Smart People

Metascore
57

Mixed or average reviews - based on 33 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 16 out of 33
  2. Negative: 1 out of 33

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Critic Reviews

  1. 88
    A sharp, superbly acted character-driven comedic drama.
  2. 75
    Page and Church work so brilliantly together as a comic team that it's worth enduring the leads' utter lack of chemistry together - not to mention the fact they're both wildly miscast.
  3. Smart People, unlike "Sideways" or "The Savages," has a plot that's a little too rote.
  4. After its rough opening, Smart People settles down to be a funny, wryly enjoyable, effortlessly poignant parable of family life and a splendid showcase for its cast -- especially Page, who handily steals the movie and proves that her "Juno" success was no fluke.
  5. 70
    Poirer and director Noam Murro have trouble bringing this to a satisfying climax, but the characters are credible and sharply observed and all four actors go to town.
  6. It's the kind of observational comedy, that'll be hard to find come summertime and should be enjoyed while there's still a chance.
  7. 70
    These small-scale, intelligent movies can fall into a trap: it’s hard to achieve a satisfactory dramatic climax when observation is your principal dramatic mode.
  8. Poirier is a master at dialogue. His script crackles with sharp lines and he gives all his scenes a splendid comic undertow.
  9. 70
    The great virtue of Smart People, attributable to Noam Murro’s easygoing direction as well as to Mr. Poirier’s wandering screenplay, lies in its general preference for small insights over grand revelations.
  10. Reviewed by: Richard Schickel
    70
    There's nothing world shattering about Smart People. No one is ever going to call it a "must see" movie. But it is a trim, intelligent, reasonably amusing little movie. Call it a "could see."
  11. A good deal of the freshness comes from a grand, clownish slob played by Thomas Haden Church -- he's actually the smartest person of the piece -- while Dennis Quaid occupies the center with a mastery that's all the more notable for its humanity.
  12. 67
    A third of the way through Smart People, I channeled Randy Newman's "Short People" and thought, "Smart people got no reason to live."
  13. There much more roiling beneath the surface of these characters and it's a shame we don't come to understand them better. Smart people, dumb choices: it's true for both the characters and the filmmakers.
  14. 67
    Dennis Quaid could stand in for Jeff Daniels' similarly toxic snob in "The Squid And The Whale," if only he were a little smarter and a little better-dressed.
  15. 63
    The main problem with Smart People is that it never breaks new ground. This is territory we have seen tilled to better effect by more perceptive motion pictures.
  16. Reviewed by: Claudia Puig
    63
    Though it features witty dialogue and good performances, the plot contrivances keep it from being an altogether winning enterprise.
User Score
7.4

Generally favorable reviews- based on 78 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 12 out of 29
  2. Negative: 9 out of 29
  1. Dec 23, 2014
    4
    Smart people is not a very great movie. It moves at a slow pace without really anything interesting happening, and it just is not verySmart people is not a very great movie. It moves at a slow pace without really anything interesting happening, and it just is not very entertaining. Haden church makes things fairly enjoyable when he is on screen, but other than him, the movie is very weak. Full Review »
  2. May 31, 2014
    7
    I didn't know what to expect from this movie being as dramas aren't really my thing and I'm fairly new to them I enjoyed this movie though II didn't know what to expect from this movie being as dramas aren't really my thing and I'm fairly new to them I enjoyed this movie though I thought it was good the drama was pretty cliche and I found the father tended to keep a single tone of voice throughout the entire movie one thing I did like though was that the characters were meant to be smart and they did appear to be very intelligent individuals except for two who weren't meant to be so I also thought the humor actually funny and found myself laughing throughout the movie. Full Review »
  3. Mark
    May 12, 2009
    3
    Interesting story that was poorly written. Cliche and attempted to be deep -- weak.