Metascore
64

Generally favorable reviews - based on 32 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 18 out of 32
  2. Negative: 2 out of 32
  1. Reviewed by: Mike Scott
    Jul 31, 2015
    60
    While Infinitely Polar Bear makes an admirable argument that mental illness is something to be managed rather than dreaded like a death sentence, it's hard not to feel as if Forbes' film perhaps paints too rosy of a portrait of what can be a devastating condition to families.
  2. Reviewed by: Manohla Dargis
    Jun 18, 2015
    60
    In Infinitely Polar Bear, Ms. Forbes hasn’t made a movie about her father’s illness; she’s made one about her father, who, through hard and weird times, clearly helped give her what she needed so that one day she could tell this story.
  3. Reviewed by: Sheri Linden
    Jun 18, 2015
    60
    Forbes pushes the positivity a bit insistently, yet one of the most appealing aspects of her film is its depiction of kids thriving in an unorthodox household.
  4. Reviewed by: Joe Neumaier
    Jun 18, 2015
    60
    Saldana has a harder lift, as Maggie is striving for something better yet has to often be reactive. In scenes with the adorable Wolodarsky and Aufderheide, she listens and acts intently. But there are too many times when she’s forced to just look worried. Still, Saldana, like so many things in Forbes’ likable but tricky film, does her best in a tough situation.
  5. Reviewed by: Kate Erbland
    Jun 17, 2015
    60
    As good as Ruffalo and Saldana are, the best parts of the film are the lovely, unpretentious performances by Imogene Wolodarsky (Forbes’ daughter) and Ashley Aufderheide as Cam and Maggie’s daughters.
  6. Reviewed by: John DeFore
    Jan 26, 2014
    60
    A feel-good picture that is a little less affecting than it might have been, but is entertaining enough.
  7. Reviewed by: Peter Rainer
    Jun 19, 2015
    58
    Despite some occasional moments of real sadness and terror, the turmoil in this movie is decidedly on the upbeat.
  8. Reviewed by: Michael Phillips
    Jun 25, 2015
    50
    It's worth seeing, on balance, simply for what Mark Ruffalo does in a hundred different, discrete, telling ways as he creates a character who was a capital-A Character, outlandish one minute, scarily unpredictable the next.
  9. Reviewed by: Mick LaSalle
    Jun 25, 2015
    50
    More emphasis on these darker, subterranean elements might have made for a fuller experience, but Infinitely Polar Bear is really all about a father as seen from a child’s perspective. It’s better than a scrapbook item, as in a film made to be appreciated by one family. But it’s not quite a successful movie.
  10. Reviewed by: Bilge Ebiri
    Jun 22, 2015
    50
    Infinitely Polar Bear is a good example of how a film that looks on paper like a mess of indie clichés can be redeemed by fantastic performances … even if, ultimately, it remains a mess of indie clichés.
  11. Reviewed by: Jesse Hassenger
    Jun 17, 2015
    42
    In Infinitely Polar Bear, Ruffalo attempts to put a recognizable, charismatic, slightly worn face on manic depression. Somehow, though, he comes up with a vaguely theatrical, and vaguely wearying, performance.
  12. Reviewed by: Henry Barnes
    Jan 26, 2014
    40
    Infinitely Polar Bear is heartfelt and honest, but it's too cute by half.
User Score
7.9

Generally favorable reviews- based on 8 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 4 out of 5
  2. Negative: 0 out of 5
  1. Jul 26, 2015
    8
    Beautiful and moving story about family and love. Ruffalo plays brilliantly a man who has bipolar disorder and tries to take of his belovedBeautiful and moving story about family and love. Ruffalo plays brilliantly a man who has bipolar disorder and tries to take of his beloved daughters while his ex-wife studies in New York. Despite major difficulcites, we learn that love can heal anything when it's real and people make an effort. Seeing how Cam adapts himself to his new mission and how his family welcomes him, after many problems of course, is a very nice thing to see. Infinitely Polar Bear is a sweet, cute and touching movie, with great characters, and for all ages. Full Review »
  2. Jul 11, 2015
    10
    We have family members on both sides diagnosed with the bi-polar disorder. They are very different on how they handle it. This movie showedWe have family members on both sides diagnosed with the bi-polar disorder. They are very different on how they handle it. This movie showed how some people handle the disorder, along with the moments that they are out of control, and it was very realistic. Mark Ruffalo did an excellent job of being sympathetic in his craziness. The young girls were great in their attempts to deal with their father, very true to what children do. Zoe Saldana was also excellent in her despair of handling an almost impossible situation. For us, some of the situations can be quite funny, while others are heartbreaking, and that's what the movie showed, living with crazy. Full Review »
  3. Jul 10, 2015
    7
    For 23 years Mark Ruffalo has been a journeyman actor, always becoming the character he is called on to play as in his last 3 films. He wasFor 23 years Mark Ruffalo has been a journeyman actor, always becoming the character he is called on to play as in his last 3 films. He was Dave Schultz the wrestling Olympic champ in “Foxcatcher”, Ned Weeks, AIDS activist, in “The Normal Heart”, and in today’s movie “Infinitely Polar Bear” is Cam, husband and father who is bipolar. Though probably not a “STAR” or “A” list actor as defined in Hollywood he has had 55 nominations for acting roles in movies, on television and the stage. Lucky for us he can star in ‘large’ movies that allow him to star in ‘small’ movies.

    In “Infinitely Polar Bear”, a name his youngest daughter gives to her father who was diagnosed as manic-depressive order in the late 1960s which will become bipolar disorder years later, Cam is handed the responsibility of raising his two daughters, Amelia (Imogene Wolodarsky) and Faith (Ashley Aufderheide) for 18 months in Boston while his wife Maggie (Zoe Saldana) goes to New York to earn her MBA at Columbia in New York while the born to a rich for generations family he is poor.

    The film opens with Cam having a mental breakdown and unable to hold down a job and though his family believed in a first rate education he was kicked out of Harvard and other schools. His background is explained somewhat but it doesn’t go into detail as to why his grandmother would pay his rent for an apartment and, offer him her Bently when his car is really in bad shape, yet won’t offer to send her grandchildren to private school.

    Though based on a true story written by the director-writer Maya Forbes about her family she seems to have handled her father’s illness with humor whether he was experiencing bipolar episodes or going out on a drinking binge. The fact that her mother is an African-American and father white of an elite Boston family---remember this is in the 1960s--is referred to very briefly in a scene between Maggie and her daughter Amelia, who looks Caucasian as her father and Faith looks Black, telling the former she is Black having a Black mother. Sadly Saldana’s role is underwritten and we learn nothing about her family, or how she learned to deal with her husband’s illness but not why she stopped any sexual relations with him and seems reluctant to resume them.

    Instead of looking into a man’s mind who is bipolar or a family who is biracial, and the problems both situations may have caused, we are given a warm, funny, feel good family movie where it might have been the way the director-writer dealt with the problems.

    Mark Ruffalo IS Cam presenting a bipolar man who is a hoarder, a curser, an alcoholic who clearly loves his wife and daughters and takes care of the latter, not always in the best ways, but doesn’t hold back his love. Zoe Saldana is excellent even if her role is underwritten. Imogene Wolodarsky, as the older daughter, represents a teenager embarrassed by her father, which most teenage girls are, but even with dealing his bipolar loves him more. Ashley Aufderheide, the director’s daughter, is a little preconscious and loud but neither daughter changes in any way over an 18 month period.

    The main reason to see this movie is for another memorable portrait by Mark Ruffalo.
    Full Review »