The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (2008)



Critic Consensus: Curious Case of Benjamin Button is an epic fantasy tale with rich storytelling backed by fantastic performances.

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David Fincher's The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, an adaptation of F. Scott Fitzgerald's story, re-teams the director with Brad Pitt, who takes on the title role. What makes Button such a curious case is that when he is born in New Orleans just after World War I, he is already in his eighties, and proceeds to live his life aging in reverse. This sweeping film follows the character's unusual life into the 21st century as he experiences joy and sadness, loves lost and found, and the meaning of timelessness. Cate Blanchett co-stars along with Tilda Swinton, Elias Koteas, and Julia Ormond. ~ Perry Seibert, Rovi
PG-13 (for brief war violence, sexual content and smoking)
Drama , Science Fiction & Fantasy , Romance
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Brad Pitt
as Benjamin Button
Jason Flemyng
as Thomas Button
Julia Ormond
as Caroline
Tilda Swinton
as Elizabeth Abbott
Elle Fanning
as Daisy (Age 7)
Elias Koteas
as Mr. Gateau
Jared Harris
as Captain Mike
Lance E. Nichols
as Preacher
Phyllis Somerville
as Grandma Fuller
Rampai Mohadi
as Ngunda Oti
Madisen Beaty
as Daisy (Age 10)
Ed Metzger
as Theodore Roosevelt
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Critic Reviews for The Curious Case of Benjamin Button

All Critics (238) | Top Critics (45)

An epic, melancholic romance that employs a multi-generational cast and groundbreaking visual effects. It's a testament to Fincher's skill as a storyteller that the film actually works, albeit sporadically.

Full Review… | February 5, 2009
Time Out
Top Critic

With a running time of almost three slow-going hours, the movie definitely makes you feel as though you're aging forward.

Full Review… | January 1, 2009
Christian Science Monitor
Top Critic

Mostly, the film is an orgy of excess, in which Fincher indulges his passion for luxuriant image-making, with little regard for whether the story merits (or can withstand) such grandiose treatment.

Full Review… | December 30, 2008
Village Voice
Top Critic

There's leisure to the storytelling, a splendor that captures the movie's celebratory but also melancholy ideas about our time on this mortal coil.

December 30, 2008
Denver Post
Top Critic

The Curious Case of Benjamin Button leaves you colder than it should, and it shouldn't leave you cold at all.

Full Review… | December 29, 2008
Los Angeles Times
Top Critic

Fincher's visual mastery and Pitt's charisma almost compensate for a gimmick in search of a meaning. The more time Fincher gives viewers with Button, the thinner the character grows.

December 29, 2008
AV Club
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for The Curious Case of Benjamin Button

The Curious Case Of Benjamin Button charts the life of a man who was born old and grows younger as times progresses across the span of the 20th century. Based on a short story by "the" great American novelist F. Scott Fitzgerald, Benjamin Button is a film that eloquently captures the magic and charm of Hollywood from times long past. It has a warmth, gentle humour and charm that is sorely missing from most of the sentimental slop that is produced these days and is truly stunning to look at. Brad Pitt gives a much softer edged performance than I thought he was capable of and is wonderfully supported by Cate Blanchett who perfectly captures the gradual maturity of age from self absorbed hedonist to rounded and worldly wise matriarch. The "life story" format draws obvious comparison to Forrest Gump, but that film is like Benjamin's inbred, trailer trash hick second cousin; this has a maturity and intelligence that is completely absent from that manipulative, greetings card poem of a movie. The length is an obvious issue but rather than self indulgent, I found it a very brave move on Fincher's part to produce such a ponderous and measured film in this climate obsessed with cheap thrills aimed at people with no attention span. In doing so, he has produced a beautifully crafted, genuinely moving and thought provoking film of the kind I have not seen in a long time.

xGary Xx
xGary Xx

Super Reviewer

Unnecessarily long. Sure, go ahead and say that I have a short attention span, but I just didn't care about many parts of the film. The idea is interesting and Brad Pitt does a fine job as the lead actor. Although, at times it feels like the film tries too hard to be a work of art. All those long drawn out scenes aren't artistic, they are boring. Not something I would watch again and definitely not Fincher's best work.

Eric Shankle
Eric Shankle

Super Reviewer


A beautiful epic that needs to be watched in one sitting.

paul oh
paul oh

Super Reviewer

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