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Salinger (2013)

tomatometer

35

Average Rating: 5.4/10
Reviews Counted: 84
Fresh: 30 | Rotten: 54

A so-so documentary about a fascinating personality, Salinger has moments of insight but is too often bogged down by reenactments and a lack of attention to the man's actual writings.

30

Average Rating: 5.3/10
Critic Reviews: 37
Fresh: 11 | Rotten: 26

A so-so documentary about a fascinating personality, Salinger has moments of insight but is too often bogged down by reenactments and a lack of attention to the man's actual writings.

audience

52

liked it
Average Rating: 3.3/5
User Ratings: 5,044

My Rating

Movie Info

SALINGER features interviews with 150 subjects including Salinger's friends, colleagues and members of his inner circle who have never spoken on the record before as well as film footage, photographs and other material that has never been seen. Additionally, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Edward Norton, John Cusack, Danny DeVito, John Guare, Martin Sheen, David Milch, Robert Towne, Tom Wolfe, E.L. Doctorow, Gore Vidal and Pulitzer Prize winners A. Scott Berg and Elizabeth Frank talk about Salinger's

PG-13,

Documentary, Special Interest

Shane Salerno

Mar 3, 2014

$0.6M

The Weinstein Company - Official Site External Icon

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All Critics (84) | Top Critics (37) | Fresh (30) | Rotten (54)

Salinger triumphs, though, as an absorbing portrait of a singular man of mystery.

January 28, 2014 Full Review Source: Uncle Barky
Uncle Barky
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Too bad that Salinger offers no real insight into the elusive writer and is fueled almost entirely by trivial anecdotes.

January 21, 2014 Full Review Source: Minneapolis Star Tribune
Minneapolis Star Tribune
Top Critic IconTop Critic

The movie has a shallow, paparazzo literalism. It just wants to catch the legendarily reclusive Salinger getting into a Jeep.

January 6, 2014 Full Review Source: Grantland
Grantland
Top Critic IconTop Critic

What emerges is a portrait of an enigma.

September 23, 2013 Full Review Source: Seattle Times
Seattle Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Where Salinger succeeds is in the gripping section on World War II, and in the exquisite, often melancholy details in the stories told by the likes of Joyce Maynard.

September 20, 2013 Full Review Source: Chicago Sun-Times
Chicago Sun-Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

The treatment of J.D. Salinger's writing in this overwrought documentary is so inflated and pompous it comes as a relief when Judd Apatow shows up to describe The Catcher in the Rye as a funny book filled with great lines.

September 20, 2013 Full Review Source: Orange County Register
Orange County Register
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Salinger would scoff at it.

April 8, 2014 Full Review Source: Movie Mezzanine
Movie Mezzanine

For those captivated by Salinger's writing, this intelligent and often invigorating film provides fine insight into his world.

February 19, 2014 Full Review Source: Film Threat
Film Threat

An emotionally stirring and affecting work, albeit a flawed one.

January 29, 2014 Full Review Source: TV Guide's Movie Guide
TV Guide's Movie Guide

a work that Holden Caufield would describe as a phony piece of crap.

October 2, 2013 Full Review Source: Old School Reviews
Old School Reviews

About as complete a profile as one could reasonably wish for...a must-see for anyone with even a passing interest in the issue of how art can take on an uncontrollable life of its own.

September 29, 2013 Full Review Source: 3AW

An intriguing portrait of the reclusive genius. Very accessible.

September 26, 2013 Full Review Source: JoBlo's Movie Emporium
JoBlo's Movie Emporium

He hated being famous.

September 26, 2013 Full Review Source: Las Vegas Informer
Las Vegas Informer

Fatuous and infuriating, it's a shallow, superficial examination of a multi-layered, enigmatic author.

September 25, 2013 Full Review Source: SSG Syndicate
SSG Syndicate

Buries a few nuggets in a mountain of repetition and overstatement.

September 23, 2013 Full Review Source: One Guy's Opinion
One Guy's Opinion

Perpetuates a problem that the film fails to acknowledge: Artists' most devoted supporters frequently refuse to oblige their simple request to be left alone.

September 23, 2013 Full Review Source: RedEye
RedEye

Salerno's depiction is intriguing and distinctly engaging.

September 23, 2013 Full Review Source: Kaplan vs. Kaplan
Kaplan vs. Kaplan

Whether you have read "The Catcher in the Rye" before, or forgotten what you read years ago, or never picked up the book at all, this documentary may compel you to find a copy.

September 23, 2013 Full Review Source: Kaplan vs. Kaplan
Kaplan vs. Kaplan

I have one thing to say to the director, "Sleep tight, ya moron!"

September 22, 2013 Full Review Source: tonymacklin.net
tonymacklin.net

If you really want to keep your relationship to Catcher in the Rye sacred, don't see this film.

September 20, 2013 Full Review Source: AspectRatio.us
AspectRatio.us

A distractingly bombastic music design starts at a thundering pitch and has nowhere to go but further.

September 20, 2013 Full Review Source: Austin Chronicle
Austin Chronicle

Audience Reviews for Salinger

It's not often that I see a documentary that isn't very good, but it's unheard of for a documentary to be so completely at odds with the message it tries to impart! A film that in turn idolizes Salinger in an almost creepy fashion and would have him rolling in his grave, "Salinger" is a phony mess, filled with manipulative music and swooping camera angles of what appears to be stock footage. Yet it is thorough in tracing his career, isn't afraid to question the man, and does end up imparting some interesting food for thought. Unfortunately, even if the documentary was not pretentious, and ultimately a commercial for books that Salinger may or may not actually have given permission to publish, it simply isn't well-made. Your average History Channel doc, or in other words, frustratingly disappointing.
October 14, 2013
Sam Barnett

Super Reviewer

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