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Ceremony (2011)

tomatometer

20

Average Rating: 4.6/10
Critic Reviews: 10
Fresh: 2 | Rotten: 8

No consensus yet.

audience

31

liked it
Average Rating: 2.8/5
User Ratings: 2,288

My Rating

Movie Info

Sam Davis (Michael Angarano) convinces his former best friend to spend a weekend with him to rekindle their friendship at an elegant beachside estate owned by a famous documentary filmmaker (Lee Pace). But it soon becomes clear that Sam is secretly infatuated with the filmmaker's fiancée, Zoe (Uma Thurman), and that his true intention is to thwart their impending nuptials. As Sam's plan begins to unravel, he is forced to realize how complicated love and friendship can be.--(c) Magnolia

R,

Comedy

Jun 21, 2011

$21.7k

Magnolia Pictures - Official Site External Icon

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All Critics (34) | Top Critics (10) | Fresh (14) | Rotten (20) | DVD (2)

Yes, it's been done before (and better). But Uma lends it a sly and sexy spark.

June 23, 2011 Full Review Source: Entertainment Weekly
Entertainment Weekly
Top Critic IconTop Critic

The contradictory elements stack up at the same time your interest in the characters dwindles.

May 11, 2011 Full Review Source: Miami Herald
Miami Herald
Top Critic IconTop Critic

The offbeat comedy is not entirely devoid of charm, but its derivativeness is almost embarrassing.

April 21, 2011 Full Review Source: Philadelphia Inquirer
Philadelphia Inquirer
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Does Uma Thurman perpetually underestimate herself, or is Quentin Tarantino the only filmmaker who appreciates her?

April 8, 2011 Full Review Source: New York Daily News
New York Daily News
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Young Winkler needs to learn that simply instructing characters to smirk and look ironic is not enough; you actually have to come up with funny things for them to say.

April 8, 2011 Full Review Source: New York Post
New York Post
Top Critic IconTop Critic

If the scenario is unconvincing, debuting writer-director Max Winkler has a feel for the dynamics of this kind of ritualized yet informal social gathering, and his affection for his characters is clear.

April 7, 2011 Full Review Source: Los Angeles Times
Los Angeles Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Winkler is a titan at balancing comedy and drama. And Angarano is hilarious as our as our lead, channelling a young Vince Vaughn: the out of place winks, the full confidence in situations he has no way of gaining.

August 28, 2013 Full Review Source: Gordon and the Whale
Gordon and the Whale

This marriage for profit story featuring a delusional wedding crasher is neither romantic nor funny.

February 2, 2012 Full Review Source: Laramie Movie Scope
Laramie Movie Scope

Zoe's heartfelt declaration 'I can't be your mermaid,' succinctly sums up the entire situation.

January 23, 2012 Full Review Source: JWR

It's only funny because its putrid dialogue is so unfunny that it drags flies.

December 15, 2011 Full Review Source: Ozus' World Movie Reviews
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

More interested in melancholy wryness than belly laughs, and the low-key results have a pleasant fizz. [Blu-ray]

July 8, 2011 Full Review Source: Groucho Reviews
Groucho Reviews

Doesn't offer anything worth the time invested, issuing derivative characters and tuneless situations of longing coated with an ineffective layer of crooked whimsy that often acts like salt in the wound.

June 20, 2011 Full Review Source: BrianOrndorf.com
BrianOrndorf.com

Well acted, with plenty of color around its edges, Ceremony too often dawdles and dissembles when it should be digging deeper. Still, the performances make it connect, even though Winkler seems to have an aversion to catharsis.

May 21, 2011 Full Review Source: Shockya.com
Shockya.com

[Angarano] and Thurman have scenes of such honesty and raw emotional energy that it's almost possible to forgive "Ceremony" its sometimes sluggish pacing and its peevish protagonist. Almost, but not quite.

April 22, 2011 Full Review Source: San Francisco Examiner
San Francisco Examiner

In "Ceremony," a Wes Anderson impersonator attempts a version of "Wedding Crashers," and it's about as bad as you might think.

April 21, 2011 Full Review Source: Philadelphia Daily News
Philadelphia Daily News

In the end, Ceremony shows occasional promise but mostly pretense. But at least it knows when to wrap up the party and go home.

