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The Curious Case of Benjamin Button Reviews

David Fear
Time Out
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Full Review Source: Time Out | Original Score: 3/5

November 24, 2011
Tom Huddlestone
Time Out
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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 Source: Time Out | Original Score: 4/6

February 5, 2009
Peter Rainer
Christian Science Monitor
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With a running time of almost three slow-going hours, the movie definitely makes you feel as though you're aging forward.

Full Review Source: Christian Science Monitor | Original Score: C

January 2, 2009
Scott Foundas
Village Voice
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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.

Full Review Source: Village Voice

December 30, 2008
Lisa Kennedy
Denver Post
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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 Source: Denver Post | Original Score: 4/4

December 30, 2008
Kenneth Turan
Los Angeles Times
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The Curious Case of Benjamin Button leaves you colder than it should, and it shouldn't leave you cold at all.

Full Review Source: Los Angeles Times | Original Score: 2/5

December 29, 2008
Keith Phipps
AV Club
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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 Source: AV Club | Original Score: C

December 29, 2008
Moira MacDonald
Seattle Times
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The Curious Case of Benjamin Button is that rare thing: a truly magical movie.

Full Review Source: Seattle Times | Original Score: 3.5/4

December 29, 2008
Joe Morgenstern
Wall Street Journal
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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.

Full Review Source: Wall Street Journal

December 29, 2008
Ann Hornaday
Washington Post
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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.

Full Review Source: Washington Post

December 29, 2008
Mick LaSalle
San Francisco Chronicle
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The lesson here is never to aim to make a great movie before locking in the framework for a good one.

Full Review Source: San Francisco Chronicle | Original Score: 1/4

December 29, 2008
Christopher Orr
The New Republic
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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.

Full Review Source: The New Republic

December 25, 2008
Dana Stevens
Slate
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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.

Full Review Source: Slate

December 25, 2008

St. Louis Post-Dispatch
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| Original Score: 4/4

December 25, 2008
A.O. Scott
New York Times
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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

December 25, 2008
Roger Ebert
Chicago Sun-Times
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Given the resources and talent here, quite a movie might have resulted. But it's so hard to care about this story.

Full Review Source: Chicago Sun-Times | Original Score: 2.5/4

December 25, 2008
J. R. Jones
Chicago Reader
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A gravely beautiful drama about the mysteries of aging and death.

Full Review Source: Chicago Reader | Original Score: 4/4

December 25, 2008
Laremy Legel
Film.com
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See Benjamin Button. Why not? It's still better than most movies in the world.

Full Review Source: Film.com | Original Score: B-

December 25, 2008
Claudia Puig
USA Today
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The film, ambitious if flawed, also is lyrical and melancholy as it tells the story of a man aging backward.

Full Review Source: USA Today | Original Score: 3/4

December 24, 2008
Peter Howell
Toronto Star
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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 Source: Toronto Star | Original Score: 4/4

December 24, 2008
Steven Rea
Philadelphia Inquirer
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The Curious Case of Benjamin Button puts a Hollywood sheen on a decidedly eccentric yarn.

Full Review Source: Philadelphia Inquirer | Original Score: 3/4

December 24, 2008
Stephen Whitty
Newark Star-Ledger
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It's like a box of chocolates, but with hollow centers.

Full Review Source: Newark Star-Ledger | Original Score: 2/4

December 24, 2008
Colin Covert
Minneapolis Star Tribune
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Fincher renders the era with a precise eye for atmosphere and physical detail.

Full Review Source: Minneapolis Star Tribune | Original Score: 3/4

December 24, 2008
Rene Rodriguez
Miami Herald
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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

December 24, 2008
Amy Biancolli
Houston Chronicle
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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 Source: Houston Chronicle | Original Score: 3.5/4

December 24, 2008
Liam Lacey
Globe and Mail
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A film whose individual parts are more entrancing than the middlebrow whole.

Full Review Source: Globe and Mail | Original Score: 3/4

December 24, 2008
Lisa Schwarzbaum
Entertainment Weekly
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An extravagantly ambitious movie that's easy to admire but a challenge to love.

Full Review Source: Entertainment Weekly | Original Score: A-

December 24, 2008
Tom Long
Detroit News
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Initially intriguing and often dazzling, it ultimately drags on too long, with its wonder succumbing to frustration as the minutes drift by.

Full Review Source: Detroit News | Original Score: B-

December 24, 2008
Sam Allis
Boston Globe
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If this movie is uncharacteristically radiant (and, my, is it), then it's also aloof and unexpectedly ordinary.

Full Review Source: Boston Globe | Original Score: 2.5/4

December 24, 2008
Bill Goodykoontz
Arizona Republic
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A curiosity, you might say.

Full Review Source: Arizona Republic | Original Score: 3.5/5

December 24, 2008
Lou Lumenick
New York Post
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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 Source: New York Post | Original Score: 4/4

December 24, 2008
Michael Phillips
Chicago Tribune
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It's Fincher's picture, and his universe is one of exquisite fakery and frequent, elegant visual delight.

Full Review Source: Chicago Tribune | Original Score: 3/4

December 24, 2008
Roger Moore
Orlando Sentinel
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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 Source: Orlando Sentinel | Original Score: 4/5

December 23, 2008
Rafer Guzman
Newsday
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Button makes some powerful points about the precious commodities of love, happiness and time.

Full Review Source: Newsday

December 23, 2008
James Berardinelli
ReelViews
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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 Source: ReelViews | Original Score: 3.5/4

December 22, 2008
Christy Lemire
Associated Press
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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.

Full Review Source: Associated Press

December 22, 2008
Peter Travers
Rolling Stone
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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

December 22, 2008
Ben Mankiewicz
At the Movies
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A terrific film.

Full Review Source: At the Movies

December 22, 2008
Ben Lyons
At the Movies
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The characters that come in and out of Benjamin's life are distinct, memorable, and wonderfully conceived.

Full Review Source: At the Movies

December 22, 2008
David Fear
Time Out New York
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For a melodrama concerned with emotional pain, this fairy tale favors formal trickery over human connection to a fault.

Full Review Source: Time Out New York | Original Score: 3/6

December 17, 2008
Rex Reed
New York Observer
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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.

Full Review Source: New York Observer

December 17, 2008
David Edelstein
New York Magazine/Vulture
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It's too bad that I can barely remember the movie after only a week. Nothing lasts, indeed.

Full Review Source: New York Magazine/Vulture

December 15, 2008
David Ansen
Newsweek
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Lyrical, original, misshapen and deeply felt, this is one flawed beauty of a movie.

Full Review Source: Newsweek

December 1, 2008
Kirk Honeycutt
Hollywood Reporter
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An epic tale that contemplates the wonders of life -- of birth and death and, most of all, love.

November 25, 2008
Todd McCarthy
Variety
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A richly satisfying serving of deep-dish Hollywood storytelling.

Full Review Source: Variety

November 24, 2008
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