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Generally unfavorable reviews - based on 13 Critics What's this?

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  • Summary: Maladies charts the struggles of an unstable former soap opera star (James Franco) in 1960’s New York as he tries to restart his floundering creative career. Hoping to find clarity and new purpose as a writer, he holes up with his eccentric sister (Fallon Goodson) at the seaside home of their best friend (Catherine Keener). But as he disappears further into his own mind, reality begins to slip through his grasp. Expand
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 0 out of 13
  2. Negative: 8 out of 13
  1. Reviewed by: Mike D'Angelo
    Mar 20, 2014
    58
    All of the actors, including Franco, do excellent work, given the limitations imposed upon them by a scenario that doesn’t make a whole lot of sense. Were he a struggling up-and-comer rather than a movie star, the perception of an ambitious misfire like this one would probably be quite different. It’s not a good movie, but it deserves better than mockery.
  2. Reviewed by: Sheila O'Malley
    Mar 21, 2014
    50
    Despite some game acting (and one truly superb moment from David Strathairn), Maladies remains on too low a boil to communicate any sense of stakes for the various characters. It seems to be trying to say something about creativity, and living one's life on one's own terms, but it's a muddle.
  3. Reviewed by: Chris Klimek
    Mar 20, 2014
    40
    A ponderous, self-important character study swimming with red herrings.
  4. Reviewed by: Jessica Kiang
    Mar 19, 2014
    33
    It only ever connects in the small moments that fall through the cracks of the supposed formal and thematic experimentation—when the fine actors are allowed to walk and talk like real human beings, rather than a collection of tropes.
  5. Reviewed by: Gary Goldstein
    Mar 20, 2014
    30
    [A] tedious cinematic exercise.
  6. Reviewed by: Inkoo Kang
    Mar 18, 2014
    30
    The social construction of illness is certainly a worthy topic, but Carter situates his characters far from any semblance of a plot and even further from his heart.
  7. Reviewed by: Rex Reed
    Mar 19, 2014
    0
    Overrated, overexposed and overindulgent, James Franco is all over the place, like cow chips in the abandoned pasture of a derelict farm.

See all 13 Critic Reviews

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