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Seeking a Friend for the End of the World Reviews

Page 1 of 126
Spencer S

Super Reviewer

March 29, 2012
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.
Cynthia S

Super Reviewer

April 22, 2013
Slow. Few chuckle moments. However, I was charmed by the end...
Nicki M

Super Reviewer

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

Super Reviewer

January 28, 2013
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+
Raymond W

Super Reviewer

February 21, 2012
Steve Carell and Keira Knightley are probably two people who would be the last people to be in a relationship together, but somehow they make it work, for the most part. A charming story, that's well-acted, especially from Keira Knightley, even if the audience knows the ending right from the start. The plot has some major holes that confused me, and it seemed rushed at the end. Seeking a Friend for the End of the World is nothing to highly recommend, but it's a commendable attempt from first time director Lorene Scafaria.
Jason R

Super Reviewer

November 27, 2012
Not bad, but I just don't think you can make a romantic comedy set during the apocalypse. My emotions were super-confused the whole time.
LWOODS04
LWOODS04

Super Reviewer

February 19, 2012
"I honestly didn't see the film going the way it went when it came to the type of relationship Dodge and Penny would have. I would have never pictured putting these two actor's together to make a rom-com with. But what ended up shocking me the most was that it worked. I thought it was going to be weird with them being together, but instead I thought they were cute and a right fit. Odd how things like that work out.
My disappointment with the movie is the lack of comedy. I got the rom and no com. If that makes sense? I smiled a few times, but there was really no funny moments. I expected it to be funny.
I did enjoy the relationship that evolved between Penny and Dodge. The phone call to her parents was touching and sad. I also found it extremely weird on how everyone was reacting to the news of their impending demise. Some going about their day like nothing was coming in days to end the entire world. It was just odd. Odd, a perferct word for this film. That and quirky. I enjoyed it though. I found it to be a cutesy little romance flick. I would probably see it again."
Mark W

Super Reviewer

November 22, 2012
Maybe it's to do with the 2012 Mayan prophecy but over the last couple of years, there seems to have been a recent fad of 'end of days' movies. So far, we've had Lars von Trier's "Melancholia", David Mackenzie's "Perfect Sense", Mike Cahill's "Another Earth" and now this. Of the four though, I'd have to say that this is the weakest.
A 70 mile-wide asteroid named Mathilda is on a collision course with Earth with attempts to divert it thwarted. Earth will be obliterated in 3 weeks. Throughout this time, Dodge (Steve Carell) and his British next-door neighbour Penny (Keira Knightley) strike up an unusual friendship and embark on a road trip that should suit them both. Dodge wants to track down the real love of his life and Penny wants to get back to Britain to spend her remaining days with her family. Along the way though, things don't turn out exactly as planned.
The major problem with this film is that it doesn't know what it wants to be; it starts off with some sharp observational and gallows humour but doesn't manage to be a laugh out loud comedy. It then delivers a serious dramatic tone - while pitching in elements of science fiction - which, surprisingly, bog it down in tediousness from which it never recovers. The genre in which it is most suited is romantic-comedy but the characters are dull and their situations even more so. It also suffers from an extreme lack of pace. You'd think that a film that delivers a premise of the entire earth having 21 days to live would have a bit of urgency about it. You'd also be forgiven for expecting some ridiculous 'bucket list' scenarios but it simply doesn't provide them, despite threatening to on occasion. There are sporadic moments where it promises to get it's groove back but ultimately falls into a slow and meandering cross country love story that, for the most part, is dreadfully uneventful.
Steve Carell is starting to annoy me in these kind of tragic, everyman, loner roles and I'm not a fan of the snobby Keira Knightley at all; I can't get over the fact that she always comes across as if she was born with a silver spoon up her arse. There are some welcome appearances from the likes of Martin Sheen (who needn't have bothered) Patton Oswalt and William L. Petersen - the latter in particular getting a much needed humorous scene involving the expected appearance of a hitman. It's little moments like this that make the film all the more frustrating; it shows glimmers of great potential but doesn't stick to what it does best and ends up being tedious and melancholic. After all this has (finally) passed by, the film almost redeems itself at the end with a lovely and touching moment between the protagonists but by then, it's too little too late.
Despite not being a massive fan of the two leads, I was intrigued by the films premise. That being said, any potential it had was floundered by delivering scene after scene of mind-numbing emptiness.
Josh L

