Broken Flowers

2005

Broken Flowers

Critics Consensus

Bill Murray's subtle and understated style complements director Jim Jarmusch's minimalist storytelling in this quirky, but deadpan comedy.

87%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 194

70%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 95,451
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Movie Info

The resolutely single Don has just been dumped by his latest lover, Sherry. Don yet again resigns himself to being alone and left to his own devices. Instead, he is compelled to reflect on his past when he receives by mail a mysterious pink letter. It is from an anonymous former lover and informs him that he has a 19-year-old son who may now be looking for his father. Don is urged to investigate this "mystery" by his closest friend and neighbor, Winston, an amateur sleuth and family man. Hesitant to travel at all, Don nonetheless embarks on a cross-country trek in search of clues from four former flames. Unannounced visits to each of these unique women hold new surprises for Don as he haphazardly confronts both his past and, consequently, his present.

Cast

Bill Murray
as Don Johnston
Sharon Stone
as Laura Miller
Frances Conroy
as Dora Anderson
Chloë Sevigny
as Carmen's Assistant
Meredith Patterson
as Flight Attendant
Jennifer Rapp
as Girl on Bus
Nicole Abisinio
as Girl on Bus
Dared Wright
as Rabbit Owner
Suzanne Hevner
as Mrs. Dorston
Brian F. McPeck
as Guy in SUV
Matthew McAuley
as Guy in SUV
Pell James
as Sun Green
Ryan Donowho
as Young Man on Bus
Homer Murray
as Kid in Car
Mark Webber
as The Kid
Jarry Fall
as Winston and Mona's Kid
Korka Fall
as Winston and Mona's Kid
Saul Holland
as Winston and Mona's Kid
Niles Lee Wilson
as Winston and Mona's Kid
Zakira Holland
as Winston and Mona's Kid
View All

News & Interviews for Broken Flowers

Critic Reviews for Broken Flowers

All Critics (194) | Top Critics (44) | Fresh (169) | Rotten (25)

  • Funny, bittersweet, its understatement yielding surprising depth charges, Broken Flowers is a triumph of close observation and telling details.

    Mar 14, 2018 | Full Review…

    David Ansen

    Newsweek
    Top Critic
  • The ending is sublime, a set piece that almost makes up for the overwhelming slightness of it all.

    Aug 16, 2007 | Full Review…

    Geoff Andrew

    Time Out
    Top Critic
  • Murray manages, almost impossibly, to come up with still another rich variation on his Depleted Man persona, and his performance is at once enormously generous and fiercely, concisely witty.

    Dec 9, 2005
  • Moving, mirthful and minimalist, Broken Flowers is a bittersweet treat from indie great Jim Jarmusch.

    Oct 15, 2005 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…
  • There's a real poignancy in watching Murray's emotional chill thaw from the heat generated by even the idea of romance, or at least its more libidinous evil twin, lust.

    Sep 26, 2005 | Full Review…

    Nathan Rabin

    AV Club
    Top Critic
  • A very gentle and wry outing for Jarmusch and his star.

    Sep 16, 2005 | Rating: 4/5

Audience Reviews for Broken Flowers

  • Feb 19, 2015
    This was a very quirky film about a man's journey to find his son. There is no resolution in the end, which is kind of disappointing. Bill Murray does a good job as always though.
    Jarrin R Super Reviewer
  • Jun 17, 2013
    Broken Flowers is my fourth Jarmusch film, and after my first being the disappointing Dead Man, I've had nothing negative to say. The film Broken Flowers follows and idle and aged bachelor, played by Bill Murray. The role doesn't require powerful dramatization, but with Bill Murray being Bill Murray he was able to put up a great performance. After getting a letter saying he has a teenage son his pal Winston plans him a cross country adventure. He visits four (and a half) potential candidates. The first of his former lovers he visits is the least aged and the least awkward Laura (played by Sharon Stone). She has a daughter named Lolita, and while Don understands the literary meaning of this name, mom and daughter seem oblivious. Jarmusch played this Lolita character as a stereotypical Lolita. Then comes the two most reserved and likely mothers to his son, Dora and Carmen. Both seem to be holding something back, and both of the meetings are uncomfortable. After this he goes to the rural dwelling Penny (Tilda Swinton) and this time it's more than un comfy for Don. Finally he visits the grave of one of his other women of the time period, and his "vacation" is done. The final conclusion for this movie, while predictable, is sorrow filled and truly a great representation of who Don Johnston lives to be. The ending has an eerie feeling to it, and is a chilling scene. It gives away nothing, and this elusive scene leaves you at the beginning, of a movie that represents the stages of life (and death).
    Daniel D Super Reviewer
  • Mar 22, 2013
    Bill Murray's character Don Johnston in Broken Flowers describes the movie perfectly in a scene near the end. He says, "Well, the past is gone, I know that. The future isn't here yet, whatever it's going to be. So, all there is, is this. The present. That's it." Broken Flowers is not the type of movie to offer up a clean-cut resolution to its central conflict. However, it's the journey that's what makes the movie so unique and funny. It tells the story of an older man named Don Johnston (Murray) who has been with many girlfriends throughout his life, but none of his relationships have lasted and he is left feeling lonely and indifferent. After he receives an anonymous letter from a past girlfriend that says he has a teenage son, his amateur detective friend (played by Jeffrey Wright) sends Don on a road trip to visit all of his past lovers and look for clues to find out which of them is the mother. The movie plays out as a darkly comic mystery as Don visits each of his former girlfriends and sees how their lives have turned out. Bill Murray is fantastic (as always) and he delivers all of his dialogue in a hilariously deadpan way. It starts off very slow, but once he sets off on his trip it becomes instantly hilarious. One of the funniest scenes of the movie comes early in his trip when he meets Lolita, the daughter of one of his exes, who as the name suggests seems to have a thing for older men. Broken Flowers is a quirky but sympathetic and thoughtful dramedy that is as funny as it is charming and strangely emotional. A really unique gem of an indie comedy that deserves to be seen.
    Joey S Super Reviewer
  • Sep 25, 2012
    Another very good movie with an excellent Bill Murray performance. The film isn't perfect though. While I enjoy the fact that each different lover, or different segment in the movie, is supposed to represent every step of Don's life until, with each of ex-girlfriend being worse, his weakest moment when he finally realizes that he has lead a very lonely life and it's simply too late to fix things. Bill Murray's performance fits in perfectly with the story the movie wanted to tell and the story has a very minimalist approach to it. This isn't why the movie isn't perfect, somehow it didn't click perfectly for me. I still very much enjoyed it, and it had some funny moments but the movie didn't resonate entirely with me, for whatever reason. I'd still recommend it, simply for Bill Murray's performance and the story's structure.
    Jesse O Super Reviewer

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