Salinger (2013) - Rotten Tomatoes

Salinger (2013)

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Critic Consensus: A so-so documentary about a fascinating personality, Salinger has moments of insight but is too often bogged down by reenactments and a lack of attention to the man's actual writings.

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SALINGER features interviews with 150 subjects including Salinger's friends, colleagues and members of his inner circle who have never spoken on the record before as well as film footage, photographs and other material that has never been seen. Additionally, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Edward Norton, John Cusack, Danny DeVito, John Guare, Martin Sheen, David Milch, Robert Towne, Tom Wolfe, E.L. Doctorow, Gore Vidal and Pulitzer Prize winners A. Scott Berg and Elizabeth Frank talk about Salinger's influence on their lives, their work and the broader culture. The film is the first work to get beyond the Catcher in the Rye author's meticulously built up wall: his childhood, painstaking work methods, marriages, private world and the secrets he left behind after his death in 2010. (c) Weinstein

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Critic Reviews for Salinger

All Critics (84) | Top Critics (39)

Salinger triumphs, though, as an absorbing portrait of a singular man of mystery.

January 28, 2014 | Rating: A | Full Review…
Uncle Barky
Top Critic

Too bad that Salinger offers no real insight into the elusive writer and is fueled almost entirely by trivial anecdotes.

January 21, 2014 | Full Review…
Minneapolis Star Tribune
Top Critic

The movie has a shallow, paparazzo literalism. It just wants to catch the legendarily reclusive Salinger getting into a Jeep.

January 6, 2014 | Full Review…
Grantland
Top Critic

What emerges is a portrait of an enigma.

September 23, 2013 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…
Seattle Times
Top Critic

Where Salinger succeeds is in the gripping section on World War II, and in the exquisite, often melancholy details in the stories told by the likes of Joyce Maynard.

September 20, 2013 | Rating: 3/4
Chicago Sun-Times
Top Critic

The treatment of J.D. Salinger's writing in this overwrought documentary is so inflated and pompous it comes as a relief when Judd Apatow shows up to describe The Catcher in the Rye as a funny book filled with great lines.

September 20, 2013 | Rating: C- | Full Review…
Orange County Register
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for Salinger

½

For any fan of Holden Caulfield this interesting work explores the fetid earth from which he arose, along with some antidotal commentary from celebs who're fans just like you. You won't find out why he isolated from society, but if you are a fan then indeed you already know and can thusly enjoy watching celebs and others NOT KNOW, even after claiming to've loved Catcher.

Kevin M. Williams
Kevin M. Williams

Super Reviewer

½

It's not often that I see a documentary that isn't very good, but it's unheard of for a documentary to be so completely at odds with the message it tries to impart! A film that in turn idolizes Salinger in an almost creepy fashion and would have him rolling in his grave, "Salinger" is a phony mess, filled with manipulative music and swooping camera angles of what appears to be stock footage. Yet it is thorough in tracing his career, isn't afraid to question the man, and does end up imparting some interesting food for thought. Unfortunately, even if the documentary was not pretentious, and ultimately a commercial for books that Salinger may or may not actually have given permission to publish, it simply isn't well-made. Your average History Channel doc, or in other words, frustratingly disappointing.

Sam Barnett
Sam Barnett

Super Reviewer

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