The Swimmer - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

The Swimmer Reviews

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April 4, 2017
How can one review or explain this movie? It is nearly beyond criticism, it doesn't even seem like it should be classified as a film it's so out there.
It's an existential drama of a man that the audience understands more about as we see him interact with people that he runs into as he stops by each of their swimming pool's.
The film has plenty of intentional and possibly non-intentional offbeat humor, surrealistically strange social encounters, and unconventional camerawork. The script is brilliantly opaque throughout, and the music is so normal nice-60's A&M brass pop that it seems to comment on the abnormal events unfolding.
At the center of the film is Lancaster's career performance, he had been in a lot of film's before this one but you can see how much he poured into making this one perfect. Lancaster becomes the man in his middle age struggling with his thirst for independence in the 60's, the new spirit coming over him and his body and reality of life failing him. There's a lot that could be said on this film, and I'll just say it's one of the finest I've seen because it pulls the viewer into its own world and gives you a lot to think about before you head out.
December 31, 2016
Hard to express without giving anything away. A bold choice by Burt Lancaster and a gripping character driven mystery. A film about true faces and the reluctance to see them. Great screenplay, by a lady no less.
(Updated rating from 4 to 5 because the film is living inside me. If only he swam the other way. But that was his tragedy. A must see film. Especially for writers.)
October 23, 2016
This masterpiece doesn't offer up its secrets easily, if at all. To say its a film about a bloke swimming home is like saying Ulysses is a book about a bloke wandering around Dublin. Burt Lancaster, never the most subtle of actors, delivers a mesmeric performance of a man and an age being slowly written out of history. This is much more than just a film, it's an idyll of complexity and fascinating enigmas. Memory, the loss of memory, the loss of time, delusion, confusion and the painful need for purpose are all intricately encapsulated in one day; "what a day, have you ever seen such a glorious day?"
April 17, 2016
I can't stand every aspect of this. I hate the 1960's. I hate 1960's film stock and production values. I hate people. I hate pools. I hate this dialogue. The concept is okay I guess.
½ March 5, 2016
It captures the surrealistic vision its source material produced with the intriguing unfolding development until it fully turns the already strangeness of that into a disturbing charm. (B)
Super Reviewer
½ November 30, 2015
A buff Burt Lancaster is nearly naked the whole film as a upscale businessman swimming through the pools of his neighbors in a circuitous route home one evening. I wouldn't watch this for years as I took it merely as a Lancaster vanity project, but now I guess I'm old enough to see that that actually plays an important part in the story, his vanity, undercutting what is seen versus what is real. There's a Twilight Zone twist telegraphed throughout, but nonetheless its a cool piece about the difference between who we think we are and who we are in fact.
November 18, 2015
Sorprendente Burt Lancaster en el papel de un nadador en una surrealista odisea que poco a poco se vuelve absurda y por ultimo, autodestructiva.
½ July 5, 2015
Sappy and melodramatic. Even the symbolic allegories are quite banal. In the hands of a better director could have been good though.
½ June 12, 2015
The strange story of a man whose life slowly spirals into surreal symbolism as he attempts to 'swim' home by working his way through the various pools across a valley on the way to his house. As he interacts with the various friends and neighbors along the way we see his first sunny outlook and life start to crater as the reality of his life seeps in through small exchanges and revelations, making for a rather interesting and thought provoking viewing experience.

