User Score
7.2

Generally favorable reviews- based on 541 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 82 out of 541

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User Reviews

  1. Aug 28, 2011
    5
    Benjamin Button is a great mixed bag of a film. Despite it's many problems (length, similarity to Forrest Gump), however, aren't its undoing. The undoing comes in the form of a distinct clash of ideas, inappropriately trying to mesh screenwriter Eric Roth's sentimental and wonderful view of the world with director David Fincher's cold nihilism and rewarding distance from connection. It isBenjamin Button is a great mixed bag of a film. Despite it's many problems (length, similarity to Forrest Gump), however, aren't its undoing. The undoing comes in the form of a distinct clash of ideas, inappropriately trying to mesh screenwriter Eric Roth's sentimental and wonderful view of the world with director David Fincher's cold nihilism and rewarding distance from connection. It is these two moods that tear apart Benjamin Button. Expand
  2. LawrenceH.
    Jan 5, 2009
    6
    This movie is just too long. I don't have a problem with long movies when there is a justifiable reason for the length...
  3. JoetheCritic
    Jan 7, 2009
    4
    Absurdly long, I was glad it was over. The movie was nothing more of a love story, and had nothing to do with the actual reason to why he was born an old man. Don't waste your time. Too much hype for such a dull movie.
  4. elp
    May 31, 2009
    5
    Can't fault the art direction, cinematography, or the acting, but it's three hours of one depressing scenario after another. if there's anything to take away from it it's that everything is pointless and doomed to misery, not exactly a feel-good movie.
  5. Hollyc
    May 30, 2009
    5
    Held my attention the first third, then began to fall into tepid interest. I could tell it wanted me to care about these great moments, but I just didn't. Also came the epiphany of seeing this before, when it was called "Forrest Gump" --- This really affected the rest of the movie for me as I was constantly comparing everything that was happening in Button to Gump (Roth is shameless, Held my attention the first third, then began to fall into tepid interest. I could tell it wanted me to care about these great moments, but I just didn't. Also came the epiphany of seeing this before, when it was called "Forrest Gump" --- This really affected the rest of the movie for me as I was constantly comparing everything that was happening in Button to Gump (Roth is shameless, for sure). However, the direction, cinematography, VFX and Tilda Swinton were all terrific. Expand
  6. BobbyB.
    Jul 26, 2009
    5
    Benjamin Button went from being elderly to middle-aged in just four years, in this film's hurry to give us a handsome, salable Brad Pitt. That's not the only thing that bothered me about "The Curious Case...". Elderly whites did not shake hands with blacks in the 1920s South. Men did not wear shoulder-length hair in the 1930s. Unless he was very psychic, Benjamin could not have Benjamin Button went from being elderly to middle-aged in just four years, in this film's hurry to give us a handsome, salable Brad Pitt. That's not the only thing that bothered me about "The Curious Case...". Elderly whites did not shake hands with blacks in the 1920s South. Men did not wear shoulder-length hair in the 1930s. Unless he was very psychic, Benjamin could not have known the long list of factors that led up to the Cate Blanchet character being hit by a cab. If the premise is Benjamin aging in reverse and growing mentally sharper each year, why does the film depart from that theme and have Benjamin getting Alzheimer's as a child? When an entire movie is built around a gimmick, I think the gimmick should be given more care than this one was. Some good performances and excellent technology, but unfortunately the movie doesn't live up to the interesting concept. Expand
  7. VerminD.
    Jan 4, 2009
    4
    Way too long, and wreaking of Forest Gump. Also, Brad seems to have been taking acting lessons from Keanu, because his expression hardly changed throughout the whole film. I say expression, when for the most part he was expressionless, his mug showing nothing more than a slightly confused twinge. Tilda Swinton, as normal, saved the day and acted everyone else off the screen, even though Way too long, and wreaking of Forest Gump. Also, Brad seems to have been taking acting lessons from Keanu, because his expression hardly changed throughout the whole film. I say expression, when for the most part he was expressionless, his mug showing nothing more than a slightly confused twinge. Tilda Swinton, as normal, saved the day and acted everyone else off the screen, even though her subplot was of no consequence. A lot has been said about the CGI used during the movie. I didn Expand
  8. GailW.
    Feb 21, 2009
    4
    This move was poorly edited, too long, and boring. There was no chemistry between Bard Pitt and Cate Blanchette. A real disappointment - typical Hollywood schlock.
