The Curious Case of Benjamin Button - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

The Curious Case of Benjamin Button Reviews

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Super Reviewer
December 13, 2008
The Curious Case Of Benjamin Button charts the life of a man who was born old and grows younger as times progresses across the span of the 20th century. Based on a short story by "the" great American novelist F. Scott Fitzgerald, Benjamin Button is a film that eloquently captures the magic and charm of Hollywood from times long past. It has a warmth, gentle humour and charm that is sorely missing from most of the sentimental slop that is produced these days and is truly stunning to look at. Brad Pitt gives a much softer edged performance than I thought he was capable of and is wonderfully supported by Cate Blanchett who perfectly captures the gradual maturity of age from self absorbed hedonist to rounded and worldly wise matriarch. The "life story" format draws obvious comparison to Forrest Gump, but that film is like Benjamin's inbred, trailer trash hick second cousin; this has a maturity and intelligence that is completely absent from that manipulative, greetings card poem of a movie. The length is an obvious issue but rather than self indulgent, I found it a very brave move on Fincher's part to produce such a ponderous and measured film in this climate obsessed with cheap thrills aimed at people with no attention span. In doing so, he has produced a beautifully crafted, genuinely moving and thought provoking film of the kind I have not seen in a long time.
Market Man
Super Reviewer
October 12, 2012
Unnecessarily long. Sure, go ahead and say that I have a short attention span, but I just didn't care about many parts of the film. The idea is interesting and Brad Pitt does a fine job as the lead actor. Although, at times it feels like the film tries too hard to be a work of art. All those long drawn out scenes aren't artistic, they are boring. Not something I would watch again and definitely not Fincher's best work.
paul o.
Super Reviewer
½ November 30, 2012
A beautiful epic that needs to be watched in one sitting.
Super Reviewer
½ December 30, 2008
great,moving,sweeping,epic with great performances and direction and a story to boot .
Super Reviewer
June 6, 2012
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button is a wonderful, rich film by director David Fincher that features stunning performances from Cate Blanchett, Taraji P. Henson and Brad Pitt. The film may be a bit long and move a little to slowly or be to self-indulgent for some to be able to be enraptured by the whole film, but for those who can, it is a most rewarding experience. There are some brilliant sequences in the film!
Super Reviewer
January 6, 2008
A beautifully flawed film. Lacking in overarching meaning or message, emotional drama or believeability. Has great cast, breathtaking cinematography, make-up and special effects, class and timelessness. Has the feel of Forrest Gump about it. The film is highlighted by scenes that are emotionally touching and thought-provoking. A must see, but not the Best Picture, best film of 08 shoo-in that it might have been.
Super Reviewer
January 13, 2010
The screenplay is what drives this film into superstardom, along with stunning performances by Brad Pitt and Kate Blanchett, remarkable CG work and makeup, and a story that will touch every heartstring in your body. As a seeming miracle, Benjamin Button is born an old man, living his life in reverse, creating a sense of freshness that I have never seen before. The pacing of this movie, although quite lengthy, is extraordinary, and deserves every oscar nomination it received. I truly believe that this is one of the most bizarre and dramatic films ever put on screen. There is not one single moment where I laughed at a persons looks when it was not meant to be laughed at. "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button" displays gorgeous cinematography, beautiful set designs, performances that will make your heart stop, a script worth cherishing forever, and a premise that will have you thanking god for your life. This film is a picture perfect piece of cinematic art that I will love forever!
Super Reviewer
November 27, 2011
I was very much looking forward into seeing this, as I quite enjoy David Fincher's work. I did enjoy it, but I felt it was one of Fincher's weakest films, considering he made Fight Club, Se7en and Zodiac. This is a good film, but it's not what I expected it to be. I thought that the films plot was good, and it was very interesting. However I thought that the film could have been shorter than the current length and I thought that the film dragged on at time. I found the film to be entertaining, and well directed (like most of Fincher's) other works, but of all the films I've seen of his, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button is my least favorite of his films. I'm not saying that I hated this film, because I didn't, but I just felt it was a bit too hard to get into. Fincher assembles a great cast of talented actors here, and they all deliver great performances. If it wasn't for the great cast, I don't think I would have enjoyed it. For what it, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button is a good film that is a must see film. The film is quite different and is what makes this a unique viewing experience. But like I previously stated, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button is not my favorite Fincher film. I still think that Se7en and Fight Club are his best. But this is nonetheless a good film that is very well acted with a good plot and as usual, good directing. Overall this is a good film, but it could have been slightly shorter, and for me, that's the film weakest point. For a film like this it could have played out over two hours, but it plays out over three hours and at times you lose interest. I liked the film and thought that the cast was phenomenal, and is what makes this film worth seeing.
Super Reviewer
½ December 28, 2008
mezmerizing. truly one of the greatest films ever made, period. it will be a tragedy if this film isnt soon seen as a classic of cinema. it has everything. brilliant acting, amazing cinematography, perfect art direction including makeup, and an epic and perfect story for the ages. i was enthraled for every minute of the nearly three hours of this film. at one point, the film brought me to an intense level of emotion and didnt let up for nearly 30 minutes. captivating on every level, this film battles changeling for the best of 2008.
Super Reviewer
½ October 13, 2011
In more than a few ways, B Button is similar to Forest Gump. Both have you almost believing in the unbelievable premises as well as being films of adventure and discovery.
There are even character similarities, Captain Mike in this film draws heavily from Sgt. Dan in Gump, and, at least for the first half of BB, the title characters both have that certain innocence as they take in the world around them.

