Gerry - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Gerry Reviews

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Super Reviewer
July 5, 2017
This is a very artistic venture for all the cast and filmmaker. The film is beautiful to look at and is near silent from beginning to end. You can forgive mainstream audiences for ignoring this gem, in the midst of all the Hollywood films Damon made in this period, this was an insanely odd choice. I enjoyed the journey and while certain parts were funny, it is not a comedy in any sense of the word. That ending was a shock and catapulted this film into something much more sombre and personal. The soft music and that final shot will leave you with a lasting image that is not easily forgotten. Sant transcends indie cinema here, you must thank the stars for assisting with the vision, truly unique. My only real issue was the lack of character interaction, the film floats a lot which leaves the audience confused or bored. I enjoyed the film and maybe with another viewing might elevate this to a higher rating, fantastic indie cinema and must see for people annoyed with the usual blockbuster fanfare. This is just like a good literature book. 05-07-2017.
½ January 6, 2017
Way too slow & boring! Sure, some nice scenery (at times), but it's mostly a bleak desert, with a boring score, almost no dialogue (first word is spoken 7min in!) and both Damon & Affleck do nothing but brood. There's one good scene, when he 'crows-nests' a rock, but otherwise there's no who, where or why.
September 15, 2016
Talk about fecking 'slow burning'.
½ May 7, 2016
Casey Affleck and Matt Damon walking. Does that sound like fun to you? Good. Then go out and watch this highly overrated snoozer. By far, this is Gus Van Sant's worst movie (yes, even worse than his remake of Psycho).
April 11, 2016
Casey Affleck and Matt Damon decide to take a trip into the desert and they get lost. This is the plot, and there is also hardly any dialogue, and no meaningful dialogue. And yet the movie manages to be almost 2 hours long. I had to fast forward through some parts. However there was some nice camera work and scenery. Very boring film.
January 14, 2016
Gerry will no doubt leave some audiences angry, but those looking for a very different style of survival film will really love the film. Matt Damon and Casey Affleck work extremely well together and director Gus Van Sant works wonders with filming the scenery
½ September 12, 2015
Not sure how to approach a movie so legendarily boring, the opening features that classic hallmark of dreary cinema: a long, slow driving sequence (Manos: The Hands of Fate anyone?). It was at this point that I realised this was going to be just as tedious as many people have said, but it was worse. There are few things more irritating to me than an artsy film which has nothing to say, and that's exactly what this is. Should you choose to wander off as the movie plays, and I honestly wouldn't blame you if you did, you could return 20 or so minutes later, and I promise you wouldn't have missed a single thing, unless you count the sound of trampled gravel and heavy breathing.
Not so much a cinematic experience as it is a test of endurance, if you asked 2 of your dullest mates to take a camera out to the wilderness and film everything they did (and I do mean EVERYTHING), this is more or less what you'd get. Scenes that last forever without payoff or plot advancement, benign dialogue, endless walking scenes and a musical score that sounds just as disinterested as the audience, this is the celluloid equivalent of water torture, the pain slowly but surely increasing with each passing frame.
½ July 11, 2015
Probably Gus Van Sant's best film. Also, clearly the greatest Bela Tarr fan film ever made.
½ February 28, 2015
Gus Van Sant bores us all rigid with a half hour decent story that is dragged out to 105 minutes by using Bela Tarr-esque scenes that last 10 times longer than they should be, all in the effort to get a new word in the dictionary.
February 22, 2015
It's actually quite mesmerizing and hypnotic how mind-numbingly boring this movie is. If there's one thing that this movie does amazingly well though, it's that it really makes you feel as if you're lost in a desert. Recommended if you're having trouble falling asleep.. No, seriously.
January 9, 2015
About ten years ago, I went to a small independent movie theater on the North side of Chicago. I saw a film that was made on a tiny budget with two actors and some extras. Gerry is about two nameless guys played by Matt Damon and Casey Affleck. They park their cars along a road to see a historic monument thinking they'll only be gone an hour or so. Being in the moment and having an overanxious way about them, they don't bother to bring any food and water. They also follow a worn out trail which causes them to be lost in a vast desert wasteland with no shelter in sight.

