Generally favorable reviews - based on 29 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 16 out of 29
  2. Negative: 4 out of 29
  1. Reviewed by: Michael O'Sullivan
    Nov 12, 2012
    Sean Penn makes a striking screen presence in This Must Be the Place, a smart, funny and original road movie by Italian director Paolo Sorrentino ("Il Divo").
  2. Reviewed by: A.O. Scott
    Nov 1, 2012
    Maybe, beneath the stylistic flourishes and bursts of operatic emotion, it is a simple story of psychological struggle, about a man in midlife reckoning with the damage of his past. But to settle on that interpretation is to deny or discount the splendid strangeness of Mr. Sorrentino's vision - and also, therefore, of the curious corners of reality he discovers along the way.
  3. Reviewed by: Roger Ebert
    Nov 14, 2012
    Few actors have played a wider variety of characters, and even fewer have done it without making it seem like a stunt.
  4. Reviewed by: Joseph Jon Lanthier
    Oct 28, 2012
    The film believes in maturity, but only as a freely continual process of acceptance.
  5. Reviewed by: Mike D Angelo
    Oct 31, 2012
    This Must Be The Place practically dares viewers not to find it ridiculous, but few will accept the challenge.
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 31 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 4 out of 6
  2. Negative: 1 out of 6
  1. Dec 29, 2012
    Just a mess. This film feels like it was written by a class of stoned film students. Ideas are thrown together seemingly at random. The first part is set in Dublin, with Sean Penn playing Robert Smith. Penn delivers all his lines as though he is watching a really good TV show and is very, very tired. That is ok for the first 10 minutes. France's McDormand doesn't even have to try to steal every scene, and the film gets worse when Penn and we leave her in Ireland and go to America. There's a road journey to Texas, which has no point, a quest which has something to do wight the holocaust (rather insultingly) and wasted cameos by David Byrne and Harry Dean Stanton. None of the characters are there for any reason other than to contribute to banal, disjointed scenes which become quite boring. One example - Penn drives through a puddle and drenches a uniformed marching band. He gets out and says he is sorry, although they should know he did it on purpose. This is the kind of scene that must seem like fun when you are high and desperate to come up with something, but when you string dozens of these scenes together, it's alienating, pointless, and a waste of the talent available. Full Review »
  2. Apr 13, 2013
    This film was created solely to test those who rate films. If you gave it more than a 5 (out of 10) then you are too dumb to rate movies. There is nothing going on here. It is a waste of talent and should never have been green-lighted. Full Review »
  3. Nov 4, 2012
    This review contains spoilers, click full review link to view. I completely understand where Joe Morgenstern is coming from in his pan of this film - and when I truly think about it, it's not a film of immense substance, and it doesn't make sense in many ways. But there's something about the way that Penn plays the role that connects with me. The portrayal reminds me of a friend, and perhaps that colored my judgement a bit, but I really feel like I need to see this film again. His ultimate treatment of the Nazi war criminal seemed a bit out of left field to me, and I'm sure it was meant as food for thought. It's the most disturbing movie in an otherwise genial, benign flick. Full Review »