The Messenger - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

The Messenger Reviews

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Charlie Lyne
Ultra Culture
June 6, 2011
There's essentially very little to take from The Messenger if you've already got it into your head that emotions are complicated and people are flawed.
Robbie Collin
News of the World
June 12, 2011
Shame nobody told writer-director Oren Moverman not to shoot The Messenger... before giving the script a good rewrite first.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/5
Alissa Wilkinson
Paste Magazine
April 12, 2016
It is relentlessly bleak, even in its lighter moments. The downbeat tone is wearying. These days, we just need some hope.
Full Review | Original Score: 6.8/10
Top Critic
Kyle Smith
New York Post
November 15, 2009
A shoddy, shouty bore. A piece of flummery.
Full Review | Original Score: 1/4
Allan Hunter
Daily Express (UK)
June 17, 2011
Foster and an Oscar-nominated Harrelson effectively convey the outward steel and inner fragility of these men of war but the film is slow-moving and maudlin.
Kevin Carr
7M Pictures
July 30, 2012
I know several folks in military service who wouldn't watch this movie if you paid them.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/5
Top Critic
Steven Rea
Philadelphia Inquirer
November 13, 2009
For all the film's gritty verisimilitude, The Messenger is not the great Iraq War movie that Kathryn Bigelow's The Hurt Locker is.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
February 10, 2010
Hero Without a Cause
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
Jules Brenner
Cinema Signals
November 17, 2009
This character piece may be for the arthouse, but the artistry has a gaping wound, large enough to allow credulity to seep out.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
David Edwards
Daily Mirror (UK)
June 17, 2011
Don't let the fact Woody Harrelson got an Oscar nomination tempt you anywhere near The Messenger - the message here is about as welcome as a death knock on a wet Sunday afternoon.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/5
Sean O'Connell
Charlotte Weekly
December 11, 2009
Beyond the interesting subjects, Moverman doesn't have a definitive place for his film to go.
| Original Score: 2/4
Mark Pfeiffer
Reel Times: Reflections on Cinema
January 31, 2010
The Messenger's clipped insight that war is hell is just the sort of line straight from the manual that the film strenuously cautions against.
Full Review | Original Score: C+
Top Critic
J. R. Jones
Chicago Reader
November 25, 2009
Whenever writer-director Oren Moverman moves past these scattered and admittedly voyeuristic moments into the lives of the two soldiers, the movie drifts into received wisdom and unconvincing romance.
Armond White
New York Press
November 11, 2009
So bungled up with fashionable ambivalence about the Iraq War that every single behavioral detail is not just prejudicial but wrong.
Top Critic
David Germain
Associated Press
November 11, 2009
A story that strays about without finding its center.
Top Critic
Noel Murray
AV Club
November 12, 2009
Many scenes in The Messenger feel merely illustrative, not designed to develop characters and story so much as to make the point, over and over, that the home front can be as harrowing as the front lines.
Full Review | Original Score: C
Louis Proyect
December 7, 2009
Like "The Hurt Locker", calculated to sell tickets to tea-baggers and alike. Informed by the Clint Eastwood/Paul Haggis school of bad didactic screenwriting.
Justin Stewart
Stop Smiling
March 5, 2014
The Messenger is always just left of straightforward, which keeps it interesting.
Chris Fyvie
The Skinny
June 15, 2011
Intimate, powerful filmmaking.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
June 14, 2011
A powerhouse performance full of tragic comic undertones while looking at the psychological effects of war in an original storytelling manner...
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
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