Critics Consensus

Downsizing assembles a talented cast in pursuit of some truly interesting ideas -- which may be enough for some audiences to forgive the final product's frustrating shortcomings.



Total Count: 288


Audience Score

User Ratings: 9,462
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Movie Info

When scientists discover how to shrink humans to five inches tall as a solution to over-population, Paul (Matt Damon) and his wife Audrey (Kristen Wiig) decide to abandon their stressed lives in order to get small and move to a new downsized community--a choice that triggers life-changing adventures.


Matt Damon
as Paul Safranek
Kristen Wiig
as Audrey Safranek
Christoph Waltz
as Dusan Mirkovic
Jason Sudeikis
as Dave Johnson
Neil Patrick Harris
as Jeff Lonowski
Laura Dern
as Laura Lonowski
Hong Chau
as Ngoc Lan Tran
Udo Kier
as Konrad
Brigette Lundy-Paine
as Dusan's Girlfirend
James Van Der Beek
as Anesthesiologist
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Critic Reviews for Downsizing

All Critics (288) | Top Critics (47) | Fresh (139) | Rotten (149)

Audience Reviews for Downsizing

  • Jan 23, 2019
    Billed as a comedy, Downsizing didn't last long in theaters, but looking at it from the perspective of Science Fiction and taking into account it's message about environmental protection, this film ends up having a lot more depth than the lame duck comedy it was advertised as. In the near future, a scientist comes up with a way to stop the problem of overpopulation by shrinking people to five inches tall. At first the world is shocked, but when the financial benefits come to light, ordinary people are rushing to have a life of luxury. One such person is Paul Safranek (Matt Damon), who is at risk of losing his home and marriage. He and his wife decide to undergo the procedure, but when Paul awakens, he learns that his wife couldn't go through with it, and he's left to navigate this brave new world on his own. The logistic and social changes brought upon by this simple transition are amazing! I really got into the whole thing from the process to the luxury world they live in, and to the discovery that poverty can still exist even in paradise. I really don't know why the studio would bill and advertise this film as a comedy, because really it's more sad than it is funny. In fact, aside from a few lines here and there, nothing about this film or the situation Paul gets into are really funny. Matt Damon stars and as has become common place with him lately, he seems to just be going through the motions. His lack of emotion made his a hard character to like. Thankfully he is paired with newcomer Hong Chau who really steals the show. Downsizing is a film with a terrific idea, with every last detail executed to perfection, however once characters get involved, the story becomes much less interesting. Once you put aside the setting, this film can be broken down to a simple love story, which doesn't do the rest of the film justice.
    Todd S Super Reviewer
  • Jan 08, 2019
    I think some of the disappointment with this movie will come with it never going far enough with some of the pieces it starts. Is it an adult Honey, I Strunk the Kids? Kind of. Is it a social commentary on economic disparity? Kind of. Is it melancholy impact on mankind's environmental impact? A little bit. Is it just a quirky comedy with a weird premise? It's some of that too. It's a little bit of a lot of things, and if you get too bogged down in what it could be, you might get lost from what it is. If you let yourself go, and just let the movie take you where it needs to, what you'll find is a bizarre, sometimes uneven, but ultimately enjoyable adventure. What really carries it is the characters. Everyone in this world is developed and real and I liked spending time with them. The movie asks you to go to some strange places, but I didn't mind, because I enjoyed the people I was with. It's not a perfect movie, but it's got some interesting things to say, and I found the journey an enjoyable one.
    Michael M Super Reviewer
  • Oct 23, 2018
    Matt Damon teams up with Alexander Payne for the satirical political comedy Downsizing. To solve the problem of overpopulation a group of scientists develop a procedure to shrink a person to 5 inches and launch a series of small communities, which soon attracts middle-aged physical therapist Paul Safranek who seeks to escape his boring workaday life. Co-starring Kristen Wiig and Christoph Waltz, the cast isn't too bad; but only Waltz really gives a performance. And the film pulls a bait-and-switch, as it never gets into life in the small communities or the larger social effects that they would have on the world. The script is poorly written, going everywhere and nowhere; touching on a lot of issues but never exploring them. Also, the comedy is downplayed for most of the film. Unfocused and rather pointless, Downsizing doesn't seem to know what it wants to be.
    Dann M Super Reviewer
  • Oct 17, 2018
    The premise and the believable set-up for the impossible are really well done. You can't help but be excited about where the film might run with that idea. Unfortunately, it almost comes to a stop after the first act, bathing in its own misery for a while. The appearance of the wonderful Hong Chau turns things around. She steals every scene she's in and her character is an absolute delight. You also can't blame the film for taking the easy way out, it does end up surprising you over again. The Norway scenes are almost as fantastic as visiting the shire. In the end, I can't blame people for being disappointed, but I applaud the film for trying to be something different and unlike anything you've seen before. Gotta appreciate that.
    Jens S Super Reviewer

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