BB is beautifully filmed, though it does go on a tad too long (some judicious editing may have helped as it's not so much a question of pacing as it is the story getting bogged down with too many sub-plots). Regardless, the final pay off is worth the wait, and the final scene of Katrina flood water rushing towards the abandoned clock is masterful, especially as the clock again begins its relentless run backwards - suggesting that we all wish we could turn back the clock on that disaster, ignoring the BS from the army corp of engineers and refitting the levees.

The story is based on a F. Scott Fitzgerald short story of a man who ages backwards (starting as an old man, and ending as a child). The film does an adequate job of showing the reverse ageing, as well as a fair job of reminding you that mentally he is ageing properly, from total innocence to... well, let's just leave that to your imagination.

Brad Pitt doesn't really have to do all that much as the lead, except be Brad Pitt and carry the 2nd half with his presence, which he does well enough to warrant star billing.
There is built in pathos in the 2nd half of the film and it serves the film well - overcoming the oddly wooden performance of Cate Blanchett, who as an adult flips back and forth from ice queen to something with a quiet depth, though too much the ice queen - quite the opposite of the mischievous young girl BB first meets. There's an entire sub plot concerning BB's real father, which frankly the film could have done without as it really adds nothing in the way of drama or anything else for that matter.

The film's gimmick storytelling works to a point, though at times gets in the way of the story being told, and I must confess I often had difficulty understanding Blanchett when she wheezed her lines as an old dying woman - combining that under annunciated whisper with a southern accent was just too hard to comprehend, making this a worthwhile view, but not a film for the ages.
Super Reviewer
February 28, 2011
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button was one of the most incredible cindmatic experiences I have ever seen. The storyline is so rich, so full of wonderment, and just so beautifuly made that it almost was too good to be true. It just has so many deep meanings and life lessons, and also is just so interesting, I mean who else but a great director like David Fincher could make something this wonderful, and I just love how we get to see his entire life, birth to death, what an incredible story. The cast is nothong short of perfection, Brad Pitt stars in his best role of his career, he was just perfect at everything, and he deserved the Oscar as much as Sean Penn did, maybe more. Cate Blanchett is just as great as Brad Pitt, her performance was astounding, and you can tell she played her role very seriously. The special effects were also amazing, they were believable and nicely made, you can tell they worked hard on it. The make-up is also another great thimg to add, I don't think in all my years of film there has ever been a movie with as great as make-up as this, it was incredible how real he looked. The musical score was a triumphant win, I loved the score. The cinematography was done very nicely as well, I noticed that at many scenes. The Curious Case of Benjamin Button is another masterpiece by Fincher, but this time he has created one story that made me look at life a whole other way, and the way I see it, the point of the story is don't let time pass you by, and the genius of the movie was able to not only show me that, but the world.
Super Reviewer
August 9, 2011
Really clever storytelling here. Bradd Pitt is great as always.
Super Reviewer
February 3, 2011
Benjamin Button: My name is Benjamin Button, and I was born under unusual circumstances. While everyone else was agin', I was gettin' younger... all alone. 

"Life isn't measured in minutes, but in moments"

The Curious Case of Benjamin Button is a beautiful piece of storytelling and filmmaking from one of the best, David Fincher. It's a long movie, but it really uses it's length to it's advantage by developing Benjamin and really making us care about him. It's hard no to get wrapped up into the life of Benjamin Button. The story is fascinating and by now everyone knows it. Benjamin was born old and dies young.

The film looks absolutely stunning. The cinematography is Oscar worthy and the art direction won an Oscar. As a period piece, it works really well. The settings are beautiful, the costumes are perfect and the way the New Orleans city people talk is spot on. Brad Pitt is good and it's never a bad casting decision to use Cate Blanchett. 