Well worth tracking down.
April 29, 2015
Fascinating portrait of emotional meltdown masquerading as heroic individualism. Burt Lancaster is of course superlative in the main role, but he's matched by Janice Rule as a former lover. A quirky oddball gem that is even better the second time you watch it.
April 22, 2015
Burt Lancaster, já de si habituado a ser maior que a vida, dispõe-se a um dos grandes papéis da sua carreira neste "The Swimmer", que, apesar de incompreendido aquando da sua estreia, é hoje um riquíssimo e altamente cativante pedaço de cinema alegórico e adiantado perante o seu tempo. Aliás, com tanta vaidade a servir de maquilhagem para a dor de um mundo cada vez mais sobrecarregado de celebridades e socialites, o tempo de "The Swimmer" é hoje e amanhã. Mas essa é apenas uma das abordagens possíveis a um argumento que tem ideias às pazadas e a convicção de um atleta certo de que vai ganhar a maratona. No entanto era difícil perder ou vacilar quando Lancaster assume herculeamente a missão de representar todos os fardos do homem em hora e meia. Apetece pegar em 10 Óscares mal atribuídos e ir colocá-los dentro do seu caixão. "The Swimmer" é - com alguns rasgos avant-garde e um elenco impecável - um arrebatador filme sobre as mais diversas dimensões da condição humana.
½ March 30, 2015
Strange and bleak - just the way I like it!
January 7, 2015
It's a tragic dream about one man's delusion.
½ December 27, 2014
Iâ(TM)m going to write across the county. At least, Iâ(TM)m writing a review about a film about a man who decides to âswimâ? across the county in The Swimmer. It opens with a surreal montage of forestry, and then enters Neddy Merrill (Burt Lancaster) who meets up with old friends. When Neddy sees a connection of the pools of his neighbors leading up to his house, he decides to âswimâ? across the county. His kidsâ(TM) former babysitter Juliane (Janet Landgard) calls it âan adventure.â? And she is absolutely right. What follows is not the action-adventure kind of adventure you see these days, but a simpler one with characters living out a somewhat realistic situation. Neddy is a relatable protagonist you feel like you grew up knowing, but is made unique by his boyish attitude. Along his river, the Lucinda River, he encounters old friends, who show mixed feelings towards seeing him again. This is obvious in one woman he meets, who was the mother of his friend. She owns the house, and she thinks low of him for not calling her son, his friend, in the hospital. The picture is great, with a clear-and-present 60s feel. It dates the movie in a good way, because today, youâ(TM)ll feel youâ(TM)ve gone back in time to the 1960s. Marvin Hamlisch provides a wonderful soundtrack, though there were some spaces where silence was not really necessary. The Swimmer is a deep, funny adventure, that feels dated yet timeless, from its relatable protagonist Neddy, to the side-characters he meets/reconnects with.
November 29, 2014
Brilliant performance by Burt Lancaster, who himself suffered several tragedies in life, starting with an early death of his mother and an injury that ended his athletic career. Even as a young man, Lancaster already knew that the middle class trappings have about the same value as tinsel on an artificial Christmas tree. This is how he is able to convey the depth of feeling and just-below-the-surface angst that permeates this movie. In the end, Ned's life turns out to be nothing but empty self-talk. This movie has great power even today - many of us go about life not knowing who we are and what we stand for... only to see our delusions crumble at the slightest push by the harsh realities of life.
½ November 15, 2014
This was a really sad film, but with an unusual and original idea. The title character spends his entire day essentially swimming home. He goes from pool to pool mingling with people that used to play a bigger part in his life. He eventually comes to a startling realization. Honestly, it's not the type of role Burt Lancaster is used to playing, but he does it so well. I, the viewer, feel his pain.
November 7, 2014
A timeless masterpiece. Lancaster performance is the stuff method actors like Pacino and De Niro have dreamed of.
½ August 9, 2014
although considered unusual and misunderstood,this movie is solidly constructed and packs a great punch with intrigue and entertainment.
½ July 14, 2014
'The Swimmer' absolutely floored me. I loved the way the story unfolded, revealing more about Ned Merrill with every passing encounter - ultimately leading to one of my favourite endings in recent memory. The cinematography was outstanding - tracking shots, awe inspiring framing, experimental under cranking, slow motion. The editing was very cool, especially half way through the film when Ned and Julie continue the journey home. The fact that the filmmakers were able to have the balls to put this out speaks volumes.
July 13, 2014
remember bits of it from years ago, #1 in the queue, will be seeing it shortly.........
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