User Score
7.7

Generally favorable reviews- based on 197 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 35 out of 197
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  1. Aug 16, 2010
    5
    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 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 andVery, 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. Oct 17, 2011
    6
    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.
    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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  3. Aug 27, 2010
    5
    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 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 thatCharlie 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
  4. EdgarM
    Apr 2, 2009
    5
    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 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
  5. PaulD
    Jun 11, 2009
    4
    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.
  6. SeanF.
    Dec 14, 2008
    4
    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.
  7. RobertH.
    Dec 6, 2008
    5
    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.
Metascore
67

Generally favorable reviews - based on 34 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 21 out of 34
  2. Negative: 2 out of 34
  1. Synecdoche is the kind of movie that rewards repeated viewings. But sometimes, as Van Morrison sings, it's just best to "sail into the mystic."
  2. 75
    You have never seen a movie quite like this one.
  3. 50
    As the movie rambles along with its own brand of quasi-magical surrealism, the links to real experience grow scarcer and more frayed.