The Curious Case of Benjamin Button Reviews

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David Fear
Time Out
November 24, 2011
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
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Tom Huddlestone
Time Out
February 5, 2009
An epic, melancholic romance that employs a multi-generational cast and groundbreaking visual effects. It's a testament to Fincher's skill as a storyteller that the film actually works, albeit sporadically.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/6
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Peter Rainer
Christian Science Monitor
January 2, 2009
With a running time of almost three slow-going hours, the movie definitely makes you feel as though you're aging forward.
Full Review | Original Score: C
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Scott Foundas
Village Voice
December 30, 2008
Mostly, the film is an orgy of excess, in which Fincher indulges his passion for luxuriant image-making, with little regard for whether the story merits (or can withstand) such grandiose treatment.
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Lisa Kennedy
Denver Post
December 30, 2008
There's leisure to the storytelling, a splendor that captures the movie's celebratory but also melancholy ideas about our time on this mortal coil.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
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Kenneth Turan
Los Angeles Times
December 29, 2008
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button leaves you colder than it should, and it shouldn't leave you cold at all.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/5
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Keith Phipps
AV Club
December 29, 2008
Fincher's visual mastery and Pitt's charisma almost compensate for a gimmick in search of a meaning. The more time Fincher gives viewers with Button, the thinner the character grows.
Full Review | Original Score: C
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Moira MacDonald
Seattle Times
December 29, 2008
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button is that rare thing: a truly magical movie.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
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Joe Morgenstern
Wall Street Journal
December 29, 2008
The film quickly outgrows any sense of gimmickry and matures into a one-of-a-kind meditation on mortality, time's inexorable passage and the fleeting sweetness of love.
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Ann Hornaday
Washington Post
December 29, 2008
Benjamin Button is little more than Gump by way of Dorian Gray. It plays too safe when it should be letting its freak flag fly.
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Mick LaSalle
San Francisco Chronicle
December 29, 2008
The lesson here is never to aim to make a great movie before locking in the framework for a good one.
Full Review | Original Score: 1/4
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Christopher Orr
The New Republic
December 25, 2008
Benjamin Button is a film of mood, not motion. At its best, it is evocative and affecting; at its worst, an exercise in sentimental portraiture.
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Dana Stevens
Slate
December 25, 2008
Fincher's magic can't transform him from the coldly dispassionate misanthropist of Se7en, Fight Club, and Zodiac into a sentimental humanist, and it can't turn Brad Pitt into the kind of actor who can carry a movie like this.
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St. Louis Post-Dispatch
December 25, 2008
| Original Score: 4/4
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A.O. Scott
New York Times
December 25, 2008
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button sighs with longing and simmers with intrigue while investigating the philosophical conundrums and emotional paradoxes of its protagonist's condition.
| Original Score: 4.5/5
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Roger Ebert
Chicago Sun-Times
December 25, 2008
Given the resources and talent here, quite a movie might have resulted. But it's so hard to care about this story.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
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J. R. Jones
Chicago Reader
December 25, 2008
A gravely beautiful drama about the mysteries of aging and death.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
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Laremy Legel
Film.com
December 25, 2008
See Benjamin Button. Why not? It's still better than most movies in the world.
Full Review | Original Score: B-
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Claudia Puig
USA Today
December 24, 2008
The film, ambitious if flawed, also is lyrical and melancholy as it tells the story of a man aging backward.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Peter Howell
Toronto Star
December 24, 2008
A magical and moving account of a man living his life resoundingly in reverse, very loosely based on an F. Scott Fitzgerald short tale from 1922, it delivers top-notch moviemaking in every department.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
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Steven Rea
Philadelphia Inquirer
December 24, 2008
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button puts a Hollywood sheen on a decidedly eccentric yarn.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Stephen Whitty
Newark Star-Ledger
December 24, 2008
It's like a box of chocolates, but with hollow centers.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
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Colin Covert
Minneapolis Star Tribune
December 24, 2008
Fincher renders the era with a precise eye for atmosphere and physical detail.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Rene Rodriguez
Miami Herald
December 24, 2008
This is a long, impeccably detailed, richly textured movie about a most unusual life, and although it's far from perfect, the sum of it achieves what Fincher set out to do in the first place.
