Margaret - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Margaret Reviews

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Super Reviewer
½ November 13, 2014
Director/writer Kenneth Lonergan (You Can Count On Me) filmed Margaret in 2005, and it needed six years to have it in the cinemas... I can see why! Whatever way you try to put it together, and, believe me, numerous editors have been recruited to try their luck in shaping it up, this ends up as a pretentious drama which is almost pointless! I cannot believe that a film with Matt Damon, Mark Ruffalo, Jean Reno, Kieran Culkin, Matthew Broderick and Allison Janney could be without a role to be remembered. This must be one of the rare movies which can bring so many stars together and all of them were underutilized!

Having Anna Paquin in my face for two-and-half-hours trying to act in this tragic growing-up melodrama surrounding made my life miserable for the moment... the story of Lisa Cohen started really well, but very soon this privileged teen living in New York City who experiences a loss of innocence, both literally and figuratively, after witnessing a bus running over a woman, became a real mess.

If you are interested in seeing some bad and loud acting from Paquin without real expression of emotions, a story which is mostly obnoxious and solutions flighty, and talented but underutilized supporting cast, go and waste 2.5 hours on it.
½ October 3, 2014
I liked many things about this movie. Its a movie about relationship among other things. The movie has many things.... Great job again by Lonergan. Made in 2005 by released in 2011. a saga just to get it made.... Glad I finally remembered to see it.
September 29, 2014
If you have a cowboy hat my guess is you will leave it at home for a few days.
September 24, 2014
I can't remember seeing a film so wildly unfocused and just all over the map. It starts out with an interesting premise and an interesting main character played quite excellently by Anna Paquin. Unfortunately though, the film deviates from its main plot and goes on many wildly different tangents exploring many different ideas that truly have nothing to do with the central premise but seem to just be thrown in for possibly more flavor but they end up overwhelming the film and deviating it from the main focus. As a result the film feels overstuffed,over packed and goes on way too long. There are times I got bored with it and would hop onto my iPod and look up movie reviews or check Facebook, conscious of what was going on screen but just kind of tuning out. Many of the many performances are actually quite good with Anna Paquin giving a very good central performance and the supporting characters played by Matt Damon and Mark Ruffalo are also well done. But as I said the characters and their personal problems get drowned out in a film that just doesn't seem to know what it's focus should be and seems to wander into too many plot lines and as a result the central ideas are watered-down. This is a film that easily could've been trimmed by about 90 minutes depending on whether or not you're watching the extended cut or the theatrical version. The screenplay also needed some very harsh trimming before the film ever went into production. On top of that the direction of the film is pretentious and many times just plain bad. Their are times when too much is going on and you can't hear what the main characters are saying. The director also has this unnecessary tendency to make these large panning shots that have nothing to do with the film and it feels like the director is trying to draw more attention to himself and how he is directing a film in the story itself. Margaret could've been an and emotionally heart wrenching and I'm tearjerking experience of a film which I think is what the director wanted. But due to his own poor direction and overstuffed screenplay that goes off in way too many different directions Margaret does not have the emotional impact that it could, or should have had and instead has this just mindnumbing feeling of excess.
September 21, 2014
Its like an exceptionally good screenplay that was written by a 15 year old. All forced hysteria and only HOT and COLD instead of the whole spectrum.
September 13, 2014
Self indulgent and wasteful of numerous great actors who all seem to have been booked for cameo roles. Overall all the charactors are horrible! even the dieing woman is horrible. Anna Paquin does well buy yhte plot is baffling and it is hard to watch a film in which you dont care about anyone in it or give a monkies about the outcome...Fizzer.
½ August 28, 2014
Though plodding, overstuffed and ultimately quite messy, this slice-of-life drama covers an often underdeveloped premise in cinema without compromise. Held together finitely by Anna Paquin, Margaret is at once riveting and absorbing, yet uncomplicated and monotone.
August 11, 2014
Not bad. A bit of a grandstanding performance from Anna Paquin, a bit illogical in parts - but powerful stuff. Overlong at two and a half hours, and the plot waves around too many subplots. Interesting to see Matt Damon, Mark Ruffalo and Jean Reno play smallish supporting roles. It's worth looking up the poem Margaret by Gerard Manley Hopkins, which features briefly in the film but contains the kernel of its message. J. Smith-Cameron as Lisa's mother actually has a major role which she performs beautifully, but she doesn't get much mention in the credits. I wonder why? Lots of interesting observation here about modern America and its attitudes to the Middle East, Israel, Syria, the Jews and all that jazz.
August 1, 2014
This film surely rewards repeat viewings, for it is one of the most raw, textured works of precise character study and operatic drama I've ever seen, a jagged yet profound construction whose messiness adds thematic and exhilarating momentum to what is a searching and uncommonly honest exploration and depiction of the complexities and difficulties of communication and shared experience. Lonargan's writing and amazing performances by his cast combine for the creation of some of the most fully realized and realistic characters in all of cinema, who guide the viewer through expertly distilled and internalized ideas of guilt, grief, adolescence, and the minutiae of human behavior. It may also be the most potent post 9/11 film yet made, dealing both pointedly and atmospherically with the uncertainty, anger, and trauma that event provoked
July 17, 2014
Writer and director, Kenneth Lonergan brings a struggled film to be extremely devastating, yet vivid. It stars Anna Paquin (as Lisa Cohen), J. Smith-Cameron (as Joan Cohen), Jean Reno (as Ramon), Jeannie Berlin (as Emily), Allison Janney (as Monica Patterson), Matthew Broderick (as John), Mark Ruffalo (as Maretti), and Matt Damon (as Mr. Aaron). In Lonergan's second film for directing and seventh film for writing, he planned to have "Margaret" released in 2007. That goal was not complete because Lonergan spent an extra four years fighting with Fox Searchlight Pictures since the film had a short-cut and a long-cut and that resulted in several lawsuits.

