The Number 23 Reviews

Top Critic
Tom Charity
CNN.com
July 9, 2007
For all its gimmicky numerology, The Number 23 just doesn't add up.
Top Critic
March 13, 2007
Pretty much every important date in history...can be teased to fit the pattern. What can't be hammered out of this fixation, apparently, is a coherent movie.
Top Critic
Melissa Anderson
Time Out
March 3, 2007
It just adds up to sheer ineptitude.
Full Review | Original Score: 1/6
Top Critic
Nathan Rabin
AV Club
February 24, 2007
Watching Carrey babble gibberish about the sinister nature of 23 in scene after hyperventilating scene isn't any more fun or enlightening than listening to street-corner lunatics discourse on similar topics.
Full Review | Original Score: D-
Top Critic
Manohla Dargis
New York Times
February 23, 2007
The Number 23 is an accidental comedy starring a deadly serious Jim Carrey.
| Original Score: 1.5/5
Top Critic
Peter Howell
Toronto Star
February 23, 2007
Julius Caesar was stabbed 23 times. Charles Manson was born Nov. 12 (11 + 12 = 23). The Mayans believed the world would end on Dec. 23, 2012 (20 + 1 + 2 = 23). My brother stole my pogo stick when I was 23 and broke it into 23 pieces.
Full Review | Original Score: 1.5/4
Top Critic
Moira MacDonald
Seattle Times
February 23, 2007
The author's obsession with the number 23 becomes Walter's, and we're treated to a lot of examples of numbers that add up to 23, which means a lot of scenes in which people say things like, 'What's 14 plus 9? 23!' and look haunted.
Full Review | Original Score: 1.5/4
Top Critic
Mick LaSalle
San Francisco Chronicle
February 23, 2007
Carrey owns this movie. He's in virtually every scene, and there's no taking one's eyes from him.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Lisa Rose
Newark Star-Ledger
February 23, 2007
Pages turn, knives plunge, rain patters and the camera rarely holds steady. No amount of quick cuts and twitchy shots, however, can compensate for the lack of narrative momentum.
Full Review | Original Score: 1/4
Top Critic
Kyle Smith
New York Post
February 23, 2007
The main test of a twisty thriller is, would you watch it again? You won't, because the solution turns out to be both uncomplicated and cliché.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
Top Critic
Jack Mathews
New York Daily News
February 23, 2007
Though students of formulaic screenwriting may figure this mystery out long before Walter does, there won't be much satisfaction in it because it is totally preposterous.
| Original Score: 2/4
Top Critic
Bruce Westbrook
Houston Chronicle
February 23, 2007
How do we loathe thee, The Number 23? Let us count the ways.
Full Review | Original Score: 1.5/4
Top Critic
Rick Groen
Globe and Mail
February 23, 2007
If nothing else -- and, trust me, there ain't much else -- the title has a satisfying ring of candour. Yep, The Number 23 is all about the number 23.
Full Review | Original Score: 1/4
Top Critic
Tom Long
Detroit News
February 23, 2007
Charlie Chaplin did not star in The Wolfman. Jerry Lewis did not attempt Hamlet. Jonathan Winters never appeared in Death of a Salesman. Thank heavens.
Full Review | Original Score: C
Top Critic
Terry Lawson
Detroit Free Press
February 23, 2007
Director Joel Schumacher never knows when enough is enough.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
Top Critic
Robert Denerstein
Denver Rocky Mountain News
February 23, 2007
The major mistake Carrey made was agreeing to do the movie in the first place.
| Original Score: C-
Top Critic
Lisa Kennedy
Denver Post
February 23, 2007
Newcomer Fernley Phillips' screenplay eventually binds itself into too tight a knot. But it also has some admirable ambitions about family, responsibility, memory.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
Top Critic
Bill Zwecker
Chicago Sun-Times
February 23, 2007
A thriller like this needs to pack a lot of firepower on the backend. Unfortunately, all we get is a weak, much-anticipated little pop.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
Top Critic
Wesley Morris
Boston Globe
February 23, 2007
The only fright in the nominal thriller The Number 23 is how shaggy, gaunt, and wiped out Jim Carrey looks.
Full Review | Original Score: 1.5/4
Top Critic
Joe Morgenstern
Wall Street Journal
February 22, 2007
There's little in this first script by Fernley Phillips but bloodless notions -- nothing that might qualify, by the light of day, as entertainment.
Top Critic
Claudia Puig
USA Today
February 22, 2007
Here's our homage to the film's tortured permutations of the numerals 2 and 3: 3 minus 2 equals 1. And there is only one reason to see this movie: You have absolutely nothing better to do.
