A Single Man 2009

Critics score:
85 / 100

Reviews provided by RottenTomatoes

Roger Moore, Orlando Sentinel: His first time out, Ford has made one of the best films of the year. Read more

A.O. Scott, At the Movies: This is a wonderful movie. Read more

Michael Phillips, Chicago Tribune: Just about every sequence and flourish and detail in Ford's film feels and looks right. It is primarily Firth's triumph. But it is not a solitary one. Read more

Sam Adams, Los Angeles Times: Ford luxuriates in the details of his period setting, but the movie rarely gets below the surfaces he has worked so hard to construct. Read more

Mary F. Pols, MSN Movies: It's not a particular political bent that makes you fall for George. It's Firth. This is an unaffected, sincere and very subtle performance, the best of his career... Read more

Manohla Dargis, New York Times: While A Single Man has its flaws, many of these fade in view of the performance and the power of Isherwood's story. Read more

Moira MacDonald, Seattle Times: What's remarkable is how Firth, with the smallest of gesture or nuance, lets us see this man's heartbreak without ever letting it burst through his carefully controlled surface. Read more

Nathan Rabin, AV Club: A Single Man proves a film can look and feel like a 99-minute perfume commercial and still register as a poignant meditation on grief, memory, and loss. Read more

Bill Goodykoontz, Arizona Republic: One of the year's more satisfying films. Read more

Ty Burr, Boston Globe: Firth plays a drowning man who can't yell for help, and it's an awful thing to see. Read more

Betsy Sharkey, Los Angeles Times: We're always looking for those performances that truly define an actor, where we can sit back and simply watch the talent soar. For Colin Firth, A Single Man is that film. Read more

Andrea Gronvall, Chicago Reader: Ford's eye for period detail is exact; brief cutaways, incisive dialogue, and charged glances telegraph the cold-war paranoia and sexual alienation of the early 60s. Read more

Peter Rainer, Christian Science Monitor: It's a dirgelike odyssey sparked by Julianne Moore's overheated turn as George's best friend -- a welcome respite from Firth's clenched emoting. Read more

Lisa Kennedy, Denver Post: In this beautifully tailored drama, content and style have as vital a relationship as George and Jim did. The one would be lost without the other. Read more

Tom Long, Detroit News: A Single Man still stands as a vivid portrait of life behind a veil, and Firth certainly delivers one of the best performances of the year. Read more

Owen Gleiberman, Entertainment Weekly: This is the first movie directed by Tom Ford, the former fashion designer, and he proves a born filmmaker with a rapturous eye. Read more

Rene Rodriguez, Miami Herald: Despite its downbeat theme, A Single Man is ultimately optimistic about the human capability to gradually make peace with seemingly insurmountable pain and tragedy. Read more

David Ansen, Newsweek: The movie has a hushed, sensual intensity and formal elegance that leaves no doubt Ford knows what he's doing behind the camera. Read more

Anthony Lane, New Yorker: Two characters trying and failing to drown their hopes and regrets, and two strong actors refusing to be tight-laced by a director's exercise in style: here is a mood piece looking for a fight. Read more

Bob Mondello, NPR: Wrenching and ravishing. ... An exquisite, almost sensual grief suffuses every frame. Read more

Elizabeth Weitzman, New York Daily News: A Single Man -- the striking directorial debut from fashion designer Tom Ford -- is so unusually beautiful it would be easy to dismiss it as superficial. Read more

Lou Lumenick, New York Post: Colin Firth finally leaves Mr. Darcy behind -- and will likely net an Oscar nomination -- with his deeply moving, career-redefining performance as a '60s gay man struggling with death and isolation in A Single Man. Read more

Rex Reed, New York Observer: As a movie, it has all the life of a boxed pink taffeta sample at Bergdorf that never leaves the stockroom. Read more

Steven Rea, Philadelphia Inquirer: Ford doesn't know when to quit: A Single Man is too beautiful by half... Read more

James Berardinelli, ReelViews: While it's impossible to deny the artistic intent of Ford's cinematic compositions, his style erects an emotional barrier between the central character and the audience, resulting in a pace that is at times sluggish. Read more

Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times: As Ford's first film, this story, based on a novel by Christopher Isherwood, must have had special meaning. Read more

Peter Travers, Rolling Stone: Ford is a true visionary, but it's his humanity that gives the love story a ravishing, bruised grandeur. Read more

Stephanie Zacharek, Salon.com: A Single Man, un film de Tom Ford, is all art and no direction -- it's a picture made up of visual choices with almost no filmmaking sandwiched between. Read more

Mick LaSalle, San Francisco Chronicle: Several diverse currents come together in A Single Man to form a good movie and a great opportunity for actor Colin Firth. Read more

Colin Covert, Minneapolis Star Tribune: It is as gorgeous as you would expect, and surprisingly large-hearted. Read more

Rick Groen, Globe and Mail: Colin Firth isn't the only reason to see A Single Man, but he's certainly the best. Read more

Linda Barnard, Toronto Star: A Single Man is more than a pretty movie. It's also a careful examination of love, loss and mourning. Read more

Richard Corliss, TIME Magazine: For a gentle man who's lost his love, solitude has become a life sentence that simply must end. Firth makes that ache subtly, splendidly visible. Read more

Keith Uhlich, Time Out: Read more

Dave Calhoun, Time Out: Firth's portrayal of a man repressing his grief while being unable to repress his instinct for love and for life is excellent and moving, while Ford's balancing of depth and surface is precarious but ultimately winning. Read more

Claudia Puig, USA Today: Though the deliberate pace can feel slow to glacial at times, the visuals are gorgeous, and the melancholy mood is exquisitely evoked. Read more

Leslie Felperin, Variety: Like the speck of sand that seeds a pearl, it's the tiny fleck of kitsch at the heart of A Single Man that makes it luminous and treasurable, despite its imperfections. Read more

Scott Foundas, Village Voice: No more than 10 minutes in, the movie already has the feel of an exquisitely preserved corpse laid out for viewing. Read more

Ann Hornaday, Washington Post: How fitting that Firth should carry A Single Man, a movie of quiet but potent emotional power, perfectly suited to his singular gifts. Read more