Catch and Release Reviews

Top Critic
Claudia Puig
USA Today
September 1, 2007
Release yourself from boredom by giving it a miss.
Full Review | Original Score: 1.5/4
Top Critic
Tom Beer
Time Out
February 10, 2007
Sadly lifeless.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/6
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Richard Roeper
Ebert & Roeper
February 5, 2007
I was pleasantly surprised.
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St. Louis Post-Dispatch
February 3, 2007
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Stephanie Zacharek
Salon.com
February 3, 2007
One of those movies where the small pleasures stack up high enough to dwarf the disappointments.
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Richard Schickel
TIME Magazine
January 31, 2007
A romantic non-comedy.
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Joe Morgenstern
Wall Street Journal
January 26, 2007
The film suffers from a style that settles for pleasant or touching at the cost of spontaneous or impassioned. Too bad, because Ms. Garner is a genuinely pleasing presence.
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Peter Howell
Toronto Star
January 26, 2007
Were it not for [Kevin] Smith's mildly amusing antics, it might have been necessary to attach a warning to the movie about the dangers of watching it whilst operating heavy machinery.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
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Ted Fry
Seattle Times
January 26, 2007
There's barely anything new in this well-designed, prettily shot piece of fluff hewn from the realm of tragic-comic romance immemorial.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
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Peter Hartlaub
San Francisco Chronicle
January 26, 2007
Susannah Grant's movie is rough around the edges, but once you get used to the laconic pace, the plot grooves along nicely.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Peter Travers
Rolling Stone
January 26, 2007
Screenwriter Susannah Grant makes her directing debut with a romance that wants to respect the mess of love and loss but winds up smoothing all its rough edges with a Hollywood pumice stone.
| Original Score: 2/4
Top Critic
Carrie Rickey
Philadelphia Inquirer
January 26, 2007
However diverting are Garner, Smith and the scenery, the ricochet-romance aspect of Grant's film is, frankly, icky.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
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Roger Moore
Orlando Sentinel
January 26, 2007
Catch and Release is a perfectly likable romantic tragi-comedy, and therein lies the problem. If the essence of drama and comedy is conflict, what do you get when you wash the conflict away in an effort to make everybody 'likable'?
Full Review | Original Score: 2/5
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John Hartl
Newsweek
January 26, 2007
Garner and [writer/director] Grant work hard to push the picture into unexplored territory, and the cringe-worthy moments are easy to overlook.
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Stephen Whitty
Newark Star-Ledger
January 26, 2007
Every time [Kevin Smith] comes on screen, he perks things up a little. He makes the time pass faster, and the flaws recede. He turns what might be a forgettable movie into a halfway decent one.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
Top Critic
Stephen Holden
New York Times
January 26, 2007
The romantic comedy Catch and Release is refreshing for what it doesn't have. There is no whiny, spoiled golden girl and no baring of claws.
| Original Score: 3/5
Top Critic
Kyle Smith
New York Post
January 26, 2007
The chick comedy-drama Catch and Release may look bland, but it's not. It's worse. To rise to the level of blandness, it would need to have a few gallons of Tabasco dumped into it.
Full Review | Original Score: .5/4
Top Critic
Jack Mathews
New York Daily News
January 26, 2007
A film that a talented veteran of romantic comedy would have had trouble pulling off, let alone a screenwriter (Susannah Grant wrote Erin Brockovich) who has never directed a film before.
Full Review | Original Score: 1.5/4
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Rene Rodriguez
Miami Herald
January 26, 2007
This wan, by-the-numbers romantic comedy, which marks the directorial debut of screenwriter Susannah Grant, is so superficial and formulaic that even Garner's mega-watt grin can't completely save it.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
Top Critic
Kevin Crust
Los Angeles Times
January 26, 2007
Neither a comedy nor a drama but existing in that comfortable space in between, Catch and Release, the feature-directing debut of screenwriter Susannah Grant, is an oddly appealing, if innocuous, movie of considerable charm.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
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Jennie Punter
Globe and Mail
January 26, 2007
The romantic dramedy Catch and Release is off the mark in so many respects one wonders if it would have been more humane to release this one directly into the DVD stream.
Full Review | Original Score: 1.5/4
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Tom Long
Detroit News
January 26, 2007
A noteworthy mess for the sheer mass of talent it squanders, Catch and Release is best not caught.
Full Review | Original Score: D+
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Terry Lawson
Detroit Free Press
January 26, 2007
There are some interesting, if less than original, ideas stuck between all the comic banter and the unlikely romantic relationship you see coming a mile away, but the film never finds a way to marry the less-than-convincing melodrama with the melancholy.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
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Michael Booth
Denver Post
January 26, 2007
A romantic comedy-drama with little comedy, no drama and less romance than your average YouTube video.
Full Review | Original Score: 1.5/4
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Christy Lemire
Associated Press
January 26, 2007
This fish-themed romance flops wildly all over the place, from heavy poignant moments to slapsticky comedy, with a healthy dose of soapy melodrama in between.
Full Review | Original Score: D+
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Ty Burr
Boston Globe
January 26, 2007
The film's a pleasant enough daydream before it turns all squoodgy at the end.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
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Colin Covert
Minneapolis Star Tribune
January 25, 2007
If it should happen that one day Netflix includes Catch and Release among "Movies you'd also enjoy," consider cancelling your subscription.
| Original Score: 1/4
Top Critic
Lisa Schwarzbaum
Entertainment Weekly
January 25, 2007
I just don't know any chick who will make sense of this flick -- it's that blitheringly out of touch with present psychosexual (never mind feminist) time and space.
Full Review | Original Score: C-
Top Critic
Desson Thomson
Washington Post
January 25, 2007
Despite the film's attempts to imbue Garner with spark, she simply disappears into the supporting pack in a film that doesn't know if it's rom-coming or going.
Top Critic
Bill Muller
Arizona Republic
January 25, 2007
Catch & Release? Nah. Try Net & Forget.
Full Review | Original Score: 1.5/5
Top Critic
Scott Tobias
AV Club
January 25, 2007
Jennifer Garner leads an enormously appealing cast as the bride who wore black.
Full Review | Original Score: B-
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Andrea Gronvall
Chicago Reader
January 25, 2007
Jennifer Garner may possess the hardest working eyebrows in show business, but Kevin Smith gets the acting kudos in this bittersweet romance.
Top Critic
Bruce Newman
San Jose Mercury News
January 25, 2007
This one isn't even worth catching. Just throw it back.
| Original Score: 1/4
Top Critic
James Berardinelli
ReelViews
January 25, 2007
Despite possessing a few effective and affecting scenes, Catch and Release is a mess and the methods it uses to bring closure to its diverse storylines feel trite and contrived.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
Top Critic
Gene Seymour
Newsday
January 25, 2007
Catch and Release has a magazine-spread polish that sometimes tricks you into thinking that it's a more distinctive romantic comedy than it actually is.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
Top Critic
Michael Phillips
Chicago Tribune
January 25, 2007
Forgettable seriocomic blather from writer-director Susannah Grant.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
Top Critic
January 25, 2007
Deals with serious issues -- sudden death, grief, infidelity, deception -- in a fairly lighthearted way. What makes that worse is that there are a few moments when the film actually approaches some kind of emotional or dramatic truth.
Top Critic
John DeFore
Hollywood Reporter
October 23, 2006
...A likable romantic comedy that delivers enough laughs and star appeal to fare reasonably well in the date-movie department, even if it doesn't entirely live up to its ambitions.