Metascore
60

Mixed or average reviews - based on 36 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 21 out of 36
  2. Negative: 2 out of 36
  1. Reviewed by: Marc Mohan
    Mar 15, 2012
    91
    It's an ending that may alienate some viewers, but will jolt others out of their comfort zones and into an appreciation of genuinely brave storytelling.
  2. Reviewed by: Bill Goodykoontz
    Mar 15, 2012
    90
    This isn't a movie for everyone, but for fans of quirky charm leavened occasionally by uncomfortable, realistic exchanges, it's a small delight.
  3. Reviewed by: Mike Scott
    Mar 16, 2012
    80
    It is small, it is smart, it is quirky.
  4. Reviewed by: Ian Buckwalter
    Mar 19, 2012
    75
    Both Jeff and the film have a way of sneaking up on you.
  5. Reviewed by: Joe Williams
    Mar 16, 2012
    75
    A high-wire act that could crash if the actors were out of sync, but under this big top, the never-better Segel keeps everyone aloft.
  6. Reviewed by: Mick LaSalle
    Mar 15, 2012
    75
    The Duplass brothers keep making miniatures that contain universes. They seem to be casual, but they're dead serious. They seem to be stumbling around finding stories by accident, but their movies are thematically rigorous. They seem to be presenting matters of little consequence, but the stakes are always huge and life-changing.
  7. Reviewed by: Scott Bowles
    Mar 15, 2012
    75
    Sarandon is worth leaving home for, even if Jeff won't.
  8. Reviewed by: Peter Travers
    Mar 15, 2012
    75
    The funny, touching and vital Jeff, Who Lives at Home reaffirms your faith in Jay and Mark Duplass. Their films hit you where you live.
  9. Reviewed by: Steven Rea
    Mar 15, 2012
    75
    Nothing in this quiet, quirky comedy from the brothers Duplass comes close to Jeff's inspired, bong-fueled deconstruction of "Signs," but it gives us a good idea of where this guy is coming from.
  10. Reviewed by: Nathan Rabin
    Mar 14, 2012
    75
    Jeff begins with its protagonist discussing a Hollywood movie and ends by embracing the worst excesses of commercial American filmmaking, but there are enough moments of magic and wonder in the interim to make it worthwhile.
  11. Reviewed by: Roger Ebert
    Mar 14, 2012
    75
    A whimsical comedy, very whimsical, depending on the warmth of Segal and Sarandon, the discontent of Helms and Greer, and still more warmth that enters at midpoint with Carol (Rae Dawn Chong), Sarandon's co-worker at the office.
  12. Reviewed by: Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Mar 14, 2012
    75
    With his large bod, soft features, and air of goofy sweetness, Jason Segel is a natural fit for Jeff, Who Lives at Home, a goofy, sweet comedy.
  13. Reviewed by: Steve Persall
    Mar 14, 2012
    75
    It's a movie that grows on you, after grating your nerves while viewing it.
  14. Reviewed by: Mary Pols
    Mar 18, 2012
    70
    It's pointed, a piece of domestic comedy that starts with the unappealing sight of an overgrown slacker hunched on a faux leather couch in a dingy basement and subtly winds its way into a tender, wise and completely delightful film about family.
  15. Reviewed by: Brian Miller
    Mar 13, 2012
    70
    Jeff is a surprisingly mutable, ultimately poignant day-in-the-life drama about a slacker who genuinely wants to stand tall.
  16. Reviewed by: Peter Debruge
    Mar 12, 2012
    70
    Graced with Susan Sarandon's radiant turn as Jeff's all-patient mother-enabler, this sweet but slight effort could modestly expand their audience beyond the slacker set to include middle-aged women.
  17. Reviewed by: John DeFore
    Mar 9, 2012
    70
    A short and sweet outing pairing the Duplass brothers with mismatched screen siblings Jason Segel and Ed Helms, Jeff Who Lives at Home pulls back from the comedy of Cyrus in favor of character-defining vignettes and moments of grace.
  18. 70
    A family drama that looks for answers in coincidence (is it really ever coincidence?), this endearing and breezy comic fable watches Jeff's coming of age and promises nothing after his moment of truth.
  19. Reviewed by: Stephanie Zacharek
    Mar 16, 2012
    65
    At what point do we stop applauding the Duplass brothers for their gumption and stick-to-itiveness and admit that, maybe, their storytelling just isn't so hot? Or that their characters sometimes seem more like groovy-cute constructs than believable people?
