Sony Pictures Classics | Release Date: October 24, 2008
7.9
USER SCORE
Generally favorable reviews based on 234 Ratings
USER RATING DISTRIBUTION
Positive:
183
Mixed:
15
Negative:
36
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5
nboley08Aug 16, 2010
Very, very polarizing. There are parts of this film that are simply extravagant, then there are parts that are quite tedious and poorly represented. I found this movie about life and time more boring and rambling than anything, but there's soVery, very polarizing. There are parts of this film that are simply extravagant, then there are parts that are quite tedious and poorly represented. I found this movie about life and time more boring and rambling than anything, but there's so much great poetry within its message, that it's hard for me to completely dismiss it. This film feels more like a dream of random thoughts and events, and needed to be redone into something more sturdy and comprehensible, rather than just messing with everyone's minds with its sadist vision. Expand
2 of 3 users found this helpful21
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6
DavidSOct 17, 2011
I felt Synecdoche, New York was an unrealised masterpiece. The film's themes and characters came together in a powerful and moving way toward the end of the film, and there were a number of great moments. However, for every great scene,I felt Synecdoche, New York was an unrealised masterpiece. The film's themes and characters came together in a powerful and moving way toward the end of the film, and there were a number of great moments. However, for every great scene, there were poorly executed and drawing-out ones. Much of the film was pretty average.

The film's themes ended well, but were a mess for the most part. The themes of tragedy, depression, sickness, and aging are relevant, but in the film are often excessive, and unnecessarily unpleasant. The many crude bathroom scenes, for example, do not contribute to these themes in a meaningful way.

I generally appreciate complex and surreal films, and I love some of Kaufman's other work. However, I felt this film was held together rather loosely. The surreal elements were creative, but felt just a bit out of place.

In the end, the film came across to me as being a bit like a tattered gown of former extravagance. It was dotted with gems, but between the gems is a mess.
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0 of 1 users found this helpful01
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5
ryancarroll88Aug 27, 2010
Charlie Kaufman's directorial debut is an sprawling look at the paradox of translating introversion into expression, and this is by no means an original notion - just look at 8 1/2, Adaptation (written by Kaufman), Barton Fink, Inland EmpireCharlie Kaufman's directorial debut is an sprawling look at the paradox of translating introversion into expression, and this is by no means an original notion - just look at 8 1/2, Adaptation (written by Kaufman), Barton Fink, Inland Empire etc. etc. (hell, it might as well be its own genre...) Naturally, the product being a jumbled mess just comes with the territory, but I feel that 'Synecdoche' especially lacks the cohesiveness to convey anything more than abstraction - and least of all does it try for profundity. Unfortunately, Kaufman's writing is completely to blame because everything else here is pitch perfect - the casting/acting, the set, the sound editing all complement the ideas and mood throughout the film. What Kaufman needs to learn is that not all ideas are good, and to stick so many of them all so heedlessly into a movie and try to legitimize doing so with the title 'Synecdoche' is an insult to the viewers. I'll just stick with 8 1/2, thank you. Expand
0 of 2 users found this helpful02
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5
EdgarMApr 2, 2009
You have to really want a lot of (mostly turgid) dialog between a bunch of otherwise nicely drawn and inherently interesting characters to appreciate this film. Just the thing for reviewers who live for such things - and Charlie Kaufman We You have to really want a lot of (mostly turgid) dialog between a bunch of otherwise nicely drawn and inherently interesting characters to appreciate this film. Just the thing for reviewers who live for such things - and Charlie Kaufman We thought it confusing and pretty much a wast of time but then we were tired when we watched it. Rent it if you want an intellectual workout and/or mental challenge. Entertainment, it's not. But it shouldn't have to be. Expand
0 of 0 users found this helpful
4
PaulDJun 11, 2009
Dreamlike exploration of a creative life whose attention to detail and stellar cast are undone by glacial pace and listless direction. An ambitious failure that shows that Kaufman the writer is best served by a non-Kaufman director.
0 of 0 users found this helpful
4
SeanF.Dec 14, 2008
Not a great Charlie Kaufman movie. Some brilliant moments/bright spots, ultimately, though, a disappointing picture. Maybe worth seeing just for the inventiveness and creativity of it all, but I really started to lose the point of this whole Not a great Charlie Kaufman movie. Some brilliant moments/bright spots, ultimately, though, a disappointing picture. Maybe worth seeing just for the inventiveness and creativity of it all, but I really started to lose the point of this whole thing, a little more than half way through it. Good acting (and actors), but overall probably an average to mediocre film. Expand
0 of 0 users found this helpful
5
RobertH.Dec 6, 2008
I'm confused and depressed. Seems like a good movie would have given us some insight into how to escape or even to cope with the dispairs of life.
0 of 0 users found this helpful
5
Compi24Nov 27, 2016
Listen. Charlie Kaufman - the screenwriter, director, narratologist, and philosopher, as we know him - is one of the most intelligent and creative minds in the business. There's almost no denying that. But, for me (meaning "in my ownListen. Charlie Kaufman - the screenwriter, director, narratologist, and philosopher, as we know him - is one of the most intelligent and creative minds in the business. There's almost no denying that. But, for me (meaning "in my own hopelessly subjective opinion") there is such a thing as having too many brilliant ideas in a single film. And, after watching "Synecdoche, New York," I realize that that's exactly what I got; a film with too many brilliant ideas for my tastes. Indeed, some of these ideas speak to me forcefully and with great fluidity, but many of the others simply make no sense to me at all. As far as "thinking man movies" go, this one may have me feeling the most conflicted. But, as of right now, my score still stands as it is. Either way, this one's a must-see. Expand
0 of 0 users found this helpful00
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