User Score
6.8

Generally favorable reviews- based on 34 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 24 out of 34
  2. Negative: 8 out of 34
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  1. CraigM
    Jun 20, 2009
    10
    Wistful, poignant, low-key re-imagining of The Cherry Orchard.
  2. Joe
    Jun 20, 2009
    10
    Excellent film, one of the best I have seen this year!
  3. ConnN
    Jun 5, 2009
    10
    Beautiful, discerning, complex, memorable, penetrating.
  4. ElaineT
    Jun 13, 2009
    10
    I loved this film. It subtly and poingnantly examined the issues confronting all of us in a mobile society, at the end of an era.when family estates and property could be passed on to next generations. In a sense there was a Rashoman quality as each generation dealt differently with the death of the matriarch and what it would mean to their future lives. The acting was superb, especially I loved this film. It subtly and poingnantly examined the issues confronting all of us in a mobile society, at the end of an era.when family estates and property could be passed on to next generations. In a sense there was a Rashoman quality as each generation dealt differently with the death of the matriarch and what it would mean to their future lives. The acting was superb, especially that of Eloise, the mother's bonne-a-tout-faire, who was perhaps most affected by her death. This is a thinking person's film and not to be taken lightly. Expand
  5. Jay
    Jun 22, 2009
    10
    Excellent performance from the entire cast. Juliette Binoche shines once again. In a summer cluttered with loud big budget blockbusters, this is truly a breath of fresh air!
  6. [Anonymous]
    Jun 28, 2009
    10
    Excellent film! My only minor complaint was I would have liked to see a little more screen time for Juliette Binoche, but this is minor.
  7. KenK
    Jun 28, 2009
    10
    Very engaging with a great aftertaste of having a wonderful glimpse into the lives of three generations. Life moves on for each generation.
  8. EdwardR
    Jun 14, 2009
    10
    Ol' man river ain't got nuthin' on Olivier Assayas' gentle portrayal of a family coping with its identity as established in heirloom objects, which in the end must be sacrificed to the effects of globalization and the need for cash, as the generations flow.
  9. David
    Jun 18, 2009
    9
    I thought this was an excellent film with great performances by the entire cast. I really find it interesting how bitter some of these people giving the film low marks. It's not like the characters were all given everything on a silver platter. If I recall, they all have jobs where they appear to work hard and for the most part appear to enjoy what they do. They actually probably I thought this was an excellent film with great performances by the entire cast. I really find it interesting how bitter some of these people giving the film low marks. It's not like the characters were all given everything on a silver platter. If I recall, they all have jobs where they appear to work hard and for the most part appear to enjoy what they do. They actually probably won't inherit that much since the mother didn't do things poperly before she died. I don't have a problem with people making money for working hard. If you have a choice of seeing this film or some of the other garbage currently being shown, choose this for sure! Expand
  10. Jun 3, 2013
    8
    My only previous Assayas’ approach is Maggie Cheung’s Cannes BEST ACTRESS nabbing feature CLEAN (2004, 7/10), and for most Chinese media, Assayas seems to alway been in an ill-fated personage as Maggie’s ex-husband. But his works matures splendidly with finesse and sobriety (from CLEAN to SUMMER HOURS), the latter resounds a similar pace of meditation and quietude as Hirokazu Koreeda’sMy only previous Assayas’ approach is Maggie Cheung’s Cannes BEST ACTRESS nabbing feature CLEAN (2004, 7/10), and for most Chinese media, Assayas seems to alway been in an ill-fated personage as Maggie’s ex-husband. But his works matures splendidly with finesse and sobriety (from CLEAN to SUMMER HOURS), the latter resounds a similar pace of meditation and quietude as Hirokazu Koreeda’s STILL WALKING (2008, 8/10), tackles with a slice of family life, with a contemplation towards the domestic heredity, globalized opportunism, alienated generations and art conservation.

