Metascore
58

Mixed or average reviews - based on 29 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 17 out of 29
  2. Negative: 3 out of 29
  1. Reviewed by: Laura Miller
    80
    All the acting in it is flawless, an overflowing handful of polished jewels.
  2. 80
    This is not the easiest film in the world to untangle, but our attentions are soon rewarded.
  3. With the help of an ensemble that is nearly flawless, she (Troche) assembles the damaged human elements of Ms. Homes's world with patience and precision, and more often than not chooses dry understatement over easy satire or obvious sentiment.
  4. Reviewed by: Eddie Cockrell
    80
    A genuine and tangible fondness and respect for the characters and their eccentricities.
  5. The terrific ensemble acting and Troche’s genuine, nonjudgmental interest in exploring the weird places wounded people go, both internally and externally, amount to an insulated but moving portrait of the real nuclear family.
  6. Presented with such confidence, such care, that we love all of the characters, even if we don't like them.
  7. Troche is most interested in exploring the secret lives hidden inside freshly painted Colonials, and what she finds is that everyone's secret is exactly the same: a crushing inability to connect with the people closest to them.
  8. Eloquently adapted from the collection of A.M. Homes stories of the same title, Troche's film derives its voltage from the way it burrows to find that the connections within -- and among -- families are very much alive.
  9. Reviewed by: Claudia Puig
    75
    The interwoven stories are haunting, but also darkly funny.
  10. 70
    A couple of unexpected revelations in the final act pack an emotional wallop that shifts the film (shot in clean, uncluttered takes) into the realm of old-fashioned tearjerker, but the tears are wholly earned.
  11. For all of Troche's skill and talent, The Safety of Objects (a splendid title) nevertheless tries to cover too much territory. In movies, as elsewhere, a little less sometimes can add up to a lot more.
  12. The disciplined performances play against schmaltz, and the casting is inspired.
  13. 67
    The film paints a by now familiar picture of suburbia as a pit of dysfunction, though some nice dark-humored moments and generally fine performances make up for a lot.
  14. 63
    The Safety of Objects doesn't carry the power of Ang Lee's "The Ice Storm," a similarly themed work about WASPS in crisis. Objects is too artificial, clunky with too many preposterous situations.
  15. 63
    The film leaves you dissatisfied, as though you'd just spent two hours with a menagerie of plastic white people.
  16. 63
    Not a complete waste of time, but it doesn't make us FEEL the way better dramas do, and, in the end, it lacks the qualities that would make it memorable or powerful.
  17. It's a movie located in an interesting place, but without quite enough self-confidence really to inhabit it.
  18. The result is not a quilt, just a succession of story snippets that keep interrupting one another.
  19. Outside of its star power, it reeks of indie film and doesn't hold much mainstream steam.
  20. 50
    Troche's tone is so relentlessly, depressingly monotonous that the characters seem trapped in a narrow emotional range. They live out their miserable lives in one lachrymose sequence after another, and for us there is no relief.
  21. The overall effect is imaginative but overambitious, though Troche unquestionably has cinematic talent.
  22. 50
    Although deft editing provides neat segues, "Safety" suffers from a case of too many dramas, too little time. Characters are given no chance to develop and, too often, their behavior turns on a dime, hurtling off into a parallel universe of extreme acts.
  23. Reviewed by: Ken Fox
    50
    Troche has bitten off quite a bit here, and it's too much for her to chew properly.
  24. 40
    Though agile edits keep things moving, in braiding several tales into one tight suburban tangle, character development takes more shortcuts than "Short Cuts."
  25. Although it has moments of charm and poignancy -- this is one of Glenn Close's best hours -- the scheme and scope of the movie are just too darned obvious.
  26. 38
    The Safety of Objects is just another stilted comic-dramatic essay examining the mold in the white bread.
  27. Reviewed by: Philip Kennicott
    30
    None of them is nasty enough to be interesting, nor nice enough to be sympathetic.
  28. A noble attempt that doesn't hang together.

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