Old Joy - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Old Joy Reviews

Top Critic
Steve Murray
Atlanta Journal-Constitution
March 15, 2007
Old Joy may be built around a road trip, but it's also a movie about two roads -- and two souls -- diverging.
| Original Score: B
Top Critic
Robert Denerstein
Denver Rocky Mountain News
March 9, 2007
You may find yourself asking whether anything's going to happen. But for those who can tolerate a slow-brewing movie, [director] Reichardt's work provides sufficient rewards.
| Original Score: B
Top Critic
Lisa Kennedy
Denver Post
March 9, 2007
Subdued, artistic, with beautifully nuanced performances that are as true as they are often elusive of commercial triumph.
| Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic

St. Louis Post-Dispatch
February 17, 2007
Top Critic
Jessica Winter
Time Out
January 26, 2007
Such watchful reticence takes a bold, confident filmmaker.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/6
Top Critic
Colin Covert
Minneapolis Star Tribune
January 18, 2007
At just 76 minutes, Old Joy is a minimalist film, but illuminating, bittersweet, gentle and deeply alive.
| Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
John Hartl
Seattle Times
January 5, 2007
The characters stayed with me, and I'm glad I took a second look now that it's opening for a two-week run at Northwest Film Forum. This time around, its sense of humor seemed much more effective -- as did its less-is-more style.
| Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
John Monaghan
Detroit Free Press
December 1, 2006
The movie captures gorgeous mountain scenery with the simplicity of an Ozu film. It also benefits from the naturalistic performances.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Richard Nilsen
Arizona Republic
November 30, 2006
It plays for a scant 73 minutes, but if feels as long as a Wagner opera.
| Original Score: 1/5
Top Critic
Geoff Pevere
Toronto Star
November 24, 2006
The real resonance of Reichardt's at once lean and profound little movie is that, without saying anything directly, it can seem to say so much.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Jason Anderson
Globe and Mail
November 24, 2006
Wise, resonant and genuinely special.
| Original Score: 3.5/4
Top Critic
Steven Rea
Philadelphia Inquirer
November 10, 2006
Old Joy's not-going- anywhere-ness is a big part of its charm.
| Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Jim Emerson
RogerEbert.com
November 3, 2006
Like a great jazz musician, Reichart understands that striking a single, well-placed note can resonate more profoundly than playing a splashy cascade of noise just because you can.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
Top Critic
Michael Wilmington
Chicago Tribune
November 2, 2006
Fresh as spring water and warm as sunlight, it steeps us in the beauties we will always miss, if we keep dividing the world into winners and losers.
| Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Wesley Morris
Boston Globe
October 27, 2006
The movie explores the increasingly coarse line between nostalgia and acceptance for the way things are, without exclamatory revelation and uproarious self-pity. It's Sideways for realists.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
Top Critic
Stanley Kauffmann
The New Republic
October 26, 2006
About [Kelly Reichardt's] directing, after praising her simplicity, one has to praise her daring. To make this film took considerable conviction -- and, for an artist, conviction usually entails courage.
Top Critic
Ruthe Stein
San Francisco Chronicle
October 20, 2006
Slow moving but ultimately quite touching.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Stephen Hunter
Washington Post
October 19, 2006
It feels so real it hurts, and it's the perfect antidote to all those movies where all sorts of stuff blows up.
Top Critic
Carina Chocano
Los Angeles Times
October 12, 2006
Captures the weary mood of a generation that's crested its peak along with an era, quietly making a case for how well suited film can be to capturing the finer points of human interaction while preserving their mystery.
Full Review | Original Score: 4.5/5
Top Critic
Ella Taylor
L.A. Weekly
October 12, 2006
The movie's scale is minuscule, but the physical and emotional landscapes it travels are as broad, deep and mysterious as the human psyche itself.
Top Critic
Andrew Sarris
New York Observer
October 11, 2006
Let us say simply that Ms. Reichardt's brand of minimalism leaves me truly joyless.
Top Critic
Frank Scheck
Hollywood Reporter
October 4, 2006
Old Joy is another minimalist exercise that is at once visually stunning, quietly insightful and more than a little hard to endure.
Top Critic
Jack Mathews
New York Daily News
September 22, 2006
Kelly Reichardt's minimalist buddy film about two former roommates on an overnight camping trip in Oregon's Cascade Mountains features some of the year's most beautiful scenery and two of its most wooden characters.
| Original Score: 2/4
Top Critic
Scott Tobias
AV Club
September 22, 2006
Old Joy doesn't try for too much, but its subtle victories leave plenty to savor.
| Original Score: A-
Top Critic
Andrew O'Hehir
Salon.com
September 21, 2006
Old Joy (adapted by writer Jonathan Raymond from his own short story) is only 76 minutes long, but it has the contemplative power of Buddhist meditation.
Top Critic
Jan Stuart
Newsday
September 20, 2006
Every frame of Old Joy bespeaks a yearning for a more user-friendly day, when gas was less than $2.50 a gallon and there was always a used record store to unload your scratched vinyl.
| Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Lisa Schwarzbaum
Entertainment Weekly
September 20, 2006
It's in all the moments where little happens that Reichardt is most amazing, investing even a gas-station pit stop with perfect emotional pitch.
Full Review | Original Score: A
Top Critic
Kyle Smith
New York Post
September 20, 2006
Only the alt-country score by Yo La Tengo makes any of this bearable.
| Original Score: 1/4
Top Critic
Manohla Dargis
New York Times
September 19, 2006
Kelly Reichardt's film is a triumph of modesty and of seriousness that also happens to be one of the finest American films of the year.
| Original Score: 5/5
Top Critic
J. Hoberman
Village Voice
September 19, 2006
Open-ended as it may appear, it has a crushing finality. For all the wool-gathering and guitar-noodling, this road movie is at least as tender as it is ironic.
Top Critic
David Edelstein
New York Magazine/Vulture
September 18, 2006
Against a radiant backdrop of decay and rebirth, nothing needs to be said; everything in this lovely film is crystalline.
Top Critic
Scott Foundas
Variety
February 28, 2006
A camping trip shared by two longtime friends provides the basis for a beautifully nuanced study in friendship and the irretrievability of the past in Old Joy.
Top Critic
Dennis Lim
Village Voice
January 31, 2006
A film of microscopic mood shifts, at once open-ended and precise.