Super Reviewer

July 11, 2012
This is a hard movie to review. On the one hand, it is very well acted and has a nice love story, but on the other hand it's turn from a comedy into full blown romance is almost too much and despite having some interesting questions about what society would do if the apocalypse were to happen, it falls back on the romance too much and doesn't offer enough with the story. I liked the first half more than I did the second, when the movie starts to slow down and lose its way for awhile before the tone changes from depressing comedy to light romance. That's the movies main problem, but it certainly decently well made. I don't quite completely recommend it, but I certainly wouldn't condemn it either.
Everett J

Super Reviewer

November 17, 2012
Steve Carell usually plays 2 types of characters, the wacky guy or the quiet crying on the inside guy. Here, he is the quiet guy which is fine because he does it perfect. This movie is a lot like "Eternal Sunshine and the Spotless Mind" in it's quirky, funny, and makes you think about a lot of things. Basically the premise is exactly what the title implies. The world is a couple weeks away from being destroyed by an asteroid. Carrel's wife runs off leaving him alone when he then encounters a neighbor he rarely knew at all played by Keira Knightley. She sometimes can be annoying in roles like this, at at times she comes close, but she does a good job. She and Carell have a good chemistry and play well off each other. The film is a very good look at what people would do if they knew the world is about to end. Some riot, some have orgies, and some just sit and watch the news. I found it to be pretty interesting, but a little slow in parts. It starts out good, then midway through kind of slows down and never really picks back up. It's worth a watch because of the subject matter, but might not be a movie to watch again. I thought overall it was ok, could have been better and worse, but it falls somewhere in the middle for me.
Anthony L

Super Reviewer

November 12, 2012
As much as I liked Seeking a Friend for the End of the World I cannot give it more than 3 stars, even though I feel like I want to. The big problem is that it was sold as a comedy, which it isn't. There are funny parts but they are very few and far between. As much as I love Steve Carrell, I think the film is slightly mis-cast. maybe that is unfair of me but then again I think the production company are to blame as they have advertised this as a Steve Carrell comedy which it really isn't although he is very good here and he is type-cast so far as false advertising is concerned. Poor guy. Keira Knightley is unlikable. Her character, or at least her portrayal of the character falls very short of what is really needed for anyone to fall in love with at such short and difficult circumstances, in fact she is instantly hateable and continually annoying. I suppose it's hard to enjoy a romantic apocalyptic film due to the fact you know everyone dies at the end. It's very sweet when it comes to that part, beautifully written but just poorly executed. I guess that's the real problem with the film, it's a brilliant story that just hasn't been told very well, it just doesn't live up to it's huge potential.
sanjurosamurai
sanjurosamurai

Super Reviewer

November 5, 2012
this is a wonderful film. i laughed hard, and the story was so genuine and full of heart. i love the pacing and the way things are represented without derailing the thrust of the story involving the main characters. excellent film.
YodaMasterJedi
YodaMasterJedi

Super Reviewer

October 30, 2012
three stars!!
MANUGINO
MANUGINO

Super Reviewer

October 20, 2012
The first comedy about the end of it all.

"Seeking a Friend of the End of the World" is an end of the world drama that really makes you think about what you would do if you had only a few weeks to live. With strong dialogue, likable characters, and clever jokes, this film shows you that there can be good things to come out of a bad situation. It takes you in one direction you think you're going, and then often makes a sharp left when you least expect it. The movie is also funnier than the title suggests, has some startling moments I never saw coming nor expected, and keeps you watching for many reasons. Go see it!


