User Score
8.7

Universal acclaim- based on 50 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 45 out of 50
  2. Negative: 3 out of 50
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  1. NikiT.
    Oct 27, 2002
    10
    A commentary on Life, a philosophy. Superb direction and writing. Almost everyone will find at least one character to connect to in this film. Will make you think, will make you feel; ultimately not depressing - but realistic.
  2. ChadS.
    Jul 24, 2002
    10
    Finally. A great film with a disjointed storyline that doesn't have any blood in it. It seems all so easy. Great screenplay. Great actors (and one mediocre one rising to the occasion.) And great direction. You know, vision. Never do you feel Jill Sprecher is showing off. The fractured story unfolds without surprise or occasion because the disparate storylines that fuse together feels Finally. A great film with a disjointed storyline that doesn't have any blood in it. It seems all so easy. Great screenplay. Great actors (and one mediocre one rising to the occasion.) And great direction. You know, vision. Never do you feel Jill Sprecher is showing off. The fractured story unfolds without surprise or occasion because the disparate storylines that fuse together feels inevitable somehow. This film is depressing but Sprecher's execution, so flawless, it ends up enthralling and nourishing you. Expand
  3. AndrewM.
    Sep 5, 2002
    8
    I agree with Jeff; very good, but not great. As for coherence, that was not the aim. The idea was to fragment time and life, and see how the resulting randomness could still express a uniting theme. The concept was interesting, moderately well executed, and definitley original. Not the most entertaining movie I've seen; some parts were rather dry. But the acting was good, the plot I agree with Jeff; very good, but not great. As for coherence, that was not the aim. The idea was to fragment time and life, and see how the resulting randomness could still express a uniting theme. The concept was interesting, moderately well executed, and definitley original. Not the most entertaining movie I've seen; some parts were rather dry. But the acting was good, the plot well conceived, and it left you feeling positively depressed, (which means, of course, that it succeeded). Expand
  4. VoiceofthePeople
    Dec 2, 2002
    10
    Absolutely brilliant. This is the best movie of the year.
  5. NickyL.
    Dec 5, 2002
    9
    Haunting and provocative. One of the best and most intelligent films I've seen in a while.
  6. Vallary
    Sep 8, 2002
    10
    Simply beautiful...definetely made the 5 hour plane trip seem shorter.
  7. YoonMinC.
    Oct 3, 2003
    8
    New York movie directed by a female Woody Allen with shades of David Mamet, not to mention the odious P.T. Anderson. Its main characters are middle to uppermiddle class professionals except a young cleaning woman who, however, has a disposition closer to a philosophy or theology student than menial worker; but then, this is really an exercise where everyone's employed as a rag to New York movie directed by a female Woody Allen with shades of David Mamet, not to mention the odious P.T. Anderson. Its main characters are middle to uppermiddle class professionals except a young cleaning woman who, however, has a disposition closer to a philosophy or theology student than menial worker; but then, this is really an exercise where everyone's employed as a rag to polish the director's wisdom about life. And, what might that wisdom be? That sometimes we're sh.t out of luck and sometimes we're not. That some unknown always hides around the corner, either as a pot of gold or a blackcat crossing the street. Well, gee whiz, that's profound, isn't it? Of course, the director here knows the thinness of her ideas so she relies on two factors: (1) The ideas are kept fuzzy enough as to mean anything which can pass for provocative but struck me a copout. (2) The elements in the movie are understated, delineated almost as a mathematical formula accompanied to the geometric structure of modestly performed classical piano pieces(intellectual austerity). This is more a problem than a solution. Ultimately, the movie seems uncommitted and a mousy game, what with some flaky New Age imagery, and with motifs that add up neatly(blood spots, white cloth, making beds, etc)into good grammar but nothing like poetry. Amy Iving says people are said to need 18 inches of space for healthy living and remarks how ridiculous it is to put a number on such things. Sadly, the same could be said of this movie, that tries to solve life's meaning thru some formulation ala Godard. Even though the movie concludes that any such formula is useless, and there is no compass to direct us in our lives, the cutesy and annoying intellectual damage had been done and it's IRREVERSIBLE. Of the four major plotlines, the one with Alan Arkin really stands out; Arkin, bitter and cynical, somehow renders much of the mush in the movie immaterial; his character loses his grip on life but Arkin's control of his art is total. Matthew McConahey does well enough as ace lawyer forced to reevaluate his attitudes, but Turturro is as unpleasant and Irving is as annoying as ever. They never rise above stock characterization of people in that income level/profession. Still, the movie shines as indie with above average script, generally fine acting, and ideas stimulating enough for a conversation or two(though not 13)after the viewing. Expand
  8. Nidhi
    Mar 5, 2003
    10
    To call this a "movie" is completely incorrect-- it is an artistic masterpiece which has dramatically changed my perception of quality cinema.