April 20, 2011 Full Review Source: KPBS.org
KPBS.org

While Ceremony may not look or feel terribly original, Winkler has clearly learned a lot from his study of [Wes] Anderson's oeuvre, and he's made a comedy that's intelligent, stylish, and effective even when it's emulating someone else's work.

April 20, 2011 Full Review Source: TV Guide's Movie Guide
TV Guide's Movie Guide

Ceremony isn't spectacularly original, but it's a proficient breakthrough that manages to make its familiarity charming.

April 14, 2011 Full Review Source: Boxoffice Magazine
Boxoffice Magazine

Winkler directs with a borrowed sense of assurance.

April 14, 2011 Full Review Source: AV Club
AV Club

Winkler's writing works too hard to achieve the frothy quality that he attempts.

April 14, 2011 Full Review Source: Hollywood & Fine
Hollywood & Fine

Although unquestionably indebted to its influences, writer-director Max Winkler's feature comedy debut has more than enough heart to overcome its familiar ingredients.

April 8, 2011 Full Review Source: Screen International
Screen International

Audience Reviews for Ceremony

This was much better than the ratings would have you believe. It starts off a little bit dull and like it might be a second rate rip of The Wedding Crashers. Quite honestly I was expecting a suckfest (I still haven't quite forgiven Uma for the awful "Accidental Husband").
I was glad I stuck it out, though, as this was quite a nice story about the one that got away. The ending wasn't really obvious (even at the ending there was a little left to your own imagination), and it just had really good characters. More like an indie film that the chick flick it appears to be. Maybe that's why the low rating.
May 21, 2012
romy861

Super Reviewer

Cast: Michael Angarano, Uma Thurman, Reece Thompson, Lee Pace, Rebecca Mader, Jake M. Johnson, Brooke Bloom, Harper Dill

Director: Max Winkler

Summary: Michael Angarano stars in this indie comedy as Sam, a naïve twentysomething who falls head over heels in love with Zoe (Uma Thurman), a beautiful older woman who's about to marry a pretentious documentary filmmaker (Lee Pace). Refusing to give up hope, Sam drags his best friend (Reece Thompson) to the seaside town where the wedding is set to take place in a last-ditch attempt to head off the nuptials.

My Thoughts: "I absolutely loved this movie. It was so quirky and the character's are so greatly done. Michael Angarano and Reece Daniel Thompson are fantastic in the movie. They had such an easy flow with each other which made their character's even better. The script is smart and maybe not original but definitely well written and greatly executed on screen. Sam, who comes off very confident and sure of himself has dragged his deeply depressed best friend, Marshall, who he hasn't spoken to in a year, off on a weekend get away. Marshall is under the assumption it was a trip for them to spend time together, not knowing the trip is in fact for Sam to try and woo his lady back. The relationship between Marshall and Sam is odd and very entertaining. As the story unfolds the dynamic between Marshall and Sam change. They unknowingly switch roles with each other. I found the movie refreshing and loved every minute of it. Lee Pace definitely demands the screen in every scene he's in. Uma Thurman does justice to her role and doesn't over do it. Just a great quirky comedy that I will have to see again."
September 19, 2011
LWOODS04
♥˩ƳИИ ƜѲѲƉƧ♥

Super Reviewer

I'll admit that this shares a very similar style to something by Wes Anderson (and maybe Jonathan Demme's Rachel Getting Married), but it is really well done and manages to say something unique by the end. What stood out most here was the amazing dialogue; it was simultaneously comic gold and honest to the characters and tone. Max Winkler might be a first time director, but he clearly has a great idea of what it takes for a movie to work. I think the story is well put together and it moves along smoothly instead of being awkward and boring. Part of this is due to the characterization and performances. Michael Angarano was perfect in my opinion; his delusional sense of happiness and manipulation mind games were priceless. It's a character that could come off as a complete bastard, but somehow he made it lovable and sympathetic. His violent children's book reading in the opening starts the character off perfectly. Lee Pace also had completely genius rendition of a deranged British filmmaker who spends his time making documentaries in Africa. While this movie might be thrown in the "hipster" genre, it actually bears no resemblance to that at all. While it has a nice sense of uniqueness and originality, it's not the focus of attention and there's no bizarre stereotypes. If anything, this embraces the happy-go-lucky comedy genre and doesn't spend a whole lot of time being too realistic or moody. It's fine with just being consistently funny and having likable characters; even if their actions are not exactly honorable.
September 3, 2011
ythelastman89

Super Reviewer

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