Generally favorable reviews - based on 26 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 21 out of 26
  2. Negative: 0 out of 26

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Critic Reviews

  1. 100
    It's a remarkable, thoughtful achievement that will make you want to watch it twice. You should.
  2. 100
    The movie is brilliant, really. It is philosophy, illustrated through everyday events. Most movies operate as if their events are necessary--that B must follow A. "13 Conversations" betrays B, A and all the other letters as random possibilities.
  3. Thrillingly smart, but not, like so many other pictures in this vein, merely an elaborate excuse for its own cleverness. As you puzzle over the intricacies of its shape, which reveal themselves only in retrospect, you may also find yourself surprised by the depth of its insights.
  4. Demands the utmost concentration, for to look away from the screen for even a brief moment is to risk losing a plot line or a crucial bit of information, but its cumulative, transporting impact makes it worth the effort. Above all, it has an overwhelming sense of reality atypical of the American cinema.
  5. 90
    The superb ensemble never plays for sympathy, and the movie isn't as depressing as it may sound. Its hushed, contemplative quality is oddly affecting.
  6. New Times (L.A.)
    Reviewed by: Bill Gallo
    By the time Sprecher's skeins, set forth in 13 related episodes, come together, we've got as clear a view of the big picture as we got assembling the elements of "Nashville," "Lantana" or "Magnolia".
  7. Reviewed by: David Stratton
    This intelligent, engaging indie sets out to find a few answers and in the process introduces a clutch of interesting, very human characters.
  8. Boston Globe
    Reviewed by: Loren King
    Resonates with intelligence and a poignancy made more sorrowful by what happened to all of us, but especially to New Yorkers, on that terrible day.
  9. In this movie, only one thing is certain: No one remains the same.
  10. 80
    It takes a while for this oddball film -- a mosaic of stories in the style of "Magnolia" -- to take hold, but when it does, it grabs you hard.
  11. 75
    Nothing fantastic or supernatural ever happens, but you can still feel cosmic forces at work behind the scenes, conspiring to repeatedly test the movie's characters, doling out reward and punishment in equal doses.
  12. Smart, serious and deftly composed, New York director Jill Sprecher's jigsaw anthology film, Thirteen Conversations About One Thing, is the kind of work you want to applaud just for its ambitions.
  13. Baltimore Sun
    Reviewed by: Chris Kaltenbach
    Avoids pretension by never trying to be more than it is -- an acknowledgment that things frequently are not as bad as they seem. That's a concept that deserves a little spreading.
  14. New York Daily News
    Reviewed by: Jami Bernard
    The segments are introduced with little clichés or homilies, like "Ignorance Is Bliss," but the fierce intelligence of the script reminds us that sometimes a cliché is the only way to express the ineffable.
  15. Mostly this elegant little film is a case study in the inconsistency of thoughts and feelings. Here, moralists break commandments, intellectuals act emotionally, and cynics have moments of idealism.
  16. What's exciting is that the Sprechers have delved into territory that is normally the domain of literature and have emerged with a film that's neither overly literary nor simplistic.
  17. It starts slowly, but this contemplative drama's cumulative effect is genuinely haunting.
  18. Arkin has a great and gentle feeling for small-time malcontents, and he knows how to make their woes our own. He does justice to the human comedy -- and redeems the movie.
  19. 70
    Encircles the viewer in a comforting, open-hearted humanism. It’s a quiet, modest piece of work, but no less lovely for it.
  20. For a movie about happiness, Thirteen Conversations is terribly joyless. Thirteen Conversations tries hard and its ambitions are provocative, but its conversations often fall like that Zen tree in the forest.
  21. 63
    Seems afraid to cut loose in the manner of Robert Altman or Paul Thomas Anderson, so this labor of love suffers from an overly earnest and morose tone. Which, given the cast in Thirteen Conversations, is a real shame.
User Score

Universal acclaim- based on 58 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 26 out of 30
  2. Negative: 2 out of 30
  1. Sep 26, 2015
    13 Conversations is an interesting little film. It is neatly filmed with solid acting, to the extent that I wonder why I don't find myself13 Conversations is an interesting little film. It is neatly filmed with solid acting, to the extent that I wonder why I don't find myself rating it higher. Thinking about it, I believe my disappointment is because I had expected that a movie about happiness would be more emotional and more optimistic. Instead, the overall vibe is bittersweet, and a bit heavy on the bitter part. Full Review »