  9. jethroa
    May 7, 2009
    5
    Another hollywood trying to be deep and profound and moving movie that just doesn't cut it. Pretty tepid, but mildly interesting.
  10. EliasC
    Jun 11, 2009
    5
    Despite the seamless CGI work, this film is seriously flawed and bears little resemblance to the F. Scott short story of the same name. Very good acting does not save this overlong film. 'The film version of the 'Time Traveler's Wife', with a similar theme, promises to be better.
  11. JohnG.
    Dec 25, 2008
    4
    Soooo slow ... After 2 hours and 40 minutes, I still couldn't tell you what the actual story was about.
  12. KimA
    Dec 27, 2008
    5
    Brad Pitt seemed to have no way into this role. When he wasn't in his beautiful prime, his Benjamin felt like an empty cipher. The make up on the "old looking" Benjamin was distracting; as if a powdery layer was smothering not only the face, but the personality, of Brad Pitt's Benjamin. This was not a movie about a human being, but a movie about an idea. The Ideas were Brad Pitt seemed to have no way into this role. When he wasn't in his beautiful prime, his Benjamin felt like an empty cipher. The make up on the "old looking" Benjamin was distracting; as if a powdery layer was smothering not only the face, but the personality, of Brad Pitt's Benjamin. This was not a movie about a human being, but a movie about an idea. The Ideas were interesting for a time but the lack of truly interesting, felt characters could not keep those ideas alive for two and a half hours. Expand
  13. DoctorTerrific
    Dec 30, 2008
    5
    Halfway into this movie I turned to my lover and both agreed that this movie was terrific. Unfortunately this is a tale that, in my opinion, cannot be brought to a satisfying conclusion. Nice try, Fincher, but I left the theater troubled and disappointed.
  14. AlexF.
    Jan 3, 2009
    4
    Way too long especially because nothing happens. if it had been only 2 hrs. long it would have been alot better.
  15. ChipL
    Feb 4, 2009
    4
    A poor man's Forrest Gump. Every scene tries to be heartwarming, meaningful, important, prophetic....But it comes out cold and creepy without a likable or realistic character. Brad PItt is especially unmoving and even the always capable Cate Blanchett comes across as shrill and false. The worst of the "prestige" movie is all here.
  16. Oct 1, 2010
    4
    Despite the fact that this movie was trumpeted upon it's release (two years already?) it's hard to ignore that Button hasn't got much to it. It was quite the opposite to what I thought it would be and it was a very slow and far too long for it's own good. More than anything else though, the movie did nothing but bore once you got past the basic premise, which is admittedly interesting.
  17. Aug 27, 2010
    5
    The movie has its little pleasures (such as the man getting struck by lightning and the tugboat captain), but it feels like the "aging-backwards" basis is no more than a playful trick to tell an otherwise normal and uninteresting (and loooonng) story.
  18. SteveB
    Jan 1, 2009
    4
    Don't believe the hype! This is not a very good movie. Similar to Forrest Gump, but less engaging. An epic tale about a boy born old, grows up and gets younger as ages, this theme has actually very little to do with the plot, and is really a skeleton on which to hang a a rather dull, rambling story. Brad and Cate are nice to look at, but it's a snoozer with no real conclusion.
  19. DT
    Jan 3, 2009
    4
    It was the same crap that gets eaten up by award judges every year. Nothing new.
  20. MiKE
    Jun 8, 2009
    6
    The movie had its moments. but overall it felt silly with a serious story. The special effects were excellent! And Brad Pitt is a good actor. He was very enjoyable in this movie.
