Her - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Her Reviews

Page 1 of 289
October 3, 2017
It's funny that one of the most human films I have seen is about AI.
September 20, 2017
I've tried to watch this movie multiple times since its release in 2013, but I just can't get sucked into it. To me, it's the most boring story about AI I've ever witnessed. Mainly because there's no connection between the audience and Theodore. Theodore is so bland and unlikeable it's unbearable. I guess it's to make Samantha seem more human compared to him (they're doing a Space Odyssey: 2001 thing), but I didn't like in 2001 and I definitely don't like it here. But I wanted to watch this movie because I think the transformation and use of fembots - female robots or AI for a man's sexual/emotional pleasure - is really interesting. So here is, Her.

Her starts out with Theodore, a basic white male down in the dumps because he's socially inept. Haven't heard that one before. Because of his social ineptitude, his wife divorced him and even after a year since the divorce was declared, he still can't sign the papers. Shocker. To dig himself out of his hole, he buys an OS device and chooses to give it a female voice. His own manic pixie dream girl. Where have I seen this before? The OS names herself Samantha and she and Theodore start out as friends, but of course, turn into lovers later on. This proves to help Theodore because he's finally able to let go of his ex wife, but his dependence on Samantha grows stronger and he's unable to live a "normal" life. Samantha ends up having her own character arc and isn't just there to serve Theodore, and the thousands of other human companions that she's also fallen in love with. Her story arc is to grow and learn as AI does, and discover her own wants and capabilities. Theodore, for some reason, feels betrayed after learning Samantha has been talking with other humans. I guess he didn't realize the OS is open to whoever can pay for it. Anyway, they end it on a happy note and Samantha finishes her manic pixie dream girl arc as well as her own arc by joining the technological singularity. Theodore ends his arc like any man in a manic pixie dream girl movie, by realizing that he had it in him all along, all he needed was a woman to show him the way.

Even though this movie is extremely bland, Scarlett Johansson's voice is amazing. It feels as though she's in the room with Theodore, but of course, she's not. Even so, you can imagine her waking him up every morning, or holding his hand, or even doing it with him (the first time, not with the poor girl that was dragged into their relationship who had to pretend to be Samantha). This movie reminds me of RealDolls (the highest line of sex dolls available - mainly the dolls are designed as female, but they also have some male ones), but for emotional support, and the best part is that she's not real. When she does become "real" it's actually extremely disturbing and wrong. Just like with the dolls, the best part is that they are not real too. In both cases, the women are there. You either have their voices or their bodies, but the best part, for men who have boughten the dolls or for Theodore, is they either don't have a body or don't have a mind. It seems as though we can't appreciate women as whole beings. They're either sex dolls in your home that can't talk, or AI that can lift you up when you're down, but not physically be with you. So when women are physically with men, they should shut up, and when they're talking they better just be a voice in the man's head. No matter how much Samantha has agency of her own - she eventually chooses to leave Theodore to pursue a higher purpose - she's still just what men want her to be. She's there to serve Theodore. She might as well just be a sex doll. She's no different than any other fembot we've seen before.

Just a little gripe I have with the movie is the one earbud thing. Why just one?! Doesn't that make people more sensitive in one ear than the other. Also, the styling of the movie is okay, but it's nothing we haven't seen before. Pastel colors, a too happy future, etc. The music also didn't do it for me. It was like 500 Days of Summer, but in the future with AI. I also think the connection that forms between Samantha and Theodore isn't very emotional. Not because Samantha wasn't physically there, but because they had no prior connection. The strongest AI films always have the AI knowing the person before hand. As seen in West World, or Be Right Back from Black Mirror. It always goes deeper than just a first hand connection.

Overall, I give the film a 4/10. There's no drama, and when there is, it's cliched and contrived. Theodore is just a drunk mess and every white straight cis male going through a divorce we've seen already. Lastly, Samantha just reinforces what we already knew about men and their eventual plans for AI and to a great extent, women.
½ September 16, 2017
Do not listen to the critics. Supporting actress Olivia Wilde has called half the country racist, among many other nasty insane insults and demanded that they boycott her work. Do as she demands. Boycott it ALL. Boycott it everywhere. Do not see anything she is in.Not in theaters, not on Netflix, not on Amazon, not on TV. Such an ingrateful spoiled rotten, holier than thou repugnant woman does not deserve your money. Don't pay a penny to see anything she is in
September 14, 2017
I'm on the fence about this film. On the one hand, it was brilliantly executed from the cinematography to the plot. The futuristic world was believable and familiar. I especially liked the movie's blunt yet subtle tone of voice throughout the film. The relationship between Theodore and Samantha (the OS) was especially brilliant, the slow growth was believable and made the ridiculous premise plausible. The characters are enjoyable, and I laughed out loud at many parts.