    In dealing with a sentimental demise of a bourgeoise matriarch, who resides in a suburban villa near Paris with all her uncle’s art menagerie and his worthwhile sketching books (apparently he was a renowned painter himself and an unspeakable family secret), Assayas infills an indefatigable stamina to keep all the delicate matters in a civil restraint, the contradiction abounds among three siblings in regard to keep or sell the villa; and the proceedings of donating valuable art pieces has also been a bumpy road; for the elder son, he also has teenage children to worry about, and last but not the least, his abiding remembrance of the past is the most poignant blow to one who can fit into his shoes under the circumstances.

    The show has never been slid into a thespians’ melodrama notwithstanding the fact that its indulgence of a top-billing Gallic cast, a blonde Binoche incarnates a very light-touch casualness as the metropolitan daughter, living in USA and dedicates herself more in bringing the work of art abroad for the international exposure; Renier, the younger son, finds both an opportunity in settling down in China and an exigent situation in which the profit of selling the villa couldn’t come as timely as possible. While these two are soon-to-be-goners, without a pinch yearning for their homeland, the liability all falls on the elder brother (Berling), whose true-to-life embodiment of his character anchors the film’s backbone in a concrete formality, it is a prickly situation will come about to anyone eventually. Edith Scob, as the deceased mother, whose first 30-minutes appearance contrives to establish herself as an indomitable shadow encroached by the past, when she is gone, something else will be taken with her together and forever, Scob is pitch perfect in her role’s demanding of the physical infirmity, an unswerving mind of knowing her time is up and the duty as a bequeather.

