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Mixed or average reviews - based on 43 Critics What's this?

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6.6

Generally favorable reviews- based on 48 Ratings

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  • Starring: , , ,
  • Summary: Labor Day centers on 13-year-old Henry Wheeler, who struggles to be the man of his house and care for his reclusive mother Adele while confronting all the pangs of adolescence. On a back-to-school shopping trip, Henry and his mother encounter Frank Chambers, a man both intimidating andLabor Day centers on 13-year-old Henry Wheeler, who struggles to be the man of his house and care for his reclusive mother Adele while confronting all the pangs of adolescence. On a back-to-school shopping trip, Henry and his mother encounter Frank Chambers, a man both intimidating and clearly in need of help, who convinces them to take him into their home and later is revealed to be an escaped convict. The events of this long Labor Day weekend will shape them for the rest of their lives. [Paramount Pictures] Expand
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Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 15 out of 43
  2. Negative: 6 out of 43
  1. Reviewed by: Rex Reed
    Jan 29, 2014
    100
    It resonates with delicacy, passion and restraint, touching the heart in places where cynics fear to go.
  2. Reviewed by: Dan Jolin
    Mar 17, 2014
    80
    A tender, nostalgic and warm ‘family’ drama which also quietly seethes with the threat and tension of imminent danger. Labor Day shows a new side to Jason Reitman as a filmmaker, and we like it.
  3. Reviewed by: Peter Debruge
    Sep 3, 2013
    70
    To the extent that Adele’s hunger for affection resonates with audiences, what emerges is a powerful — if implausible — romance.
  4. Reviewed by: Chris Willman
    Sep 3, 2013
    50
    A full-immersion exercise in the old-fashioned women's weepie that skews far closer to Nicholas Sparks' brand of contrivance than Diablo Cody territory.
  5. Reviewed by: Liam Lacey
    Jan 31, 2014
    50
    I can’t pardon Labor Day’s mush, not just because it’s mush, but because it comes with an unappetizing side order of condescension and contempt.
  6. Reviewed by: Marc Mohan
    Jan 30, 2014
    50
    While it's nice to see Reitman try to branch out from the hip, acerbic humor of "Juno" and "Young Adult," his clumsiness with this more earnest material is an unpleasant surprise.
  7. Reviewed by: Amy Nicholson
    Jan 28, 2014
    30
    Labor Day is so self-conscious and phony, it must be the work of a pod person. Humans, film lovers, and fans of Reitman's till-now-flawless filmography: We've gotta fight back.