  20. Reviewed by: Lou Lumenick
    Mar 16, 2012
    63
    A bit too shaggy to totally live up to the potential of its fine cast. But there are moments of comedy gold - especially as Segel, who went full-frontal for "Forgetting Sarah Marshall" endures endless humiliations as the title character.
  21. Reviewed by: James Berardinelli
    Mar 15, 2012
    63
    It feels incomplete and the ending is entirely too convenient.
  22. Reviewed by: Peter Bradshaw
    May 12, 2012
    60
    The film is watchable and often funny, but still seems encumbered with a kind of Sundance-indie self-consciousness, and I wondered if, in the end, it was doing anything more than the far more unassuming and gag-packed Harold & Kumar movies.
  23. Reviewed by: James Mottram
    May 12, 2012
    60
    Cool cast, hip directors, but a movie that's less than the sum of both. Like its title character, Jeff is gentle, warm but a little forgettable.
  24. Reviewed by: David Hughes
    May 7, 2012
    60
    There's undoubtedly comedy mileage in an irreverent sending up of the Signs/Magnolia school of everything-is-connected philosophy. Despite the calibre of the cast, the Duplass brothers mostly fail to find it.
  25. Reviewed by: Joe Morgenstern
    Mar 15, 2012
    60
    Surprisingly, though, most of the material avoids the treacle zone, while Jason Segel, as the man-child in residence, gives a performance that I can only describe as gravely affecting.
  26. Reviewed by: Joe Neumaier
    Mar 15, 2012
    60
    The whole movie is about piecing together broken parts. It may not always come together, but what it makes, if you look at it the right way, is endearing.
  27. Reviewed by: James Adams
    Mar 16, 2012
    50
    This little movie – it's only 83 minutes – seems so determined to if not avoid, then only caress the tropes of slacker films that it commits the worst sin for a comedy: It's boring.
  28. Reviewed by: J.R. Jones
    Mar 15, 2012
    50
    There are some funny scenes in which the two brothers spy on the wife, who may be having an affair, but the movie's climax is a badly contrived attempt to ratify Jeff's notion of personal destiny.
  29. Reviewed by: Ann Hornaday
    Mar 15, 2012
    50
    With its shambling, felicitously contrived structure and Fellini-esque climax, it's some kind of Jungian slacker fable.
  30. Reviewed by: A.O. Scott
    Mar 15, 2012
    50
    The ending is also a test of the audience's openness to the kind of fantasy mocked, at the outset, by everyone in Jeff's life, including the filmmakers. They want to make us believe in something, though it's also possible that they are only fooling.
  31. Reviewed by: Betsy Sharkey
    Mar 15, 2012
    50
    The writing-directing brothers are usually interested in the small stuff of everyday, but perhaps they've gone a little too small here.
  32. Reviewed by: Rene Rodriguez
    Mar 15, 2012
    50
    A surprisingly sappy misfire from brothers Jay and Mark Duplass, a hug-it-out, touchy-feely movie that succumbs to the maudlin sentimentality they had avoided in all their previous pictures (The Puffy Chair, Baghead, Cyrus).
  33. Reviewed by: Kimberley Jones
    Mar 14, 2012
    50
    The Duplass brothers have an exceptional eye for microexpressions (yes, they're still zoom-happy), and there's something to be admired in this new interest in a macro lens on the universe's workings. If only it didn't take wading through so much drear to get to that divine.
  34. Reviewed by: Andrew Schenker
    Mar 14, 2012
    50
    For the most part, this is a boys-will-be-boys movie that excuses everything its pair of protags do in the name of some sort of cosmic order.
  35. Reviewed by: Wesley Morris
    Mar 15, 2012
    38
    Jeff Who Lives at Home devotes so much of itself to mocking the loneliness and personal shortcomings of these characters that once it stops jabbing and turns serious, you start laughing.
  36. Reviewed by: Keith Uhlich
    Mar 13, 2012
    20
    As is, this semi-improvised feature comes off as a willfully vague exercise that, like its dimwit protagonist, presumes that profundity and enlightenment will emerge from the morass eventually. Er, maybe - or maybe not. Kinda like "Signs;" only much, much worse.
