Old Joy

User Score
5.8

Mixed or average reviews- based on 53 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 30 out of 53
  2. Negative: 20 out of 53

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User Reviews

  1. AshutoshR.
    Jan 27, 2007
    9
    Though I could not fully comprehend he movie but i still liked the movie . Kurt's acting was really good , i liked him because he had courage to lead his life the way he wanted. I wish i could be like him .The music of the movie was also very soothing and the ambiance surrounding the characters was also very good ."Sorrow is like worn out joy". Now after this last line do I need to Though I could not fully comprehend he movie but i still liked the movie . Kurt's acting was really good , i liked him because he had courage to lead his life the way he wanted. I wish i could be like him .The music of the movie was also very soothing and the ambiance surrounding the characters was also very good ."Sorrow is like worn out joy". Now after this last line do I need to say anything more. Collapse
  2. ChadS.
    May 3, 2007
    8
    What happens at the hot springs, stays at the hot springs. Even we don't know. "Old Joy", a film that could be described as "Chuck & Buck Go Camping", wisely goes for the shot of omission after Kurt(Will Oldham) goes for Mark's shoulders. Lucy knows. As Kurt and Mark head towards their car, Mark's clingy dog walks well ahead of the two men. Hmmm. In the opening scene, we What happens at the hot springs, stays at the hot springs. Even we don't know. "Old Joy", a film that could be described as "Chuck & Buck Go Camping", wisely goes for the shot of omission after Kurt(Will Oldham) goes for Mark's shoulders. Lucy knows. As Kurt and Mark head towards their car, Mark's clingy dog walks well ahead of the two men. Hmmm. In the opening scene, we see Mark(Daniel London), a Buddhist, meditating on his lawn. About what? Hmmm. All those tracking shots of rural Oregon as seen through their moving vehicle isn't there for just scenery's sake. It's what both men are looking at as they're thinking. There's sexual tension in all the objects that appear through the car window, and later, in the woods. I don't know what Terrence Malick has in mind when he shoots nature in close-up, but this filmmaker is telling a narrative about latent homosexuality through the use of sublimated objects. That slug, that bird, not to mention, the trees(read: phallic symbol), are all used as foreshadowing to the moment when Kurt gives Mark a massage. "Old Joy" is not a peaceful journey into the country. It just might be about the sham of marriage. This is scary stuff. Expand
  3. WillN.
    Sep 23, 2007
    3
    Pace is so slow that I could have been real time.
  4. MichaelG.
    Sep 8, 2007
    8
    This film moves slowly, but it stayed with me. I woke up wondering how the characters were doing.
  5. danielchabannes
    Apr 2, 2007
    10
    Very sensitive !
  6. IanBarr
    Sep 22, 2006
    10
    Yeah, it's good.
  7. MichaelS.
    Dec 8, 2006
    10
    For those who wish American films could be more like foreign classics, "Old Joy" is perfect. Naturalism artfully portrayed, and full of real life! I don't remember the last time I saw people on screen that I could imagine meeting in real life. The characters in "Old Joy" are our brothers and sons, and new fathers. We equally despise and admire them, and also, we empathize with them, For those who wish American films could be more like foreign classics, "Old Joy" is perfect. Naturalism artfully portrayed, and full of real life! I don't remember the last time I saw people on screen that I could imagine meeting in real life. The characters in "Old Joy" are our brothers and sons, and new fathers. We equally despise and admire them, and also, we empathize with them, because our lives are not that different. Expand
  8. A.G.E.
    Oct 8, 2006
    2
    Little ado about nothing.
  9. RickB.
    Jul 4, 2007
    0
    This was clearly the most boring movie I have ever seen in my life - no small feat. I didn't feel any empathy with either character. How professional reviewers could rave about this movie is a complete mystery. The only action worth watching was Lucy, the dog.
  10. DaxW.
    Dec 10, 2006
    0
    The worst movie I've seen in years. I don't even see what the writer/director was trying to do. It was so boring and pointless that my wife and I had to walk out half-way through... I want my time back.
  11. TankyT.
    Sep 25, 2006
    10
    Amazing.
  12. Kara
    Jul 13, 2007
    0
    This is one of the stupidest movies I have ever seen. I truly fail to understand how it got such rave reviews. I would like to add that Chad's review of this movie was even more stupid than the movie. Congratulations.
  13. BryanW.
    Sep 20, 2006
    1
    The 2nd worst movie I saw at Sundance this year. Not only is it boring and pretentious in reveling in its oh-so-indie-ness but the two main actors grated on my nerves, pretentiously. I know critics loved it but I can tell you firsthand that 3/4 of the audience at that screening jumped up at the first credit roll and didn't stay for the Q&A.
