User Score
7.6

Generally favorable reviews- based on 188 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 34 out of 188

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  1. Nov 17, 2010
    10
    Beautifully complex. You'll catch something new each time you watch it. Charlie Kaufman cements himself as the best screenwriter out there. Best movie of the decade and one of the best of all times.
  2. Feb 7, 2012
    10
    This is a film I could watch over and over again and see something new each time. The film is so complex and masterfully built but it is also intimate and touching. Synechdoche new york is one of the only films I cry during every time I see it. However the film is not depressing it is sad, but at the heart of the story there is also lots of comedy. Overall the film works on every levelThis is a film I could watch over and over again and see something new each time. The film is so complex and masterfully built but it is also intimate and touching. Synechdoche new york is one of the only films I cry during every time I see it. However the film is not depressing it is sad, but at the heart of the story there is also lots of comedy. Overall the film works on every level imaginable and it is one of the best movies of all time Expand
  3. Nov 29, 2013
    10
    This is one of those movies that will make you rethink your whole life. It also has a lot of room for interpretation, which is something I find fascinating in movies and always will.
  4. Oct 14, 2011
    10
    kaufman's best. in my opinion, it is movies like this one that separate the truly thoughtful people from those who watch more sophisticated movies only to appear "hip" or because they are genuinely convinced that alternative is the way to go - but not because of a reasonable conclusion but because they treat it as a trend like any other.
    i don't think this movie needs more words than
    kaufman's best. in my opinion, it is movies like this one that separate the truly thoughtful people from those who watch more sophisticated movies only to appear "hip" or because they are genuinely convinced that alternative is the way to go - but not because of a reasonable conclusion but because they treat it as a trend like any other.
    i don't think this movie needs more words than these. it is a truly artistic, perfect masterpiece. i think i kept noticing new things up until i viewed it for the fourth time. and the memorable words spoken that apply so often in everyday life but simply might not have come to your mind are many.
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  5. Oct 5, 2011
    10
    If I could, I would give this film a 15. It works, it just works so intensly. The only film that made me cry, ever. The best thing about it, you can watch it over and over again, and you will always discover something new - not just about the movie, but about your self. Unless of course you are a little bit hollow inside, then it most likely will not work.
  6. Mar 24, 2013
    10
    Charlie Kaufman makes his directorial debut in what can only be described as the most bizarrely brilliant but depressingly modernistic film to grace your eyes in many MANY years.
    Synecdoche, New York tells the story of depressed and down on his luck Caden (Philip Seymour Hoffman), a theatre director who sees no motive or starting point in his life, his wife, Adele (Catherine Keener) is an
    Charlie Kaufman makes his directorial debut in what can only be described as the most bizarrely brilliant but depressingly modernistic film to grace your eyes in many MANY years.
    Synecdoche, New York tells the story of depressed and down on his luck Caden (Philip Seymour Hoffman), a theatre director who sees no motive or starting point in his life, his wife, Adele (Catherine Keener) is an artist and receives the opportunity to go to Berlin to pursue her artistic ambition, this would also involve leaving Caden and taking their daughter Olive with her.
    Caden receives a surprise McArthur grant to pursue his interest in what he sees fit. He decides to put on a massive play which he wants to throw his honesty and life into, but at the same time he is also dealing with his ailing body and spontaneous bouts of illness.
    His project can only be described as epic, using a huge warehouse to recreate New York itself, taking in actors to portray everyday people, including himself, which in turn creates a film that is never truly sure as to what is the true world or the dream that Caden has created.
    The film itself is simply art, a non-linear story with fast forward in time points that will leave you confused, yet in awe as to the spectacle and nerve of director and writer Kaufman. It is true that you will never know exactly what is going on, with a very unorthodox story that will leave people hating this film, but those ones will ultimately miss the message of this film.
    Dreams may indeed already be our reality, that life is so short that no matter what situation you are in, go for gold and don't look back, as you watch this wonderful film you will be left dumfounded as to what you are witnessing, but also appreciative of the art at play here.
    As mentioned, the film jumps time considerably, at some points you might not even notice, actually scratch that, you simply won't notice, as Caden himself doesn't even notice.
    Hoffman puts in an unforgettable and commanding performance as Caden, someone who does grab his dream when the opportunity arose, yet was always struggling with his past life, a fitting message that will stand the test of time.
    Each time you watch this something different will catch your eye, something on the wall, a character or whatever, it puts you in the spot of analysing your own life and deciding what to do with it, but also to confront or make peace with your demons head on.
    Not only one of the best films of the decade, but one of the greatest and most relevant pieces or art to ever grace your eyes.
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  7. Nov 27, 2014
    10
    Synecdoche, New York is undeniably one of the best films I have ever seen and, arguably, one of the best ever made. When I finished this one, I was absolutely floored and was on the brink of tears with my jaw hanging on the floor; I was that moved and that shocked by what I had just watched. Incredibly weird and at times almost unsettling, Synecdoche, New York is a tough nut to crack.Synecdoche, New York is undeniably one of the best films I have ever seen and, arguably, one of the best ever made. When I finished this one, I was absolutely floored and was on the brink of tears with my jaw hanging on the floor; I was that moved and that shocked by what I had just watched. Incredibly weird and at times almost unsettling, Synecdoche, New York is a tough nut to crack. However, before moving into my interpretation, let me discuss what I love so much. The direction, for one, is brilliant. Charlie Kaufman truly made his vision for this film into his own and in just one film, he has become one of my favorite directors. The acting is beyond brilliant. Delicate in nature and so artistic, it is just a treat to watch. The set design and writing are both of the highest order just are both impactful in their own unique ways. Truly a beautiful film in every sense of the word.

