Metascore
76

Generally favorable reviews - based on 32 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 26 out of 32
  2. Negative: 2 out of 32
  1. Reviewed by: Michael Phillips
    Oct 23, 2014
    100
    Writer-director Perry has made a bracing and very Roth-y study of ambition and itchy literary yearning. In another time and another world, Robert Altman captured the essence of William Faulkner's landscape by filming a non-Faulkner crime story, "Thieves Like Us." This is comparable to what Perry has done here.
  2. Reviewed by: Manohla Dargis
    Oct 16, 2014
    100
    Words do more than hurt, they also slash and burn in this sharp, dyspeptic, sometimes gaspingly funny exploration of art and life, men and women, being and nonbeing, and the power and limits of language.
  3. Reviewed by: Ignatiy Vishnevetsky
    Oct 15, 2014
    100
    The thing is, Listen Up Philip is a comedy — a howlingly funny black comedy with really sharp teeth.
  4. Reviewed by: Jeff Baker
    Nov 1, 2014
    91
    A brilliantly flinty movie about writers angry at the world for failing to live up to their standards and recognize their genius.
  5. Reviewed by: Emma Myers
    Jan 27, 2014
    91
    Like its central character, Listen Up Philip exudes a kind of highbrow affectation that charms more than it alienates.
  6. Reviewed by: Rodrigo Perez
    Jan 27, 2014
    91
    Trenchantly reflecting on the mishandling of success, blind ambition, idolatry, hero worship and the complex and competitive nature of artists in romantic relationships, Listen Up Philip is brilliantly chock-a-block with resonant observations.
  7. Reviewed by: Betsy Sharkey
    Oct 23, 2014
    90
    While the intolerance fueling this dark, existential comedy won't be to everyone's liking, the film's cerebral beat-down is a strange and sardonic thing of beauty.
  8. Reviewed by: Scott Tobias
    Oct 15, 2014
    90
    Listen Up Philip doesn’t care to be liked. And in that, it deserves to be loved.
  9. Reviewed by: Scott Foundas
    Feb 11, 2014
    90
    It’s a familiar tale, but one told by Perry with immense filmmaking verve and novelistic flourish, and acted by an exceptional ensemble cast.
  10. Reviewed by: Jordan Hoffman
    Jan 21, 2014
    89
    Listen Up Philip is big, sprawling and tortured, if a little lacking in focus – while funny in parts, it isn’t really a comedy.
  11. Reviewed by: Ty Burr
    Oct 31, 2014
    88
    Jason Schwartzman is a fine actor, but he has a knack for creating characters you want to punch in the face, and Philip, who has a second novel coming out and is intent on burning all his bridges, is almost marvelously obnoxious.
  12. Reviewed by: Chris Nashawaty
    Oct 15, 2014
    83
    I can't think of anyone under 40 who plays arrogant, self-absorbed jerks more convincingly than Jason Schwartzman. I have no clue what the actor's like in real life, but if he's not a complete prick, he deserves an Oscar.
  13. Reviewed by: Alonso Duralde
    Oct 16, 2014
    82
    Those willing to commit to a fascinating story about talented and intelligent people who can also be selfish, vulnerable, strong-headed, short-sighted, and emotionally needy, however, will want to pull this one off the shelf.
  14. Reviewed by: Bob Mondello
    Oct 24, 2014
    80
    What the women are there for in Listen Up Philip is to be truth-tellers to these childish novelists — especially Philip's eventually assertive girlfriend, who ends up using his books as coasters in a long (and welcome) mid-movie detour from the story of his self-involvement.
  15. Reviewed by: John Anderson
    Oct 23, 2014
    80
    A very entertaining black comedy for very mysterious reasons.
  16. Reviewed by: Bill Goodykoontz
    Oct 23, 2014
    80
    The acting is outstanding. And there's a lot of humor. True, we're often laughing at Philip (when we're not cringing), instead of with him. But Perry also goes for more traditional laughs.
  17. Reviewed by: Andrew O'Hehir
    Oct 16, 2014
    80
    Once you adjust to Listen Up Philip, it’s also invigorating, disturbing and frequently hilarious, but that adjustment’s not entirely painless.
  18. Reviewed by: Joshua Rothkopf
    Oct 14, 2014
    80
