Reviews provided by RottenTomatoes
Another fascinating mess from an earnest and occasionally excellent filmmaker who can't seem to recreate the enveloping magic and charm of his earlier films.
Aloha is a great-looking movie with just enough bright spots to get us past the cloudy moments.
New York Post:
There are grand, romantic speeches that will endure forever from Crowe's earlier work - "Jerry Maguire," "Say Anything . . ." - but you can't build an entire movie on them. Nobody wants two hours of "You had me at hello."
Unbalanced, unwieldy, and at times nearly unintelligible, Aloha is unquestionably Cameron Crowe's worst film.
Perhaps the energy Crowe could have expended on shaping believable characters went instead to the cultural context.
"Aloha" is as generic as its title. The islands exist solely as an exotic backdrop for the pretty Hollywood haoles to play in. Business as usual, and I never thought I'd say that about a Cameron Crowe movie.
Even if this were well made in a technical sense, it would still be a weird heap of patriotism, astronomy, and Hawaiian folklore, piled atop a pat and predictable love story.
The first encounter among Cooper, McAdams and Stone is so awkward and unsettled that it becomes the movie's own albatross. There are some moments, most of them thanks to McAdams.
Christian Science Monitor:
Crowe is deft at keeping the various plots spinning, but there are too many of them, and they don't intersect pleasingly.
This is a romantic comedy that has more than hearts on its mind. In addition to teasing the uneasy and complicated partnership of the military and the private sector, Crowe takes on issues integral to Hawaii.
It happens. Really talented directors sometimes step into the batter's box, take a gigantic swing, and whiff.
Dallas Morning News:
Aloha, for all its spasms of charm, feels like a push-button romance, its heroes glibly spouting lines with the hope that the words come to mean something.
If Aloha's earthbound elements are uneven, its rocket-launch aspects are downright confounding.
Los Angeles Times:
Even with its off-balance, overstuffed storytelling, the film maintains a charm and energy that never flags, with brisk pacing and generally engaging performances from its deep-bench cast.
This is the kind of film that is easier to mock than to grapple with on its own terms. It's littered with flaws, but sometimes those movies can be the most interesting ones. The Aloha cult fan club is officially open. I'll take one ticket, please.
"Aloha" is one of those films whose characters behave and speak so irrationally that they no longer make any human sense at all. Crowe may have had us at hello, but he's losing us with "Aloha."
Crowe displays a willingness to reach for ambitious ideas and big-hearted, emotionally naked moments that other name-brand filmmakers are too terrified to explore. Aloha is a big mess, but it's also at war with American cynicism, and wars get messy.
New York Daily News:
"Aloha" isn't horrible, but it does have a pitiable odor about it, like a dog that's sat too long on the beach.
New York Times:
The plot is a hash when it's not a drag, and the 100-odd-minute cut of the film arriving in theaters on Friday seems hacked from something longer and baggier.
For all the screwball patter, smart-aleck similes, and zingy one-liners that Crowe has handed his mismatched cast, a kerplunking emptiness runs through Aloha.
It's hard to find a level on which Aloha works. It's a murky, muddled mess.
"Aloha" feels like several films at once, crammed together and sped up, with results that are emotionally hollow and narratively confusing.
Filmmaker Cameron Crowe can't catch a break with Aloha, a Hawaii-set romcom that is a handful of stories struggling for a unifying tone, but is nowhere near as toxic as its advance buzz.
The result is a movie that's well-meaning but nearly unwatchable. Stay home and watch a better Crowe movie instead, and ponder what went wrong.
San Francisco Chronicle:
Crowe introduces a serious topic without really examining it, and even the romance feels off, with a pair of lovers who seem mismatched. To complete the picture, Crowe tags on an ending that's convenient but not convincing.
St. Louis Post-Dispatch:
Blessed with a stellar cast and idyllic locale, Crowe seems reluctant to waste anything, including his own half-baked themes.
The whole story is a tangled mess. Aloha sees itself as a quirky, funny, and sad, but loudly announces when it's trying to be those things.
Globe and Mail:
Aloha is a marshmallow of a film: soft on the inside, soft on the outside and wholly devoid of substance.
A delayed and dismal attempt to marry screwball comedy with socially aware drama.
The deepest understanding we get of any of these characters is that none of them would say the things that Crowe makes come out of their mouths.
Sometimes confusing and often self-indulgent, Aloha is also kind of fabulous to watch. That's mostly thanks to a great cast.
Cameron Crowe writes movies like he's calling us in eighth grade with his heart on fire.
Aloha is such an inchoate mess, such a forced, insular, self-pleasing misfire, that plotting it out can be a challenge.
Wall Street Journal:
I've never seen a movie quite like Aloha. That's meant neither as praise nor as a backhanded compliment; it's offered more in the spirit of one hand clapping.