Generally favorable reviews - based on 34 Critics What's this?

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Generally favorable reviews- based on 181 Ratings

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  • Starring: , ,
  • Summary: Theater director Caden Cotard is mounting a new play. His life catering to suburban blue-hairs at the local regional theater in Schenectady, New York is looking bleak. His wife Adele has left him to pursue her painting in Berlin, taking their young daughter Olive with her. His therapist, Madeleine Gravis, is better at plugging her best-seller than she is at counseling him. A new relationship with the alluringly candid Hazel has prematurely run aground. And a mysterious condition is systematically shutting down each of his autonomic functions, one by one. Worried about the transience of his life, he leaves his home behind. He gathers an ensemble cast into a warehouse in New York City, hoping to create a work of brutal honesty. He directs them in a celebration of the mundane, instructing each to live out their constructed lives in a growing mockup of the city outside. (Sony Classics) Expand
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 21 out of 34
  2. Negative: 2 out of 34
  1. 100
    I think you have to see Charlie Kaufman's Synecdoche, New York twice. I watched it the first time and knew it was a great film and that I had not mastered it. The second time because I needed to. The third time because I will want to.
  2. To say that Charlie Kaufman's Synecdoche, New York is one of the best films of the year or even one closest to my heart is such a pathetic response to its soaring ambition that I might as well pack it in right now.
  3. 88
    It's got more imagination than half a dozen movies combined; there's nothing else out there like this, and to me that's a very good thing.
  4. Sprawling, awe-inspiring, heartbreaking, frustrating, hard-to-follow and achingly, achingly sad movie.
  5. Hoffman, Morton and Jon Brion's aching score somehow capture the all-too-human need to get things right. If you're in a certain frame of mind, those moments make up for all the stagecraft.
  6. 50
    As the movie rambles along with its own brand of quasi-magical surrealism, the links to real experience grow scarcer and more frayed.
  7. I gave up making heads or tails of Synecdoche, New York, but I did get one message: The compulsion to stand outside of one's life and observe it to THIS degree isn't the mechanism of art -- it's the structure of psychosis.

See all 34 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 47 out of 74
  2. Negative: 21 out of 74
  1. Aug 28, 2013
    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
  2. Feb 7, 2012
    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 level imaginable and it is one of the best movies of all time Expand
  3. Nov 17, 2010
    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. Expand
  4. Nov 12, 2010
    I have never seen a move have such divided opinion for a film (Most of the major critics loved it, however.), perhaps not seen since the discussion of the pub scene in Inglorious Basterds, or to a lesser degree the Nicholas Cage remake of Bad Lieutenant.. WalterEgo compared it unfavorably to BerlinAlex, but overreacted IMO, (Grade 2). nboley08 captured well the strengths and weaknesses. (Grade 5)
    Others claimed if you don't like it, go see an Adam Sandler film.
    I have to side on the positive; for some reason I'm obssessed with it.
    It falls under the category of a flawed masterwork (like Miles Davis' **** Brew), and could have been tightened up some, but smoothing out the warts from such an utterance is usually a mistake.
    And yet, Apocalypse Now and Citizens Kane were also called flawed.
  5. Nov 3, 2010
    There is no doubt in my mind that Charlie Kaufman is indeed a genius. There is also little debate about the fact the this film is multidimensional, rich in context, meticulously crafted into a dreamlike nightmare. The cast is superb as well, however at times I felt lost and hard to comprehend the subliminal meaning of things like the significance of burning house, the Germanic accent of his daughter, etc... Expand
  6. Aug 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 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
  7. Jul 27, 2013
    i gave up the third time a character in this film discussed the colour of excrement. I think it sums it up as scatological gibberish. It may well be one of the best american independent movies but that says more about the state of US cinema than it does about this tedious self-indulgent nonsense. Hard to say what's more depressing the film itself or the amount of time, talent and money wasted on making it. Expand

See all 74 User Reviews