    **SPOILERISH FROM NOW ON**
    Now, this one can mean many things to many different people. I do not doubt that there are many interpretations of this one with all of them being right in their own way. For me, this was a film about life in every form: love, happiness, hope, betrayal, sadness, loneliness, and death, basically every element that make up every single person's life. Not only are our individual struggles not unique, but they are widespread. Everyone will go through all of those things in their life and while it may feel incredibly important to us in the moment, in the grand scheme of things, it means very little if anything at all. However, this sense of importance is what makes life almost like a play. After thinking about what I thought the film meant, I saw a quote by Shakespeare that essentially said that we are all the lead in our play, which is also something mentioned in the film itself. As depicted in the film with the continuous casting of new actors in the protagonist's play and the growing scope of the set, we all come together and play a role in the play that is life. We all mean something different to every person we come across and play many different roles in our life and embody many different personas.
    **SPOILERS END**

    But, what do I know? I am probably wrong on some fronts, but hopefully I am correct on others. Overall, this is simply a brilliant film with many different ways of solving it. Just watch it, please.
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  8. Aug 28, 2013
    10
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. By far one of the greatest artistic achievements of all time. Kaufman pushed the limit on defining truth, what art's role is in portraying truth, and ultimately how this toil affects human existence. Expand
  9. Feb 2, 2014
    10
    This film polarises people.

    I consider it a truly great movie. It is magnificently intelligent, subtle, amusing, absurd, and poignant, all at the same time. It has something of the character of a dream, with great, rich imagery and symbolism, a sparse poetry of language, and a delightful sense of the absurd, and absurd extrapolation of ideas. I loved it from the very opening
    This film polarises people.

    I consider it a truly great movie. It is magnificently intelligent, subtle, amusing, absurd, and poignant, all at the same time.

    It has something of the character of a dream, with great, rich imagery and symbolism, a sparse poetry of language, and a delightful sense of the absurd, and absurd extrapolation of ideas.

    I loved it from the very opening scene, and have seen it a number of times.

    If you did not like it the first time you saw it, try to go back to it with an open mind. I doubt that you will regret it.
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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.