The Good Heart Reviews

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Laura Kern
Film Comment Magazine
November 13, 2013
The relationship of the characters played by Cox and Dano, more innocent than the dynamic the two actors explored nine years ago in L.I.E., makes for an eccentric buddy-film gone right.
Top Critic
July 18, 2010
The movie's two bright spots are Cox and Dano, who perform excellently despite the dull inevitabilities the script forces on them.
Full Review | Original Score: 4.6/10
Rob Thomas
Capital Times (Madison, WI)
June 4, 2010
Sometimes you want to go where everybody knows your name. And they're always glad you came. The bar in "The Good Heart" is emphatically not that place.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
James Verniere
Boston Herald
May 14, 2010
Welcome to New York City Skid Row by way of Reykjavik, Iceland. In the Paris-born, Iceland-raised Dagur Kari's "The Good Heart," you will find a New York City unlike any other.
Full Review | Original Score: C
Top Critic
Mark Feeney
Boston Globe
May 13, 2010
Cox doesn't so much chew the scenery as inhale it. Dano looks on in awe. Who can blame him? For that matter, who can blame Cox?
Full Review | Original Score: 1.5/4
Peter Keough
Boston Phoenix
May 13, 2010
Icelandic writer/director Dagur Kári embraces the deadpan, absurdist comedy of Finland's Aki Kaurismäki and Norway's Bent Hamer, but in place of the usual laconic antihero, he offers Cox's bellowing, Beethoven-maned troglodyte.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Brian Tallerico
Movie Retriever
May 7, 2010
Too sentimental for art house crowds and too dirty for multiplex folk, The Good Heart is a movie without an audience about characters that never feel like they really exist.
Top Critic
Peter Rainer
Christian Science Monitor
May 7, 2010
This odd couple never moves beyond oddness and the lower-depths shenanigans grate.
Full Review | Original Score: C
Top Critic
Mick LaSalle
San Francisco Chronicle
May 7, 2010
It's a strange thing, this type of whimsy. Kari offers us ideas in place of characters, and yet he expects us to see through these ideas to the real-life conditions they represent -- and then to respond to them in kind.
Full Review | Original Score: 1/4
Chris Hewitt (St. Paul)
St. Paul Pioneer Press
May 7, 2010
You know those movies where two very different people meet, and you're so intrigued by both of them that you hope they'll form an unlikely friendship? Well, The Good Heart isn't one of them.
Full Review | Original Score: 1/4
Mark Dujsik
Mark Reviews Movies
May 6, 2010
Moves unstoppably toward frustration.
Full Review | Original Score: 1.5/4
Top Critic
Colin Covert
Minneapolis Star Tribune
May 6, 2010
Cox makes his reanimation a believable, joyful change of heart, rather than a labored bit of plot manipulation. He seems ennobled, not merely sentimentalized.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Stephen Whitty
Newark Star-Ledger
May 6, 2010
But the film has no grasp of reality. And, worse, it has no feel for poetry, settling for pat contrasts between the two men, and taking its cardiac imagery to an absurd and literal conclusion.
Full Review | Original Score: 1.5/4
Amy Nicholson
I.E. Weekly
May 6, 2010
A hangover toast to an old New York with original wood paneling, cassette tapes and indoor smoking
Full Review | Original Score: C
Top Critic
J. R. Jones
Chicago Reader
May 6, 2010
Cox has some wonderfully funny moments, but both actors are playing heavily to type-Cox the irascible bull, Dano the soulful dormouse - and there's a lot of shouting and hurling stuff into the street.
Top Critic
Michael Phillips
Chicago Tribune
May 6, 2010
As robust and clever an actor as Cox is, he can't make Jacques any less of a blowhard; Kari's wit simply doesn't come through in English, at least with this script.
Full Review | Original Score: 1.5/4
Top Critic
Roger Ebert
Chicago Sun-Times
May 6, 2010
I will not -- I must not -- tell you what happens at the end of this movie, except to say I was stupefied that anyone in modern times (i.e., since 1910) would have the gall to sell such cornball at retail.
Full Review | Original Score: 1.5/4
Top Critic
Lisa Schwarzbaum
Entertainment Weekly
May 5, 2010
Iceland-bred writer-director Dagur Kári shot most of the picture in his homeland, loading a lot of distinctly Nordic seriocomic melancholy onto a study of two characters in a city that never sleeps.
Full Review | Original Score: B-
Frank Swietek
One Guy's Opinion
May 5, 2010
To a certain extent it's fun to watch Cox and Dano do their duet, but there's no depth to the lyrics.
Full Review | Original Score: C
Top Critic
Stephen Holden
New York Times
April 30, 2010
No amount of splenetic ranting by Brian Cox, a wonderful actor, when given the right role, can salvage The Good Heart from terminal mawkishness.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/5
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