David Fincher has made better movies, but this is still a great film from him. He wraps us up in the story with his usual directorial touches. Somehow a lot of his movies like Zodiac and especially this are weird in that they seem to be moving slow, but they fly by because of how engrossed in the story and atmosphere we are. The Curious Case... definitely deserves to be considered one of the best films of 2008. 
Super Reviewer
July 21, 2011
The plot has a couple holes and some of the age math doesn't quite add up, but all is forgiven thanks to an remarkable, emotionally-driven story and fine performances all around from the cast. Rarely will you find a conclusion to a story as strange and emotional as this one. I seldom cry during movies. I teared up at the end of this one.
shahmeer h.
Super Reviewer
June 19, 2011
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button is perfect in all ways. Never has a film made me so emotionally attached to the characters. This film is very much deserving of every little award it receives, and also the ones it didn't. The simplicity of a love stoy told in such perfection is outstanding. The directing, cinematography, acting, and every part else should have been nominated for an acedmy award. The story follows a person who was abandoned by his family, left to be cared by a nursing home. He was born, and he started to age- but backwards. A women named Queenie (Taraji P. Henson) takes him up and names him Benjamin. Once a little older, he meets a young girl named Daisy (Cate Blanchett). He falls in in love with her at first sight. Ands the life of Benjamin Button begins. The avast ray of characters through out the whole film impresses me a lot. I enjoyed meeting the new characters and how they affected Benjamin's life. They always brought warmth and happiness to the audience, telling them that someone is always there for you. The film begins and ends fantastically. It's like no other story ever told. Next, I move on to the acting. This is Brad Pitts best acting ever. Never has he known the character so well and portrayed him with so much emotion. He knows what he's doing as an actor now, and if he keeps this up, he's going to start rolling the Oscar gold in pretty soon. Cate Blanchett was well acted, although we didn't get as much screen time of herself than I would've liked. But that's because the story revolved around Benjamin, not Daisy. So I'm glad we did bet more Pitt than Blanchett. Next, I move on to the visual effects and make up. Basically I'm mentioning them because they played such a big role in this film. The makeup used to make Brad Pitt look older were spectacular. Especially when they used a smaller actor for the body and stuck Brad Pitt's head on top. Amazing. David Fincher's job as a director was spectacular, as well. Every scene he made, he took and changed it into a masterpiece. Never have I seen a movie this well directed. In the end, the message sent in the film, as it is quoted from the film, "We are meant to lose the people we love. How else would we know how important they are?"
Super Reviewer
½ August 5, 2010
Story-telling at it's finest! Great movie!
I absolutely love Cate Blanchett in this film. It's one of my favorite things about the film.
Super Reviewer
July 30, 2007
One of my favorite films of 2008. David Fincher kind of runs hot and cold for me - hated Fight Club, loved Se7en, despised Zodiac, ADORED this movie - but I can always appreciate his meticulous attention to detail. He manages to harness his painstakingly exacting energies into a circularly flowing, organic movie. It's beautiful and cold at the same time, but the emotional connections are ever present all the same. Watching the characters age and Benjamin youthify explains without words the cycles of life, no matter if you're flowing backwards or forwards. One of the few movies where themes snap into my brain as easy as Lego pieces. This is not an actor's film; it's all Fincher's and he revels in his creation. The audience bathes in the glory of Brad Pitt's heyday and those brief moments Daisy and Benjamin can meet up in the middle, emotionally and physically prepared for each other. Blanchett is an absolute gazelle. Brad Pitt...words cannot describe his visual magnificence. I like how this movie is mainstream enough to appeal to the public but sophisticated enough to extend to the rest of us picky people. Christopher Nolan, eat your heart out. David Fincher has ARRIVED.
Super Reviewer
½ April 13, 2011
Beautifully shot, beautifully scripted, beautifully acted - one of my favorites. Just a hair too long (maybe they should have cut the Brad Pitt randomly riding a motorcycle scene) but otherwise movie-making doesn't get much better than this.
Super Reviewer
January 8, 2011
"The Curious Case of Benjamin Button" is not David Fincher's best film; but that still does not make it bad by any stretch of the imagination. While the film never hits the emotional high notes that the story requires, making it hard for the viewer to care about the story in certain sections, the high production values and wonderful performances help smooth things over. I think the most thought provoking and emotional aspect of the story is not Benjamin Button's (Brad Pitt) condition or his life long love of Daisy (Cate Blanchett), but rather that Fincher and screenwriter Eric Roth chose to set this fairy tale to the backdrop of hurricane Katrina's landfall. "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button" is a unique film whichever way you dice it, but it's just not always an emotionally engaging one.
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