Metascore
82

Universal acclaim - based on 37 Critics What's this?

User Score
7.3

Generally favorable reviews- based on 286 Ratings

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  • Summary: The Squid and the Whale captures with extraordinary immediacy the inner workings of the Berkman family in 1986 Brooklyn.
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 35 out of 37
  2. Negative: 0 out of 37
  1. Reviewed by: Glenn Kenny
    100
    It's a rare film that can be convincingly tender, bitterly funny, and ruthlessly cutting over the course of fewer than 90 minutes. The Squid and the Whale not only manages this, it also contains moments that sock you with all three qualities at the same time.
  2. In hovering, The Squid and the Whale becomes its own realistic display of family entropy, as cautionary as it is educational.
  3. Reviewed by: Richard Corliss
    90
    The Squid and the Whale is domestic tragedy recollected as comedy: a film whose catalog of deceits and embarrassments, and of love pratfalling over itself, makes it as (excruciatingly) painful as it is (exhilaratingly) funny.
  4. Insightful, funny-sad memoir of divorce, intellectual style and emotional rebirth.
  5. 80
    Tender, cruel, and very funny, Baumbach's fourth feature turns family history into a sort of urban myth.
  6. This story doesn't just belong to them anymore. This richly observed, sometimes heartbreaking movie has become ours, too.
  7. The absence of any nuance in the father's character bespeaks the filmmaker's unwillingness to trust his audience. Making the movie may have been therapeutic for him, but I can't say the same about watching it.

See all 37 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 54 out of 91
  2. Negative: 35 out of 91
  1. eleanorj
    Oct 23, 2005
    10
    Amazing film. hilarious and heartbreaking. best acting perfomances by JD and LL. rich characters - wanted to see more.
  2. BobA.
    Jan 16, 2006
    10
    I'll never understand people who hate a movie because the characters are unlikable (I suppose that would also make Taxi Driver, Raging I'll never understand people who hate a movie because the characters are unlikable (I suppose that would also make Taxi Driver, Raging Bull, and Citizen Kane bad) as if the point of every movie is to make you like the characters. The story (with its, yes, awful characters) has something truly honest to say. Expand
  3. CamiK.
    Jan 14, 2007
    10
    Brilliant, superbly acted, and rivetting throughout.
  4. MarthaR.
    Dec 24, 2005
    8
    A cautionary tale for divorcing parents who consider themselves "intellectual."
  5. HeatherW.
    Jan 3, 2006
    3
    I was looking forward to seeing this movie because so many of my favorite critics liked it, but, boy, was I disappointed. The characters I was looking forward to seeing this movie because so many of my favorite critics liked it, but, boy, was I disappointed. The characters border on characture (esp. the father), and all of them (except the younger brother) were pretty unlikeable. Not that I have to like characters to like a movie, but there has to be *something* that draws me in. This just really didn't. Acting was all right, but the writing/story was self-indulgent and annoying. Expand
  6. EdgarP.
    Apr 21, 2006
    1
    Extremely unpleasant and ugly. You will have to shower after watching it.
  7. wendy
    Oct 19, 2005
    0
    Hated this dysfunctional family especially the father and the older son. As for the boring tennis pro, all I can do is repeat his ONLY line Hated this dysfunctional family especially the father and the older son. As for the boring tennis pro, all I can do is repeat his ONLY line throughout this dreadful movie...BROTHER! Yuk! Expand

See all 91 User Reviews

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