Metascore
48

Mixed or average reviews - based on 29 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 7 out of 29
  2. Negative: 3 out of 29
  1. Reviewed by: Bill Goodykoontz
    Aug 15, 2012
    60
    Odd indeed. In a good way, mostly.
  2. Reviewed by: Marjorie Baumgarten
    Aug 15, 2012
    50
    Hedges has demonstrated his sensitivity to internecine family conflicts and the tenor of small-time life. However, The Odd Life of Timothy Green seems always to be straining for whimsy and wonder.
  3. Reviewed by: Ty Burr
    Aug 15, 2012
    50
    It's the sort of thing you'll either find enchanting or an excellent reason to reach for the Scotch.
  4. Reviewed by: Pete Hammond
    Aug 14, 2012
    60
    It's a magical film in the vein of E.T. where an otherworldly event changes a family forever.
  5. Reviewed by: Roger Ebert
    Aug 15, 2012
    88
    Jennifer Garner and Joel Edgerton are appealing together as far from perfect parents, and CJ Adams has that ability of so many child actors to be pitch-perfect.
  6. Reviewed by: Michael Phillips
    Aug 15, 2012
    63
    Hedges is a determined romantic and a bit of a saphead. He's also humane.
  7. Reviewed by: Helen O'Hara
    Apr 1, 2013
    60
    The midway point between "A.I." and "Diary Of A Wimpy Kid." It has quirky charm and a tender heart, but the treacly sentiment may become wearisome.
  8. Reviewed by: Owen Gleiberman
    Aug 15, 2012
    67
    The movie should have been called Diary of a Wimpy Forrest Gump. It's genuinely soft-hearted (you're all but guaranteed to cry) but mush-brained, too.
  9. Reviewed by: Kenneth Turan
    Aug 15, 2012
    40
    Not only is the story dreamed up by producer Ahmet Zappa even odder than the title indicates, its execution gets increasingly irritating as the film goes on.
  10. Reviewed by: Rene Rodriguez
    Aug 16, 2012
    63
    The film's earnestness makes up for its high corn factor.
  11. Reviewed by: Mike Scott
    Aug 15, 2012
    40
    This is a movie that confuses teary with sweet. Mopey with sad. Discomfort with humor. And, worst of all, it confuses weird with odd.
  12. Reviewed by: Elizabeth Weitzman
    Aug 15, 2012
    40
    Although little Timothy does arrive in unusual circumstances, his story will feel familiar to anyone who's encountered Hollywood's particular brand of calculated sentimentality.
  13. Reviewed by: Bilge Ebiri
    Aug 16, 2012
    40
    For all its feints at sensitivity, this isn't a movie, it's a machine, and it's hard not to be impressed - perhaps even awed - by the sheer ruthlessness with which it jerks the tears from your eyes. If anything, a real movie might just have gotten in the way.
  14. Reviewed by: Kyle Smith
    Aug 15, 2012
    50
    If the movie's story is anything but daring, it does takes guts to make a movie so shamelessly emotional as this one. Not that guts are the same as taste.
  15. Reviewed by: Amy Biancolli
    Aug 15, 2012
    75
    The kid is a charmer, the message is heartfelt - love your kids while you can - and, OK, the ending might jerk a few tears, even from a crank like me. OK, it did.
  16. Reviewed by: Elise Nakhnikian
    Aug 12, 2012
    25
    Disney draws a big fat bullseye on the fast-growing infertile-couple demographic with this airless misfire.
  17. Reviewed by: Joe Williams
    Aug 14, 2012
    38
    Kids are too smart to fall for it, and any grown-up who thinks that The Odd Life of Timothy Green is funny or heartwarming has a head made out of cabbage.
  18. Reviewed by: Steve Persall
    Aug 14, 2012
    25
    The word "sappy" comes to mind, constantly. So often that I wanted to make like a tree and leaf. Frankly I'm stumped, wondering exactly who the audience is for such a drab slab of saccharine uplift.
  19. Reviewed by: Keith Phipps
    Aug 14, 2012
    58
    The Odd Life Of Timothy Green attempts to stage a modern fairy tale in Middle America. But in spite of an abundance of earnestness, the pixie dust needed to create magic remains out of the film's reach.
  20. Reviewed by: Liam Lacey
    Aug 16, 2012
    50
    As anodyne as it is, Timothy Green may represent the last gasp of a genre, the live-action family fable, that has been an entertainment staple for a couple of generations of moviegoers.
  21. Reviewed by: John DeFore
    Aug 14, 2012
    60
    A fairy tale about parenting that stays kid-friendly without completely glossing over the darker themes of its premise.
  22. Reviewed by: A.O. Scott
    Aug 15, 2012
    40
    The ghastliness of this damp and squishy comedy is the byproduct of a confused and earnest sentimentality, a willful devotion to wide-eyed wonder that confuses simplicity with simple-mindedness.
  23. Reviewed by: Mary Pols
    Aug 14, 2012
    40
    Whatever director Peter Hedges' intent, the movie itself, a sentimental blend of magical realism and saccharine emotions, is oddly false. It made me want to go on a sugar cleanse.
  24. Reviewed by: Alison Willmore
    Aug 14, 2012
    40
    Timothy is apparently nothing more than practice for when a real child comes along - at which point the movie's cloying cotton-candy flavor develops a seriously astringent aftertaste.
  25. Reviewed by: Matt Maytum
    Mar 25, 2013
    40
    An outdated oddity.
  26. Reviewed by: Claudia Puig
    Aug 15, 2012
    63
    Drama/comedy fables such as "Big" and "13 Going on 30" effectively transported viewers to their whimsical alternate reality. But Timothy Green feels more predictable than other-worldly.
  27. Reviewed by: Peter Debruge
    Aug 14, 2012
    70
    With just the right dose of magic and no shortage of sentiment, this inspirational parenting tale from writer-director Peter Hedges plays like "Mary Poppins" in reverse.
  28. Reviewed by: Ernest Hardy
    Aug 14, 2012
    40
    What follows is a film as odd as its title character. Timothy flings grown-up ideas at the viewer but rips the teeth from them rather than risk our discomfort.
  29. Reviewed by: Michael O'Sullivan
    Aug 15, 2012
    50
    In the end, what mars "Timothy Green" most is its middle-of-the-road approach. Its appealingly quirky, fairy-tale-like center is so coated with sugar, it cloys. It's not that "Timothy Green" is odd, but that it isn't odd enough.
User Score
6.3

Generally favorable reviews- based on 50 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 8 out of 14
  2. Negative: 3 out of 14
  1. Aug 22, 2012
    10
    I LOVED this movie! It was a great family movie! It is funny and at the end it made me cry!! I totally recommand this movie, it is amazing! The actors did a fantastic job!! :] xox Full Review »
  2. LLL
    Aug 21, 2012
    10
    I really enjoyed this movie. A great family film, I was surprised by its depth. On the surface, Timothy Green might appear to be a feel good film about parent-child relationships and how everyone has value. If one digs a little, however, he may find more tenaciously rooted messages. I was really drawn to the attention to detail in this film. For example, I saw the use of the pencil as a way to make a point about how we tend to overlook the basic and take it for granted if it has always been around. I found myself thinking about the blessings of rain, sunshine, and corny jokes at the dinner table and hoping that there would be more movies to help me see how wonderful and odd life can be. Full Review »
  3. Aug 21, 2012
    0
    Everyone tries too hard and nothing has any resonance. Jennifer Garner's over acting is particularly poor and the husband comes across as a big old scare-dy cat. Tone deaf, badly paced and full of stereotypes it all adds up to thin soup. Leaf it alone. Full Review »