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Greenberg (2010)


Average Rating: 6.7/10
Reviews Counted: 161
Fresh: 120
Rotten: 41

Critics Consensus: Greenberg's title character is harder to like than most, but Ben Stiller's nuanced performance and a darkly funny script help take the misanthropic edge off.

Average Rating: 6.8/10
Reviews Counted: 36
Fresh: 27
Rotten: 9

Critics Consensus: Greenberg's title character is harder to like than most, but Ben Stiller's nuanced performance and a darkly funny script help take the misanthropic edge off.


Average Rating: 2.9/5
User Ratings: 36,025


Movie Info

A New Yorker moves to Los Angeles in order to figure out his life while he housesits for his brother, and he soon sparks with his brother's assistant.

R (for some strong sexuality, drug use, and language)
Drama , Comedy
Directed By:
Written By:
Noah Baumbach
In Theaters:
Jul 13, 2010
Box Office:
Focus Features - Official Site


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Critic Reviews for Greenberg

All Critics (162) | Top Critics (36) | Fresh (120) | Rotten (41) | DVD (5)

As a study of stasis and of people conscious of not living the lives they had imagined for themselves, the picture offers a bracing undertow of seriousness beneath the deceptively casual, dramatically offhand surface.

Full Review… | July 6, 2010
Top Critic

A film of powerful, memorable moments -- some striking dialogue, some great performances, a handful of beautifully played, bracingly discomfiting love scenes -- in search of a structure and, perhaps, a soul.

Full Review… | June 8, 2010
Time Out
Top Critic

Noah Baumbach again investigates psychologically screwed-up people, although this time with much less comedic impact.

April 16, 2010
Hollywood Reporter
Top Critic

Stiller is expert at playing self-indulgent types unaware of their boorishness, and Greenberg is no exception.

Full Review… | March 31, 2010
Arizona Republic
Top Critic

What saves it, however, is Gerwig. The love story ain't credible, but her performance is, perfectly capturing a young woman who doesn't lack confidence so much as a sense of self.

Full Review… | March 26, 2010
Globe and Mail
Top Critic

In many ways this is Baumbach's best film, filled with his bitter but often funny misanthropic perspective, but buoyed by the undeniable likability of Stiller and Gerwig.

Full Review… | March 26, 2010
Detroit News
Top Critic

His sharpest observations are reserved for preternaturally intelligent, hyper-self-conscious outsiders whose existential crises are the failure of the world-and, to some extent, themselves-to live up to their own high expectations.

Full Review… | June 20, 2013
Film Comment Magazine

Stiller succeeds in a dramatic role but the script underwhelms with a meandering story and an unlikable lead character.

Full Review… | November 21, 2012
Big Hollywood

Not the feel-good film of the year, but Greenberg is a powerful account of how a few lost souls can find meaning and direction in life.

Full Review… | October 5, 2012

Obviously there's running commentary from director Noah Baumbach -- his characters are never free of context -- but they don't have epiphanies, they don't learn and they don't apologize. It's kind of refreshing.

Full Review… | April 4, 2011

Baumbach's writing and direction of these characters display more of a novelistic touch...but the approach produces a deeply felt view of flawed individuals.

Full Review… | March 9, 2011
Reel Times: Reflections on Cinema

Greenberg is not an enjoyable movie, but it's a unique experience that will mostly appeal to cinephiles with insatiable appetites for character-driven small films.

Full Review… | January 31, 2011

Ben Stiller plays the most repellent character I have ever seen in a movie and that includes "Dracula". If you are going to feature a repellent character, you have to make him or her interesting. Bela Lugosi was a huge success by comparison.

Full Review… | December 16, 2010

This is more of a character study than it is a real story. The characters in the film are vivid and they make indelible impressions. The acting is excellent all around.

Full Review… | December 1, 2010
Laramie Movie Scope

From the ever-inventive mind of Noah Baumbach comes a deep comedy that seems to combine elements from his last two films.

Full Review… | November 27, 2010

A typically low-key effort from Noah Baumbach...

Full Review… | November 25, 2010
Reel Film Reviews

The engine that drives Greenberg is this tension between the illusion of our outward projection and the absolute loathing of the worms underneath.

Full Review… | October 5, 2010
Film Freak Central

Baumbach may think he's found a rare happy ending when he puts these two together, but I highly doubt it.

Full Review… | September 3, 2010

Baumbach's movie once again walks a fine line between being off-putting and being fascinating in its character study, and for me the positives win out.

Full Review… | August 16, 2010
ReelTalk Movie Reviews

Greenberg is inevitably, productively divisive in tone and topical focus-and this in itself strikes me as a good thing-but you cannot say the filmmakers aren't trying to use all the resources available to the form.

Full Review… | August 15, 2010
Nick's Flick Picks

Watching the social and family dynamics play out in this film reveals a whole life lived in these rhythms and traps, which is not always pleasant... but certainly interesting.

Full Review… | August 11, 2010

Good luck with yourself, Greenberg. But I think I want to break up.

Full Review… | August 11, 2010
San Diego Union-Tribune

Far from the usual slapstick laced with smarts comedy, Greenberg is Ben Stiller's Punch Drunk Love.