    It’s a movie that loves boldly “important” ’70s-style dust jackets, loves its own lecturing voice (courtesy of neurotic narrator Eric Bogosian) and somehow makes that mélange strangely appealing.
  19. Reviewed by: Michael O'Sullivan
    Nov 6, 2014
    75
    Listen Up Philip makes literary talent seem less like a blessing than a curse.
  20. Reviewed by: Richard Roeper
    Oct 23, 2014
    75
    Philip is one of the most unlikable but also one of the most fascinating characters of the year.
  21. Reviewed by: Glenn Kenny
    Oct 17, 2014
    75
    The terrific cast all delves into the material full-bore, which contributes to its peculiar resonance. Perry may hate everyone and everything, but in making a show of it, he’s thoroughly entertaining.
  22. Reviewed by: Peter Travers
    Oct 16, 2014
    75
    In his third feature, following 2009's "Impolex" and 2011's "The Color Wheel," Perry, 30, offers a stinging portrait of writing as one of the bleeding arts. And he's bloody funny about it in the bargain.
  23. Reviewed by: Steve Macfarlane
    Oct 9, 2014
    75
    By putting so much weight on his characters' speech, Alex Ross Perry's is an approach with honestly few contemporaries in American independent film.
  24. Reviewed by: Dana Stevens
    Oct 18, 2014
    70
    While it’s a character portrait of a morally small man, Listen Up Philip doesn’t feel like a morally small movie.
  25. Reviewed by: Todd McCarthy
    Sep 29, 2014
    70
    Technically and in his work with actors, Philip represents a great leap forward for Perry; a subsequent jump might involve presenting a central character with whom viewers could legitimately engage.
  26. Reviewed by: Kyle Smith
    Oct 15, 2014
    63
    In Listen Up Philip, the tiny fury of Jason Schwartzman suggests his “Rushmore” character is now 15 years older and a middling Brooklyn novelist. His deadpan misanthropy is good for some acerbic laughs in a movie that starts appealingly but gradually comes to seem closed and stuck.
  27. Reviewed by: Stephanie Zacharek
    Oct 16, 2014
    60
    The vainglorious pas de deux between Philip and Zimmerman is entertaining for a while, though the novelty gradually wears off.
  28. Reviewed by: Elizabeth Weitzman
    Oct 15, 2014
    60
    Schwartzman and Pryce are compelling in their self-regard. But it’s no coincidence that the lovely, empathetic Moss is who we root for.
  29. 50
    A central figure who’s all bad is even more boring than one who’s all good. He has no dramatic stature. He’s a case study. The audience should be paid to listen up.
  30. Reviewed by: Steve Davis
    Dec 3, 2014
    40
    The antithesis of a feel-good movie, Listen Up Philip is a challenging experience, largely because it refuses to compromise its protagonist’s dogged preoccupation with himself.
  31. Reviewed by: Thomas Lee
    Oct 23, 2014
    25
    Listen Up Philip wants to say something meaningful about human relationships. But like a frustrated writer staring at a blank piece of paper, the words just never appear.
  32. Reviewed by: Rex Reed
    Oct 14, 2014
    25
    A pointless, pathetic and profoundly boring send-up of universally acknowledged anti-social author Philip Roth, Listen Up Philip is a juvenile experiment in pretentious idiosyncrasy by amateurish writer-director Alex Ross Perry. He calls his miserable protagonist Philip Friedman, but who’s kidding who?
User Score
7.0

Generally favorable reviews- based on 6 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 0 out of 1
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 1
  3. Negative: 1 out of 1
  1. Oct 29, 2014
    2
    Disappointing. Really feels dated. Do people still think like this somewhere....like the NE part of the USA? Maybe. A lot of unhappy peopleDisappointing. Really feels dated. Do people still think like this somewhere....like the NE part of the USA? Maybe. A lot of unhappy people here I guess caught up in their own self worth and how to protect it while making themselves miserable.

    Only in a tiny world could we have characters like this....but the world is not small anymore...it is really big and somebody should inform the author of this movie.
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