  21. ChadS.
    Dec 28, 2008
    6
    Dislocation is what piques our interest in "The Curious Case of Benjamin Buttons"; dislocation is the tool of all good science fiction. As a youth imprisoned in an old man's body, or a geezer returning to the womb, that's what distinguishes Benjamin(Brad Pitt) from other protagonists in epics that depict the life and times of the titular person. But the film squanders too much Dislocation is what piques our interest in "The Curious Case of Benjamin Buttons"; dislocation is the tool of all good science fiction. As a youth imprisoned in an old man's body, or a geezer returning to the womb, that's what distinguishes Benjamin(Brad Pitt) from other protagonists in epics that depict the life and times of the titular person. But the film squanders too much time on this would-be carnival sideshow act during Benjamin's middle period, when the difference between his chronological age and his perceived age doesn't seem all that disparate. Perhaps it's the fault of the actor for not conveying that gap; he plays Benjamin as being too comfortable in his own skin. In Penny Marshall's "Big", Josh's(Tom Hanks) actions belie his perceived age, most hillariously, when he takes the top bunk at a sleepover with his co-worker. The Elizabeth Perkins character senses something is unusual about this guy. That's why "The Curious Case of Benjamin Buttons" drags. He seems too normal. Shouldn't this guy be touched by a little madness? There's nothing particularly maladjusted about Benjamin that the film can exploit for comic or dramatic purposes. Lucky for Pitt, his leading lady(Cate Blanchett) more than picks up the slack. Daisy's capacity to love Benjamin romantically, then maternally, would have been made even more powerful if this staid exercise in science fiction were informed more by maverick instincts, than Oscar instincts. Their relationship should be put through a similar bathtub test as Nicole Kidman and her partner in Jonathan Glazer's "Birth". In other words, what would Mindy(Pam Dawber) do had she and Mork(Robin Williams) made it to their golden years? Expand
  22. DianeM
    Jan 1, 2009
    6
    A fantasy film that is a tribute to certain historical events, as well as New Orleans. Good performances, naturally, (especially "Queenie"), but a little long in getting to the point. My husband complained that I didn't tell him it was a 'chick flick'.
  23. BethC.
    Jan 21, 2009
    6
    The good parts: the cinematography, makeup (which should win an Oscar) and the scenes with Tilda Swinton. Somehow, she made all her scenes moving and magical. But I couldn't believe Brad Pitt as a kid in an old man's body. Also, the settings weren't realistic enough. Pitt grew up in New Orleans under segregation, but you wouldn't know it from the movie. Similarly, he The good parts: the cinematography, makeup (which should win an Oscar) and the scenes with Tilda Swinton. Somehow, she made all her scenes moving and magical. But I couldn't believe Brad Pitt as a kid in an old man's body. Also, the settings weren't realistic enough. Pitt grew up in New Orleans under segregation, but you wouldn't know it from the movie. Similarly, he was in Russia during World War II (which began in Sept. 1939) but the war doesn't exist until America entered it over two years later. And it was just TOO long for what it had to say. Expand
  24. BrianS.
    Apr 8, 2009
    6
    I find it intensely irritating (and telling) that the general opinion of people who saw and loved this movie was because it was not an action movie/focused on people/was completely "unique". These are the people who really don't spend time watching dramas in the first place, more or less independent or relationship dramas, or never saw movies as anything but passing entertainment I find it intensely irritating (and telling) that the general opinion of people who saw and loved this movie was because it was not an action movie/focused on people/was completely "unique". These are the people who really don't spend time watching dramas in the first place, more or less independent or relationship dramas, or never saw movies as anything but passing entertainment with friends to begin with (if you're just discovering the power of films, I really have no words to say to you). So from that alone, I can tell you that if you don't know what American Beauty or Reprise (Little Children, Six Feet Under, etc) are, you'll probably think this movie is astounding, perfect, brilliant, emotional, all of the above--who knows. To anyone else, not so much. Truly, the reason people keep saying this is because it's true: Forrest Gump 2. Both FG and BB are written by Eric Roth, and both have almost entirely parallel storylines--even characters and personalities. From a technical aspect and for the last parts, this film works itself up to a 6. I never said this was a bad film--it's just nothing special outside of the aging effects. Expand
  25. MikeA
    Dec 26, 2008
    5
    This movie is ok, but pretty self-serving and contrived. It seems like the film makers were full of themselves, and stuffed not-so subtle subtexts into the movie. With that said, Brad Pitt and the ensemble of actors were excellent.
  26. MartyP.
    Jan 18, 2009
    5
    Entertaining enough but not great. Similar style as Forest Gump.
  27. Anonymous
    Jan 25, 2009
    4
    Don't fall for the hype. An average film at best. If you have the time, spend it watching Forrest Gump again and you'll be better off.
