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The Hawk Is Dying (2006)



Average Rating: 4.6/10
Reviews Counted: 23
Fresh: 7 | Rotten: 16

Paul Giamatti lends his character some pathos, but The Hawk is Dying is otherwise too ambiguous and morose to be enjoyable.


Average Rating: 4.6/10
Critic Reviews: 11
Fresh: 4 | Rotten: 7

Paul Giamatti lends his character some pathos, but The Hawk is Dying is otherwise too ambiguous and morose to be enjoyable.



liked it
Average Rating: 3.1/5
User Ratings: 2,345


My Rating

Movie Info

A man channels his feelings through an obsession with wild birds in this independent drama based on a novel by Harry Crews. Fortysomething George Gattling (Paul Giamatti) is an emotionally stunted man who makes his living doing auto upholstery and lives with his sister, Precious (Rusty Schwimmer), and her autistic son, Fred (Michael Pitt). Though George has an on-and-off relationship with Betty (Michelle Williams), a constantly stoned young woman just edging out of her teens, one of the few ways

May 29, 2007

Strand Releasing

Watch It Now


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All Critics (23) | Top Critics (11) | Fresh (7) | Rotten (16) | DVD (2)

Goldberger and Giamatti strain too hard for strangeness.

May 4, 2007 Full Review Source: Chicago Sun-Times | Comment (1)
Chicago Sun-Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

These strengths seldom mesh persuasively.

May 4, 2007 Full Review Source: Chicago Reader
Chicago Reader
Top Critic IconTop Critic

The Hawk Is Dying is a fragile little movie, occasionally ridiculous, but with M. Night Shyamalan's Lady In The Water, Giamatti proved that he can make even the weirdest material believable.

April 5, 2007 Full Review Source: AV Club
AV Club
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Imagine an entire film infected with hangdog sensibility, unrelieved by humor or narrative interest, and you have The Hawk Is Dying.

April 2, 2007
New York Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

For performing half this film with a predatory bird perched and flapping angrily on his arm, Paul Giamatti deserves some sort of award.

March 31, 2007 Full Review Source: Time Out New York
Time Out New York
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Not an easy movie to watch, and it's far from perfect -- but it does have an artsy integrity and a fascinatingly intense performance by Paul Giamatti.

March 30, 2007 Full Review Source: New York Post
New York Post
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Never takes flight.

April 7, 2007 Full Review Source: Boxoffice Magazine
Boxoffice Magazine

Ultimately, this inscrutable film is just an exercise in self-indulgence.

March 31, 2007 Full Review Source: Film Journal International
Film Journal International

Giamatti delivers yet another superb performance, turning what might have been a freak show into an unexpectedly moving experience.

March 30, 2007 Full Review Source: TV Guide's Movie Guide
TV Guide's Movie Guide

Isn't anywhere close to perfect, but giving yourself over to its performances is wonderfully rewarding.

March 30, 2007

Resonant but angst-ridden, it's a subtle, strangely spiritual human drama that unfolds slowly, very slowly.

March 23, 2007 Full Review Source:

The principal human character warns more than once, "Don't look at The Hawk." That's good advice, film fans.

March 19, 2007 Full Review Source: Compuserve

It's awfully hard to review a movie called The Hawk is Dying without avoiding bird synonyms and metaphors.

March 17, 2007 Full Review Source: Slant Magazine
Slant Magazine

It's not exactly a one-man and a bird show, but it's as close as we're going to get.

May 22, 2006 Full Review Source: Entertainment Insiders
Entertainment Insiders

Goldberger's study of a troubled man's obsession with falconry is admittedly flawed and Giamatti's acting is self-indulgent, yet there's something truly independent about this film which now gets a second chance to be seen at the Cannes Film Festival.

April 10, 2006 Full Review Source: EmanuelLevy.Com

Giamatti, as always, is great. He brings George to life, which isn't all that difficult for one of the few dumpy, balding actors getting leading man roles in Hollywood.

February 17, 2006 Full Review Source: Film Threat
Film Threat

Audience Reviews for The Hawk Is Dying

Not much has been written about Julian Goldberger's 2006 film The Hawk Is Dying but then not many people saw it. What is written isn't particularly positive which puzzles and frustrates me in equal measure. Paul Giamatti gives the best performance of his career and possibly the best performance of 2006. His performance completely absorbs the audience into following him and highlighting aspects of his character and the overall message, that I think many people missed. Giamatti plays George, a man who we are told finds it extremely hard to express his emotions. When his nephew dies unexpectedly, he goes into an obsessive meltdown while his family and friends watch on worriedly. The point of the film isn't how unnatural or stunted George is, it is how unnatural everyone else is in displaying (or not displaying) their grief. The film very cleverly and very subtly shows us the madness in others while we follow what we are told is mad but in truth is nothing more than natural. It's heaped in symbolism but never preaches or pretends to be anything more than it is. In my opinion, it's one of the best films of the decade and hopefully in time more people will agree with me. Crash won the Oscar in 2006 for best picture, Giamatti was nominated for best supporting actor for his role in Cinderella Man and Michelle Williams for hers in Brokeback Mountain. They should have all won for The Hawk Is Dying.
July 22, 2014

Super Reviewer

This was a good film, but I don't know if it was one I would recommend to everyone. It is kind of slow, and not the most thrilling of topics, I guess, with the main character being obssessed with training a hawk! However, the cast are all very good in this, particularly Paul Giamatti and Michelle Williams, and it does ring true. I have to confess I only watched it because Michael Pitt is in it, it is not exactly something that would have leapt of the shelf at me otherwise, and since he's only in it for about half an hour, and not exactly the most interesting role I ever saw him, (he is good, but he's kind of underwritten. Well I guess only so much you can do with an autistic character who barely speaks. Kind of wasted in that part, really), so that isn't a recommendation for other fans either! However, I actually was interested enough in the characters and story to watch the rest of it and see what happened, and I did find it worthwhile, although I can't imagine wanting to sit down and watch it again anytime soon.
August 25, 2008

Super Reviewer

Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh! Thats what I thought after the first 30 min, the 2nd 30 min, and the last 30 min. I have more to do with my life then watch this, don't I? I guess not or I wouldn't have finished it. Save Me Somebody
October 31, 2007
Bruce Bruce

Super Reviewer

Giamatti's great, but this is what happens when you smoke weed with a camera.
July 29, 2007

Super Reviewer

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