An asteroid named "Matilda" is on a collision course towards Earth and in three weeks the world will come to an absolute end. What would you do if your life and the world were doomed? One man decides to spend his time searching for his long lost love from high school during the coming catastrophe.
Josh M

Super Reviewer

September 15, 2012
I love end of the world movies, and this one is certainly no Doctor Strangelove or even the underrated Last Night, but it's worth seeing due to Steve Carrell and Keira Knightly and all the supporting players. The world is coming to an end. Carrell's wife leaves him when she gets that news and Knightley realizes she can't be with a jerk boyfriend during the apocalypse. The best parts of the film are in the first half before the world gets incinerated, when we see how people of every type would behave if they had nothing to lose.Middle Class people have rampant sex and shoot heroin to see what it's like, theme restaurant servers take drugs and kiss everybody and officious cops still give out speeding tickets. Steve and Keira's road trip where we witness how Middle Americans are reacting is terrific, and the trucker William Peterson plays has a fascinating, nihilistic, sucidal approach to the end. He does a great job with a weird and dark role.However, when we get into schmatzy father son pre apocalypse reconciliation with Martin Sheen and the disappointing consummation of frumpy Knightly and nerdy Carell's affair, including the final bed scene waiting for the end, the film is quite lame. The narrative through line of this film does not work, and I'm not sure what the film if anything, it wants to say. However, there are a truckload of great character actors doing some great turns and the film is saved by its comic virtuoso cast. It's worth a rental. Oh, and don't forget the wonderful collection of mostly forgotten 70s tunes, picked for maximum quirkiness and nostalgia.
Carlos M

Super Reviewer

June 22, 2012
This film should not be sold as a comedy, for it is actually the most depressive movie of the year. The problem resides in the abrupt shifts in tone and in a disastrous attempt of being both a cute road movie and a profound love story, leading to a horrible ending.
hunterjt13
hunterjt13

Super Reviewer

July 9, 2012
As the world is ending, a man and his neighbor go to New Jersey to find the man's long-lost love.
The first act of the film is far too expository, as though writer/director Lorene Scarfaria needed to cram so much information into such a little time that she forgets to focus on the main characters. We do see some plausible reactions to the end of the world like descents into pure hedonism and abandoning trifling jobs, and these moments give the scenario a believability and a comic light-heartedness. But it isn't until Penny has a conversation with her parents over the telephone, a moment that is some of the best acting I've seen from Keira Knightley, that the film finally picks up steam in a compelling, funny, and touching way.
Steve Carell is fine. The hallmark of his dramatic roles is a disaffected demeanor with little vocal changes or emotional expression. He'll never be Daniel Day-Lewis, but he won't be Richard Gere either, and that's about the best I can say for him.
Overall, I liked the film, and I'm glad I saw it, but save for a few moments I don't think I'll watch any part of it again.
Alice S

Super Reviewer

July 6, 2012
Keira Knightley is actually rather cute and delightful in this. I don't think I've ever seen her in a contemporary comedy looking and acting kinda kooky. She delivers some great monologues - the first being a happily teary phone call to her family and the second being a loving rumination on records.

I'm starting to get a little weary of Steve Carell's dramatic performances. They're a little too serious even when the situation calls for some lightness.

The sad thing is that after watching two movies about the end of the world back-to-back, I've realized that in the event of an apocalpyse, I'd probably do nothing.
Jay H

Super Reviewer

July 2, 2012
Seeking a Friend for the End of the World is fun and charming at times and features fine performances from Carell and Knightley. Ultimately, though, the film fails to live up to the great potential of its clever plot and comes across as an incoherent mess in what seems to be an amateurish filmmaking effort. It's worth watching, but as it winds its way through its bizarre plot twists, it's not hard to see that it fails to fulfill its promise.
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