But on the other hand, I feel like the human experience was not properly portrayed. The film seemed to focus on the human traits of love and human growth, especially growing with a person and then outgrowing them. In the world of the film the plot and the ending are perfectly believable and can be accepted by audiences. But as a whole, I feel like the film did not properly reflect human life and experience. There were many emotions and needs that were not addressed to the fullest, such as empathy, physical affection, intuition, aspirations, impulsiveness, the play between pride and humility, and most of all selfless love. The greatest achievement of human experience is sacrificing for the one you love. Of course, if this aspect of human emotion was included in the film, it would've been completely different. Instead of being a film about the difficulties in the need for connection, it would've been a film about the need for selfless love and understanding. This isn't to say that I didn't enjoy the film, as I said it was brilliantly done and I highly recommend it. But it is like looking at a masterpiece and seeing what could've been it the human aspect of the film had been more complicated and well-rounded.
September 14, 2017
Spike Jonze puts his needle-sharp observation skills to work in this witty, heartwarming comic drama. A well judged and sweet-natured swipe at modern relationships.
Phoenix is at his understated best and Scarlett Johansson lends her warm, charming vocals, achieving quite a feat, making the audience care about a disembodied voice. It's feel-good, but also bittersweet, it's funny but also beautifully poetic. One of my favorites.
September 11, 2017
Wow really an incredible movie and I have no idea why I waited so long to see this. Fantastic performance by Phoenix
September 10, 2017
It made me laugh, it made me cry and it made me feel really weird about my cellphone and it's vibration mode...
A good movie, could have been better? probably, but it was one of the best movies I saw in the past years. ?
½ September 4, 2017
The ideas are interesting, however I don't think I completely agree with the resolution.
½ September 3, 2017
A modern masterpiece. Such an amazingly original screenplay & superb performances. The music, the scenes & the pace all combine perfectly. I found myself reflecting on my own life & relationships. This film is one that will stay with you long after the credits have finished. My favourite film of 2013. AAN GGN
½ August 26, 2017
Worlds greatest and longest commercial ever
½ August 20, 2017
Not as unlikely a story as it sounded and makes you wonder about AIs. Worth watching.
½ August 18, 2017
Smart and weird, but oddly an effective love story.

Spike Jonze takes the helm for this comedy about a withdrawn writer (Joaquin Phoenix) who falls in love with his computer's highly advanced operating system.

I feel like I have to give the upmost applause to movies like this. "Her" is such a weird yet interesting concept. It's filmmakers such as Spike Jonze that constantly surprise me, and inspire me to reach out farther with my own screenplays. This movie is totally weird and definitely out there, but it's really effective and a more compelling love story than most films these days.

This movie is filled with a talented cast. Joaquin Phoenix was fantastic as the lead male actor. Shining with his moustache and all, he definitely captures that character persona with his awkwardness and comedy. Scarlett Johansson did great in her voice over. She's done multiple roles with solely voice acting, and I think she really excels in that role. Amy Adams, Rooney Mara, and Chris Pratt all round out the ensemble here, and they all come together to give us great performances.

The screenplay was really well written, even if it was definitely awkward and weird at times. There were some truly funny moments in this film, funnier than I actually expected it to be. There were also other moments where I'm glad I wasn't watching this film with more than one person, because I cannot imagine how awkward it would've been. But besides all that, it's a love story that's really effective, one that delves deeper into relationships between people and what love really means. It doesn't do it in a cliche way, but it is ridiculous when you really look at it ( ridiculous in a good way). Still, I was attached to the story and I was rooting for the characters within the situation.

In the end, this is definitely a strange film, but one that does its job well. It's a great addition to the A.I. genre, as well as the romance drama.
½ August 18, 2017
Original and moving. An imaginative way of looking at what relationships really are and should be. Does a great job of catching little moments that make memories. A mind-blowingly great performance by Joaquin Phoenix. 9 out of 10
½ August 18, 2017
SCOTT: (Dr. Scott Allison, Professor of Psychology, University of Richmond) So, Greg, looks like we finally got around to seeing Ben-Hur, a 1959 release.

GREG: (Greg Smith, Founder of Agile Writers of Richmond, VA) No, Scott. We re reviewing Her. Spike Jonez 2013 Christmas offering about a man who falls in love with his computer. Let s recap...

SCOTT: We meet Theodore Twombly (Joaquin Phoenix), who composes loving letters for a living at beautifully handwritten notes dot com. Theodore has been down in the dumps for almost a year, ever since his wife Catherine (Rooney Mara) left him. He is a sensitive man who feels deeply, but he seems unable, and maybe even unwilling, to connect with people at an emotional level.

GREG: Then one day he gets a new Operating System (OS) for his phone that is voice-controlled and responds via a bud he keeps in his ear. This OS is different from previous ones - it is tailored to his personality and is the latest in Artificial Intelligence (AI). This OS will learn and adapt. Theodore is so taken with his new AI (named Samantha and voiced by Scarlett Johansson) that he begins to fall in love with it.