| Original Score: 3.5/4
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Amy Biancolli
Houston Chronicle
December 24, 2008
Director David Fincher has turned out an overlong, Forrest Gumpian exercise in mannered whimsy. It's sentimental; it's episodic; it dawdles. Brad Pitt spends a good length of screen time drinking tea with Tilda Swinton. But it's also bewitching.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
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Liam Lacey
Globe and Mail
December 24, 2008
A film whose individual parts are more entrancing than the middlebrow whole.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Lisa Schwarzbaum
Entertainment Weekly
December 24, 2008
An extravagantly ambitious movie that's easy to admire but a challenge to love.
Full Review | Original Score: A-
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Tom Long
Detroit News
December 24, 2008
Initially intriguing and often dazzling, it ultimately drags on too long, with its wonder succumbing to frustration as the minutes drift by.
Full Review | Original Score: B-
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Sam Allis
Boston Globe
December 24, 2008
If this movie is uncharacteristically radiant (and, my, is it), then it's also aloof and unexpectedly ordinary.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
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Bill Goodykoontz
Arizona Republic
December 24, 2008
A curiosity, you might say.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/5
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Lou Lumenick
New York Post
December 24, 2008
It takes a world-class storyteller and a great yarn to rivet your attention for nearly three hours. This very classy, old-school movie -- employing cutting-edge technology that will make your eyes pop -- did it for me.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
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Michael Phillips
Chicago Tribune
December 24, 2008
It's Fincher's picture, and his universe is one of exquisite fakery and frequent, elegant visual delight.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Roger Moore
Orlando Sentinel
December 23, 2008
Pitt is quite good in the lead even if it does take close to two hours for him to show up in a matinee idol form we've all come to know. It's an underplayed performance, nicely pitched against great actresses.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
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Rafer Guzman
Newsday
December 23, 2008
Button makes some powerful points about the precious commodities of love, happiness and time.
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James Berardinelli
ReelViews
December 22, 2008
Many may see this as a more grown-up version of Forrest Gump, but it feels to me like something from the pen of Charlie Kaufman, who enjoys playing with time and conventions in much the way Fincher and Roth do here.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
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Christy Lemire
Associated Press
December 22, 2008
Fincher's film, based on an F. Scott Fitzgerald short story about a man who ages in reverse, is rambling and gorgeous -- perhaps a bit overlong and gooey in the midsection -- but one that leaves you with a lingering wistfulness.
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Peter Travers
Rolling Stone
December 22, 2008
The movie looks amazing. And for the first hour, when storytelling and special effects bond like lovers, it plays even better.
| Original Score: 3/4
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Ben Mankiewicz
At the Movies
December 22, 2008
A terrific film.
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Ben Lyons
At the Movies
December 22, 2008
The characters that come in and out of Benjamin's life are distinct, memorable, and wonderfully conceived.
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Rex Reed
New York Observer
December 17, 2008
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button is a monumental achievement -- not only one of the best films of the year, but one of the greatest films ever made.
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David Edelstein
New York Magazine/Vulture
December 15, 2008
It's too bad that I can barely remember the movie after only a week. Nothing lasts, indeed.
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David Ansen
Newsweek
December 1, 2008
Lyrical, original, misshapen and deeply felt, this is one flawed beauty of a movie.
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Kirk Honeycutt
Hollywood Reporter
November 25, 2008
An epic tale that contemplates the wonders of life -- of birth and death and, most of all, love.
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Todd McCarthy
Variety
November 24, 2008
A richly satisfying serving of deep-dish Hollywood storytelling.