Metascore
70

Generally favorable reviews - based on 37 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 26 out of 37
  2. Negative: 1 out of 37
  1. Superbly made and winningly acted by Brad Pitt in his most impressive outing to date.
  2. 100
    It takes a world-class storyteller and a great yarn to rivet your attention for nearly three hours. This very classy, old-school movie - employing cutting-edge technology that will make your eyes pop - did it for me.
  3. Reviewed by: Jenni Miller
    100
    Naturally, Pitt and Blanchett are outstanding. Fincher's meticulous attention to detail is unerring, down to the light fixtures.
  4. 100
    Brad Pitt's sensitive performance helps make 'Benjamin Button' a timeless masterpiece.
  5. Reviewed by: Ian Freer
    100
    Aptly for a film so concerned with time, Button is 13 minutes shy of three hours and just flies by. If this is Fincher selling out, can he sell out more often please?
  6. Reviewed by: Richard Corliss
    100
    This film's manifold pleasures come in a series of small packages, with treats inside as tasty as they are unexpected.
  7. Benjamin Button is all of a visionary piece, and it's a soul-filling vision.
  8. A curious case indeed: an extravagantly ambitious movie that's easy to admire but a challenge to love.
  9. With his usual intelligence, technical virtuosity (the reverse-aging effects are astounding) and storytelling panache, director Fincher gives the film a power and unity that make nearly three hours go by in a flash and pulls its diverse elements together to be something unique for a Hollywood movie -- a true spiritual experience.
  10. Reviewed by: David Ansen
    90
    Lyrical, original, misshapen and deeply felt, this is one flawed beauty of a movie.
  11. 88
    This is a long, impeccably detailed, richly textured movie about a most unusual life, and although it's far from perfect, the sum of it achieves what Fincher set out to do in the first place: Make you blubber like a 6-year-old who just found his pet turtle lying belly-up.
  12. 88
    There's no denying the film's power of compulsion and the sense that, when it's all over, it means something. Most viewers will be entertained and moved, and some will find their intellect aroused.
  13. 83
    It's long, like life, but like life it continually fascinates.
  14. Benjamin never questions his fate and ­never actually gets to enjoy being a kid. At least there's a thoughtful middle part, where the enigmatic Blanchett comes alive and Benjamin seems haunted by life -- someone we recognize, and not just a vessel tossed about by time.
  15. 80
    Above all, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button is a triumph of technique.
  16. Reviewed by: Todd McCarthy
    80
    This odd, epic tale of a man who ages backwards is presented in an impeccable classical manner, every detail tended to with fastidious devotion.
  17. 75
    What Button shows is that Ben is ultimately not the hero of his own life or his own movie. He gets inside our head, that's for sure, but, frustratingly, we never get inside his.
  18. Yet it's worth seeing because the sights are truly something. Claudio Miranda's pearly cinematography, Donald Graham Burt's luscious production design, the visual effects supervised by Eric Barba--everything blends, and none of the seams show.
  19. Question: Is life still like a box of chocolates if you're going in reverse? The answer, in the case of the curiously Gumpian The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, is a gooey yes.
  20. Reviewed by: Jason Buchanan
    75
    Brimming with intriguing concepts and brilliant visual effects, making it a stimulating treat for both the eyes and the intellect.
  21. Reviewed by: Claudia Puig
    75
    Worth seeing just for the superb prosthetic makeup and seamless computer-generated effects in which Pitt's head is digitally imposed onto older bodies.
  22. Perhaps the movie might have made more sense if the actors could have taken each other's roles: Pitt always seems light and ageless, while Blanchett never seems to have been young.
  23. Button has a wide-eyed innocence that almost never palls. It strays far from the mind of F. Scott Fitzgerald, but often enough it came near to my heart.
  24. 70
    A gravely beautiful drama about the mysteries of aging and death.
  25. 63
    The movie's premise devalues any relationship, makes futile any friendship or romance, and spits, not into the face of destiny, but backward into the maw of time. It even undermines the charm of compound interest.
  26. 63
    At its most profound, Benjamin Button isn't about anything more important than Pitt's very handsomeness, which, for a surprising stretch of time, is a wonderful subject for study.
  27. 60
    It's so almost moving -- a meticulously crafted mechanical bird -- that it nearly feels like the real thing.
  28. Attains a level of quiet grace. It's too bad that I can barely remember the movie after only a week. Nothing lasts, indeed.
  29. 50
    Benjamin Button is pretty much just "Gump" with better cinematography.
  30. As enervating as it is long -- and at 2 hours and 47 minutes it is quite long -- this version of the F. Scott Fitzgerald fantasy short story is a baffling project, an endurance test of a movie that feels like it was made on a dare.
  31. Reviewed by: Dana Stevens
    50
    Pitt's great in character roles, as a comic grotesque or an unrepentant scoundrel. (See Burn After Reading or, for that matter, Fight Club.) But as a passive, introspective leading man like Benjamin, he's just dull.
  32. 50
    Often astonishingly beautiful, but in a way that's the problem: You wonder what visionaries such as Tim Burton or Michel Gondry might have done with the material. As it is, "Benjamin Button" is little more than "Gump" by way of "Dorian Gray." It plays too safe when it should be letting its freak flag fly.
  33. 50
    Realized through old-fashioned camera mastery and newfangled special effects, it’s a stunning technical accomplishment, but one seemingly designed only to broadcast banal sentiments, when it says anything at all.
  34. Based flimsily on a minor F. Scott Fitzgerald story, it's an anecdote stretched to would-be epic proportions.
  35. Everything that was sharp in the original text has been rounded and buffed.
  36. Reviewed by: Scott Foundas
    40
    Benjamin Button is to the first half of the 20th century what "Gump" was to the second -- a panorama of the American experience as seen from the perspective of a wide-eyed Candide. Here as there, Roth reduces our complex times to a parade of shockingly straight-faced kitsch.
  37. The movie's excruciating length is without dramatic or thematic justification.
User Score
7.1

Generally favorable reviews- based on 456 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 49 out of 184
  1. Jan 19, 2012
    9
    Absolutely beautiful! Long but I didn't feel it because I was caught by the story. Scott Fitzgerald was indeed a great author, and I loved the fact that they were able to portray his work in this wonderful movie. Just because a movie is not 'realistic' and is based in fantasy doesn't mean that there are not important issues to be explored. This movie is about inner strength about having the ability to get through life with faith, acknowledging one's limitations yet, fighting to acomplish our goals. It is also about loyalty and courage... and about frustration too, because not everything can be changed since there are things that escape to our hands. It may be over emotional and overly 'optimistic', but it does not diminish its value. It is not a drama, it is not a thriller, it is not a comedy.I wouldn't put it in a specific category...this just IS a wonderful story, written by a great novelist...and brought to be enjoyed in a total different way...the big screen! Full Review »
  2. Oct 16, 2010
    9
    Crafting a story like this is a feat that is rarely seen in cinema. There is a real chemistry between Pitt and Blanchett and this is coupled by a storyline which gripped me as soon as I had seen the trailer. The story never gets old, much the same as its protagonist. Full Review »
  3. May 27, 2013
    10
    Probably Mick LaSalle, from San Francisco Chronicle, wouldn't recognize drama even if it danced in front of him without pants. This is the most dramatic and touching movie ever, full of surprises of a whole life story, with all the emotional events that could and couldn't happen. Full Review »