Everything is Illuminated - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Everything is Illuminated Reviews

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Roger Moore
Orlando Sentinel
October 14, 2005
It's funny and warm, with the sting of the horrific event that triggered the trip giving it a melancholy feel.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
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Amy Biancolli
Houston Chronicle
October 8, 2005
It's profound in the way that life is profound in hindsight, its view of the past both fixed in history and mutable in the telling. And it's exquisitely tender.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
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Eleanor Ringel Gillespie
Atlanta Journal-Constitution
October 2, 2005
This isn't a frivolous film or a dumb one. Mostly, it feels like a mistake -- the wrong director matched with the wrong material.
Read More | Original Score: C
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Peter Howell
Toronto Star
September 30, 2005
[Schreiber] has managed something of a feat ... in spinning a single charming story out of Foer's yarn ball of a novel, which spanned 200 years, multiple stories and various protagonists.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
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Connie Ogle
Miami Herald
September 30, 2005
Schreiber effectively incorporates some of the novel's humor, most of which revolves around Alex's amusingly improvisational English, but never comes close to mining the book's true substance or heartbreak.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
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Liam Lacey
Globe and Mail
September 30, 2005
A movie that wraps a story of mass murder in a package of whimsy, and prefers to focus on our commonality rather than any collective complicity in the crimes of history.
Read More | Original Score: 2.5/4
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Tom Long
Detroit News
September 30, 2005
Yes, we laugh; yes, we cry; the sun rises and sets. It's all quite enlightening.
Read More | Original Score: B+
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Terry Lawson
Detroit Free Press
September 30, 2005
Schreiber's streamlined version may be only a sliver of the whole, but it's a thoroughly entertaining and very rewarding piece of a very tasty pie.
Read More | Original Score: 3/4
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Carrie Rickey
Philadelphia Inquirer
September 29, 2005
If Jonathan were a character instead of a symbol of American Immigrants Disconnected From Their History, Schreiber's movie might have worked.
Read More | Original Score: 2.5/4
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Kerry Lengel
Arizona Republic
September 29, 2005
It sounds weird, and it is. It's also very funny, not to mention mesmerizing and, finally, heartbreaking.
Read More | Original Score: 4.5/5
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Jeff Strickler
Minneapolis Star Tribune
September 29, 2005
The ultra-serious Jonathan and the laid-back Alex are an ideal odd couple. By switching focus between them, Schreiber can quickly steer the movie to different emotional ground.
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John Hartl
Seattle Times
September 23, 2005
Perhaps because it's no longer so much about the language, the movie comes across as slight and somewhat fussy. What distinguished the novel doesn't quite translate to the screen.
Read More | Original Score: 2.5/4
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G. Allen Johnson
San Francisco Chronicle
September 23, 2005
Schreiber's images -- a graveyard of old war machines, a field of sunflowers -- are impressive and help convey the wonderful idea behind Everything Is Illuminated: that no matter who we are or where we live, we are all connected.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Ty Burr
Boston Globe
September 23, 2005
Fans of Jonathan Safran Foer may rightly consider this an act of taxidermy. Everything Is Illuminated hasn't been adapted so much as gutted, stuffed, and mounted.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
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Allison Benedikt
Chicago Tribune
September 22, 2005
Every novel cannot be a movie, and this one should not have been.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
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Roger Ebert
Chicago Sun-Times
September 22, 2005
A film that grows in reflection.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
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Richard Roeper
Ebert & Roeper
September 19, 2005
As a whimsical and at times poignant look at family secrets and family ties, it's effective, it's moving.
Top Critic
September 16, 2005
There isn't enough drama here to sustain an entire film, and Schreiber's direction is relentlessly coy.
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Jack Mathews
New York Daily News
September 16, 2005
Jonathan is about the most passive protagonist you're likely to see on the screen for a while.
Read More | Original Score: 2/4
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Lou Lumenick
New York Post
September 16, 2005
Schreiber's film version of Everything Is Illuminated achieves the impossible -- it's even more annoying than Jonathan Safran Foer's gratingly precocious novel.
Read More | Original Score: 1/4
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Stephen Whitty
Newark Star-Ledger
September 16, 2005
Falls far short of illuminating Foer's complicated book. But it does provide the sort of low-key, road-trip ramblings we haven't seen since the'70s heyday of Hal Ashby.
Read More | Original Score: 2.5/4
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Peter Travers
Rolling Stone
September 16, 2005
Wood, whose mostly mute turn is defined by his black suit and glasses, can only stare in stupefaction at Schreiber's jittery mix of broad laughs and sentiment. Audiences will share the feeling.
Read More | Original Score: 2/4
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Stephanie Zacharek
Salon.com
September 16, 2005
Schreiber leaves the whimsy faucet dripping for far too long.
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Carina Chocano
Los Angeles Times
September 15, 2005
Schreiber takes Foer's sprawling, multilayered, multigenerational beast and hones it into a post-Glasnost buddy picture.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
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Claudia Puig
USA Today
September 15, 2005
A movie with wit, warmth and unabashed emotion.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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A.O. Scott
New York Times
September 15, 2005
The adaptation of Jonathan Safran Foer's best-selling novel is whimsical when it should be darkly funny and poignant when it should be devastating.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/5
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Gene Seymour
Newsday
September 15, 2005
Schreiber shows enough heart and mind in his first time at bat to make you hope he gets another shot.
Read More | Original Score: 2.5/4
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Peter Rainer
Christian Science Monitor
September 15, 2005
The story is confusingly told -- everything is not illuminated -- and, as the seeker, Elijah Wood is a big blank.
Full Review | Original Score: C+
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Ella Taylor
L.A. Weekly
September 15, 2005
[A] brave and loving movie.
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James Berardinelli
ReelViews
September 15, 2005
Everything Is Illuminated left me cold and in the dark.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
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Lisa Schwarzbaum
Entertainment Weekly
September 14, 2005
Actors talk about wanting to stretch, but few would hazard a project with such a high degree of difficulty as Schreiber.
Full Review | Original Score: B+
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Michael Atkinson
Village Voice
September 13, 2005
It may be substantially less ambitious than its source material, but that may be what saves it from implosion.
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Michael Rechtshaffen
Hollywood Reporter
September 6, 2005
A considerably scaled down version that still effectively retains the book's warm eccentricity and gently persuasive sentimentality.
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Todd McCarthy
Variety
September 6, 2005
No one seeing Schreiber's film could begin to imagine the breadth and nature of the book.