Reflecting on Gerry 10 years later, it reminded of a few films that came before and after its release. Part Blair Witch Project (1999) and part Open Water (2005), it's an exercise that effectively relies on minimal movie resources to create real tension and fear.

There are critics that have deemed it slow and polarizing. I found it effective because the stars are real life friends who's chemistry is evident throughout the film's entire length. As they try to find water and civilization, time is running out. You get so involved with their plight that you're right there with them every step of the way. The movie's only low point could possibly be the ending. It drags on and toys with the audience. It could have used a little editing. However, the ride to get there is worth it.

The film was directed by Gus Van Sant. With films like Good Will Hunting (1997) and Drugstore Cowboy (1989), in 2002 this was a complete different turn from what he had done before. I'd call him "Guts" Van Sant for making something this risky. He's pulls it off. With a hauntingly beautiful music score and breathtaking cinematography, Gerry is a small gem of a film. Oh and about the title, you'll just have to see the movie yourself to find out.
October 2, 2014
another supermarket DVD 2.99 DVD combo pack purchase (on several compilations)
September 17, 2014
I know what the director was going for but..................the DESERT IS BORING! And yeah its so pretentious. So yeah I hate this film.
½ September 14, 2014
The worse movie I have ever seen. Waste of time about two guys getting lost. Want my time back from this piece of dog poo.
July 11, 2014
[Interested: cannot find.]
July 1, 2014
Gus Van Sant is definetely not one of my best directors. I'm not going to say "what was he thinking" I'll say what was I thinking trying to watch this movie, yeah well, the cast matters. Most of the time I was just fast forwarding so NO from me.
June 19, 2014
The images are hypnotic, but the story is so spare that I can't help thinking of it as some kind of allegory. But of course, when a film tries to evoke more than what it is superficially displaying, there's a risk of getting to the realm of pretension.
Cameron W. Johnson
Super Reviewer
May 29, 2014
It's the adventures of Gerry and Gerry, which sounds either like a cop show title or the title to something about gay guys, although I might just be saying that because this film is directed by Gus Van Sant and is about the bond of two decent-looking men, so it just has to turn into "Brokeback Mountain" after a while. Seriously though, this is more like the continuing adventures of Will Hunting, for those interested in seeing more of Morgan O'Mally... you know, the guy in "Good Will Hunting" who was played by Casey Affleck... who was, you know, in "Good Will Hunting". Jokes about who the more notorious brother is, I'd say that Matt Damon must be disappointed about working with Casey after Ben, but while this film was being made during Damon's and Casey's coming down from the high of "Ocean's Thirteen", Ben was on the high from "Pearl Harbor". ...Yeah, okay, fine, I am that jerk who liked "Pearl Harbor", and, well, I'd imagine some people would agree with me there if they were having to compare that film to this one. This thing is so abstract that it's soundtrack only features compositions by Arvo Pärt, and if you don't know who that is, well, you're kind of missing out. Well, maybe his tintinnabuli chants would get a little dull and monotonous after a while, but no more than the aimless ramblings featured in this film, some of whose more exciting moments actually rest within the ramblings. Okay, maybe this film isn't that tedious, let alone as tedious as the Béla Tarr films that reportedly influenced it, partly because it's five hours shorter, and partly because it has its strengths to sort of get it by.