Full Review | Original Score: 1.5/4
Top Critic
Stephanie Zacharek
Salon.com
February 22, 2007
Let's cut to the chase: Movies don't get much more dunderheaded than Joel Schumacher's semi-psychological thriller The Number 23.
Top Critic
Kevin Crust
Los Angeles Times
February 22, 2007
Carrey has never looked so uncomfortable on-screen.
Full Review | Original Score: 1/5
Top Critic
Bill Muller
Arizona Republic
February 22, 2007
Not only does the film have no sense of story, it has little sense of itself, including a long postscript just to untangle the knots.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/5
Top Critic
Roger Moore
Orlando Sentinel
February 22, 2007
The Number 23 plays a bit too much like Memento for Dummies.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
Top Critic
Colin Covert
Minneapolis Star Tribune
February 22, 2007
It's so cheesy that it's almost transcendent.
Full Review | Original Score: 0.5/4
Top Critic
Peter Rainer
Christian Science Monitor
February 22, 2007
It makes you want to cover your eyes and clutch your ears.
Full Review | Original Score: F
Top Critic
Steven Rea
Philadelphia Inquirer
February 22, 2007
A numerological, super-dumb-ological thriller.
| Original Score: 1.5/4
Top Critic
Stephen Hunter
Washington Post
February 22, 2007
As Sam Goldwyn said: Include me out.
Top Critic
Connie Ogle
Miami Herald
February 22, 2007
I'm not much of a math student, but I can tell you what The Number 23 all adds up to: nothing.
Full Review | Original Score: 1.5/4
Top Critic
Michael Phillips
Chicago Tribune
February 22, 2007
This is the sort of film where no one can say anything without someone else commenting: 'Thirty-two -- 23 reversed!' Yes, and what do you know? There are 23 letters in the phrase 'better luck next time, folks.'
Full Review | Original Score: 1.5/4
Top Critic
Jan Stuart
Newsday
February 22, 2007
The 23rd letter of the alphabet is W, without which there would be no waffles, Wal-Mart and, that final word on all things tiresome and pretentious: whatever.
Full Review | Original Score: 0/4
Top Critic
J. R. Jones
Chicago Reader
February 22, 2007
Narrated in voice-over by the hero, the movie is an object lesson in the dangers of having a storyteller who manufactures his own logic.
Top Critic
Eleanor Ringel Gillespie
Atlanta Journal-Constitution
February 22, 2007
No one wants to watch a by-the-numbers hack job -- even if the movie is called The Number 23.
Full Review | Original Score: C-
Top Critic
Scott Foundas
L.A. Weekly
February 22, 2007
Having seen the movie, allow me to throw one additional calculation into the equation: The Number 23 is a zero.
Top Critic
Owen Gleiberman
Entertainment Weekly
February 21, 2007
By the end, you'll want to stick around, if only to crack the Jim Carrey code: Is he a real actor after all, or is the rabid urgency with which he keeps trying to be the most real thing about him?
Full Review | Original Score: B-
Top Critic
James Berardinelli
ReelViews
February 21, 2007
The movie isn't sufficiently lurid or campy to be enjoyable on an exploitative level and it's not well enough crafted to work as a more serious form of entertainment.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
Top Critic
David Germain
Associated Press
February 21, 2007
One of the many mysteries about the number 23 is why Jim Carrey and director Joel Schumacher thought audiences would share their fascination over the mysteries about the number 23.
Top Critic
Rex Reed
New York Observer
February 21, 2007
Contrived, incomprehensible gibberish that exists for the sole purpose of exposing a miscast star in a career stretch for which he is pathetically unprepared. It's the worst kind of flop, a flop for its own sake.
Top Critic
Justin Chang
Variety
February 21, 2007
Gimmicky numerology plus Jim Carrey minus narrative coherence equals The Number 23.
Top Critic
Frank Scheck
Hollywood Reporter
February 20, 2007
There are probably at least 23 reasons why this thriller doesn't work.
Top Critic
Peter Travers
Rolling Stone
February 20, 2007
There's a mess of things wrong with this suspense thriller. Start with the fact that it's neither suspenseful nor thrilling.
| Original Score: 1/4
Top Critic
David Edelstein
New York Magazine/Vulture
February 20, 2007
Shot by computer-enhanced shot, The Number 23 is impressive, but those shots don't come from anywhere or build on one another.
Top Critic
Trevor Johnston
Time Out
February 15, 2007
Schumacher keeps it pacy, the murky camerawork's very cool, Carrey suitably wide-eyed, but its limitations are finally only too obvious.