Benny & Joon Reviews

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Peter Canavese
Groucho Reviews
July 18, 2011
Any film that features Johnny Depp performing salutes to the great silent comedians (and, in particular, Buster Keaton) deserves a little slack... [Blu-ray]
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4

TV Guide's Movie Guide
June 21, 2009
If the performances were as cute and sweet as the characters, the film would need a warning label. But Depp's Sam is delicately touching, a maladjusted waif with both soul and grit, and Masterson resists the temptation to soften Joon.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4

Film4
June 21, 2009
Things are kept on the right side of mawkish thanks largely to a graceful and understated performance from the ever-reliable Depp.
Clint Morris
Moviehole
August 17, 2008
Johnny Depp gives another head-turning performance in this sweet, sweet comedy
| Original Score: 3/5
Top Critic
Emanuel Levy
Variety
April 8, 2006
As the outsider who courts the mentally ill Mary Stuart Masterson, Johnny Depp renders a startling performance that elevates the romantic fable way above its writing and directing shortcomings; look for the young Julianne Moore in a small part.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
Top Critic
Wally Hammond
Time Out
January 26, 2006
It's acted out in the secondary emotional register of the glass menagerie: whimsical, delicate, idiosyncratic, barmy.
James Sanford
Kalamazoo Gazette
October 7, 2004
Great early Depp performance and Masterson is equally terrific
| Original Score: 3/5
Alex Sandell
Juicy Cerebellum
October 23, 2003
One of my favorite romances. Quirky and magical.
| Original Score: 4/5
Ken Hanke
Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC)
September 4, 2003
The stars make it palatable, but it's too much contrived cuteness.
| Original Score: 3/5
Leonard Klady
Movie City News
July 18, 2003
3.5
| Original Score: 3/5
Top Critic
Janet Maslin
New York Times
May 20, 2003
Mr. Depp may look nothing like Buster Keaton, but there are times when he genuinely seems to become the Great Stone Face, bringing Keaton's mannerisms sweetly and magically to life.
Jeffrey M. Anderson
San Francisco Examiner
March 2, 2003
Johnny Depp is superb, but the rest of the movie doesn't hold water.
| Original Score: 2/5
Bob Bloom
Journal and Courier (Lafayette, IN)
October 4, 2002
Depp's portrayal of a Buster Keaton-ish type character is mesmerizing.
| Original Score: 3/5
Scott Weinberg
eFilmCritic.com
July 25, 2002
Stellar performances highlight a tale of goofball affection.
| Original Score: 3/5
Stephen Farber
Movieline
January 9, 2002
Awful as it sounds, the movie actually achieves a few poignant moments once it stops straining for eccentric charm.
Top Critic
Peter Travers
Rolling Stone
May 12, 2001
The cast is defeated by a cloying Barry Berman script that Jeremiah Chechik directs with the same flair for the obvious he brought to National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation.
Mark R. Leeper
rec.arts.movies.reviews
January 1, 2000
Where the story does not work for me is on the contrivance and in the view of mental illness.
Full Review | Original Score: 0 out of -4..+4
Top Critic
Rita Kempley
Washington Post
January 1, 2000
[Chechik] has crafted Benny & Joon not as a seamless whole but as a tumble of scenes. Unfortunately, too many of them are inspired by Charlie Chaplin, Harold Lloyd or Buster Keaton, and they seem to spill from the screen like Bozos from a kiddie car.
Top Critic
Desson Thomson
Washington Post
January 1, 2000
Riddled with insufferably contrived zaniness ... it deals as deeply with mental illness as The Sound of Music explored the genocidal advance of the Third Reich.
Top Critic
James Berardinelli
ReelViews
January 1, 2000
Benny & Joon tries to get by on quirkiness alone, and, while something this offbeat frequently carries a unique kind of appeal, it needs stronger characters than Sam and Joon.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
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