I talk up the usage of minimalist masterpieces by Arvo Pärt, but they're underused in this predominantly startlingly quiet film, some of whose highlights are, in fact, anchored by the tender and fittingly artistically sound pieces by Pärt, which are still not nearly as recurrently effective as cinematography by Harris Savides that, while never too playful with coloration and lighting, portray the film's lavish rocky desert trail environment with near-impeccable scope that is often truly immersive. There's more immersion value to style than substance, as irony would have it, and if substance is immersive, then credit is due to Gus Van Sant, who is generally misguided and, for that matter, under-assured in his experimental storytelling, yet has his share of moments in which thoughtfulness bonds with the style and even some writing highlights to create genuine heights in tension and drama. These highlights are very few and far between, but I suppose they're there, because no matter how sloppy Van Sant is as an artistic director, he has always been a fairly talented dramatic, and make no mistake, there is some dramatic potential to explore here. It's thin to begin with, considering the lack of dynamicity to the narrative, and what meat there is goes challenged by a questionable interpretation, and yet, on paper, this study on a friendship's collapse in the face of danger, inspired by the story of David Coughlin and Raffi Kodikian, has quite a bit of thematic intrigue and dramatic potential, occasionally done justice by storytelling, and frequently done justice by the performers. Minimalism holds back the talented lead duo of Matt Damon and Casey Affleck, and at the same time, it gives the performers an opportunity to showcase naturalist acting that is more immersive than the generally distancing naturalist storytelling, aided by a hint of chemistry, and broken up by some solid dramatic range that carries what highlights there are in this tedious drama. It's mostly blandness' being too great for the final product to descend from mediocrity that keeps contemptibility at bay, make no mistake, but strengths stand, carrying enough aesthetic and dramatic value to help save the final product the final product with glimpses into decency. Of course, while the film is saved from contemptibility, it cannot achieve the decency of the occasional highlights on the whole, ultimately falling flat as an overblown artistic endeavor and thoroughly underwhelming character drama that doesn't even flesh out its characters enough to draw all that much on the human drama.

I wouldn't so much say that the film is lacking in development as much as I would say that it is without development, going so far as to not even give you the courtesy of defining the title as a coincidental mutual name for Matt Damon's and Casey Affleck's character or a mere slang nickname, let alone putting all that much effort into immediate development or gradual expository depth. As hard as Damon and Affleck work to and are often successful as crafting reasonably interesting characters, it's just so hard to get invested in these leads through all the placements of overblown artistry over genuine substance, even though what characterization there is ought to be familiar enough for you to figure out who these characters are and what the story holds for them. The film tries to be unique, like so very many of its nature, yet, as irony would have it, that struggle to freshen things up gets to be formulaic, leaving you to pick up on tropes in the paper-thin narrative through the tropes in artistic experimentation that is aggravating enough when it's not too recognizable for the film's own good. Indeed, people, as I've lead you to believe, what really does a number on this film is simply questionable stylization that expends substance for style which isn't even as nifty as, say, abstract visuals or overtly high technical artistry, being comprised of challengingly overlong shots, naturalist visuals and long periods, not filler, but of nothing, whose joining an emptiness in expository depth results in an aimlessness that grows more and more biting until it the film can only be seen as plotless, plain and simple. Well, considering that there is something of a conflict, there are plot points, but they're just so sparse, and between them is simply nothing but dragging, and I would find that so much easier to get past if the film wasn't also quiet, featuring only a few overdrawn dialogue pieces amidst cold, silent dry spells that range from simply bland to punishingly tedious sooner than effectively immersive. While Gus Van Sant's talent as a traditional dramatic director does, in fact, lead the film to dramatic highlights, the final product is generally boring something just about awful, and some can take that better than I can, as surely as many can take that worse than I can, unable to be patient enough with the challengingly misguided art opus to find a certain charm to artistic ambition. Well, in all fairness, there are times in which the ambition descends either to pretense or a sense of unassurance, because, as I said, Van Sant is not used to projects of this nature, and when he's not getting carried away with his artistic license, he doesn't seem to know what to do, and while that makes for a film to bland to be bad, the final product falls flat as a borderline disaster, and ultimately as a mediocre misfire.

When the trail ends, the final product is pushed on by a haunting soundtrack and cinematography, some highlights in dramatic directorial storytelling, and an altogether interesting story concept, carried by Matt Damon's and Casey Affleck's effective naturalist performances, but ultimately overpowered by the lack of development and plotting and familiarity to already questionable storytelling stylization which goes backed by punishingly limp pacing and some sense of either pretense or unassurance that make Gus Van Sant's "Gerry", not contemptible, but tedious as a mediocrely misguided experimentation with a generally well-versed dramatic filmmaker's artistic license.

2/5 - Weak
½ May 2, 2014
The worst movie ever made. It is evident that the writers are a bunch of city slickers with absolutely no survival skills and impart that into their characters.
March 17, 2014
Gus van Sant, se debate entre la supuesta belleza del paisaje, el naturalismo silencioso y avasallante, para perderse en el miasma de la improvisación, y el conceptual experimentalismo de café.
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