  28. KeithJ
    Jan 26, 2009
    6
    Cut this movie by 30 minutes, and show some acknowledgment by the people around Button that he's more than mildly unusual, and this movie could be an 8. I love the various times and places it depicts and many of the characters are great. But it ultimately feels tedious.
  29. JasonC
    Jan 27, 2009
    4
    Most overrated movie of 2008. Extremely tedious and self-indulgent. I was looking for some type of underlying point to this whole story and couldn't find one. I have never walked out on a movie but I almost walked out on this one with an hour left to go.
  30. LuisG
    Feb 18, 2009
    5
    heres a film that has all the potential of being a grand masterpiece but falls flat on its ego... fincher has a tendency to being a perfectionist ... button.. is long, tedious and lost in its attempt to being more than forrest gump with pitt in the lead .... ZODIAC last year offered what fincher is known for a shame that the academy ignored it...
  31. JamesC
    Jun 29, 2009
    5
    All I could think of during this whole movie was "Life is like a bowl of chocolates, mmm hhmmmm" because it really brought to mind Gump, another insultingly self-important movie that got heaps o' recognition and that time has proven to be a dog. Like Ol' Gumparoo, Benjie's Buttons wants to be a "classic" really, really bad--so bad, it forgets that it has to actually have a All I could think of during this whole movie was "Life is like a bowl of chocolates, mmm hhmmmm" because it really brought to mind Gump, another insultingly self-important movie that got heaps o' recognition and that time has proven to be a dog. Like Ol' Gumparoo, Benjie's Buttons wants to be a "classic" really, really bad--so bad, it forgets that it has to actually have a story you care about. It's everything you've read, a minor film pretending to be a major film--gorgeous, well-acted, and yet curiously empty. Everything about the production screams "quality," and it is difficult to say where the blame lies--is it the direction? the script? Brad Pitt's odd but proven inability to lead a film? I regret to say the film is also a waste of your time--a regret only because it is at least an unjustifiable half hour too long. Were it not, it would certainly be worth a rental. If you still think Gump was a great movie, you'll like this one. Expand
  32. snupa
    Dec 28, 2008
    4
    I thought this movie was OK. it got really dragged out towards the end and got way too boring. I know people are trying to compare this to Forrest Gump....far from it
  33. Oct 25, 2013
    6
    Benjamin Button told an unbelievable story with acting that was superb but what was lacking was something to be felt after its over two and half hour length. The movie passed all measures with story, acting, score and scenery but never pushed the limits to make it excellent.
  34. Jul 12, 2013
    6
    First of all, I don't think the realist elements have done good to this movie. I mean, if the protagonist is meant to be fantastic why is it necessary for us to know when he was born, where is he going, what (real) wars he fought? Superman is like this movie's protagonist, he defies natural laws, like gravity for example. Benjamin Button is doing the same thing with biological laws when heFirst of all, I don't think the realist elements have done good to this movie. I mean, if the protagonist is meant to be fantastic why is it necessary for us to know when he was born, where is he going, what (real) wars he fought? Superman is like this movie's protagonist, he defies natural laws, like gravity for example. Benjamin Button is doing the same thing with biological laws when he rejuvenates, but despite the realistic context where he is placed, no-one seems to be so affected by his unusual nature (and that makes realistic characters behave artificially). Just pay some attention to the title: The curious case..., why case? "Cases" exist only in reality. If the movie would have dwelled in the fantastic, fictional, or whatever you call it domain of the narrative it certainly had been better.

    Secondly, and more important, my opinion is that this movie doesn't eventually say much. During the almost three hours length I questioned myself about Benjamin's nature and what philosophical facts should it reveal. But as I tried and tried to build-up my logic I couldn't reach any destination. In fact, Benjamin looked like a simple, ordinary men that lives his life from start to end. He's different from us only because his appearance evolves from old men to infant child. But he is born a child and mentally he's just like us (as he admits).

    All my respect to everyone in the production crew because they made a very well-done job, from special effects to acting performances. The story is the major problem here.
    Expand
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. Reviewed by: David Ansen
    90
    Lyrical, original, misshapen and deeply felt, this is one flawed beauty of a movie.
  2. Superbly made and winningly acted by Brad Pitt in his most impressive outing to date.
  3. 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.