Metascore
62

Generally favorable reviews - based on 14 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 6 out of 14
  2. Negative: 0 out of 14
  1. Reviewed by: David DeWitt
    Oct 12, 2012
    90
    With its exhilarating World War II narrative and performances that touch notes intimate and grand, Simon and the Oaks has an exquisite, and epic, ache.
  2. Reviewed by: Michael O'Sullivan
    Oct 26, 2012
    88
    Simon and the Oaks is not merely the story of two boys from opposite sides of the tracks. It's also a larger meditation on life's hardships and what endures: love, art and civilization.
  3. Reviewed by: Roger Ebert
    Oct 17, 2012
    88
    It is unabashedly sentimental and epic, and rather bold in the way it takes place during and after the Holocaust but is not defined by it.
  4. Reviewed by: Kenneth Turan
    Oct 18, 2012
    80
    A two-hour theatrical feature that has the kind of emotional and storytelling reach regularly found these days only in cable TV miniseries. It's a warmly done family and personal drama that seems to cover familiar territory, but only up to a point and very much in its own way.
  5. Reviewed by: Diego Costa
    Oct 10, 2012
    75
    The film is at its best when it lingers on intimacy and the characters' incompetency to manage it.
  6. Reviewed by: John DeFore
    Oct 10, 2012
    70
    Alternates languidly between wistful nostalgia and a more clear-eyed assessment of its protagonist's choices.
  7. Reviewed by: David Fear
    Oct 10, 2012
    60
    The film never finds the right mix of the epic and the intimate - the personal as seen through the 20th century's Euro-geopolitical turmoil - that it aims for.
  8. Reviewed by: Joe Williams
    Oct 26, 2012
    50
    It's as if there's a missing reel of film that could tie the story together and give it the emotional impact it takes for granted.
  9. Reviewed by: Walter Addiego
    Oct 20, 2012
    50
    It's a sumptuously mounted melodrama that aims to make a big statement about big themes, but a stilted quality in the filmmaking drags it down.
  10. Reviewed by: Alison Willmore
    Oct 17, 2012
    50
    Ponderous and heavy with its own importance, Simon And The Oaks is the kind of film that's made for awards - it nabbed 13 nominations in Sweden's equivalent of the Oscars last year.
  11. Reviewed by: V.A. Musetto
    Oct 11, 2012
    50
    The classical music is soothing, the cinematography handsome and the acting strong, but the Swedish coming-of-age saga Simon and the Oaks is burdened with a sappy, soap-opera-ish script.
  12. Reviewed by: Ella Taylor
    Oct 11, 2012
    50
    Worst of all is the hitching of all this extravagant suffering to an inspirational ending filled with sweet regret, healing hope and some picturesque nestling in the titular oaks with the next generation.
  13. Reviewed by: Ronnie Scheib
    Oct 10, 2012
    50
    Though it retains the narrative complexity of the Swedish bestseller on which it's based, WWII saga Simon and the Oaks never creates an emotional or intellectual throughline of its own.
  14. Reviewed by: Michael Nordine
    Oct 10, 2012
    50
    Lisa Ohlin's Simon and the Oaks has all the superficial elements of compelling drama but none of the interiority; it looks like a good movie without ever actually feeling like one.

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