  14. RobertI.
    Oct 29, 2006
    2
    As tedious as getting your teeth ground. The lack of dialogue! Seventy-six minutes seemed like 3 hours. And to top it off, they camp in a garbage dump! Minimalism and artlessness need not be synonymous. Critics shouldn't read each others' work.
  15. JasonG.
    Oct 4, 2006
    0
    This could well be the worst movie ever to receive these kind of patronizing reviews. Shallow, empty, and pretentious, I dare those who praised it to subject themselves to a second viewing. 76 minutes of pure drivel.
  16. ML
    Jan 10, 2007
    9
    From the second Will Oldham gets on screen, it's his movie. One of the best performances of the year.
  17. KathleenF.
    Mar 10, 2007
    1
    The only reason more people didn't leave the theater during this utterly boring and pointless film is because it is thankfully, rather short. The most interesting thing in this film is the dog with the stick. Just because you like Will Oldham, doesn't make this a good movie.
  18. ScottS.
    Jun 4, 2007
    3
    Hey Chad: Sometimes a shoulder rub is just a shoulder rub. And, trees are not phallic symbols when you're in the woods; they're "the woods".
  19. MattB
    Oct 10, 2006
    9
    Against breathtaking scenery and a perfect soundtrack, we see a friendship that has reached the point where there is nothing left to say. Not a story so much as a rumination on the pain of aging, the way time pulls people apart. Not much happens, but that's the point.
  20. JW
    Oct 16, 2006
    3
    This is the dullest piece of arty nothing to receive such a high rating! Yes the scenery is beautiful, the reunited friends somehow endearing, and the melancholy mood creates a soft tension. All that does not make up for the lack of plot, pacing, and dialogue. In short, nothing happens and not in a good way. I liked the sound track. What I got out of it: destination- Bagby hot springs.
  21. E.
    Oct 29, 2006
    9
    Well acted and very well directed, Old Joy lives up to all of the hype and then some.
  22. TrevorG.
    Oct 8, 2006
    0
    You know we're in trouble when poseur pretentious junk like this gets these kind of reviews. Yeah, the woods are pretty. It
  23. anneb.
    Mar 17, 2007
    2
    There is obviously no middle ground for this movie. I do want to know where those hot springs were?
  24. PnArdyPnArdy
    May 13, 2007
    2
    Two old friends go on a picnic to talk about their wannabe lives. Boring. Skipped to the end.
  25. Connie
    Dec 15, 2006
    1
    What were those reviewers thinking? Don't we all know these guys too well? The relunctant to grow up burn-out and the guy trying to move into adulthood grieve the loss of what? The freedom to drink and smoke too much and have conversations that only seem profound to the stoned?? Give me a break.
  26. Nov 6, 2011
    10
    "Old Joy" moves slowly, but a man hesitant about how to seduce his old friend is wise to move slowly too. That is how I saw the movie -- Kurt is lonely, sadly lonely. He blurts out in the night that he misses his friend. He massages Mark's shoulders the next day. That is all he gets. That night, he is back in the city, cruising the streets. Look at how he gives the beggar some money and"Old Joy" moves slowly, but a man hesitant about how to seduce his old friend is wise to move slowly too. That is how I saw the movie -- Kurt is lonely, sadly lonely. He blurts out in the night that he misses his friend. He massages Mark's shoulders the next day. That is all he gets. That night, he is back in the city, cruising the streets. Look at how he gives the beggar some money and hangs around for an instant, until the beggar seems to dismiss him with "Have a nice night." If this is not how to interpret the movie, then why is the last scene even there? Expand
  27. Sep 23, 2014
    1
    Did not expect too much going into watching this movie and that is exactly what I got, not very much.

    Very disappointed in this movie and sadly cannot recommend it. Avoid.
  28. Feb 4, 2016
    7
    Old Joy is Joy in 2006 - late 2015's generation before the new Joy replaced it. There's no mixed reviews, but I'm not planning to drop one there anyways.

Awards & Rankings

Metascore
84

Universal acclaim - based on 24 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 22 out of 24
  2. Negative: 1 out of 24
  1. 80
    A superb exercise in economical filmmaking. Not only from a financial standpoint, as the film was shot in HD and on-location in gorgeous Portland, Oregon…but the story here is so subtle and well drawn, if you blink you might miss it.
  2. Against a radiant backdrop of decay and rebirth, nothing needs to be said; everything in this lovely film is crystalline.
  3. Reviewed by: Scott Foundas
    80
    A beautifully nuanced study in friendship and the irretrievability of the past.