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67

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

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7.6

Generally favorable reviews- based on 194 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,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
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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. Reviewed by: Travis Nichols
    100
    Although obviously a stretched and lightly drawn caricature -- the cerebral writer is obsessed with his work, has metaphorical skin problems, can't have sex without weeping, etc. -- Cotard is real. Or as real a representation of an artist as we're likely to get in this biopic age.
  3. Reviewed by: Emily Rems
    88
    At turns as neurotic and nebbishy as any Woody Allen flick, as creepy and disorienting as your favorite "Twilight Zone" episode, and as steeped in magical realism as the most moving Márquez novel, Synecdoche may not be the feel-good date movie of the year. But for viewers up for the challenge, it may be the film most likely to stick with you.
  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
    Just because a movie is ambitious and challenging doesn't mean it can't also be tedious and at times unbearable.
  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: 50 out of 79
  2. Negative: 23 out of 79
  1. PixieEleven
    Jun 20, 2009
    10
    A thoroughly devastating film, a masterpiece.
  2. NeilL
    Mar 25, 2009
    10
    Excellent. In certain respects much like Lynch's "Inland Empire", but from a very different perspective of course. Similarly misunderstood, too.
  3. 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.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. DavidI.
    Nov 17, 2008
    9
    Will truly screw with your head, if you let yourself get into it. I highly recommend you watch this film alone.
  5. [Anonymous]
    Oct 28, 2008
    7
    I wanted to love it. I really really wanted to love it. Kaufman and Phillip Seymour Hoffman are geniuses And the supporting cast are all I wanted to love it. I really really wanted to love it. Kaufman and Phillip Seymour Hoffman are geniuses And the supporting cast are all fabulous. Yet the movie isn't. It had the potential to say so many wonderful things. And yet it gets lost in the telling of the story. Or maybe that's the point and I just missed it. During the film I found myself wondering what I could say about it. Expand
  6. JJones
    Jun 24, 2009
    3
    Oh my gosh this is a tedious and depressing movie. I usually go head first into these types of films (I greatly enjoyed David Lynch's Oh my gosh this is a tedious and depressing movie. I usually go head first into these types of films (I greatly enjoyed David Lynch's challenging Inland Empire), but I just couldn't take it. This movie seems to have no reason to live other than to obsessively, repeatedly, depressingly explore a tragic and possibly psychotic worldview. This film has many fans which will gladly dole out shallow judgment upon those who will not submit to this whiny, annoying movie, but I submit that they are either in love with the idea of such a film (and not the film itself) or they are so desensitized that it takes this kind of horror-disguised-as-drama to get through. I am sooooo tired of blue color-cast, shoe-gazing films about how terrible the human experience is. Heck, even the shows and commercials on TV all seem to be turning blue just to follow suit. Just because you are depressed, psychotic and have a large budget does not mean you have the right to inflict such a monstrosity on the public. Expand
  7. TerenceS.
    Nov 21, 2008
    0
    This movie is one of the worst shows that I have ever seen. Even in most horrible movies there's an element of camp. This has none. This movie is one of the worst shows that I have ever seen. Even in most horrible movies there's an element of camp. This has none. Don't bother with trying to find a point to it, I'll save you a trip, it has no point. Metacritic, you really let me down on this one. The movie itself is just a thrown together bundle of crap, that is probably just Kaufman expressing all of his own fears. I can only think of one reason Kaufman decided to direct it himself. Every self respecting director probably looked at the script and said, "There is no way I can make a movie out of this." Kaufman tries to combine elements of Jungian concepts, borrows imagry from an over used Shakespearian expression, and the movie suffers from Kaufman's own now over inflated ego. Expand

See all 79 User Reviews

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