How Do You Know - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

How Do You Know Reviews

Top Critic
Peter Travers
Rolling Stone
January 26, 2012
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Bill Goodykoontz
Arizona Republic
August 12, 2011
Some of the bits are funny, every now and then they're sweet, the performances are OK and really, with this much talent involved, it's hard not to be disappointed in that.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
Top Critic
David Jenkins
Time Out
January 26, 2011
Contrived, mawkish and mirthless, this feels like it was made by people who haven't had any meaningful human contact for years.
Full Review | Original Score: 1/5
Top Critic
Anthony Lane
New Yorker
December 28, 2010
Everything looks primed for civilized amusement, but somewhere along the way the laughs dropped off, together with the question mark in the title.
Top Critic
Dana Stevens
Slate
December 17, 2010
Brooks has given us the rare contemporary rom-com that's by turns (if intermittently) thoughtful and funny, and that doesn't feel focus-grouped, cynical, misogynist, or mean. It seems ungenerous not to cut such a generous movie a break.
Top Critic
Stephen Whitty
Newark Star-Ledger
December 17, 2010
How do you know if a romantic comedy isn't working? Generally if it's neither especially romantic, nor particularly comic. And in this picture, no matter how many times he keeps coming up to bat, Brooks keeps striking out.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
Top Critic
Lisa Kennedy
Denver Post
December 17, 2010
How Do You Know isn't Brooks' best. Witherspoon is too uneasy in her role. But thanks to Rudd, plus Kathryn Hahn as... George's loyal secretary and Nicholson as his father, it delivers a number of delights.
| Original Score: 2.5/4
Top Critic
Rick Groen
Globe and Mail
December 17, 2010
It's been six years since the last James Brooks comedy, so we might have expected a little rust. But not this weathered thing -- How Do You Know is so oxidized it's stuck.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
Top Critic
Tom Long
Detroit News
December 17, 2010
A thoroughly enjoyable and surprisingly lightweight romantic comedy from writer-director James L. Brooks.
Full Review | Original Score: B
Top Critic
Peter Rainer
Christian Science Monitor
December 17, 2010
Witherspoon, whose movie characters often exhibit a whim of iron even though they have a Barbie twinkle, is well cast.
Full Review | Original Score: B-
Top Critic
Calvin Wilson
St. Louis Post-Dispatch
December 17, 2010
"How Do You Know" is a bit slow to get started, and it's nowhere near as funny as "The Hangover." But it'll make you smile.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Richard Corliss
TIME Magazine
December 17, 2010
How Do You Know is not up there in Broadcast News's immortal empyrean, but it's close to the mismatched-trio comedy of As Good as It Gets.
Top Critic
Lou Lumenick
New York Post
December 17, 2010
The product of an out-of-touch filmmaker that never really gets to second base.
Full Review | Original Score: 1.5/4
Top Critic
Ann Hornaday
Washington Post
December 17, 2010
It's the kind of movie that succeeds as a culmination of moments that ring true and sweet.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
Top Critic
Eric D. Snider
Film.com
December 17, 2010
It's glossy and entirely forgettable, but the friendly, funny cast makes it worth seeing.
Full Review | Original Score: B-
Top Critic
Glenn Kenny
MSN Movies
December 16, 2010
...the film is directed in a way that seems a trifle theatrical, or even sitcom-ish...
Full Review | Original Score: 2/5
Top Critic
Andrew O'Hehir
Salon.com
December 16, 2010
Is "How Do You Know" schmaltzy and manipulative and not entirely convincing as a portrait drawn from real life? Sure -- and it's also richly, goofily funny, loaded with terrific actors and delicious moments...
Top Critic
Charlie McCollum
San Jose Mercury News
December 16, 2010
What's truly perplexing about the failures of How Do You Know is that the film was written and directed by James L. Brooks, a master of the rom-com genre.
Full Review | Original Score: 1.5/4
Top Critic
Amy Biancolli
Houston Chronicle
December 16, 2010
A dour sort-of romantic drama with an A-list cast, a few comic moments and the disjointed sense of talented filmmakers flapping their arms in an effort to make it fly.
