Listen Up Philip


Generally favorable reviews - based on 34 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 27 out of 34
  2. Negative: 2 out of 34

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Critic Reviews

  1. Reviewed by: Robbie Collin
    Jun 4, 2015
    Perry somehow allows his cast enough space in this meticulously authored environment to work creative wonders of their own.
  2. Reviewed by: Michael Phillips
    Oct 23, 2014
    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.
  3. Reviewed by: Manohla Dargis
    Oct 16, 2014
    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.
  4. Reviewed by: Ignatiy Vishnevetsky
    Oct 15, 2014
    The thing is, Listen Up Philip is a comedy — a howlingly funny black comedy with really sharp teeth.
  5. Reviewed by: Jeff Baker
    Nov 1, 2014
    A brilliantly flinty movie about writers angry at the world for failing to live up to their standards and recognize their genius.
  6. Reviewed by: Emma Myers
    Jan 27, 2014
    Like its central character, Listen Up Philip exudes a kind of highbrow affectation that charms more than it alienates.
  7. Reviewed by: Rodrigo Perez
    Jan 27, 2014
    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.
  8. Reviewed by: Betsy Sharkey
    Oct 23, 2014
    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.
  9. Reviewed by: Scott Tobias
    Oct 15, 2014
    Listen Up Philip doesn’t care to be liked. And in that, it deserves to be loved.
  10. Reviewed by: Scott Foundas
    Feb 11, 2014
    It’s a familiar tale, but one told by Perry with immense filmmaking verve and novelistic flourish, and acted by an exceptional ensemble cast.
  11. Reviewed by: Jordan Hoffman
    Jan 21, 2014
    Listen Up Philip is big, sprawling and tortured, if a little lacking in focus – while funny in parts, it isn’t really a comedy.
  12. Reviewed by: Ty Burr
    Oct 31, 2014
    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.
  13. Reviewed by: Chris Nashawaty
    Oct 15, 2014
    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.
  14. Reviewed by: Alonso Duralde
    Oct 16, 2014
    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.
  15. Reviewed by: Bob Mondello
    Oct 24, 2014
    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.
  16. Reviewed by: John Anderson
    Oct 23, 2014
    A very entertaining black comedy for very mysterious reasons.
  17. Reviewed by: Bill Goodykoontz
    Oct 23, 2014
    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.
  18. Reviewed by: Andrew O'Hehir
    Oct 16, 2014
    Once you adjust to Listen Up Philip, it’s also invigorating, disturbing and frequently hilarious, but that adjustment’s not entirely painless.
  19. Reviewed by: Joshua Rothkopf
    Oct 14, 2014
    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.
  20. Reviewed by: Michael O'Sullivan
    Nov 6, 2014
    Listen Up Philip makes literary talent seem less like a blessing than a curse.
  21. Reviewed by: Richard Roeper
    Oct 23, 2014
    Philip is one of the most unlikable but also one of the most fascinating characters of the year.
  22. Reviewed by: Glenn Kenny
    Oct 17, 2014
    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.
  23. Reviewed by: Peter Travers
    Oct 16, 2014
    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.
  24. Reviewed by: Steve Macfarlane
    Oct 9, 2014
    By putting so much weight on his characters' speech, Alex Ross Perry's is an approach with honestly few contemporaries in American independent film.
  25. Reviewed by: Dana Stevens
    Oct 18, 2014
    While it’s a character portrait of a morally small man, Listen Up Philip doesn’t feel like a morally small movie.
  26. Reviewed by: Todd McCarthy
    Sep 29, 2014
    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.
  27. Reviewed by: Kyle Smith
    Oct 15, 2014
    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.

Awards & Rankings

User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 19 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 1 out of 4
  2. Negative: 2 out of 4
  1. Mar 30, 2015
    Excellent movie. If you liked Bored to Death then I suspect you will like this movie. I am beginning to understand that Jason Schwartzman isExcellent movie. If you liked Bored to Death then I suspect you will like this movie. I am beginning to understand that Jason Schwartzman is the king of subtle comic genius. He has a way of delivering absolutely ludicrous lines in a way that I believe. He's his own straight man. Everyone else probably already knows this, but I'm just catching on.

    This movie is really funny, but it's not going to help you figure out what to laugh at.
    Full Review »
  2. Oct 29, 2014
    Disappointing. Really feels dated. Do people still think like this the NE part of the USA? Maybe. A lot of unhappy peopleDisappointing. Really feels dated. Do people still think like this 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 is really big and somebody should inform the author of this movie.
    Full Review »
  3. Jun 27, 2015
    Functioning as a cheap parody of Wes Anderson, Woody Allen and Louis C.K, Listen Up Philip is irritatingly edited and so far up its own assFunctioning as a cheap parody of Wes Anderson, Woody Allen and Louis C.K, Listen Up Philip is irritatingly edited and so far up its own ass that it's a wonder Philip can listen to anything at all. Full Review »