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Mixed or average reviews - based on 31 Critics What's this?

User Score
7.1

Generally favorable reviews- based on 22 Ratings

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  • Summary: Storytelling is comprised of two separate stories set against the sadly comical terrain of college and high school, past and present. Following the paths of its young hopeful/troubled characters, it explores the issues of sex, race, celebrity and exploitation. (Fine Line Features)
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 10 out of 31
  2. Negative: 3 out of 31
  1. 90
    A movie that advances the career of a demonstrably gifted filmmaker, a fearlessly funny movie whose laughs draw blood, a bracingly provocative movie that won't apologize for its bad temper.
  2. None of this intellectualizing is necessary to the simple enjoyment of Storytelling -- provided the viewer has a taste for the pitch-black humor that emerges when Solondz's camera becomes a veritable blowtorch aimed at humanity's myriad failings.
  3. 75
    Cleverly mocks the modern chronicler, raising questions that linger long after the film is finished.
  4. The most pleasing paradox in Storytelling -- a determinedly paradoxical and, in spite of much of what I've said here, a genuinely pleasing movie -- is that it sets out to debunk this notion and ends up affirming it.
  5. Solondz's refusal to frame his dark, misanthropic impulses with an overriding point-of-view seems a cheap copout for a film whose title proposes that it's about the storytelling process.
  6. Newcomers should be advised that this is not an introductory course.
  7. While there are maybe two moments of genuinely clever humor, Storytelling is the work of a previously promising filmmaker who, having no new ideas, has morphed into a sniggering schoolboy intent upon being mean.

See all 31 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 11 out of 14
  2. Negative: 2 out of 14
  1. Apr 8, 2012
    9
    Really intriguing, interesting, intense and original. This movie is obviously a reflection of Solondz childhood the young child being aReally intriguing, interesting, intense and original. This movie is obviously a reflection of Solondz childhood the young child being a younger version of himself. Very Moving and provocative film. Expand
  2. SteveG.
    Apr 20, 2006
    8
    I usually hate it when people say "If you didn't like it, it's because you didn't understand it." But I can't help but I usually hate it when people say "If you didn't like it, it's because you didn't understand it." But I can't help but think that myself when I read many of the reviews of Storytelling (or any Solondz film, really). They cast it off as a mean-spirited 'black comedy', and that Solondz has contempt for the characters he's created. However I can't help but notice that the only people who are actually judging the characters in that light are these critics themselves. (He even has Giamatti say he "loves these people". Maybe it should have been Solondz himself on-screen.) Solondz, knowing this tendency of his critics, directly confronts them in the scene where "American Scooby" is being screened. They are laughing at the main character, completely rejecting his worth as a human being, and basking in their superiority. But even with this scene in the film, the critics still just don't 'get it'. It's as if they can only understand films where the narrative is completely spelled out for them, with low-dimensional characters, and ham-fisted sentimentality (ala American Beauty). In effect, Solondz gets the last laugh, with these critics doing nothing but proving his point. Expand
  3. DavidC.
    Sep 24, 2006
    7
    The relationship between the "fiction" and "nonfiction" ends up being far more interesting than the stories themselves, which are plagued by The relationship between the "fiction" and "nonfiction" ends up being far more interesting than the stories themselves, which are plagued by caricature and stagey directing. All of this belies the fact that this is an entertaining, provocative film. The second half of "nonfiction" is impressive in the way that it brings both the film and the audience into self-referential territory. Whether you found the humour amusing (as I did) or mean-spirited is a matter of taste. Expand
  4. BKM
    Jul 13, 2013
    5
    The biggest problem I had with Todd Solondz's pitch black and relentlessly cynical portrait of modern life is that there is not one singleThe biggest problem I had with Todd Solondz's pitch black and relentlessly cynical portrait of modern life is that there is not one single character in the whole thing who generates any sense of empathy or understanding. I'm not one who insists that moves all be warm and fuzzy, but it would be nice to at least be able to feel something for any of these characters. Instead they are all selfish, mean and self deluded individuals. The fact that I didn't have any response one way or the other to any of them or their actions suggests that Storytelling is not nearly as provocative as it is trying to be. Expand

See all 14 User Reviews

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