  9. Chantal
    Oct 17, 2002
    10
    Most amazing movie I have ever seen.
  10. MichaelF.
    Jun 13, 2002
    8
    It's a good movie, all in all. Great acting, even though Clea DuVall, in my opinion, is just boring. The message is a bit obvious versus MAGNOLIA, who's message you have to work for a bit. The title cards are great. The film is a bit in love w/ it's own words, it's like CHANGING LANES material, but not NEARLY as tense. Solid music and fine direction and script make It's a good movie, all in all. Great acting, even though Clea DuVall, in my opinion, is just boring. The message is a bit obvious versus MAGNOLIA, who's message you have to work for a bit. The title cards are great. The film is a bit in love w/ it's own words, it's like CHANGING LANES material, but not NEARLY as tense. Solid music and fine direction and script make this a solid film. Expand
  11. JeffR.
    Aug 18, 2002
    7
    Very Good, Not great. The plot seems a little contrived, and the movie tends to drown itself in its own gloomy dialogue. However, it is different, refreshingly original, and well-acted.
  12. DonnaM.
    Aug 6, 2002
    9
    A wonderful, small movie about a large subject. Very enjoyable, wonderfully acted.
  13. YasminA.
    Apr 21, 2003
    10
    This film blew me away! Its themes are profound. It's wonderfully written, acted and directed! I highly recommend it!
  14. KalenK.
    Apr 2, 2003
    10
    I wish I could rate this masterpiece an 11!! It's that good.
  15. CharlesH.
    Apr 26, 2003
    10
    Finally a film to contemplate!
  16. Cheryl
    Apr 5, 2003
    10
    I did connect with 13 Conversations. In my opinion, those who "just don't get it" are those who have never had one of those split-second-no-time-to-think-life-altering experiences for themselves -- yet. When they do, they'll get it.
  17. GaryO.
    Mar 11, 2005
    9
    Thought provoking, superbly acted. After seeing it, I wanted to watch it again.
  18. Mulroneycakes
    Nov 27, 2002
    9
    A good shaggy dog story, though. Anyway, it's got Alan "Pop" Arkin in it, and no film with Arkin can be bad. Except "North". Must...kill..."North"......
  19. ElizabethS.
    Jul 18, 2002
    8
    Wonderful film with a very interesting structure. Thought-provoking, and will make you reassess happiness, regret, fate, human connection, ennui, and all the myriad aspects of life. You are bound to relate to something in this film.
  20. KarenH.
    Aug 15, 2002
    10
    Intelligent, thought-provoking, beautifully filmed. I plan to use it in one of my college film classes.
  21. JimmieW.
    Mar 11, 2003
    10
    Brilliant!
  22. PaulS.
    Mar 22, 2004
    10
    What a piece of great film making! I had never even heard about this film until this week when I happened to find it playing on my cable channel. I must get the DVD! (well, I hope there's a DVD)
  23. RandyS.
    May 27, 2005
    10
    This is the reason films are made. This film gives definition to the word 'art'. I have watched this movie three times, and with each viewing, it gets better and better. Alan Arkin is stunning; the writing is masterful and the rest of the cast, including John Turturro (has he ever made a bad film?) is positively dead-on target with the ebbs, flows, ups and downs and mere This is the reason films are made. This film gives definition to the word 'art'. I have watched this movie three times, and with each viewing, it gets better and better. Alan Arkin is stunning; the writing is masterful and the rest of the cast, including John Turturro (has he ever made a bad film?) is positively dead-on target with the ebbs, flows, ups and downs and mere coincidences of life, not to mention the use of power that in so many ways, good and bad, can and does affect lives even when we may not know it. This is brilliant filmmaking at its zenith. Expand
  24. John
    Nov 15, 2002
    10
    One of the very best films of the year.
  25. NedW.
    Nov 23, 2002
    7
    Essentially a shaggy dog story with a few interesting ideas. Alan Arkin superb, as always.
Metascore
74

Generally favorable reviews - based on 26 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 21 out of 26
  2. Negative: 0 out of 26
  1. 70
    It starts slowly, but this contemplative drama's cumulative effect is genuinely haunting.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.