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Generally favorable reviews - based on 35 Critics What's this?

User Score
6.6

Generally favorable reviews- based on 109 Ratings

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  • Starring: , ,
  • Summary: I'm Not There is a film that dramatizes the life and music of Bob Dylan as a series of shifting personae, each performed by a different actor—poet, prophet, outlaw, fake, star of electricity, rock and roll, martyr born-again Christian—seven identities braided together, seven organs pumpingI'm Not There is a film that dramatizes the life and music of Bob Dylan as a series of shifting personae, each performed by a different actor—poet, prophet, outlaw, fake, star of electricity, rock and roll, martyr born-again Christian—seven identities braided together, seven organs pumping through one life story, as dense and vibrant as the era it inspired. (The Weinstein Company) Expand
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 28 out of 35
  2. Negative: 1 out of 35
  1. Reviewed by: Ty Burr
    100
    The strangest thing about Todd Haynes's new movie isn't that he cast six actors to play the various faces and phases of Bob Dylan. It's that he needed only six.
  2. 91
    This film insists on being taken on its own terms -- the sort of demand, in other words, that defines the best art.
  3. Reviewed by: David Gates
    90
    Brilliantly strange, often funny and ultimately heartbreaking film.
  4. 80
    A fascinating experiment that, if the viewer is willing to surrender to Haynes's sometimes hermetic meditations on Dylan's life, heartily rewards the investment.
  5. Reviewed by: Ken Fox
    75
    In the end it remains an academic exercise, though a dazzlingly ambitious one that’s well worth seeing.
  6. What emerges is a speculative, critical essay about the 60s, weighted down in spots by political correctness and a conflicted desire to mock Dylan's denseness while catering to his hardcore fans, but otherwise lively, fluid, and watchable.
  7. Anyone can make a bad movie, but it takes a good filmmaker to make one as bad as I'm Not There.

See all 35 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 34 out of 61
  2. Negative: 19 out of 61
  1. NicholasK
    Jan 11, 2009
    10
    A Stunning example of Arthouse film, and while a lot of people understandably will not understand it (Arthouse is aimed at a niche audience). A Stunning example of Arthouse film, and while a lot of people understandably will not understand it (Arthouse is aimed at a niche audience). The acting is wonderful and the cinematography is beautifully mastered. A must see for art house lovers and the open minded, but if you're not an art house fan or are a piece of "Hollywood brainwashing" then this is not for you. Expand
  2. SteveE.
    Feb 4, 2008
    9
    I could see how someone who wasn't a Dylan fan might walk away thinking this was the worst movie ever, but I thought it was one of the I could see how someone who wasn't a Dylan fan might walk away thinking this was the worst movie ever, but I thought it was one of the most complex, beautiful, and intelligent films I have ever seen. Expand
  3. May 9, 2012
    9
    First things first; this is most definitely an 'art movie' and yes, it's pretty long. However if you have the ability to maintain yourFirst things first; this is most definitely an 'art movie' and yes, it's pretty long. However if you have the ability to maintain your attention, this an enjoyable watch. It's pretty for one thing. And really very smart. I can't say I understood every detail. But the approach to the biography is well done. Bob Dylan is complex character (aren't we all?) who has had an extraordinary life. So we see a fragmented reality, each character an stand-in for different sides of the whole person, the truth residing somewhere within. The clue is in the title. A great soundtrack too ('natch') Expand
  4. PaulK.
    Dec 31, 2007
    7
    This is long and slow and hard to follow, especially since I'm not Bob Dylan fan. I went because of the hype surrounding Cate This is long and slow and hard to follow, especially since I'm not Bob Dylan fan. I went because of the hype surrounding Cate Blanchett's performance and while she is good, the movie as a whole was completely lost on me. Expand
  5. FredM.
    Nov 30, 2007
    5
    Fascinating failure, lengthy and pretentious. Haynes' idea of exploring Bob Dylan's psychic personas through different actors is Fascinating failure, lengthy and pretentious. Haynes' idea of exploring Bob Dylan's psychic personas through different actors is brilliant with two standout performances: Cate Blanchett as the mid-60s druggy, psyched-out Dylan and Marcus Carl Franklin as Dylan incarnating a runaway, Woody Guthrie-worshipping black boy. The other Dylans, Christian Bale as a protest folkie turned Christian preacher, Heath Ledger as a womanizing movie star, Ben Whishaw as motormouth pseudo Rimbaud, and Richard Gere as an aged Billy the Kid, add no new revelations to the Dylan legend and the movie eventually becomes tedious and boring in its gimmickry. Striking black and white scenes lifted directly from Fellini's "8 & 1/2" (even using Nino Rota's score) effortlessly blended with scenes of the American West eventually loose their attraction as conversations about art and the role of the artist don't bring new insight. The soundtrack mixing original Dylan songs with covers by diverse acts such as Sonic Youth and Charlotte Gainsbourg is quite good but cannot save the film from its empty core. This film is a bore and Dylan deserves better. Expand
  6. tbi
    Sep 7, 2008
    2
    This movie seemed to be long winded , boring, and confusing. I feel like the people who might seek this movie out, may not have the attention This movie seemed to be long winded , boring, and confusing. I feel like the people who might seek this movie out, may not have the attention span to even follow it, or maybe zone in and out of it. Too bad. Expand
  7. SamJ.
    Nov 22, 2007
    0
    Completely ridiculous notices here by people who love Dylan, but may not be serious movie fans. This is a disjointed, overly stylized Completely ridiculous notices here by people who love Dylan, but may not be serious movie fans. This is a disjointed, overly stylized treatise which is often torturous to sit through. I adored Haynes' FAR FROM HEAVEN, but this is a major disappointment. Expand

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