Stranger Than Fiction - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Stranger Than Fiction Reviews

October 18, 2008
The actors and the filmmakers all take a more restrained approach than you might expect, keeping the humor gentle, and the jokes mostly as literary as the premise.
February 3, 2007
An uncommonly plastic bit of Hallmark sentiment-mongering, with exactly the kind of New Age psychobabble ending youâ(TM)d expect.
Full Review | Original Score: 1/6
November 15, 2006
A film well worth seeing and savoring.
November 10, 2006
Stranger Than Fiction seems like an old episode of the Twilight Zone, and the idea would have worked better as one of Rod Serling's half-hour epistles on human foibles.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
November 10, 2006
Stranger Than Fiction is both about a novel and like a novel; you eagerly await the turning of the pages.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
November 10, 2006
It doesn't coast on its premise but follows where it leads, which is into some serious territory. What might have been a joke with a tagged-on sentimental ending becomes instead a sensitive movie that affirms the value of life.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
November 10, 2006
Willfully eccentric, odd in tone, it is an English major's comedy, a wry exploration of plot, narrative, character and a writer's imprint on her or his work.
Read More | Original Score: 4/5
November 10, 2006
It seems like the screenwriter may have suffered a shortage of ideas and remedied the problem by watching Charlie Kaufman films.
Read More | Original Score: 2/4
November 10, 2006
With its musings on free will and God, the story may not be original, but caring about its hero is automatic for the audience. That's more than most movies can say.
Read More | Original Score: 2.5/4
November 10, 2006
It has a nifty premise and outstanding performances from Ferrell, as the protagonist-in-progress, and Emma Thompson, as his blocked creator.
Read More | Original Score: 3/4
November 10, 2006
Stranger Than Fiction may not be the typical crowd-pleaser, but it's a sweet, funny, intelligent film that showcases just how much Ferrell can do, even when he's doing less.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
November 10, 2006
Stranger Than Fiction might be film, but it moves like a novel: a literate, unhurried tale marked by softly wrought reflections on the self-made life.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
November 10, 2006
So, in lieu of the usual cookie-cutter movie, we at least get the cookie itself, a nice-light treat.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
November 10, 2006
A wondrously funny modern fairy tale, Stranger than Fiction manages to blend romance, satire and fantasy into a story that's both fully satisfying and patently absurd.
November 10, 2006
A comedy that takes itself too seriously to be truly enjoyed.
Read More | Original Score: 2/4
November 10, 2006
[Director Marc] Forster's sweetly engaging concoction bends our minds without too much strain, and even those moments that feel mildly familiar never breed anything close to contempt.
Read More | Original Score: B+
November 10, 2006
Will Ferrell delivers a moving and surprisingly delicate -- though not so surprisingly funny -- turn as the lonesome bureaucrat bedeviled by a voice only he hears.
Read More | Original Score: 4/4
November 10, 2006
Stranger Than Fiction is uptight. [Writer Zach] Helm is clearly pro-love and happy endings, but he's short on loose, fresh ideas.
Full Review | Original Score: 1.5/4
November 10, 2006
Besides being inventive and witty, Stranger Than Fiction is a tribute to the power of literature. But art is not its only domain. It also delves into the world of ultimate certainties: death and taxes.
Read More | Original Score: 3/4
November 10, 2006
While Stranger Than Fiction traffics in a bit of darkly funny existential anxiety, it also finds room for romantic fantasy and sentimental uplift.
Read More | Original Score: 3.5/5
November 10, 2006
Take a cool premise, a smart director and a top-flight cast, then throw an ex-TV sketch comedy knucklehead into the mix - and voila, a thinking person's dramedy that grapples with issues of fate and free will, love and liberation. Look out, Oscars.
Read More | Original Score: 3.5/4
November 10, 2006
If Stranger Than Fiction has a central flaw, it's overly sentimental. Although the story would work better as a tragedy, Forster and Helm can't resist tacking on a mushy love story, involving Crick and combative tax cheat Ana Pascal.
Read More | Original Score: 3.5/5
November 10, 2006
Stranger Than Fiction is a meditation on life, art and romance, and on the kinds of responsibility we have. Such an uncommonly intelligent film does not often get made.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
November 9, 2006
For all of the film's narrative intricacies, it's love in bloom that carries the day.
November 9, 2006
The picture is an overworked trifle: There's so much going on in it that it becomes hard to care about anything that's going on in it.
November 9, 2006
It manages to be smart and surprising and provides this season of serious movies with a much-needed shot of whimsy.
November 9, 2006
Yes, Stranger Than Fiction is a head trip. But it's a very friendly one, and well crafted at that.
Full Review | Original Score: A-
November 9, 2006
Stranger Than Fiction is no Eternal Sunshine. But if you can look past its clunky attempt to be exactly that, there's great pleasure in watching Ferrell, like Harold, turn into someone you never knew he could be.
November 9, 2006
It's not the original story we signed up for -- or thought we did.
November 9, 2006
Sometimes I think movies like Stranger Than Fiction don't experiment with narrative and character as much as cop out on them.
Read More | Original Score: 2.5/4
November 9, 2006
There's no joy in seeing Ferrell play an office drone, and the life lessons he learns are of the "All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten" variety.
Read More | Original Score: 2/4
November 9, 2006
Movies with terrific ideas are a rare commodity in Hollywood. The idea behind Stranger Than Fiction is the kind of Charlie Kaufmanesque conceit that sounds a lot better than the way it's played out.
Full Review | Original Score: B-
November 9, 2006
Stranger Than Fiction is the most original comedy of the year, a mind-bending tale with one foot in the real world and the other in pure fiction.
Read More | Original Score: A-
November 9, 2006
[Stranger Than Fiction] springs to life whenever it drops the cute Pirandello-like premise and focuses on the simple business of Ferrell finding love.
Read More | Original Score: B
November 9, 2006
[Stranger than Fiction] teems with ideas both literary and existential, which might make it unbearably precious, were it not redeemed by woozy charm and some serious acting from Will Ferrell.
November 8, 2006
There's no denying the movie has a surface allure.
Full Review | Original Score: B-
November 7, 2006
[The] performances succeed where Harold fails: gaining a life independent of their author.
November 6, 2006
The movie is clever, but a little too pleased with its own clockwork intricacy.
November 6, 2006
Crisp, eccentric and exhilarating.
November 6, 2006
It takes a great premise and runs with it, neither wasting opportunities nor going off on tangents. It features strong work from both the main and supporting actors, and manages seamlessly to incorporate both humor and poignancy.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
November 2, 2006
This is a Ferrell you've never seen before, nailing a role that calls for breakneck humor in the final race against the clock and touching gravity in the love scenes with Gyllenhaal.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
October 28, 2006
The film struggles under its increasingly weighty pretensions to literary credibility and even tragic status, stumbling towards an unconvincing and cloying conclusion.
October 5, 2006
The deader the deadpan the better. When Ferrell and Hoffman do their thing together, a charming bit of whimsy becomes something more. It becomes really, really funny.
Read More | Original Score: 3/4
September 12, 2006
It remains inventive and funny to the end, features fine performances from Will Ferrell and especially Emma Thompson, and offers enough to enjoy and dispute to make it a good B.O. attraction.
September 10, 2006
The picture pleases while remaining unchallenging to a broad audience.