Marriage Story

Critics Consensus

Observing a splintering union with compassion and expansive grace, the powerfully acted Marriage Story ranks among writer-director Noah Baumbach's best works.

95%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 342

84%

Audience Score

Verified Ratings: 179
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Movie Info

A stage director and his actor wife struggle through a grueling, coast-to-coast divorce that pushes them to their personal and creative extremes.

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News & Interviews for Marriage Story

Critic Reviews for Marriage Story

All Critics (342) | Top Critics (49) | Fresh (326) | Rotten (16)

  • Noah Baumbach's latest film portrays both sides of a messy divorce, for once.

    Dec 6, 2019 | Full Review…
  • At its best, this movie is searing. It pinpoints many of the little talked-about aspects of divorce that seem the least significant but hurt the most.

    Dec 4, 2019 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…
  • The entire cast is rock solid, with Johansson and Driver turning in two of the very best performances of their careers.

    Dec 3, 2019 | Rating: 4.5/5 | Full Review…
  • It's a triumph, a mix of pleasure and pain that cuts so deep it leaves a scar. It hurts, but it hurts so good.

    Dec 1, 2019 | Rating: A | Full Review…
  • Johansson and Driver are remarkably, heartbreakingly good in every scene; showing their characters' journeys to an unflinching camera, letting the gap between them get wider yet unable, for their son's sake, to completely walk away.

    Nov 27, 2019 | Rating: 4/4 | Full Review…
  • By the end, you're rooting for both Charlie and Nicole, hoping they find their own happiness despite all the bad things and the pain they caused one another.

    Nov 22, 2019 | Rating: 3.5/4 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Marriage Story

  • Jan 17, 2020
    I don't have a kid. I've never been divorced. Or even married. Though I guess I was once a kid myself, I'm not the product of a divorced couple. I'm not even the product of a married one. Everyone I know who has gotten married or had kids did it before I met them, or stopped hanging out with me almost immediately afterward. Everyone I've ever met who got divorced either did it before I met them, or is someone I stopped hanging out with beforehand. So I don't come to the subject of Marraige Story with a wealth of experience, which means it doesn't exactly scream "relatable content" to me. Let me start where it's easiest and everyone seems to agree: The performances. Everyone in Marriage Story is pretty great, none of the characterisations changed my life, but I get it. As a chance to display what these actors are capable of in a mundane setting where all that matters is their performance, yes, absolutely, Marriage Story has buckets of success. Outside of this though... I'm not even going to say that it "fails" elsewhere, just that it didn't win me. I like bleak movies, I like movies that make me feel something, even if it's sad. But Marriage Story isn't really that. It poses you the question of whether both Charlie and Nicole are good or bad people, and shows you each from their own and other's perspective. The ending seems to imply that they're good, or at the very least both good and bad (and aren't we all?) but that really doesn't matter very much when we just spent all this time watching both of them be horrible. I know that's life, that's real, that's people, and blah bl-blah bl-blah, but that's little consolation when I've just spent two-plus hours of my life being not at all compelled by a bunch of people being awful. Being awful convincingly, to the actors' respective credits, but in this setting that is not my idea of a good time at the movies.
    Gimly M Super Reviewer
  • Dec 26, 2019
    A tragic tale amplified by such a tour-de-force display from Adam Driver and Scarlett Johansson, Marriage Story highlights the struggles of an everyday situation and the real efforts to maintain it; leaving audiences with heavy hearts and thoughts. 4/5
    Eugene B Super Reviewer
  • Dec 10, 2019
    Driver and Johansson will surely receive all the nominations for their great performances in this film, but Laura Dern and Alan Alda also deserve tons of credit for the job they do. The story is well written for both the husband and the wife's perspective. It almost hurts to watch it at times but in the best way possible. The audience is somehow led to root for both sides, accepting both characters' strengths and flaws. An extremely well-acted, and pretty well-written film.
    Sanjay R Super Reviewer
  • Dec 09, 2019
    I've been trying to come up with a way of reviewing this film in a way that doesn't seem like I personally directed it or something, because movies like Marriage Story don't come along very often and I just feel like gushing about how incredible is. Netflix has been releasing tons of quality content this year and this may very well be the best of their entire catalogue of feature films. Alone with Roma and their recent release of The Irishman, I believe you'll be seeing Marriage Story in contention for many, many awards in the coming months. Here's why I believe Marriage Story is a must-watch.  Not all relationships work out and if every single Romance film ever made had a happy ending, then that would just be a lie. It's nice to see a movie tackle this subject matter and stick with it from start to finish. Marriage Story is a look into the lives of Charlie (Adam Driver) and Nicole (Scarlett Johansson) as they are clearly not able to keep a working marriage, but also don't want to ruin the family they have made. From gut-wrenching scenes of excessively honest dialogue and a conclusion that feels raw and true, this movie is one of the best dramas I've seen in years.  Take your pick at who outshines who here, because it really is a toss-up as to who is more incredible between Driver and Johansson. It does help that writer/director Noah Baumbach gave them outstandingly good dialogue to work with, but the way these two play off each other is as if they were given a year to prepare for these roles and get to know each other. Everything about this film felt authentic, which made the overall impact so powerful. It's not easy to watch a movie about a love story that's about how marriage sometimes doesn't work out, but this movie does it in such a way that it doesn't feel depressing throughout the majority of the duration. This is all thanks to Noah Baumbach though.  From Greenberg to While We're Young, Baumbach has been a director I've been keeping my eyes on, as I believe he has gotten better with each of his films, for the most part. It wasn't until The Meyerowitz Stories (New and Selected) that I really started to anticipate his next movie, but now I'll be desperately awaiting to get another story from him. His talent as a director, especially on Marriage Story, is truly something else. He is best suited for movies like Marriage Story or While We're Young, where it's all about the characters because he very clearly has a knack at getting the best possible performances out of his cast.  Marriage Story begins strong, easing you into what will be a very emotional film and concludes in a way that feels natural. Overall, from these award-worthy performances, superb writing and directing, a very minimal score, which lets you sit with these characters for extended periods of time, it's very hard to nitpick this movie. There is one scene that made me chuckle, purely because I felt uncomfortable, but this movie is otherwise perfectly done. By the time 2019 ends, I feel that I may have to say this is the best movie of the year. I absolutely loved every minute of this movie. I can't recommend it enough.
    KJ P Super Reviewer

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