Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance) 2014

Critics score:
92 / 100

Reviews provided by RottenTomatoes

Richard Roeper, Chicago Sun-Times: This is a strange and beautiful and unique film, one of the best movies of the year. Read more

Wesley Morris, Grantland: Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu's Birdman is so good, so profoundly entertaining, so confident that it makes you wonder whether the other Inarritu -- the director of such weighty magazine spreads as 21 Grams, Babel, and Biutiful -- was a fraud all along. Read more

Lou Lumenick, New York Post: Perhaps the most incisive and funniest Hollywood take on Broadway since Mel Brook's original "The Producers." Read more

Rex Reed, New York Observer: A miserable load of deranged, deluded crap masquerading as a black comedy ... Read more

Joe Morgenstern, Wall Street Journal: There's no question that the film gets at various flavors of modern madness with an intensity that can be punishing, but never less than fascinating. Read more

Moira MacDonald, Seattle Times: Watching Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu's multilayered "Birdman" is like unfolding a piece of intricate origami; it keeps opening in unexpected directions. Read more

Richard Corliss, TIME Magazine: Birdman represents not just Keaton's fictional apologia but also his defiant, nearly heroic comeback. Read more

Peter Debruge, Variety: A triumph on every creative level, from casting to execution ... Read more

A.A. Dowd, AV Club: For Michael Keaton, Birdman is some kind of gift from the movie gods, a license to have his cake and messily devour it too. Read more

Bill Goodykoontz, Arizona Republic: An amazing movie that delves into the worlds of theater, film and celebrity, directed with great skill and passion by Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu. Read more

Ty Burr, Boston Globe: A jaw-dropping stylistic wow that spins, pirouettes, turns inside out, and miraculously stays aloft for two hours. Read more

J. R. Jones, Chicago Reader: Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu, director of such ethereal dramas as Babel and 21 Grams, counterbalances the wicked backstage comedy with surreal flights of fancy, pondering the gulf between dubious celebrity and artistic immortality. Read more

Michael Phillips, Chicago Tribune: "Birdman" proves that a movie - the grabbiest, most kinetic film ever made about putting on a play - can soar on the wings of its own technical prowess, even as the banality of its ideas threatens to drag it back down to earth. Read more

Peter Rainer, Christian Science Monitor: A movie with ambitions as high-flying as its superhero but a success rate decidedly lower to the ground. Read more

Chris Vognar, Dallas Morning News: I want to like Birdman more, but I don't have to; it's already so pleased with itself. Read more

Lisa Kennedy, Denver Post: Does it dip? A time or two. Does it take vivid flight? Absolutely. Read more

Tom Long, Detroit News: Challenges, surprises and dazzles while still working at the edges of a frazzled mind. Read more

Chris Nashawaty, Entertainment Weekly: Birdman is a scalpel-sharp dissection of Hollywood, Broadway, and fame in the 21st century. But more than that, it's a testament to Keaton's enduring charisma and power as an actor. Read more

James Rocchi, The easy joke is that while many are touting "Birdman" for Best Picture, it's undoubtedly the front-runner for Most Picture. This is not a film in need of creativity, passion or energy; what it needed was restraint, consideration and direction. Read more

Todd McCarthy, Hollywood Reporter: Birdman flies very, very high. Read more

Betsy Sharkey, Los Angeles Times: The director's surrealist portrait of modern times and the cult of celebrity is brilliant on so many levels that even the occasional downdraft can't keep "Birdman" from soaring. Read more

Randy Myers, San Jose Mercury News: A spellbindingly unique experience that will leave you dazed and exhilarated. Read more

Rene Rodriguez, Miami Herald: Birdman takes advantage of every facet of Keaton's talent, from his knack for absurdist comedy to his seemingly effortless ability to tap into graceful profundity without making a big show of it. Read more

Rafer Guzman, Newsday: Full of strange references, self-reflexive jokes and a cast of actors playing actors, it's a maze of mirrors that shifts under your feet like a theme park ride. Read more

Richard Brody, New Yorker: It's a white elephant of a movie that conceals a mouse of timid wisdom, a mighty and churning machine of virtuosity that delivers a work of utterly familiar and unoriginal drama. Read more

Anthony Lane, New Yorker: The director, Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu, doesn't tell us what to mock-or, at any rate, he knows how readily we mock what tempts us most. His film is alive to needs that never die. Read more