Full Review… | August 8, 2010
Sydney Morning Herald

The characters are so socially destructive that it's difficult to care what happens to any of them.

Full Review… | August 1, 2010

full review at Movies for the Masses

Full Review… | July 29, 2010
Movies for the Masses

Roger Greenberg is not the kind of guy you want to wind up next to at a dinner party.

Full Review… | July 27, 2010
Concrete Playground

Audience Reviews for Greenberg

Perhaps it is an honest film, but not much fun to watch.

Red Lats

Super Reviewer

Baumbach has cemented himself stylistically with the likes of Wes Anderson because his films have their own cache of interesting and definitely flawed individuals. What his films lack in nuance and jarring cinematography, are made up for with their writing. These people do not have the same impact as some of the kooky and always blank faced characters of his past films. Instead of the sage sarcasm and indifferent irony of past films, it takes a look at the lives of Generation X nowadays. They're obviously aged, still rocking out to the same awesome music, but now these people are espousing the dreams of their lost generation much like their elders did to them twenty years ago. Roger Greenberg (Stiller) epitomizes a man going through a mid-life crisis, those that are trying to fit into a former generation, and those that have missed out on opportunities. "Greenberg" is a story that's been told various times, to an unhealthy extent, and though it's always interesting to watch the pitfalls of any sordid individual, Greenberg is not a strong enough character to hold an entire film. Most of Baumbach's films have had an ensemble cast with remarkable characters, but here most of them are pointless add-ons. His former friends barely have any lines, his brother's family is onscreen for mere minutes, and even Florence (Gerwig) is predictable. Roger Greenberg is supposed to be a bit eccentric, definitely guarded and anti-social, but these flaws do not make the character interesting. He's a bit misanthropic but not to an extent that makes him completely sealed off from the outside world, and he's not strange enough to make for an interesting character study. The party scene is really the only window into his psyche, but besides that there's very little to satisfy the viewer. Even Greta Gerwig, Baumbach's recent muse and girlfriend, doesn't have a character with any extinguishing characteristics, except that she likes Greenberg, and that she isn't living the life that her college education allows. There are certainly great themes to the film but this just isn't the story of a thoughtless pariah that one expects.

Spencer S.

Super Reviewer

Florence Marr: Hurt people hurt people.

"He's got a lot on his mind."

Greenberg is a movie made in a style that a really enjoy. No real beginning, no real end, but only how life really goes. It's truly what we could call a "real life" movie. Now I can understand why many wouldn't have appreciation for a film like Greenberg. It doesn't care about creating laughs or tears, but only in presenting an unlikable character in Roger Greenberg. There's a lot of themes rolling out of this character, so if you like character driven movies, you should be able to like this one.

Roger comes back to LA from New York and is staying at his rich brothers place while he is on vacation with his family in Vietnam. His brother has a young personal assistant named Florence who was told that she may need to help Roger with some things and that he's just getting out of a mental hospital and is a little unstable. Roger and Florence begin seeing each other in an awkward and weird sort of way, while Roger struggles with some of his past disappointments and relationships.

The movie is slow and not strong on "entertainment." If you've seen any of Noah Baumbach's movies, you'll recognize it as his right of the bat. He uses characters that are sort of pretentious assholes that believe they know it all. Greenberg is a less pretentious(if only maybe because he isn't as smart) version of the father in Baumbach's masterpiece The Squid and The Whale. Greenberg doesn't quite reach the perfection of that movie, but it is still a really well made, interesting, and at least to me, great movie.

You gotta love Ben Stiller in another serious role after doing more silly shit than serious shit over the years. Also I really like Greta Gerwig who has her own demeanor on screen that comes across as very real. Rhys Ifans is just the cherry on top as far as the cast goes. As far story, there's not much needed and I appreciate movies that don't need that much story driven material. This one just let's the title character take over the movie and it works very well.

Melvin White

Super Reviewer

Greenburg doesn't really tread any new ground as far as story, it's pretty much just another fish in the 'indie' ocean. However, Ben Stiller and Greta Gerwig are great in the lead roles, playing awkward and irritated really well. Rhys Ifans was also on top form, showing exactly how to execute the 'less is more' technique. The script/dialogue is perfect and that's what really sets Greenburg apart from the rest, the party scene where Stiller challenges the 'Kids' is brilliant and a perfect example of this. A pleasant surprise following the disappointing Margot at the Wedding.

Anthony Lawrie

Super Reviewer

Greenberg Quotes

Florence Marr:
Hurt people hurt people.
– Submitted by Joey S (11 months ago)
Roger Greenberg:
You're of value.
Florence Marr:
I know that. You don't have to say that.
– Submitted by Justin J (19 months ago)
Roger Greenberg:
Life is wasted on people.
– Submitted by Feno B (21 months ago)
Florence Marr:
I've gotta stop doing things just because they feel good.
– Submitted by Kate W (3 years ago)
Florence Marr:
You like me so much more than you think you do.
– Submitted by rob g (3 years ago)
Roger Greenberg:
Dear Starbucks, in your attempt to manufacture culture out of fast food coffee you've been surprisingly successful for the most part. The part that isn't covered by 'the most part' sucks.
– Submitted by rob g (3 years ago)

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