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Seeking a Friend for the End of the World (2012)

tomatometer

56

Average Rating: 6.2/10
Reviews Counted: 158
Fresh: 88 | Rotten: 70

Tender, charming, and well-acted, Seeking a Friend for the End of the World is unfortunately hamstrung by jarring tonal shifts and a disappointing final act.

49

Average Rating: 6.2/10
Critic Reviews: 39
Fresh: 19 | Rotten: 20

Tender, charming, and well-acted, Seeking a Friend for the End of the World is unfortunately hamstrung by jarring tonal shifts and a disappointing final act.

audience

53

liked it
Average Rating: 3.3/5
User Ratings: 88,516

My Rating

Movie Info

Seeking a Friend for the End of the World stars Golden Globe Award winner Steve Carell and Academy Award nominee Keira Knightley and is the feature directorial debut of screenwriter Lorene Scafaria. Set in a too-near future, the movie explores what people will do when humanity's last days are at hand. As the respective journeys of Dodge (Mr. Carell) and Penny (Ms. Knightley) converge, the two spark to each other and their outlooks - if not the world's - brighten. -- (C) Focus

R,

Comedy

Lorene Scafaria

Oct 23, 2012

$6.6M

Focus Features - Official Site External Icon

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All Critics (159) | Top Critics (39) | Fresh (88) | Rotten (70) | DVD (2)

Though it's clear we're meant to be moved by the big finale, the sight of these two together is so unsettling it's hard not to start rooting for the asteroid.

July 10, 2012 Full Review Source: Time Out | Comments (3)
Time Out
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Steve Carell and Keira Knightley make for one of the most unlikely and yet one of the most touching romantic couples of the year.

June 26, 2012 Full Review Source: Richard Roeper.com | Comments (3)
Richard Roeper.com
Top Critic IconTop Critic

This is an exceedingly promising directorial debut for Scafaria, who adapted the winning romance Nick & Norah's Infinite Playlist.

June 22, 2012 Full Review Source: Denver Post | Comment (1)
Denver Post
Top Critic IconTop Critic

The genuine sweetness of the friendship that develops between these two wins out over any of the movie's failings.

June 22, 2012 Full Review Source: The Atlantic | Comments (9)
The Atlantic
Top Critic IconTop Critic

A movie that may be, in its own small, weird way, the most bizarrely bittersweet and oddly beautiful romance you've seen in quite awhile.

June 22, 2012 Full Review Source: Newark Star-Ledger | Comments (4)
Newark Star-Ledger
Top Critic IconTop Critic

The problem with this nice-try comedy is the nice-guy protagonist.

June 22, 2012 Full Review Source: St. Louis Post-Dispatch | Comment (1)
St. Louis Post-Dispatch
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Carell possesses a knack for these comedic-tinged dramatic parts, subtly layering on the pathos while slyly exploiting his character's vulnerability.

June 2, 2013 Full Review Source: The Patriot Ledger
The Patriot Ledger

A certain generosity of spirit is required here, but the performances are excellent and the central premise ... is a solid and amusing one.

March 4, 2013 Full Review Source: Film4

Seeking a Friend mocks the modern rom-com formula, but its apocalyptic gags soon give way to a heart-breaking love story.

October 26, 2012 Full Review Source: Big Hollywood
Big Hollywood

'Seeking a Friend for the End of the World' is funny, but also profound and tragic.

October 23, 2012 Full Review Source: Laramie Movie Scope
Laramie Movie Scope

Scafaria's brand of refreshingly sharp wit and insight will deliver for her fans but it wouldn't be the end of the world if you sought the movie out on the home video circuit.

October 2, 2012 Full Review Source: ScreenRant
ScreenRant

A heartfelt romantic-comedy that turns a predictable story into a genuinely enjoyable adventure.

September 30, 2012 Full Review Source: Fan The Fire
Fan The Fire

Seeking a Friend is two potentially great films fused into one. Unfortunately, the two halves don't peacefully coincide...

September 27, 2012 Full Review Source: The Aristocrat
The Aristocrat

Seeking A Friend for the End of the World is one of my favorite movies of the year; I loved every minute of it, especially any time Carell and Knightley get to share the screen and talk.

September 14, 2012 Full Review Source: We Got This Covered
We Got This Covered

While the idea of impending doom might suggest darker themes and a downbeat plot, this is an altogether calmer-geddon, with a muted, nuanced lead performance from Steve Carell, a cool-kid soundtrack and heartwarming overtones.

September 13, 2012 Full Review Source: TheShiznit.co.uk
TheShiznit.co.uk

Each scene plays out like a cleverly crafted vignette that gives the film a freshness and propulsion often missing from the romantic comedy genre. It also doesn't hurt to throw the looming apocalypse in there for good measure.

September 10, 2012 Full Review Source: FoxNews.com
FoxNews.com

Writer/director Lorene Scafaria moves her apocalyptic rom-com into new territory for such a formula-driven genre.

August 28, 2012 Full Review Source: 3AW | Comment (1)

Heart and humour in the countdown to Armageddon.

August 23, 2012 Full Review Source: sbs.com.au | Comment (1)
sbs.com.au

Lorene Scafaria, the screenwriter behind Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist, makes a charming directorial debut with Seeking a Friend for the End of the World.

July 15, 2012 Full Review Source: Irish Times | Comments (2)
Irish Times

"Knock knock." "Who's there?" "Armageddon". "Armageddon who?" "Armageddon tired of watching this lousy movie."