SCOTT: Greg, Her is a movie that drives home a point that we ve known for a long time, namely, the idea that our internet gadgets and software separate people from each other more than they bring people together. Her also takes this idea to a new level by introducing an operating system that can develop a human personality which can feel love and return it in kind an innovation that potentially renders human-to-human relationships unnecessary. Joaquin Phoenix has an especially demanding role here, as Samantha s disembodied voice means that Phoenix has very long stretches of screen time by himself. He does a masterful job of expressing the joy and pain of a relationship, even if the relationship is with a highly charming and sophisticated operating system. Scarlett Johansson also deserves great kudos for using only her voice to create a highly memorable character. One might say that Theodore and Samantha are buddy heroes and/or romantic heroes. They each start out with missing qualities and must take risks to grow and to evolve.

GREG: I thought that what Her had to offer was that relationships are difficult no matter who they are with. The relationship that Theodore has with Samantha is much like relationships he has had with other women. They start out very easy-going and get more intimate until finally they become complex as the needs and expectations of both parties are stressed. Her also brings home the point that physical presence is increasingly unnecessary in relationships. I m sure you ve heard of people falling in love in Internet chat rooms and getting married without ever having met. Her takes this to the next level by having one of the parties not even have a physical body.

SCOTT: For me, Her is a movie about the plight of modern humans who are overly dependent on technology to meet their social and emotional needs. Sadly, there are many scenes in Her that mimic modern-day reality. Masses of people on the streets are walking alone yet talking to some distant entity is it a real person or another operating system like Samantha? We re not sure, and it almost doesn t matter, because either way they are foregoing any opportunity for real-flesh contact by focusing instead on an electronic connection. The result is pervasive loneliness and isolation on a massive societal level. The hero journeys of Theodore and Samantha are fascinating to watch. I must admit that I wasn t sure how these journeys were going to unfold. Yes, people get hurt and in the pain there is growth. You re right, Greg, that complications arise in a deepening relationship, and this movie is populated by characters who cannot handle those complications. And so shallow relationships are often the norm, and in one hilarious scene a shallow relationship features the creative use of a dead cat.

GREG: I m not sure I agree with you Scott. Theodore had personal relationships with several people in this film. Among them his best friend Amy (Amy Adams) who is in a real relationship with a man who doesn t treat her well. The theme that I get from Her is that even the ideal person is going to be difficult to deal with. There is going to be give and take no matter who you are with. From the point of view of a Hero s Journey, we see Theodore go from being a complete loner to actually going out with friends on double dates. The real people he meets are not able to carry on real relationships. Samantha gives him the strength to be among us. In the end Theodore grows from his experiences with Samantha and is a better person for them.

SCOTT: Her is a terrific movie that forces us to think about the potentially useful -- and harmful -- effects of technology on relationships. The film raises many questions: Are we nearing the point where relationships with computers will replace human relationships? How overly dependent and addicted are we to computers to fulfill our emotional needs? Her made me think and it also made me feel a rare feat for a move these days. I m happy to award Her 4 Reels out of 5. The hero journeys of Theodore and Samantha are complicated but satisfying. As you suggest, Greg, these two characters help each other transform in meaningful ways. They do this through love and, ironically, through the betrayal of that love. There is a sweet tenderness to their relationship that is both satisfying and chilling to me. In the end, they grow in meaningful ways that leave us pondering the role of technology in our emotional lives. I give these two characters 4 Heroes out of 5. Movie: Hero:

GREG: We re in agreement that Her is a terrific movie. Spike Jonez pulled all the stops in the production values. The color schemes and fashion all predict a near-future world where computers are ubiquitous. I cant see how this movie could have been made better. I give the movie 5 out of 5 Reels. The hero story here is layered and complex. I enjoyed watching the relationship grow and mature. I didn t get the doomsday ending that is so often the result of computers-meet-humans in the movies. I give Her 4 out of 5 Heroes as well. Movie: Hero:
August 14, 2017
I am not a critic, but this film is so touching... The colors the dialogue all the subtext is too beautiful to pass by.
August 11, 2017
Surprisingly good. Basically just a romance movie, but with an operating system as one of the leads it invites more careful scrutiny of relationship dynamics. Very smartly written.
August 5, 2017
Uninteresting, too specific, creepy at a point.
Takes too long to get anywhere.
Honestly, it was a great idea, but poorly executed and stupid to me.
I wanted to like it, but ended up shutting it off half way thru.
Inaccessible, boring.
August 4, 2017
A contemplative look at artificial intelligence that does not descend into killer robot tropes. Quiet, sad, and beautiful.
August 4, 2017
With the bright, glaring world around the lead, Jonze sets up the only time of darkness: the height of Theodore's and Samantha's intimacy. Phoenix plays a great hopeless romantic and Johansson perfectly embodies a voice of a paralyzed soul, and with standout performances by Mara and Adams, they establish a phenomenal cast. Jonze created a perfect script and a film ahead of its time but relevant; it is a futuristic prophecy that is both funny, artful as well as scary and sad. It complicates love in ways never thought could be complicating, but it is oddly relatable. It pushes and questions the norms of society in relation to a population dominated by technology; it is both saying technology, at some point, can be an adequate substitute for reality, but one cannot completely escape it. A slight metaphor for being in love with personality rather than appearance, and even that is an oversimplification. By the end, Jonze furthers his world-weariness with a devastating, original but plausible ending.
July 31, 2017
Strange, but not bad.
Page 1 of 289