See all 43 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 13 out of 21
  2. Negative: 3 out of 21
  1. Jan 11, 2014
    10
    This is a unique, very artistic film. The cinematography focuses on a soulful, subtle and nuanced direction and the sound-score isThis is a unique, very artistic film. The cinematography focuses on a soulful, subtle and nuanced direction and the sound-score is mesmerizing. They each reflect the underlying emotion and tension of every scene. Jason's choice to direct such a different kind of film gives him great merit ... and the result is a multi-layered, rich very moving film that takes one in a myriad of emotional directions. He deserves great credit for this risk-taking, as well as for his thorough, thoughtful and extremely artistic direction. Cynics will not like this film. Mature folks with deep life experiences will understand its power. A remarkable film ... ahead of its time. Collapse
  2. Feb 1, 2014
    10
    This eloquently simple, yet passionately tense movie is something to be remembered. The breathtaking cinematography beautifully meshes withThis eloquently simple, yet passionately tense movie is something to be remembered. The breathtaking cinematography beautifully meshes with the closeness of the characters' captured emotions in which you can't help but accredit to the perfect chemistry of the cast. Labor Day is ingeniously refreshing compared to what we consider to be "Box-Office Hits" today. Also, if you've read the book, it adds an intense appreciation for the important, minor details of this movie. Expand
  3. Apr 28, 2014
    9
    Labor Day has a familiar vibe to it, I have seen bits and pieces of the story before, and I have seen similar characters on the big screen andLabor Day has a familiar vibe to it, I have seen bits and pieces of the story before, and I have seen similar characters on the big screen and on the small screen, but it is all about the direction and how the director decides to create deep characters, effective story and a heartbreak, Jason Reitman succeeds in all these things, thus making Labor Day one of the best movies of 2013. Labor Day is highly recommended! Expand
  4. Feb 4, 2014
    7
    Kate Winslet plays a separated mother with serious issues. She's struggling to cope with a troubled past, while raising her son (GattlinKate Winslet plays a separated mother with serious issues. She's struggling to cope with a troubled past, while raising her son (Gattlin Griffith). One afternoon, they're intimidated by an escaped convict (Josh Brolin) who forces his way into their home…and ultimately, their lives. The inevitable relationships are pretty obvious from the start, but it's watching them develop that gives the movie its weight. Although it moves slowly, the solid performances and Jason Reitman's controlled direction make for a sweet, slightly pretentious but compelling drama. Expand
  5. Jan 25, 2015
    7
    At first it was the type of movie that I wanted to escape from. Wierd looking kid named Frank with a wierd relationship with his motherAt first it was the type of movie that I wanted to escape from. Wierd looking kid named Frank with a wierd relationship with his mother Adelle. You really need to watch and take note of the little flashbacks to understand this movie in the end. It is impossible to understand the characters background in the first hour appx. There is alot of guessing leading up to the conversation the fugitive lover and Adelle have in the car while she is attempting to go to the bank. Then your suspicion that the young couple with the baby girl is the fugitives deceased family and understand why he went to jail. He loved his daughter even though the movie suggests it is not his biological daughter. She drowned in the bathtub. Not really a spoiler you would think that happened anyways. Then you learn that Adelle had a bunch of miscarriages and could not concieve again after Frank. Hence the reason for her depression. Her last effort led to the death of her daughter after giving birth. So the two characters have an emotional commonground to begin. Both lost their baby children. Both feel terrible about it. Both have been cheated on and abandoned by their ex spouses. Both are in a desperate situation and need each other for different reasons. That is why they fall in love so quickly. They need each others support and touch. Frank really is not a significant character in this story. He is more like the narrorator or messenger. He is his moms rock until the fugitive shows up over labor day weekend and holds them all hostage. Then the boy feels abandoned by his mother. So the movie is about love, betrayel and loss. The moral teaching is that if your current situation does not work out or you lose someone dear to you you should not give up as there is much more love out there waiting for you in places you would never expect if you lose the love you already have. I liked it, once I see Jason Reitman is not a monster and just had bad luck you really feal badly for the guy. Of course without that information you as well as the towns people assume the guy is a terrible monster without a heart that wants to hurt everyone he meets or runs into. This may be another moral teaching, do not judge a person by their circumstance or their hard outer shell. There is usually something much more than that once you peel back the layers. Expand
  6. Apr 19, 2014
    5
    At times sluggish and boring and other times intense and passionate. A combo that doesn't mix well, which gave the movie an inconsistent feelAt times sluggish and boring and other times intense and passionate. A combo that doesn't mix well, which gave the movie an inconsistent feel throughout. Reitman just doesn't give the characters enough personality to make the feelings between them come alive. Expand
  7. Jan 1, 2015
    0
    I couldn't buy into this film at all and by the end was pretty disgusted. It was told from the kid's POV, so OK, he doesn't quite understandI couldn't buy into this film at all and by the end was pretty disgusted. It was told from the kid's POV, so OK, he doesn't quite understand the world of adults... But where was the animal passion that would make this story believable? The guy can bake a pie...metaphor aside...so what? She knows him 5 days and throws her life away for him? Mental. The she waits years for his return? Pathetic. I love Kate, but have no sympathy for her ridiculous character. Why did she want to make this turkey? Maybe I have no romance in my soul, but this left me cold. Expand

See all 21 User Reviews

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