July 14, 2012 Full Review Source: Observer [UK] | Comments (12)
Observer [UK]

A funnier, deadly ironic ending was surely on the cards, but even without, this is a disarming, largely entertaining smattering of philosophies and worldviews.

July 14, 2012 Full Review Source: What Culture | Comment (1)
What Culture

Scafaria makes sure that the apocalypse may be in full impact but the importance of having each other at the last moment is the lasting, comforting thought.

July 14, 2012 Full Review Source: Real.com | Comment (1)

With a few surprises in store and some good music choices, this is a little gem of a film.

July 13, 2012 Full Review Source: Birmingham Mail | Comment (1)
Birmingham Mail

Brilliantly sweet and snarky.

July 13, 2012 Full Review Source: SFX Magazine | Comment (1)
SFX Magazine

Intelligence and subtle wit inform debut director Lorene Scafaria's heartfelt look at unlikely romance blossoming in the shadow of Earth's obliteration by a giant asteroid.

July 13, 2012 Full Review Source: Radio Times | Comment (1)
Radio Times

This is half a good film but hardly a wholly satisfactory one.

July 13, 2012 Full Review Source: This is London | Comment (1)
This is London

Audience Reviews for Seeking a Friend for the End of the World

There is something decidedly cheeky and gut wrenchingly depressing about this film, but you wouldn't know it from the start or for much of this film. The characters are certainly depressed by the state of their abysmal lives, but much of the film is saturated in feel good energy, in-jokes, and oftentimes a bit of fun here and there. This mostly comes from leads Steve Carrell and Kierra Knightley who each play outside of their comfort zones. While Carrell has played the maudlin sad sack in faire such as "Dan in Real Life" and "Little Miss Sunshine," here there is reserved anger brewing right under the surface that doesn't get resolved, doesn't lead to a large argument, or declaration of independence as it were. As the world is ending, asteroid barreling towards the planet, he swallows the bile of his paltry life and decides to act on what he's always felt but never acted upon. Knightley in comparison plays a wanton and idle young woman who is trying to piece together the last good moments of her life while also road tripping with fellow neighbor Dodge (Carrell). Knightley has never been so likable and tame in a performance, and though the chemistry between the fifty year old Carrell and thirty year old Knightley is not as concrete as most critics oblige, there is an innocence and floundering gratitude for them being an item. Though its original premise seems just as good, there was an appreciation for taking the story slow and actually evolving their love for the audience to see plainly. Where a lot of people seem to get lost in a personal dilemma comes with the ending which doesn't leave any doubt in people's minds. I have heard it argued that it should end ten minutes before, and if it had, there would have been a beautiful impact left from not having that shoehorned resolution. Even at the end of the world not everything gets tied up in a neat little bow, and that message would have meant more. Leaving something like the end of the world open ended makes it so much easier to love.
June 28, 2013
FrizzDrop

Super Reviewer

Slow. Few chuckle moments. However, I was charmed by the end...
April 28, 2013
itsjustme2004

Super Reviewer

A little slow, but ending was so sweet I could overlook it.
March 4, 2013
romy861

Super Reviewer

It's the end of the world as we know it and I oddly felt fine... which is not a good sign for your apocalyptic movie. Seeking a Friend for the End of the World is a peculiar thing, all right. It takes place in the last three weeks of the human race. And lest you think the film wimps out on the promise of its title, think again. I was bemused for the first forty minutes, where writer/director Lorene Scafaria indulges in a series of one-scene vignettes of how humanity comes to terms with the certainty of annihilation. There's an adult party where people joyfully try heroin, a hit man-for-hire service to bring back some of the mystery of death, and a restaurant where all the workers are spaced out on Ecstasy. I found each of these moments to be funny and a well though-out extension of the premise. But then the film's diversions give way to the rom-com of our main characters, played by Steve Carell and Keira Knightley as your standard manic pixie girl. And the more time I spent with them the more I found myself not getting engaged. My emotional empathy was kept to a minimum; they're nice people and all but I didn't find them that interesting. The resulting movie feels like one of the weakest avenues given the premise. I credit Scafaria for not wimping out in the end, but as these characters faced oblivion together, I felt little emotional stirrings in my chest.

Nate's Grade: C+
January 28, 2013
boxman
Nate Zoebl

Super Reviewer

    1. Penny: I'm scared...
    2. Dodge: I'm.... madly in love with you...
    – Submitted by Luis M (3 months ago)
    1. Penny: I thought we could save each other.
    2. Dodge: We did.
    – Submitted by Quinn T (7 months ago)
    1. Penny: I won't steal anything if you don't rape me.
    – Submitted by Adam P (9 months ago)
    1. Roache: I've been with a women everyday. They don't care about getting pregnant or if I'll call them back or if I can provide for them.
    – Submitted by Adam P (9 months ago)
    1. Karen: I'm going to take a pottery class and eat whatever I want, and maybe spend alittle time with someone special.
    2. Dodge: Oh me, uh what was the question?
    – Submitted by Adam P (9 months ago)
    1. Penny: I wish we met each other a long time ago. When we were kids.
    2. Dodge: It couldn't have happened any other way. It had to happen now.
    3. Penny: But it isn't enough time--
    4. Dodge: It never would have been.
    – Submitted by Monique N (18 months ago)
View all quotes (9)

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Foreign Titles

  • Auf der Suche nach einem Freund fürs Ende der Welt (DE)
  • Jusqu'ŕ ce que la fin du monde nous sépare (FR)
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