast, they were all very good. The writing and direction was fine, although I didn't really like the ending and there they went with Amanda Peets' character. A fine movie worth watching, 7.5/10 Expand
  45. Feb 23, 2013
    7
    I really love these weird independent comedies, that you have to be somewhat intelligent to understand. They are so much different from all the repetitive crap that we are subjected to over and over again. This is the story of a kid from a privileged family who just doesn't fit in. He sees the hypocrisy of it all and decides to run away to NYC, where he meets some unique characters thatI really love these weird independent comedies, that you have to be somewhat intelligent to understand. They are so much different from all the repetitive crap that we are subjected to over and over again. This is the story of a kid from a privileged family who just doesn't fit in. He sees the hypocrisy of it all and decides to run away to NYC, where he meets some unique characters that you'd only find in New York. The middle Culkin brother, Kieran, stars and was incredible. Simply put, sometimes the story is good, but the movie is made by its star, and Culkin gives one of the best performances I've seen in a film like this. Igby Goes Down has a ton of stars, it's a clever story, and you really connect to the characters. I really enjoyed this film, but be warned, it's not for everybody. I honestly believe when it comes to this type of film, you need a personality that relates to some aspect of the film. Without that connection, you might not get as much out of this film as others did. Expand
  46. Feb 19, 2015
    9
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. "Igby Goes Down" is my personal favourite coming-of-age film. I also consider it one of the most underrated films of the 2000s. The story of a rebellious and privileged misfit from an upper-class family that is as dysfunctional as it is wealthy, it plays somewhat like a reinterpretation of "The Catcher in the Rye". That is a comparison that has been made by several others, but it's an apt comparison nonetheless; director/writer Burr Steers understands Igby as well as J.D. Salinger understood Holden Caulfield. And as well as Salinger realised Holden on the page, the ideally-cast Kieran Culkin realises Igby just as well on-screen. Igby is a kid who's grown up the straight man in a perniciously dysfunctional family that expects him to be perfect when they are anything but. He resents this, quite understandably, and this resentment manifests in a rebellious streak Culkin communicates with impeccably-timed and lacerating sarcasm. And the resentment has fostered a palpable sense of loneliness, which is painfully evident at several points throughout the film and also conveyed beautifully by Culkin. Igby's monologue when a one-shot lover rejects him in favour of his brother is the best showcase for this. This is not a one-note portrayal. Culkin has a lot of material to handle, requiring a range of emotions, and he pulls it off seamlessly. That he towers above a cast of acting heavyweights such as Susan Sarandon, Jeff Goldblum, and Bill Pullman is testament to what an astonishing achievement his performance in this film is. The closing scenes, particularly a moment involving Igby and his father, is among the most moving finishes to a film I've ever beheld. Expand
  47. May 4, 2016
    8
    Igby is going down.... the drain along with the several other people who has gave negative ratings on this film. Igby Goes Down definitely works out a lot for a charm-buster.
Metascore
72

Generally favorable reviews - based on 30 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 23 out of 30
  2. Negative: 3 out of 30
  1. Hammers home its tragicomic points too heavily for either its humorous or dramatic aspects to gather much emotional steam.
  2. Smart and novelistic and spiked with more than a bit of The Catcher in the Rye, Steers' movie is a prickly coming-of-age tale in which everybody -- but especially Culkin -- shines.
  3. Baltimore Sun
    Reviewed by: Chris Kaltenbach
    88
    This is a marvelous film, a look at the strange, exasperatingly labyrinthine process of adolescence and the diverse ways people find to deal with it.