Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close 2011

Critics score:
46 / 100

Reviews provided by RottenTomatoes

Mary F. Pols, TIME Magazine: Horn breaks through the movie's manipulative scrim simply through the sheer force of his emotions. Read more

James Rocchi, MSN Movies: What makes Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close good is its sense of goodness. Read more

Manohla Dargis, New York Times: Yes, you may cry, but when tears are milked as they are here, the truer response should be rage. Read more

Joshua Rothkopf, Time Out: An earnest puddle of slop. Read more

David Edelstein, New York Magazine/Vulture: Homes in on a middle ground between jumpy postmodernism and Oscar-bait uplift. Read more

Joe Morgenstern, Wall Street Journal: The production's penchant for contrivance is insufferable -- not a single spontaneous moment from start to finish -- and the boy is so precocious you want to strangle him. Read more

Moira MacDonald, Seattle Times: It's a genuinely moving and often lovely piece of work - beautifully acted and, ultimately, earning its tears. Read more

Scott Tobias, AV Club: Processes the immense grief of a city and a family through a conceit so nauseatingly precious that it's somehow both too literary and too sentimental, cloying yet aestheticized within an inch of its life. Read more

Bill Goodykoontz, Arizona Republic: Luckily, Horn is so good -- as is Max von Sydow, in a wordless role -- that the film resonates in spite of the tear-jerking strings Daldry pulls. Read more

David Germain, Associated Press: A cloying exercise in sentimentality, the film also winds up extremely annoying, even infuriating. Read more

Wesley Morris, Boston Globe: The movie forgoes Foer's ambitious tweeness and presents Oskar's outbursts and moodiness - that precociousness - as a disorder. Read more

Michael Phillips, Chicago Tribune: Tom Hanks, Sandra Bullock ... Max von Sydow, Zoe Caldwell, Viola Davis, Jeffrey Wright, John Goodman... thanks for your honest efforts in the service of a fundamentally dishonest weepie. Read more

Peter Rainer, Christian Science Monitor: Daldry and his screenwriter Eric Roth make the mistake of showing bodies falling from the Twin Towers - it's a mistake because its graphic power seems more exploitative than cathartic - but they otherwise thankfully refrain from pulling out all the stops. Read more

Chris Vognar, Dallas Morning News: [It] gets far too cute. Read more

Lisa Kennedy, Denver Post: If imagining a city where people open their doors (or don't) to a boy with a key and a ton of questions is sentimental ... then it is vitally, beautifully so. Read more

Tom Long, Detroit News: "Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close" is the kind of movie you want to punch in the nose. Read more

Lisa Schwarzbaum, Entertainment Weekly: Here's a tale that compacts the grief of an entire world, country, city, and thousands of loved ones left behind into the pain of one vulnerable, fictional boy. Read more

Laremy Legel, Film.com: Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close's greatest strength is that it prods and provokes, never relenting. Read more

Todd McCarthy, Hollywood Reporter: An emotionally potent, noticeably literary story of a precious boy's reaction to his father's death on 9/11. Read more

Betsy Sharkey, Los Angeles Times: A film filled with both sentiment and substance. Read more

Rene Rodriguez, Miami Herald: You need lots of gifted people chasing after the same bad idea to make a movie as colossally misguided as this one. Read more

Rafer Guzman, Newsday: Horn delivers a star turn as Oskar, a child trying to make sense of a tragedy that still baffles us all. Read more

David Denby, New Yorker: Sorry, but there must be richer ways of dramatizing so obvious a theme. Read more

Stephen Whitty, Newark Star-Ledger: Slightly Sappy & Annoyingly Whimsical, a movie which confronts the unspeakable and emerges merely unreal. Read more

Ella Taylor, NPR: Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close unfolds as a tough-minded but tender tale of suffering, confusion and redemption for children old enough to remember or know about the attack on the twin towers. Read more

Joe Neumaier, New York Daily News: While aiming to explore the riddle of grief, this particular story fails by listening to strange angels. Read more

Lou Lumenick, New York Post: It's Oscar-mongering of the most blunt and reprehensible sort. Read more

Rex Reed, New York Observer: Maybe if it had manipulated me less, it would have moved me more. Read more

Carrie Rickey, Philadelphia Inquirer: Not for moviegoers who hold that heartstring-plucking is a betrayal of the contract between director and audience. Read more

James Berardinelli, ReelViews: An emotionally powerful cinematic testimony about that horrific late summer day. Read more

Richard Roeper, Richard Roeper.com: It's a unique journey that's equal parts sympathy card and celebration of human resilience. Read more

Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times: No movie has ever been able to provide a catharsis for the Holocaust, and I suspect none will ever be able to provide one for 9/11. Read more

Peter Travers, Rolling Stone: Solidly crafted, impeccably acted and self-important in the way that Oscar loves, 'Extremely Loud' is also incredibly close to exploitation. Read more

Andrew O'Hehir, Salon.com: Renders Jonathan Safran Foer's best-selling 2005 novel into unconvincing Hollywood mush. Read more

Mick LaSalle, San Francisco Chronicle: The difficulty is mainly with the story, which despite all the emotion hovering around it, remains thin and uninvolving. Read more

Colin Covert, Minneapolis Star Tribune: Innocent Oskar and his isn't-life-wondrous adventures left me disappointed, depressed and somewhat irritated. Read more

Joe Williams, St. Louis Post-Dispatch: "Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close" is supposed to promote healing, but as they say in New York: close, but no cigar. Read more

Robert Levin, The Atlantic: The movie successfully reflects turmoil, looking at the world from the specific standpoint of a child who's ill-equipped to comprehend it, trying to survive as best he can. Read more

Rick Groen, Globe and Mail: With one exception, the quest is lumbering at best, and precious the rest of the time. Read more

Leah Rozen, TheWrap: In the end, the movie is about healing and coming to understand that some things can't be explained. Read more

Ben Walters, Time Out: Less a film about communication, in the end, than one with its fingers in its ears. Read more

Peter Howell, Toronto Star: Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close approaches what I would call "9/11 porn" in the way it exploits tragedy to milk emotion. Read more

Claudia Puig, USA Today: While flawed and sometimes overwrought, Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close's tale of the effect of 9/11 on a sensitive boy is worth seeing, particularly for its lead performance. Read more

Peter Debruge, Variety: It hardly matters that Horn manages to give such a naturalistic, unmannered performance as the young Oskar when everything around him has been so deliberately orchestrated to provoke a specific reaction. Read more

Nick Pinkerton, Village Voice: The deluge of tears is Daldry's idea of pathos, but to these eyes, it's Oscar-trolling 9/11 kitsch. Read more

Ann Hornaday, Washington Post: Stephen Daldry's extremely labored and incredibly crass adaptation of Jonathan Safran Foer's novel. Read more