After the smooth finish of Mary and Max earlier this year, $9.99 can't match up with its similar dark themes.
| Original Score: 2/5
There is so much to admire about the skill involved in the stop-motion craft, but all films, regardless of their devices, rise or fall on their story, which is abstract and unengaging in $9.99.
Director Tatia Rosenthal's inspiration was to populate the proceedings with animated 3-D figures; her cerebral, darkly funny film is a feat of stop-motion rumination.
| Original Score: 3/4
Like most episode pieces, Rosenthal and Keret seem to have chosen the easy way out by not taking the trouble to develop any of the ideas beyond the basic anecdote.
A deliberately coarse character style that's more Gumby than Gromit.
A small gem of an animated film, $9.99 manages to be rich in whimsy and fantastical turns while still rooted in human ground.
| Original Score: B+
The film is more than picturesque whimsy, though: at times it reaches for some really quite weird imagery - and some raw honesty.
Set in a grim, grimy, often bleak world, a hybrid, densely detailed environment of interwoven stories and chance encounters, with occasional flights of fantasy and rare glimmers of hope.
| Original Score: 3/5
The whole never quite comes together, in fact -- but even without that unity, the film has an oddball charm and intelligence.
Think Robert Altman's Short Cuts with clay characters as engaging as human actors, and you might get a sense of what you'll experience.
| Original Score: 3.5/5
Not for all tastes due to its arthouse nature, this animation transcends into beautiful magical realism with a spectacular Australian voice cast.
Playful, light-hearted and fun, with an impressive cast of Aussie stars and some fine stop-motion animation. As it stands, at 74 minutes, it's not quite as smart (or rewarding) as one would hope.
The Jewish melancholy and downbeat humour that oozes from the original writing is overlaid with an Australian idiom, thanks ironically to the great cast, in a transplant that doesn't really take
It's a challenging film with plenty of merit as a handful of unrelated stories criss-cross and involve us in a mountainous thought provoking journey in which we ponder the meaning of happiness
The creation of this world is amazingly detailed; it's magic, really. But maybe the film doesn't quite reach the heights of everyman experience to which it aspires.
$9.99 is consistently amusing but rarely laugh-out-loud funny.
I'm kind of getting tired of these "grown up" cartoons like WALTZ WITH BASHIR and PERSEPOLIS. To me, they kind of seem more focused on the gimmicks than the actual story.
| Original Score: 2.5/4
It has been a good year for animation that pushes thematic and visual boundaries.
| Original Score: 4.5/5
$9.99 may not be entirely successful from a dramatic perspective, and it certainly offers little enlightenment about the meaning of life. But the film is so intriguing in other ways that it's definitely worth a look.
The conclusion is cheerful -- rather than strain for answers, we should just experience the joy of the moment -- but the road to that resolution is jarring.