    I have not conceal my preference to this quiet, reflective lifelike imitation than other more grandstanding razzle-dazzle, it is a simple film with a concise message delivered eloquently by the mastery of Assayas who auspiciously shoulders on the privilege of an auteur not only in the French terrain, but also as an international landmark, like many of his precedent compatriots.
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  11. roberti
    Jun 11, 2009
    7
    Structurally, a 19th century tale, updated for 21st century sensibilities. Essentially sentimental, but capturing the angst of families in the throes of global dispersal, Summer Hours coalesces around an earlier generation's obsessions with "stuff"--the material remnants of shared memories. A well-told tale, rings true to life.
  12. NeilA
    Jun 30, 2009
    6
    While this movie is very well done- good acting, interesting cinematography, aesthetically pleasing- it lacks an engaging plot to move the story along. You keep waiting for something to happen to make things a bit more interesting, but this movie is less eventful even than real life.
  13. charless
    Aug 12, 2009
    5
    Anticlimactic story with no real compelling interest.
  14. May 28, 2013
    3
    Oh the plight of the poor, poor pitiful rich French. Better than a sleeping pill. The acting was quite good as was the cinematography......but the movie as whole zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.
  15. kaltj
    Jun 24, 2009
    2
    A deeply boring, interminably long exercise in naval gazing which somehow expects to be redeemed to American audiences by being shot in France (ooh, it's pretty!) and in French (ooh, it's foreign!). Overwrought, yawning meditations on globalization aside, you'll forgive me if i can't just bring myself to care about a movie in which the central conflict is whether the A deeply boring, interminably long exercise in naval gazing which somehow expects to be redeemed to American audiences by being shot in France (ooh, it's pretty!) and in French (ooh, it's foreign!). Overwrought, yawning meditations on globalization aside, you'll forgive me if i can't just bring myself to care about a movie in which the central conflict is whether the lead can bear the incredible emotional toll of selling his mother's armoire. This isn't a film, it's a craigslist post. Expand
  16. davek
    Jun 7, 2009
    2
    My favorite reviewers, Stephanie Zacharek and A.O. Scott, loved it. I hated it. The film's approach to globalization was heavy handed, and the narrative about our relationships to objects, while also heavy handed, ignored the fact that such fetishistic pieces are only available to those with certain means. The lush beauty of the house, the art, the characters, and their clothes made My favorite reviewers, Stephanie Zacharek and A.O. Scott, loved it. I hated it. The film's approach to globalization was heavy handed, and the narrative about our relationships to objects, while also heavy handed, ignored the fact that such fetishistic pieces are only available to those with certain means. The lush beauty of the house, the art, the characters, and their clothes made me dislike them even more when they sat around lamenting their "unfortunate" dilemma: to keep this gorgeous house and its contents, or sell it and become even richer. I saw little in the way of meaningful conflict with these characters, and even less in the way of movement or character development. I haven't disliked high art this much since I read my last Henry James novel (but maybe I'm giving away my aesthetic hand here). Expand
  17. commentscomments
    Jun 14, 2009
    2
    SUMMER HOURS joins a long line of movies about people coming together over a death in the family, 99 percent of which involve the privileged and somewhat famous, making the any connection to them tenuous at best. their so-called dramas are un-relate-able, unsympathetic, and worse, inspire disgust as characters whom we barely know pore over the valued artifacts and minutiae of burying SUMMER HOURS joins a long line of movies about people coming together over a death in the family, 99 percent of which involve the privileged and somewhat famous, making the any connection to them tenuous at best. their so-called dramas are un-relate-able, unsympathetic, and worse, inspire disgust as characters whom we barely know pore over the valued artifacts and minutiae of burying their own. this director's fascination with this international class of art lovers, designers and financial experts bordered on sycophantic, as he exhaustively put viewers through endlessly familiar scenes with estate lawyers and other sour pusses employed by the death trade, with no discernible point to be made, except a unflattering desire to be one of them; to make sense of their elevated banter, their good old times, and their secrets. Expand
  18. emilys
    Jul 7, 2009
    1
    I totally agree with KALTJ. The film was a big yawn. The only people I found who enjoyed it were those who had experienced trouble inheriting wealth. They identified with the situation portrayed. I thought the only interesting aspect was that the State's inheritance laws deprived the family of their inheritance. Vive La France.
  19. justincase
    Jul 31, 2009
    1
    Perhaps one of the worst movies I've ever seen - definitely the worst "film" I've ever seen. Let me quote the lowest Metacritic critic, who still gave it a 50, by the way, "Even for a French drama, Summer Hours is so slow as to be practically still." How does any film described in that way deserve a 50? This was an exercise in BORING, BORING, BORING! What a waste of 102 minutes Perhaps one of the worst movies I've ever seen - definitely the worst "film" I've ever seen. Let me quote the lowest Metacritic critic, who still gave it a 50, by the way, "Even for a French drama, Summer Hours is so slow as to be practically still." How does any film described in that way deserve a 50? This was an exercise in BORING, BORING, BORING! What a waste of 102 minutes of my life. I really tried to get behind it and don't give me the "you can't appreciate finely crafted cinema" crap. This was just bad, yet six critics on Metacritic gave it 100...a 100...yes, I said 100, six of them! Unbelievable!!! Critics like these are like the people out there who "love" cavier or some kind of stinky cheese - give me a G*d damn break! Expand
  20. LeeR
    Aug 19, 2009
    0
    My wife and I walked out, and I consider this one of the three worst serious movies I've ever seen.

    Unless you truly love a "meditation" on something too ordinary to be called ordinary, where a crinkling of a brow constitutes major action, look elsewhere. If you think watching privileged people talk about, examine, catalogue, and discuss the family furniture and art collection,
    My wife and I walked out, and I consider this one of the three worst serious movies I've ever seen.

    Unless you truly love a "meditation" on something too ordinary to be called ordinary, where a crinkling of a brow constitutes major action, look elsewhere.

    If you think watching privileged people talk about, examine, catalogue, and discuss the family furniture and art collection, this one's for you.
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Metascore
84

Universal acclaim - based on 27 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 26 out of 27
  2. Negative: 0 out of 27
  1. Hats off to Olivier Assayas's plain yet hauntingly beautiful Summer Hours, a true--albeit nonsecular--meditation on art and eternal life.
  2. 75
    Summer Hours attracted two of France's acting luminaries, and their presence elevates the material. Charles Berling has the central role; the movie is largely told from his perspective. Juliette Binoche, with blonde hair, has a secondary part.
  3. Assayas makes the point that objects of fascination and affection to one generation may be far less so to the next. And he observes the role that people-friendly museums can play in keeping a nation's treasures safe with pleasing subtlety.