The film is about a girl named Lisa Cohen, she is a seventeen-year-old high school student that feels she played a role in a bus accident. The bus driver is Maretti, and the lady that was hit is Monica Patterson. This accident leaves Lisa to be in horrid frustration; she emotionally argues with her mother Joan and Joan's boyfriend, Ramon; she tries to impress her two teachers John and Mr. Aaron; and above all she is hard on herself. When a lady named Emily helps to try and solver her case, it leads Lisa with a basic truth: that her youthful ideas are on a collision course against the realities and compromises of the adult world.

"Margaret" is not a feel-good movie, but it is one of the most important films around. In today's society, depressing events happen all the time and sometimes people do not admit that they are responsible for something horrible. Paquin's acting and characterization of this dramatic accident makes me feel that telling the truth is always the right choice.

With numerous production conflicts, Lonergan did not give up with "Margaret." Lonergan delivered a one hundred and fifty minute version, but the original one he wanted was close to three hours. Director Martin Scorsese and Editor Thelma Schoonmaker were chose to put the film in order. Their task was not finished, since the funds ran out. What was good though, was that Fox Searchlight released the one hundred and fifty minute draft (limited). The film began to receive many positive reviews and made Top 10 Films of the Year lists.

"Margaret" will make you cry. I cried watching both versions, which were the theatrical and extended cut. I can even remember the sad moments and can think to myself how the emotions of Lisa compares to others that struggles with emotions. Will Lisa ever be relieved? Will the teachers forgive Lisa for her bizarre behavior? Or why was this this film not a landmark masterpiece? And why did I not see it on the big screen? The questions will be waiting for anyone who has not seen "Margaret." Three stars.

Note: No one is named "Margaret," it is a poem by Gerard Manley Hopkins and is mentioned at some point in the film.
½ July 11, 2014
Worst movie I have ever seen in my entire life.......
June 29, 2014
A very long movie that illustrated the story and changes of a girl and her actions along a traumatic accident.
It showed the reality of human thoughts, behaviors which shows a good lesson to learn
½ June 8, 2014
there's a lot of drama in this film. it was all over the place. Lisa's character is messed up. anna paquin played her role very well. for me, the main plot did not revolve around the tragic bus accident but the relationship btwn Lisa and her mom. the ending was very touching.
June 8, 2014
a bit long but stellar performance by Anna Paquin makes this one worth seeing.
½ April 11, 2014
Emily (Jeannie Berlin): "Now I don't to tell anyone what to think or how to feel and I don't want to
kid myself about the stupid, way that she meaningless died because that would really make her throw up.But I don't want it to become the summation of her life because it's not. When her Lisa died...when her Lisa died, I said to her "How can you stand it?" and she said "First of all, I can't but I don't want to take away the twelve years she did have and turn them all into leukemia because they weren't." And so I do think it's important to remember, that despite the fact she got ripped off, she was the most fully developed person I personally have ever known."

The ensemble were brilliant and the story was pretty compelling enough to where I can sympathize with the protagonist; but on the same note, it was also pretty confusing, her actions seemed so random, self-destructive but altogether pointless. The best part of the film was when her motives truly become clear was when Lisa (played by Anna Paquin) gets outraged that Monica's estrange niece was willing to accept the monetary settlement despite the company's reluctance to let go of the driver who was partly responsible for Monica's death. That scene was so raw and so honest that it was very moving and you can finally understand all the emotional turmoil Lisa has been going through since the accident and the reason for her rebelliousness. Like I mentioned earlier, the cast did a superb job, but I can't help being distracted by Anna Paquin through no real fault of her own since she was very credible all throughout the film; but I can't help thinking she's too old to play a high school student even though she can still physically pass for one. It kind of hindered me from completely being immersed in the story, which I know was a pretty silly reason.
½ April 10, 2014
If the purpose of this film is to make you despise the main character and dream of having this time returned to your life this would be best picture of the year.
½ April 9, 2014
the trailer only begins to give a glimpse of what lies in store.
positives: well acted, no cookie cutter characters, makes you think...
negatives: one major editing hiccup....
overall impression: surprisingly good and highly recommended......
½ April 3, 2014
WTF was the point of this? 2 and a half hours of examples of emotional nut cases?
March 27, 2014
Started out with good potential with a decent cast and plot line, but fell apart and left the audience thinking "what was the point?"
March 19, 2014
I was really surprised to see the critics praise this movie. I thought it was a disappointment. The plot kept bending and twisting, and it eventually just started to make me laugh at what directions the movie was taking. Great cast, but it fell flat for me.
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