Lonesome Jim


Mixed or average reviews - based on 25 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 10 out of 25
  2. Negative: 0 out of 25

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Critic Reviews

  1. 75
    Buscemi does not act in Lonesome Jim, but his sly humor and keen eye for nuance resonate in every frame. I can't recall having a better time at a movie about depression.
  2. 75
    With a cast of well-chosen actors, a good script, and an eye for making ordinary suburban scenes visually heartbreaking, director Steve Buscemi's small story of failure, depression-and ultimately, love-in one Indiana town rings painfully true-to-life.
  3. 75
    In sad-sack movies there is often a helpful woman around to help the despairing heroes. In "Garden State," it was Natalie Portman; in "Elizabethtown," Kirsten Dunst. Both were salvation angels, but Tyler has a gentle approach to this kind of role that is perfect for the tone of Lonesome Jim.
  4. 70
    Affleck is dead on as the hapless Jim but the film is nearly stolen from him by Mark Boone Jr. who plays Jim's drug induced Uncle Evil. Kevin Corrigan is also great as Jim's brother Tim.
  5. Under Buscemi's overall smart direction, the acting is terrific.
  6. 70
    If Lonesome Jim feels like it's perpetually on the verge of evaporating, Buscemi brings to the material the boundless empathy for misfits and screw-ups he displayed in "Trees Lounge."
  7. Bleak, minimal, bone-dry and hilarious, it creates a rich and layered world from deft strokes of dialogue and action.
  8. Affleck's gloomy, one-note performance exacerbates the problem, but the stellar supporting cast helps compensate.
  9. As a director, Buscemi is drier than he is as a performer: more quietly funny, less intense and sometimes weirdly compassionate.
  10. Reviewed by: Ty Burr
    Humor in 'Jim' is a little too dry.
  11. Reviewed by: Dennis Harvey
    There's a slightness to the mildly eccentric material here that leaves the whole enterprise in danger of fluttering away.
  12. The script is adroit: It doesn't force the humor, and it steadily keeps track of Jim's growing maturity.
  13. Mostly a snooze. Maybe if Buscemi himself had starred in it things would have turned out better.
  14. 58
    Buscemi shoots with a cloudy, melancholic air that suits the material and does nothing to prettify the setting. But you can't sense any of the surprising energy or subversive wit that characterizes his best performances.
  15. Lonesome Jim has the import of a deliberately squelched sitcom, or a home movie that's poisoned by unhappiness but shown anyway for stray laughs.
  16. 50
    It finds some fine comedic moments when it stops focusing on Affleck's never-ending angst and starts exploring small-town oddness.
  17. Buscemi's latest, Lonesome Jim, written by James C. Strouse, asks you to spend 91 minutes with a 30-year-old slacker and would-be writer who has the DNA of a sloth. "Slowsome Jim" is more like it.
  18. 50
    One of those indie excursions to Loserville that lasts an hour and a half but feels longer than "Roots."
  19. 50
    At one point screenwriter James C. Strouse name-checks the brilliant Richard Yates, whose fiction similiarly perches between grim humor and utter despair, but the movie's hip detachment is a far cry from the unruly passions of Yates's chronic losers.
  20. Well-intentioned but lifeless.
  21. It doesn't leave you much to hold on to in a comedy about apathy that can't even muster the energy to care.
  22. The narrative of Lonesome Jim pokes about aimlessly, trying to mine nuggets of amusement.
  23. Buscemi is stymied here by the inertia of his material.
  24. Mr. Buscemi wrote and starred in the small gem of a movie ("Trees Lounge"), which had more psychological nuance than this emotionally cauterized slice of minimalist malaise.
  25. 40
    First-time screenwriter James C. Strouse (in whose hometown the film was shot) provides so few clues to the source of Jim's malaise, or that of his entire sad-sack family, that the movie remains rudderless and not the least bit believable.
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 10 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 3 out of 4
  2. Negative: 0 out of 4
  1. ChadShiira
    Oct 26, 2006
    [***SPOILERS***] Signposts of a dysfunctional family point to Sally(Mary Kay Place) in the opening faux-happy scenes of "Lonesome Jim". When [***SPOILERS***] Signposts of a dysfunctional family point to Sally(Mary Kay Place) in the opening faux-happy scenes of "Lonesome Jim". When Jim (Casey Affleck) returns to the fold after an apparently long hiatus, she repeatedly refers to herself in the third person, as both a grandmother and mother. The latter sounds a little creepy because her sons (& Tim) are fully grown men, but her maternal overkill enacts as a sort of wish-fulfillment, an extension of her do-over, that she and her husband (Seymour Cassel) enjoy with their two grandchildren. At the outset of "Lonesome Jim", we hear her yearning for redemption in sentences that begin, "Let mother..." Obviously something went hideously wrong, because her two boys are back home; both depressed, both leeched of any optimism that something good will happen in their lives. Yes, "Lonesome Jim" is a blame-mom-and-dad-for-all-your-bull**** sort of film. And miraculously, it's not at all exasperating, thanks to the intervention of a dry, but uncannily plausible array of humorous situations. "Lonesome Jim" delivers some big laughs from the most subdued line deliveries. It has a very shrewd screenplay. "Lonesome Jim" is at its most brilliant when somebody finally tells Jim to shut up, which doesn't only address the situation at hand, but also for the unforgivable thing he says to Sally (mom) earlier in the film. Full Review »
  2. NostrilR.
    May 27, 2006
    funny poignant excellent Affleck is superb Buscemi does an excellent job as director.
  3. RonO.
    Apr 25, 2006
    To anyone who has really struggled with depression, this film softly resonates. To all others, the film will return proportionally to the To anyone who has really struggled with depression, this film softly resonates. To all others, the film will return proportionally to the viewer's willingness to invest. Those who pan the film are likely unaware of the pervasivenss and depth of depression in modern society. And that is sad for them . This film, in it's simple way, is simply true to life, and well worth the time. Full Review »