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70

Generally favorable reviews - based on 37 Critics What's this?

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7.2

Generally favorable reviews- based on 504 Ratings

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  • Summary: “I was born under unusual circumstances.” And so begins The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, adapted from the 1920s story by F. Scott Fitzgerald about a man who is born in his eighties and ages backwards: a man, like any of us, who is unable to stop time. We follow his story, set in New“I was born under unusual circumstances.” And so begins The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, adapted from the 1920s story by F. Scott Fitzgerald about a man who is born in his eighties and ages backwards: a man, like any of us, who is unable to stop time. We follow his story, set in New Orleans from the end of World War I in 1918, into the 21st century, following his journey that is as unusual as any man’s life can be. Benjamin Button is a grand tale of a not-so-ordinary man and the people and places he discovers along the way, the loves he finds, the joys of life and the sadness of death, and what lasts beyond time. (Paramount Pictures) Collapse
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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. Benjamin Button is all of a visionary piece, and it's a soul-filling vision.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. Attains a level of quiet grace. It's too bad that I can barely remember the movie after only a week. Nothing lasts, indeed.
  7. The movie's excruciating length is without dramatic or thematic justification.

See all 37 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Negative: 50 out of 191
  1. SamS.
    Mar 6, 2009
    10
    Get ready to cry. This movie deserves more than a 70, proving that the "critics" are not always correct.
  2. AlwinD.
    Jan 4, 2009
    10
    Magical! best of 2008 hands down.
  3. TonyB.
    Jan 6, 2009
    9
    Extremely well-acted, meticulously designed, beautifully photographed, meaningful and quite moving, a mature film for mature adults...who Extremely well-acted, meticulously designed, beautifully photographed, meaningful and quite moving, a mature film for mature adults...who could ask for anything more? Expand
  4. Jul 27, 2015
    7
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. "His body's failing him before his life's begun." As the title implies, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button is a curious one indeed. Yet the plot was predictable and not curious in the slightest, save the fact that Benjamin ages backwards. It almost reminded me of a twist on Tuck Everlasting. Horribly star-crossed lovers that can never truly be together.

    I always knew there was some significance in the fact that Daisy's daughter, Caroline, was reading the story to her dying mother. It's her life as well, and as her mother lies on her death bed, she sees her mother's world, one that had never previously existed.

    Benjamin's life is probably the highlight of the movie. It's interesting to see how the disconnect between his age and his body relate to the outside world. Yet the movie itself is long and drawn out – at points even painful to watch. Perhaps like Benjamin's life, painful to watch those he loves age as he just becomes younger and younger. Daisy and Benjamin may not have been able to grow old together, but they died together. The movie is tied together with stringent relations like the lightning strikes, the final glances of love, and the mutterings of "If I didn't know better I'd think this man was old/young."

    This movie is no slouch, but it's not going to be anything to write home about. A mediocre (and almost disturbing?) life and lessons that could have been figured on your own, the Buttons aren't as spectacular as I had hoped.
    Expand
  5. 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 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
  6. Jan 19, 2015
    3
    Benjamin Button is well directed, well lit and filled with some beautiful imagery. Almost everything else is a problem. There are severalBenjamin Button is well directed, well lit and filled with some beautiful imagery. Almost everything else is a problem. There are several dramatic moments in the film, enough to fool an audience into thinking that something profound is happening. But when you start asking the "why's?" the entire premise breaks down and the film has no answers. The events that unfold have no purpose, other than to create an "earnest" atmosphere. The characters are portrayed in a monotonous and self-obsessed manner and Cate Blanchett, despite here far-fetched talent, turns out to be the most annoying character on screen. The aspect of Button that separates it from most nonsensical melodramas of its sort is that, at its centre it's about a man living life backwards. The most disappointing part of it is that, after watching the movie, I learnt almost nothing about it, certainly not anything I couldn't have predicted myself. Button is no more than a sappy and pretentious remake of Forrest Gump, the only difference is that it has been done backwards this time. Expand
  7. JulieD.
    Dec 26, 2008
    0
    This movie was so incredible boring. I experienced zero connection with the characters and couldn't care less what happened to them. I This movie was so incredible boring. I experienced zero connection with the characters and couldn't care less what happened to them. I just wanted the movie to end. Expand

See all 191 User Reviews

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