Stephen Whitty, Newark Star-Ledger: A daring, startling piece of work. And not only for what Inarritu manages to show. But for what Keaton is courageous enough to reveal. Read more

Bob Mondello, NPR: [The] full title is Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance), but rest assured, the more you know, the more fun it'll be. Read more

Elizabeth Weitzman, New York Daily News: It's undeniably thrilling to watch Gonzalez Inarritu and Keaton aiming so high. Whenever they're brave enough to leap into the unknown, "Birdman" soars. Read more

Manohla Dargis, New York Times: A funny, frenetic, buoyant and rambunctiously showboating entertainment in which Mr. Inarritu himself rises high and then higher still. Read more

Jocelyn Noveck, Associated Press: Birdman, more than most, seems a film that deserves a second viewing, not only to admire the work of Keaton and his co-stars, but to delve into its many layers. Read more

Steven Rea, Philadelphia Inquirer: It is exhilarating moviemaking, an out-of-the-blue masterwork that ranks as one of the best films of not just the year, but the decade, the century. Read more

James Berardinelli, ReelViews: Inarritu unquestionably has an ax to grind and he has honed the edge. Read more

Christy Lemire, The result is one of the best times you'll have at the movies this year-which might even be the best movie this year. Read more

Peter Travers, Rolling Stone: I'm jazzed by every daring, devastating, howlingly funny, how'd-they-do-that minute in Birdman. Powered by Michael Keaton's pinballing tour de force, Inarritu's cinematic whirlwind is an exhilarating high. No true movie lover would dare miss it. Read more

Andrew O'Hehir, It's a quasi-religious fable about a man haunted by the past and facing a profound moral and existential crisis in the present, and it's a dazzling display of virtuoso cinematic technique and showboat performances. Read more

Mick LaSalle, San Francisco Chronicle: One of the best movies of 2014. Read more

Dana Stevens, Slate: A movie that, while ultimately less satisfying than I hoped, features two breathtaking star turns: one from its lead actor and another from that camera, wielded by the indisputably magical Emmanuel Lubezki. Read more

Kristin Tillotson, Minneapolis Star Tribune: Inspires renewed faith in what we used to go to the movies for - original storytelling, enveloping escape, heart-stopping camera work and enough "wait, what's going on here?" to keep us intrigued from beginning to end. Read more

Calvin Wilson, St. Louis Post-Dispatch: Lots of films claim to be different. "Birdman" is. Read more

Christopher Orr, The Atlantic: Whether or not Riggan is in fact possessed of divine abilities-Inarritu offers contradictory clues along the way-Birdman puts on clear display the indisputable superpowers of its cinematographer, Emmanuel Lubezki. Read more

Liam Lacey, Globe and Mail: My, but the new Alejandro G. Inarritu movie, Birdman, has some fascinating things going on. Read more

Peter Howell, Toronto Star: You want to latch onto Birdman's scruffy neck and fly wherever it goes, even if it's too close to the sun. Read more

Alonso Duralde, TheWrap: Both Hollywood and Broadway take their lumps in "Birdman," a compelling tale that's a backstage drama, a character piece, a stab at magical realism, and much more. Read more

Cath Clarke, Time Out: Michael Keaton soars in this savagely funny, strangely sweet, sad and utterly brilliant New York-set comedy from Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu. Read more

Liz Braun, Toronto Sun: Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance) is the sort of movie that ends up on a person's favourite-movies-of-all-time list. It's really that fresh. Read more

Claudia Puig, USA Today: By focusing on the specific problems of a man undergoing a midlife meltdown, Birdman delivers an incisive commentary on celebrity culture, ambition, social media and fractured families. Read more

Stephanie Zacharek, Village Voice: It's a relief to see Keaton in a role worthy of him. Read more

David Edelstein, New York Magazine/Vulture: How can you not be in awe of the sheer physical achievement, of the intricate choreography of the actors and the camera, of the gung ho performances? When it ends you go, "Whew!" It's a triumph of vacuous virtuosity. Read more

Ann Hornaday, Washington Post: "Birdman" vividly evokes a time of equal parts possibility and terrifying uncertainty, and makes a persuasive case that, when the ground is shifting beneath your feet, the best thing to do is to take flight. Read more