User Score
6.9

Generally favorable reviews- based on 58 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 15 out of 17
  2. Negative: 0 out of 17
  1. Apr 20, 2012
    9
    This review contains spoilers, click full review link to view. Outside the Hooters, Jeff refers to his old religion, defends it even, when Pat, the elder brother, makes fun of its chief prophet, Yoda, by arguing that the Jedi "would be killer in a business meeting." Now, he's a prophet himself, offering up his own commandment, adapted from a precursive faith(just like how Indian religions influenced Christianity), at the outset of Jeff Who Lives at Home, where his words to live by are superimposed over the black screen. According to the couch potato oracle: "Everyone and everything is interconnected in the universe. Stay pure of heart and you will see the signs." For Jeff, it's the M. Night Shyamalan film, and not Star Wars(see Patton Oswalt in Failure to Launch) that he **** beyond all reason, thereby transforming the filmic text into a quasi-religious object, more powerful than the Holy Bible. Stoned and disaffected, Jeff elaborates on the spirituality which flows through Signs, and its argument for predestination, making the audience cognizant of the fact that for all intents and purposes, our hero lives "in a galaxy far, far away," a galaxy where Graham Hess, a Pennsylvania farmer, becomes his own personal Luke Skywalker. Jeff doesn't "use the Force" anymore, instead, he tries to "see". His proclamations, however, are hard to take seriously, unless you believe that all the great philosophers do their best thinking just before they flush. Ironically, because Jeff starts his morning off mired in a marijuana haze, he misses the first sign, when Sharon calls her adult son to remind him about purchasing some wood glue for a minor home repair. In essence, Jeff Who Lives at Home is a stoner retelling of Signs. It's not God, but Shyamalan, who is in the details, starting with that open space where the closet door slat should be. The slats resemble the wooden boards in miniature, which the Hess family uses to seal themselves off from the doorknob-challenged aliens. Like the closet, the window that Graham reconfigures into a component of his impromptu fortress, is also missing a piece of wood, initially anyway, before the ex-Episcopalian minister nails the final board into place, without realizing how his remedial carpentry is part of a master plan. The pot induces in Jeff a selective cognizance. He catches the second sign, a wrong number, a man on the other end of the line who asks for Kevin, which Jeff translates from the sacred composition and dialogue of the Shyamalanian diegesis into a real world miracle. Whereas Graham broached the idea of there being no coincidences, Jeff appropriates this posited precondition of a world affected by metaphysics with the suggestion that there "are no wrong phone numbers." This epiphany directs the true believer to pen and paper, an endeavor that leads to another sign, when he discovers in the name Kevin, a notable, albeit imperfect, anagram: "knive". An "s"(for signs?) completes the emerging plural, and makes a sort of intertextual sense, since both the titular character from Cyrus(another mama's boy rendered by the same filmmakers) and Graham handle knives in an ambiguous manner. The supposed weapon is employed as a utensil for slicing bread in Cyrus' hands, while Graham uses his knife as a mirror, when he tries to glimpse the creature on the other side of the pantry door. The anagram's significance probably becomes self-evident to Jeff as he explains to Pat the logistical problems of knocking down a door(in this case, a motel room door) from such a short distance. On the other hand, Graham had the benefit of a running start, the whole expanse of his wife's killer's kitchen, but chooses instead to ply the knife as a benevolent instrument, before using it with malicious intent only as a last resort. Arguably, had the brothers not reunited, had invisible forces not been in the works, Pat, the cuckolded husband, could have inflicted bodily harm on the alien presence who desires Linda, but a "Kevin's Kandies" truck inevitably delivers Jeff to the rendezvous point, deftly avoiding an adjustment to the timeline. Still, the cinephilic zealot is filled with doubt. Did Jeff get beaten up by black youths in vain? But then, finally, on a bridge, the reason behind his father's death manifests itself, when Jeff steps out of the taxi to survey the traffic jam, and intuits the situation at hand. He puts his celluloidal faith in Bo's hands; Bo, the little girl who had the dream. "See," the dying words of a preacher's wife, gets reinterpreted as "sea", as does "swing away," which for Jeff means that he has to "swim away," therefore giving him the impetus to jump into the ocean below, saving the definitive Kevin and his two young daughters. In the process, Jeff becomes a Christ figure, because the Coast Guard paramedics resuscitate the prophet, or in other words, brings him back from the dead. Jeff Who Lives at Home proves that film is a religion, and not just in the metaphorical sense. Full Review »
  2. Jun 15, 2012
    6
    Enjoyable movie.
    A surprise.
    From the trailer i saw looked like a generic comedy but it turn out to be a good drama.
    A journey of a man
    that after losing his dad and inspired by a movie tries to find his destiny Full Review »
  3. Mar 31, 2012
    10
    Jeff is a sweet, thoughtful movie about people grappling with the mean of life -- of their lives specifically. The topic is heavy but the movie is light, and it's quite easy to enjoy watching really good actors (like Susan Sarandon) work their craft of being ordinary people. It's sweet, but it won't make you gag. And I have a strong gag reflex. Enjoy! Full Review »