Louder Than Bombs

Critics Consensus

Louder Than Bombs finds director Joachim Trier using a capable cast in pursuit of some lofty dramatic goals, even if his ambitions occasionally evade his grasp.

73%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 126

52%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 3,080
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Movie Info

On the eve of an exhibition honoring noted war photographer Isabelle Reed (Isabelle Huppert), whose career was cut short in the wake of her untimely death, a father and two sons grapple with her domestic and professional legacy. Flashbacks of Isabelle's conflated role of wife, mother and photojournalist intermingle with the present-day attempts of the Reeds to manage their grief amid combat of a different kind. Family patriarch Gene (Gabriel Byrne) discovers secrets about his late spouse while pursuing a new romance and struggling to connect with teenage son Conrad (Devin Druid), who hides in video games and introspection. Adult son Jonah (Jesse Eisenberg) takes leave from academic and married life to organize his mother's archive, only to slip into reckless behavior. Past and present coalesce in sharp focus as the surviving Reeds come to terms with love and loss - locating in memories both painful and joyous the skills they need to soldier on...

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Cast

Gabriel Byrne
as Gene Reed
Jesse Eisenberg
as Jonah Reed
Devin Druid
as Conrad Reed
Amy Ryan
as Hannah
Isabelle Huppert
as Isabelle Reed
Ruby Jerins
as Melanie
Maryann Urbano
as The Agency Woman
Donna Mitchell
as The Curator
Leslie Lyles
as Principal
Luke Robertson
as Man Behind Counter (Coffee Shop)
Peter Mark Kendall
as Student (College Party)
Sean Cullen (II)
as Melanie's Father
Marielle Holland
as Melanie's Friend #1
Bridget McGarry
as Melanie's Friend #2
Charlie Rose
as Charlie Rose
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News & Interviews for Louder Than Bombs

Critic Reviews for Louder Than Bombs

All Critics (126) | Top Critics (32)

  • It's a tale which unfolds nuance by nuance, and with each insight it becomes easier to empathise with both father and sons. Trier may work quietly but he knows all about pace and subtlety.

    Aug 12, 2016 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…
  • The people aren't people here; they're not even types - just instruments for conveying words and pictures, some of which are artful, but not nearly enough to make up for the dire drear and maudlin indulgence.

    Apr 29, 2016 | Rating: 0/5 | Full Review…
  • Two sons and their father grapple with their dysfunctional family situation, resulting in some reflective, engaging drama.

    Apr 28, 2016 | Rating: 2.5/4 | Full Review…
  • Here is a drama about a troubled family that builds not to a crescendo of screams and confrontations, but toward empathy and understanding.

    Apr 28, 2016 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…
  • There are moments of almost unspeakable beauty in the film, not the least of which are Isabelle's war zone photographs. Like the movie itself, they dare you to look away but award you deeply for baring witness.

    Apr 26, 2016 | Rating: 4/4 | Full Review…

    Oliver Jones

    Observer
    Top Critic
  • A ponderous, overwrought meditation on grief, loss, guilt, and memory that prods and probes its characters more like lab rats than living, breathing creations.

    Apr 22, 2016 | Rating: 2/4 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Louder Than Bombs

  • Jan 02, 2017
    Emotionally complex portrayal of a family suffering from loss. Trier is somehow able to intricately navigate these very complex characters across the span of several days, showing you glimpses of each character's past and fragments of their relationship with someone who had a profound impact on their lives. It's touching without being overwrought, and intense without being self-serious. Its obvious the director feels very much for his subject, and there are some very truthful moments that boldly do not play out for dramatic effect, rather minutia of daily experiences shown through a thoughtful lens.
    Hayden B Super Reviewer
  • Aug 12, 2016
    The film deliberately avoids resolution, and while that's bound to frustrate a lot of people I think it's key to the movie's success. We are meant to experience all these conflicting viewpoints and perspectives not be given cheap life lessons. Also, I'm again reminded what a phenomenally underrated actor Gabriel Byrne is.
    Alec B Super Reviewer
  • Apr 22, 2016
    Thoughtful, internalised drama comedy about grief and human behaviour, it reminded me a little of Moonlight Mile and a little of The Father of my Children. It's exceptionally well acted and beautifully filmed.
    Daniel P Super Reviewer
  • Mar 05, 2016
    A solid film that has great direction and performances, Byrne and Eisenberg are compelling in the leads. I didn't know what to make of the trailer but word of mouth got the better of me and I found one of the best films of 2016. The film deserved a bigger audience and more award recognition.
    Brendan N Super Reviewer

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