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Generally unfavorable reviews - based on 28 Critics What's this?

User Score
6.3

Generally favorable reviews- based on 40 Ratings

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  • Starring: , ,
  • Summary: The Art of Getting By stars Freddie Highmore as George, a lonely and fatalistic teen who's made it all the way to his senior year without ever having down a real day of work, who is befriended by Sally, a beautiful and complicated girl who recognizes in him a kindred spirit. (Fox Searchlight)
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 6 out of 28
  2. Negative: 13 out of 28
  1. Reviewed by: Amy Biancolli
    Jun 16, 2011
    75
    The movie turns lighter and less morose as it rolls along, which is good for viewers who prefer a bit of honey to offset the bitter taste of hormones.
  2. Reviewed by: Joe Williams
    Jun 16, 2011
    63
    Yet notwithstanding its derivative dolefulness and PG-13 timidity, The Art of Getting By is smart and sweet enough to become the favorite film of some Midwestern adolescent who wrongly believes he's already seen the dark side.
  3. Reviewed by: Bill Goodykoontz
    Jun 18, 2011
    60
    Thanks to Highmore's performance, George is worth sticking around for - and thanks almost exclusively to Highmore and Roberts, so is The Art of Getting By.
  4. Reviewed by: Ray Greene
    Jun 12, 2011
    40
    A formula picture made by someone who doesn't even believe in the formula - he knows it all has to work out, we know it all has to work out, and he can't even muster an ironic wink for our trouble.
  5. Reviewed by: Ty Burr
    Jun 16, 2011
    38
    If the director had brought any toughness of perspective - or at least the self-lacerating humor of 2002's "Igby Goes Down,'' still the reigning champ of screwed-up-Manhattan-prepster films - we might be able to digest George's follies without cringing.
  6. Reviewed by: Robert Abele
    Jun 16, 2011
    30
    Unformed protagonists don't come more wallowingly irritating and contradictory than George.
  7. Reviewed by: Kimberley Jones
    Jun 16, 2011
    11
    Flaccid, endlessly irksome coming-of-age drama.

See all 28 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 8 out of 13
  2. Negative: 3 out of 13
  1. Apr 11, 2012
    10
    I don't think that the movie is bad, I think that the critics don't understand the movie, because is fantastic, have some cool and funny moments, The Art of Getting By have great performances, and the movie is good. Expand
  2. Jan 3, 2013
    8
    Despite the negative feedback I quite liked the film. Sure it has characters that have been done to death but it has a lot of heart, which is achieved through the likability of the lead, Freddie Highmore. Not an amazing flick, but enough to keep me interested to watch til the end on TV, which is an achievement for these types of film Expand
  3. Jul 27, 2013
    8
    This movie has a great story it's happy it's sad it invokes feelings, good cinamatography, great soundtrack. Even though it has mostly negative review or mixed reviews I think you should watch it anyway Expand
  4. Jan 27, 2012
    6
    As a lot of people have said, it's not as bad as the critics make out... I put it on late at night as I wasn't bothered if I fell asleep watching it. However, I was surprised that I sat through it. It was warming, romantic, humorous (if not a little pretentious) in places, another "How cool are New Yorkers film". The eye candy that is Emma Roberts made the film more watchable, and good soundtrack too. Average... mheh, easy viewing. Expand
  5. Jun 21, 2012
    6
    The movie is interesting and is dragged along kicking and screaming by the leads who carry there parts well but it seems to lack something and conforms far too much to a typical teen/coming of age film. Expand
  6. Jun 21, 2011
    5
    I don't know why critics are beating the crap out of this thing. The Art Of Getting By is not awful, it's just average. But the thing that keeps this movie from being mediocre is the chemistry between Friedie Highmore (who has been gone from the face of the Earth for 5 years) and Emma Roberts. This is a couple that is very likeable and you want them to wind up together. But the movie surrounding them doesn't live up to their great chemistry. Sure, there's some funny and sweet moments, but the whole movie's one giant cli'che. It does nothing new, and the acting, character development, or writing doesn't distract me from that. Also, the movie feels very rushed and no character feels welldeveloped. TAOGB isn't terrible, in fact, I'd actually watch it again if I caught it on TV, but it's nothing you just have to see. Expand
  7. May 25, 2013
    1
    The Art of Getting By is a film that tries and tries and tries to be something and then fails miserably to do so. It tries to be a touching dramedy that will make you laugh and cry but it didn't make me laugh, and the closest I ever got to crying was when I has to listen to one of Freddie Highmore's awful narrations about how miserable his life is. That was probably one of the biggest mistakes, hiring Freddie Highmore to be in you movie. This guy is so dead pan and monotone that it gets pretty boring going through the story with him and that's not a good thing. If your going to spend a lot of time with someone, make them fun to be around, this guy just made me mad. When you main character is a whiny little dousche than he's not a likable character and what makes you want to root for him. The other "actors" in this movie were just as bad. Nothing special about them, no breakout roles there. Next is Emma Roberts who was okay. She was the only redeeming value of this film. She actually brought out emotion and I applaud her for that. Also she was extremely attractive.
    Now don't even get me started on the writing. It was mindless, that's all it was. You can tell this screenwriter was trying, really hard too. There were things the people said in this movie (especially Freddie) where you could tell the writer was trying to be deep and thought provoking and try to channel the human condition, and it actually comes out comical more that anything. "We all live alone, we all die alone, everything else is just an illusion." That is just one of he many attempts at being something this movie definitely isn't. Plus that first part is from a much much much better indie Donnie Darko and it actually has meaning to it, unlike in this joke. And why would that keep a kid up at night? When I was younger I probably wouldn't even understand it, and I find meanings in things, even back then.
    The actors and the script is bad, but one thing that really threw me for the loop here is that almost every action these kids take is probably one of the last things a kid that age would do. It's so stupid and just so...pointless. It gets me mad. Couldn't the writers have done a bit of a better job, really? Is it that hard to write this story about a slacker who finds a reason to get serious about his future. Pretty simple concept. Also the reason he decides to get serious about his future is painting and they barely touched upon that. It barely came up and that's the main point of this whole thing. All I can say is lazy.
    So this film here was pretty terrible. The writing sucked, the acting was unsatisfactory and it didn't quite hit its marks. The only redeeming value for this is that Emma Roberts is really (really) hot. I don't recommend this to anyone.
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See all 13 User Reviews