Full Review | Original Score: 1.5/4
Top Critic
Michael Phillips
Chicago Tribune
December 16, 2010
Gradually, you're reminded why Brooks gave us so much good television over the years, in addition to his better movies, chief among them "Broadcast News."
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Manohla Dargis
New York Times
December 16, 2010
An airless, sometimes distressingly mirthless comedy.
| Original Score: 2/5
Top Critic
James Berardinelli
ReelViews
December 16, 2010
It does some of what it sets out to accomplish and most viewers will depart the theater with at least the beginnings of a warm, fuzzy feeling. These days, it's hard to ask for much more.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
Top Critic
Peter Howell
Toronto Star
December 16, 2010
A film by the painstaking James L. Brooks that is so eager to ask the question about true love, it doesn't have time to mess with boring punctuation.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
Top Critic
Joe Morgenstern
Wall Street Journal
December 16, 2010
How do you know a movie is a total loss? When you watch it with a heavy heart, and sit through it like a stone.
Top Critic
Kenneth Turan
Los Angeles Times
December 16, 2010
Though all the pieces are in place for an amusing romance, "How Do You Know" (the title refers to knowing when you're in love) doesn't work out as it should.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/5
Top Critic
Colin Covert
Minneapolis Star Tribune
December 16, 2010
It is not funny; it is not heartwarming. It has all the zesty champagne fizz of Pepto-Bismol.
Top Critic
Moira MacDonald
Seattle Times
December 16, 2010
Agreeable but disappointingly bland...
| Original Score: 2/4
Top Critic
Claudia Puig
USA Today
December 16, 2010
There's a lot of talk in How Do You Know, but not much worth saying.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
Top Critic
Carrie Rickey
Philadelphia Inquirer
December 16, 2010
It is a keenly observed movie about loss of identity and finding love, in which Brooks serves up funny-ouch humor with slapstick heartbreak.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Wesley Morris
Boston Globe
December 16, 2010
James L. Brooks wrote and directed "How Do You Know,'' and in addition to forgetting a question mark, he's also misplaced his point.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
Top Critic
J. R. Jones
Chicago Reader
December 16, 2010
The result is highly entertaining but hardly ranks with the director's best work.
Top Critic
Elizabeth Weitzman
New York Daily News
December 16, 2010
How do you know when to cut your losses and go see something else?
Full Review | Original Score: 1/5
Top Critic
Nathan Rabin
AV Club
December 16, 2010
Preposterous characters lurching through painfully contrived scenarios.
Full Review | Original Score: C-
Top Critic
Rene Rodriguez
Miami Herald
December 16, 2010
The movie is all surface and trades on fortune-cookie wisdom and sitcom scenarios.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
Top Critic
Roger Ebert
Chicago Sun-Times
December 16, 2010
I expected this movie to be better.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
Top Critic
Christy Lemire
Associated Press
December 15, 2010
How do you know when a film is horrible? When it's How Do You Know, it's pretty obvious.
Top Critic
Lisa Schwarzbaum
Entertainment Weekly
December 15, 2010
The ''funny'' moments are whiffed, the dialogue is ''scene-y,'' and each reaction shot is held a second or ten too long, leaving the actors hanging.
Full Review | Original Score: C+
Top Critic
Joshua Rothkopf
Time Out
December 15, 2010
How Do You Know takes the wholly possible scenario of two decent men courting one woman and turns it into a forced lark that can't bring itself to ask if she's worth it.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/5
Top Critic
Todd McCarthy
Hollywood Reporter
December 15, 2010
A low-impact romantic comedy-drama from James L. Brooks in which the central characters are strangely disconnected from one another as well as from the audience.
Top Critic
Peter Debruge
Variety
December 15, 2010
How do you know when the spark is gone? When your latest romantic comedy looks like TV, feels like greeting-card poetry and sounds like a self-help manual.
Top Critic
Ella Taylor
Village Voice
December 14, 2010
Before it wraps up that question like the obedient Hollywood love story it eventually has to be, How Do You Know takes an unexpectedly candid detour through how incredibly hard just following that directive has become.
Top Critic
David Edelstein
New York Magazine/Vulture
December 13, 2010
The sad part is that How Do You Know is nowhere near as dumb as it looks. A couple of comic set pieces are inspired -- or would be, if Brooks's timing weren't off.