Mixed or average reviews - based on 26 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 13 out of 26
  2. Negative: 3 out of 26
  1. 85
    The Extra Man is something of a love letter to the marvelous weirdos of New York.
  2. For Kline's performance alone, The Extra Man is well worth seeing.
  3. There are fine, wry moments tucked inside the curdled whimsy.
  4. 70
    You'll either find The Extra Man utterly charming or thoroughly mystifying, but either way Kevin Kline, playing a community-theater version of himself, with all the foppishness and Shakespearean pretension but half the talent and none of the luck, inhabits its peculiar soul.
  5. Going below the surface, the filmmakers and the cast (including a marvelous performance by Marian Seldes as an osteoporotic doyenne) successfully create the hardest characters to pull off: exotic yet recognizable New Yorkers.
  6. The Extra Man" isn't in the same league as Pulcini and Berman's landmark "American Splendor" with Paul Giamatti as the late Harvey Pekar, but it has its moments - especially in its evocation of the sense that New York offers a greater sense of security for brave yet vulnerable individualists the way a sprawling, amorphous and transient city like Los Angeles rarely can.
  7. Reviewed by: Todd McCarthy
    Although too devoted to matters literary, theatrical, operatic and sexually outre to make it with general audiences, this adaptation of Jonathan Ames' novel exudes the sort of smarts and sophisticated charm specialized audiences seek.
  8. Directors Shari Springer Berman and Robert Pulcini show the same appreciation for eccentrics and humanity they brought to "American Splendor" and Mr. Dano's Louis is a delicately wrought wonder.
  9. 67
    The Extra Man is kooky to a fault, and Dano is a major drag, with his soft voice and blank expression. But Kline gives a wild, wonderful performance, reminiscent of his work on "A Fish Called Wanda."
  10. 63
    We know Kline can play kooky (he won an Oscar as Otto in "A Fish Called Wanda"), and he does it very well, but the effort can become exhausting after a while.
  11. Some actors are dinner. Kevin Kline is dessert, and his comic brio saves the film version of The Extra Man from its limitations.
  12. 63
    Kline salvages the picture with his dynamic, utterly unpredictable performance -- the work of a highly skilled comedian thrilled by the opportunity to go nuts once again.
  13. Although their latest film is not without a certain charm, it quickly wears out its welcome.
  14. This odd collection of oddballs doesn't quite play out as a satisfying movie.
  15. Kline has a ball, while Dano turns in a pitch-perfect performance. He never mocks his character's desires, or undersells his fears.
  16. 50
    Kline finds every nuance of mirth and melancholy in this wonder of a role and rides it to glory. You can't take your eyes off him.
  17. Reviewed by: Sean O\\\\\\\'Connell
    Swifter comedic timing and a clearer narrative thread might have helped center this peculiar adaptation of Jonathan Ames's 1998 novel of the same name.
  18. Reviewed by: Ty Burr
    Everyone in the film is an uninteresting grotesque.
  19. The result is a film with sporadic outbursts of wackiness, but one that (Oh, Fortuna's Wheel!) never gains traction from a storytelling standpoint.
  20. The original Jonathan Ames novel from 1998 is a rich, funny and unusual work. The movie opts for the funny and unusual, leaving us with characters ill-equipped to rise above their shtick or engage our sympathy.
  21. What feels enjoyably outré in the 1998 coming-of-age novel by Jonathan Ames (creator of HBO's Bored to Death) feels oppressively outré in this deadened, literal adaptation.
  22. For all its flighty charms, The Extra Man never really lands. It hovers like a hummingbird madly beating its wings to stay aloft.
  23. The movie you were hoping to avoid.
  24. 30
    Based on a novel by Jonathan Ames, this drearily quirky mess wants to be "Secretary" for submissive males, but it's just a sitcom in a powdered wig and size 17 pumps.
  25. 25
    Darlings, there's nothing quite so tragique as a boring eccentric.
  26. 25
    The film knocks itself unconscious trying to be whimsical and offbeat, but is so contrived that it is as embarrassing as it is unfunny.
User Score

Mixed or average reviews- based on 11 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 2 out of 5
  2. Negative: 2 out of 5
  1. Jun 9, 2011
    I rented this to watch Kevin Kline and discovered Paul Dano. He's the one you can't take your eyes off of, playing a really quirky character without a single wrong move. Don't expect the ending to wrap things up, however. There is no ending. It just sort of comes to a stop, nothing resolved, no pointing to any kind of future. And still I was oddly captivated. Full Review »
  2. May 2, 2011
    The Extra Man is ridiculous. Did someone sketch out the plot and scenes on scratch paper in a library cubicle and then stop after the first draft? It is disjointed, choppy, and just an all around complete mess.
    Kevin Kline goes back in eccentric mode (think Otto from A Fish Called Wanda) but his eccentricities amount to nothing. He plays a modern day gentleman who has no particular employment except accompanying elderly women to formal dinner functions. He makes it clear he is not a gigolo, but an â
    Full Review »
  3. Dec 12, 2010
    There is a strange sense of humor within the film, but overall this is not worth renting. It's too weird to be even close to believable. Not worth your time. Full Review »