Jack Goes Boating

Metascore
64

Generally favorable reviews - based on 27 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 19 out of 27
  2. Negative: 0 out of 27

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Critic Reviews

  1. 83
    It's the kind of story that can look pedestrian on paper, but when brought to life this skillfully, proves to be genuinely inspiring.
  2. A specialty house crowd pleaser on par with their previous arthouse hit "The Visitor," and Hoffman should be prepared for another round of acclaim; except this time, admirers will be discussing his directing work.
  3. Reviewed by: Dan Kois
    80
    Hoffman's directorial debut transfers to film the company's ethos of an ensemble performing with ruthless honesty encouragingly well. And that's why it's fitting that this drama asks so much of, and gets so much from, Ortiz.
  4. A quiet character study filled with damaged, insular people who live life in small increments, only occasionally exploding in emotion.
  5. 75
    A low energy romance, a movie that rewards a filmgoer with the patience to let this affair play itself out. Sink or swim, Connie and Jack will come out of this changed. And so will we.
  6. 75
    The actors make it new and poignant, and avoid going over the top in the story's limited psychic and physical space.
  7. 75
    The ruefully funny Jack Goes Boating, which, refreshingly, takes a generous view of its flawed characters, is a must for us many Hoffman fans.
  8. 75
    The movie stays alert to the dreams and disappointments of four average people on an emotional roller coaster. It's a sublimely acted movie, hilarious and heartfelt.
  9. A successful work of art. To see this movie is to feel that you've lived it.
  10. Hoffman emerges as a confident film director with visual flair and, no surprise, a remarkable ability to maximize his fellow actors' work.
  11. Reviewed by: Todd McCarthy
    70
    Displaying a girth that will give hope to overweight romantics everywhere, Hoffman knows his character inside and out and invites the viewer close to this limited, good-hearted fellow.
  12. 70
    Making his feature directing debut, Hoffman shows considerable generosity toward the other players, which was probably a good idea given his own listless performance as the mumbling title character.
  13. 70
    The picture is well-crafted; it just doesn't breathe.
  14. Best appreciated for its sweet eccentricities (beginning with reggae lover Jack's would-be dreadlocks), optimistic outlook and authentic New York vibe, as much as for its commitment to being exactly what it is: an affectionate homage to working-class underdogs trying to carve out their own little corners of happiness.
  15. 67
    Jack Goes Boating tells a tender story reasonably well, but it rarely lets viewers feel the emotions instead of thoughtfully observing them.
  16. Reviewed by: Scott Bowles
    63
    Jack Goes Boating won't knock you over, but it lulls you with its slow-warming heart.
  17. Reviewed by: Ty Burr
    63
    This is one of those rare movies that genuinely likes its characters and wishes them the best; as agonizing as it can be to watch Jack fumble toward human connection, Hoffman knows the fumbling's the point.
  18. Like Ernest Borgnine, Philip Seymour Hoffman is an unconventional leading man with an Oscar on his mantle, and his bittersweet Jack Goes Boating has elicited comparisons with "Marty."
  19. The performances are uniformly top-notch. It was a treat to see Ortiz, an actor known on screen mostly for his impressive cameos in movies like "El Cantante," in a leading part enabling him to express his considerable emotional range.
User Score
6.8

Generally favorable reviews- based on 21 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 5 out of 7
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 7
  3. Negative: 2 out of 7
  1. Sep 24, 2010
    3
    I'm such a huge fan of Hoffman that I went wanting (and expecting) to like this film but alas, I couldn't. I found it incoherent. Yes, theI'm such a huge fan of Hoffman that I went wanting (and expecting) to like this film but alas, I couldn't. I found it incoherent. Yes, the acting is wonderful but when all is said and done, so what? Great acting alone cannot make a great film. There needs to be more...and there isn't. Too bad. Full Review »
  2. Feb 16, 2014
    10
    No glamour here. Just unparalleled acting from Hoffman, Amy Ryan, John Ortiz and Daphne Rubin-Vega and the rest of the cast. A strong, tenderNo glamour here. Just unparalleled acting from Hoffman, Amy Ryan, John Ortiz and Daphne Rubin-Vega and the rest of the cast. A strong, tender movie. There's an astonishing moment near the end of the film that showcases Philip Seymour Hoffman's power. A great story from Robert Glaudini. Excellent use of life, and NYC, as characters, too. Full Review »
  3. May 25, 2011
    3
    I was expecting one of those movies where nothing happens, yet everything happens but in this case nothing does happen. Even Hoffman could notI was expecting one of those movies where nothing happens, yet everything happens but in this case nothing does happen. Even Hoffman could not save this movie. Its like Punch Drunk love without the good parts. The only good thing is the Goldfrapp and Fleet foxes songs. Full Review »