This Must Be The Place Reviews

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Nicolas Rapold
Film Comment Magazine
June 28, 2013
The conceit of showing a pop-culture figure's life out of the limelight is beyond hackneyed, but the film's incongruous visual splendor and Penn's all-or-nothing commitment keep Sorrentino's unabashed folly afloat for a while.
Scott Foundas
Film Comment Magazine
June 20, 2013
Sorrentino's aggressively life-affirming movie has wormed its way into the hearts of a surprising number of usually sensible, discerning critics.
Mike Scott
Times-Picayune
January 11, 2013
As oddly magnetic as Sean Penn's performance is, the film seems more preoccupied with being quirky and puzzling than with telling a cohesive, satisfying story.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/5
Andy Lea
Daily Star
January 4, 2013
"It would take a week mucking out a pork pie factory to acclimatise for a hamfest as nauseating as this."
Full Review | Original Score: 1/5
Richard Knight
Windy City Times
December 28, 2012
Penn's Cheyenne is endearing and ultimately a little bit heartbreaking.
Todd Jorgenson
Cinemalogue.com
November 22, 2012
... a fascinating character study that goes beyond simple quirks and mannerisms.
Top Critic
Joe Williams
St. Louis Post-Dispatch
November 21, 2012
Penn has created a colorful tour guide, but in "This Must Be the Place," there's no there there.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
Top Critic
Ben Sachs
Chicago Reader
November 16, 2012
Writer-director Paolo Sorrentino handles the story with surprising thoughtfulness.
Robert Denerstein
Movie Habit
November 16, 2012
Hits some wild notes but never quite finds its niche
Marjorie Baumgarten
Austin Chronicle
November 16, 2012
Sean Penn performs another one of his amazing transmogrification acts as the rock star Cheyenne in This Must Be the Place.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/5
Steve Persall
Tampa Bay Times
November 15, 2012
Feels like a cult movie waiting to happen, or perhaps a mad experiment gone wrong. Either way, it's worth watching Penn, perhaps unwittingly, taking Jeff Spicoli to the burned-out end we might have guessed for him back at Ridgemont High.
Full Review | Original Score: B
Top Critic
Bill Goodykoontz
Arizona Republic
November 15, 2012
The cast ... is outstanding, dragging the offbeat story through the occasional look-at-me distractions.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
A.A. Dowd
Time Out Chicago
November 15, 2012
Adjust to the Oscar winner's deadpan cartoon impersonation, and you may get on the wavelength of this quirkfest.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
Matt Pais
RedEye
November 15, 2012
Immensely entertaining and occasionally very moving.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Roger Ebert
Chicago Sun-Times
November 15, 2012
Although "This Must Be the Place" holds our attention, it's a little difficult to say where it's headed.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
Kelly Vance
East Bay Express
November 13, 2012
We begin to wonder why Penn even bothered with such a flimsy project in the first place. Let's not stop here very long.
Nora Lee Mandel
Film-Forward.com
November 9, 2012
The old country comes to the New World in a magical tale with ancient roots of a prodigal son returning for revenge . . .like a cinematic DeToqueville. . . kooky and lovely.
Full Review | Original Score: 7/10
Top Critic
Michael O'Sullivan
Washington Post
November 9, 2012
If you give Penn (and the movie) a chance, the character works, movingly and somewhat miraculously.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
Top Critic
Mick LaSalle
San Francisco Chronicle
November 8, 2012
The movie replaces emotional precision and intellectual honesty with syrupy sincerity and insistence.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
Marc Mohan
Oregonian
November 8, 2012
Less than the sum of its parts.
Full Review | Original Score: C+
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