Imaginary Heroes

Metascore
53

Mixed or average reviews - based on 32 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 12 out of 32
  2. Negative: 3 out of 32
Watch On
  1. 50
    What the movie damagingly lacks is a personality of its own.
  2. Reviewed by: Ty Burr
    50
    Weaver's randy, impatient, very funny performance is the main reason to see Imaginary Heroes.
  3. Reviewed by: Olly Richards
    40
    Terrific performance alone can't mask the lack of originality.
  4. 60
    It looks good. It seems to work. It occasionally coheres into a priceless moment. But in the end, the pieces don't all fit together as they should.
  5. 60
    For now, it might be best to acknowledge this as an impressive debut and wait for the grown-up stuff to come.
  6. It would have been nice if Harris, who casts a sardonic yet compassionate eye on the Travis family, had set his sights a little higher than the typical chronicle of a dysfunctional suburban family.
  7. Piles too many small disasters on top of the initial tragedy, including a drunken car accident, a drug bust and a cancer scare. It also swerves unsteadily into farce.
  8. 50
    Despite Weaver's wise instincts for the thoughtful pause, we're stuck with yet another ass-kicking female actor struggling to shade in the contours of a wispy sketch.
  9. Reviewed by: David Edelstein
    50
    It has strong moments and fine, unsentimental performances, but it doesn't jell as a story.
  10. 40
    This schizophrenic mess zigzags all over the place, trying to figure out whether it's a dysfunctional-family drama, a slapstick comedy or an angst-ridden coming-of-age movie.
  11. 50
    If you think you've seen Imaginary Heroes before, you're right -- only it was called "The Ice Storm," or maybe "Ordinary People."
  12. Rather than invoke sympathy, the technique creates annoyance with Harris's writing: Sure, these characters may be clich├ęs, but haven't they suffered enough?
  13. 50
    The first-rate cast is lost at sea.
  14. Imaginary Heroes feels like an endless series of wakes, awkward cocktail conversations and teen house parties, which would be fine if Harris wrote less cartoony dialogue.
  15. Weaver was half-heartedly pushed as an underdog Oscar choice. If the film was worthy of her performance, Weaver may have had a shot.
  16. Reviewed by: David Rooney
    60
    The film sways awkwardly back and forth between prickly humor and pathos, rarely ringing true in either register.
  17. Reviewed by: Meredith Brody
    60
    The stand-up performance is still that of the mom--Sigourney Weaver, making the most of the meatiest part she's had in years
User Score
7.0

Generally favorable reviews- based on 19 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 9 out of 13
  2. Negative: 3 out of 13
  1. ChadS.
    Jul 3, 2006
    7
    "Imaginary Heroes" is "Ordinary People" with a different brittle, unloving parent, but solid acting trumps originality in this case. In the "Imaginary Heroes" is "Ordinary People" with a different brittle, unloving parent, but solid acting trumps originality in this case. In the Robert Redford film, you could imagine that Mary Tyler Moore's character was on valium; here, the subject of drug use is decidedly more blunt. Sigourney Weaver's episode with pot matches Patricia Clarkson's in "Pieces of April" for laughs. It's a comic highlight along with a priceless self-criticism about minorities and tokenism late in the film. And that's the film's saving grace. It's not a total bummer. "Imaginary Heroes" needs a reevaluation. Full Review »
  2. JoshL.
    Dec 29, 2005
    9
    I'm amazed at the truly vicious detractors of this movie; I throughly enjoyed it, largely from the great direction, brilliant acting I'm amazed at the truly vicious detractors of this movie; I throughly enjoyed it, largely from the great direction, brilliant acting from Weaver, Hirsch, and Daniels, and the engaging story that really compelled me to keep watching. It made me laugh and think and I think a movie that accomplishes that as well as 'Imaginary Heroes' did deserves to be advocated. Full Review »
  3. TonyB.
    Dec 28, 2005
    5
    This is an exceptionally well-acted film, but Emile Hirsch is in danger of being type cast. If you've seen some of his other work, you This is an exceptionally well-acted film, but Emile Hirsch is in danger of being type cast. If you've seen some of his other work, you probably know what I mean. The plot about yet another dysfunctional upper middle class suburban family has more subplots than it can handle and so never really fully realizes any of them. Full Review »