This Must Be the Place

User Score
7.1

Generally favorable reviews- based on 39 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 29 out of 39
  2. Negative: 5 out of 39

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User Reviews

  1. Dec 29, 2012
    3
    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 stealJust 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. Expand
  2. Mar 9, 2015
    0
    This is one of those movies that totally flat-lined for me. I watched it only because a friend liked and recommended it. However, I had serious doubts about it, after having read the synopsis and seen a photo of Sean Penn in drags. I am not a Penn fan, although I would not rule out a movie just because he is in it.

    In this particular movie, I really disliked him for lots of reasons:
    This is one of those movies that totally flat-lined for me. I watched it only because a friend liked and recommended it. However, I had serious doubts about it, after having read the synopsis and seen a photo of Sean Penn in drags. I am not a Penn fan, although I would not rule out a movie just because he is in it.

    In this particular movie, I really disliked him for lots of reasons: the exasperating monotone of his speech; the phoniness of all his “conversations”; the weird and yet dull interaction with the many bizarre characters populating the movie, etc…

    The word “boring” is used quite often when we explain why we did not like a movie. Basically, we did not feel emotionally or intellectually engaged by the story unfolding onscreen. Nothing works against this type of disengagement. No rational explanation will convince you about the deep, inner meaning the director, scriptwriter, actors and other reviewers saw or tried to instill into the story.

    Therefore, for me this is the ultimate boring movie. A plot so thin I lost track of it after 10 minutes, totally disengaging and disengaged characters, far too much artsy Penn. I gave up, 1 hour and 6 minutes into it and I am not even sure why I lasted that long. By then, I still had no clue about what was going on and I definitely stopped caring even earlier …..
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Metascore
61

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: Mike Scott
    Jan 11, 2013
    40
    There's no "place" in this place, no clear destination -- and no real payoff in a film that stands a cinematic curiosity but little more.
  2. Reviewed by: Joe Williams
    Nov 23, 2012
    63
    Penn has created a colorful tour guide, but in This Must Be the Place, there's no there there.
  3. Reviewed by: Rene Rodriguez
    Nov 15, 2012
    25
    This Must Be the Place is as emotionally zonked-out as its protagonist, and just as difficult to warm up to.