Metascore
66

Generally favorable reviews - based on 37 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 25 out of 37
  2. Negative: 3 out of 37
  1. Baumbach’s achievement stings. It also has the sureness of tone and direction of a Chekhov story.
  2. Which brings us back to Kidman, who really IS sensational here.
  3. Noah Baumbach has followed up his acclaimed 2005 breakthrough "The Squid and the Whale" with another wryly observed, giddily cringe-inducing, bracingly original winner.
  4. Reviewed by: Niki Foster
    90
    A brilliantly executed film that, like many real-life family reunions, is alternately painful, funny, and moving.
  5. 88
    Dissenters who see this film as a wallow in self-absorption aren't paying attention. Baumbach is acutely attuned to the droll mind games of smart people who only think they're impervious to feeling.
  6. Reviewed by: Glenn Kenny
    88
    Margot is a fleet, strangely enjoyable film, animated by the acuity of Baumbach's perceptions and -- this helps a lot -- the frequent laugh-out-loud wit of his dialogue.
  7. While Margot's casual cruelty and the scenes of squirmy discomfort are sometimes painful to watch, the rendering of this disastrous family reunion is seriously, savagely droll.
  8. 83
    Margot has a kitchen-sink realism that's genuinely unsettling, like a John Cassavetes movie populated by the hyper-articulate. If nothing else, Baumbach deserves credit for refusing to cozy up to the audience.
  9. 80
    Margot at the Wedding gives its characters (and us) something to laugh about.
  10. One of the dark pleasures of "Margot" is watching Kidman and Leigh inhabit these two roles with a fierce passion.
  11. 80
    Frequently brilliant, finally baffling film.
  12. Reviewed by: David Ansen
    80
    The cruelly funny Margot at the Wedding shares many of the virtues of "Squid"--it's psychologically astute, sociologically dead on, refreshingly unformulaic--but it's a considerably tougher, less ingratiating movie. People who insist on likable, "sympathetic" protagonists may find it a bitter pill to swallow.
  13. Watching Kidman, Leigh and -- in his nutty, damn-the-torpedoes way -- Black as they torment, confound and torture one another amounts to a vicarious thrill ride in human behavior.
  14. Hysterically hyperbolic and unpleasant if still witty dissection of family traumas.
  15. 75
    So it goes with the family in this movie. All of its members are engaged in a mutual process of shooting one another down. Watching Margot at the Wedding is like slowing for a gaper's block.
  16. 75
    Bitter, brittle, condescending and petty, the titular character of Margot at the Wedding, fabulously played by Nicole Kidman, is a successful short story writer who resents other people's happiness.
  17. Some call Margot a comedy. For me, it is a tragedy impaled by comic moments.
  18. Reviewed by: Ty Burr
    75
    A broader work than Baumbach's last movie, and it's funnier, too, even as you gasp at the misbehavior.
  19. 75
    The overall effect of the movie is to make you wish there were a statute of limitations on how long maladjusted adults are allowed to blame their parents before it's OK to holler, "Get over it, people!"
  20. Obviously a movie made by smart and talented people but sometimes you can outsmart yourself.
  21. Reviewed by: Jim Ridley
    70
    Hard as it may be to imagine a comedy that inflicts all the psychic torment of "Cries and Whispers," Baumbach has pulled off a more psychologically acute--and funnier--version of the Bergman pastiches that Woody Allen attempted 30 years ago, with a jumpy, nerve-rattling rhythm all his own.
  22. Reviewed by: Dana Stevens
    70
    It's too bad Baumbach's movie is already shot, edited, and up there on the screen, because after a few rounds with a red pencil, it could really have been something worth watching.
  23. Reviewed by: Todd McCarthy
    70
    This study of a disastrous reunion of two sisters feels more like a collection of arresting scenes than a fully conceived and developed drama.
  24. There's plenty to admire in the performances and atmosphere, but the writer-director needed someone to pull him up short.
  25. Reviewed by: Liz Beardsworth
    60
    A sharply observed but bleak examination of family dysfunction, anchored by solid performances.
  26. Margot at the Wedding doesn’t develop; it just skips from one squirmy scene to the next.
  27. For Kidman, it is a one-note performance dictated by the script. Leigh had more dimension to work with and gives the film's most honest performance. Meanwhile, Black, whose job is mostly to deliver comic relief, is completely lost - that is to say, not funny - in the material.
  28. 50
    It's a shame to see such dedicated performers flay their psyches in the service of such fundamentally shallow material.
  29. Reviewed by: Claudia Puig
    50
    Watching this movie feels a bit like being trapped on a weekend holiday with an unpredictable and seriously unhappy group of people.
  30. 50
    While there are a lot of similarities between Rohmer's body of work and Baumbach's latest, the most crucial aspect linking the films is a difference: Rohmer's love of conversation and languorous pace engages the intellect; Baumbach provides a good alternative to an over-the-counter sleep aid.
  31. These characters don't seem illuminating at all – just damned annoying and, ultimately, dead boring.
  32. 50
    The characters observe no boundaries, and neither does the movie--Baumbach hasn’t worked out the struggle between speaking and withholding, as Bergman did. People simply blurt out scathing remarks, so there’s little power in the revelations and betrayals. “Margot” is sensually as well as dramatically impoverished.
  33. 40
    The next time he (Baumbach) attempts something similar, he might take care to lessen the bile and amplify the heart.
  34. Reviewed by: Richard Schickel
    30
    This is moviemaking for people who don't much like movies unless they are -- you know -- "serious." It is visually inert. It appears to be taking up small-scaled, yet emotionally resonant issues, but does not actually define them sharply or bring them to firm conclusions.
  35. 25
    I've had root canals that were more enjoyable than Margot at the Wedding, Noah Baumbach's hugely pretentious, ugly and annoying follow-up to "The Squid and the Whale."
  36. 0
    Margot at the Wedding is a Christmas gift for high-class depressives: a compendium of malaise fit for an L.L. Bean catalog.
User Score
6.1

Generally favorable reviews- based on 67 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 17 out of 30
  2. Negative: 9 out of 30
  1. Dec 22, 2010
    5
    Margot at the Wedding is not for everybody's taste. It Baumbach achieves something that directors rarely even attempt - for the audience to be simply disgusted and annoyed by the main characters to an extent that they dislike them quite intensely. The screenplay is rather strange and fragmented, which makes the film kind of hard to comprehend, which is my biggest issue with the film. As interesting and complimentary Baumbach's approach is, especially with the 'hating on the characters', it does not help the audience to like the film. On the brighter side, the performances here are top-notch: Nicole Kidman is her usual excellence in this film, as the bitter sister Margot. Her sister is played by the Jennifer Jason-Leigh, who is at least as good as Kidman in his film, if not a tiny bit better. They work great together as sisters. Also, Jack Black is surprisingly real in one of his rare serious roles on-screen. Overall, a difficult but interesting film, with some really good acting. Full Review »
  2. RayS.
    Mar 31, 2008
    2
    All the characters in this flick need to be in therapy. No insights gleaned from their rantings. Cannot recommend this travesty.
  3. JohnN.
    Mar 15, 2008
    5
    The film is well acted, but the characters are so abrasive that I can't really say I enjoyed watching it.