Synecdoche, New York - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Synecdoche, New York Reviews

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Top Critic
James Berardinelli
October 23, 2008
Some will call this art. I'll content myself with thinking of it as an ambitious misstep by a creative individual who failed to realize what he was trying to represent.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
Phil Villarreal
Arizona Daily Star
November 26, 2008
He goes for Fellini's 8 1/2 but comes up 8 short.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
Fr. Chris Carpenter
Orange County and Long Beach Blade
February 27, 2009
A pretentious, witless disaster that largely wastes a great cast; one of the worst films of 2008
Full Review | Original Score: D
Sonny Bunch
Washington Times
August 30, 2009
Inaccessible and endlessly frustrating, Synecdoche is replete with art-house pomposity and the type of muddled profundity one sees in an introductory philosophy seminar.
Full Review | Original Score: 1.5/4
Fernando F. Croce
Slant Magazine
October 19, 2008
The artistic psyche has never been more joylessly explored than in Synecdoche, New York, the gallingly undisciplined directorial debut of revered screenwriter Charlie Kaufman.
Full Review | Original Score: 1.5/4
November 14, 2008
Though the theme isn't new (Pirandello, Fellini), the fact that Kaufman forgot to give the protagonist any spark of personality whatsoever is rather cutting-edge. Yet exceedingly dull. How ironic.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/10
Edward Douglas
October 23, 2008
A lot of thought may have gone into constructing this intricate, remotely clever, but ultimately dour and depressing, directorial debut from Charlie Kaufman, but it probably wasn't worth the effort.
Full Review | Original Score: 6/10
Tony Macklin
Fayetteville Free Weekly
February 1, 2009
Writer Charlie Kaufman is the pseudo-intellectuals' "intellectual." He's pompous, self-flagellating and pretentious. So they love him. Kaufman makes Sarah Palin seem humble.
Full Review | Original Score: 1.5/5
Grant Lauchlan
Daily Record (UK)
May 15, 2009
This is a cup half empty affair and it's too gloomy, despairing and self-indulgent. And unlike Kaufman's other movies, it's not one I'll be going back to in a hurry.
| Original Score: 2/5
Katey Rich
October 14, 2008
The truly committed will find something redeeming in this jumble, but the payoff isn't really worth the slog of getting there.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
Jeff Bayer
The Scorecard Review
November 7, 2008
With any impressionist piece of work, your feelings overtake you. I was left with Caden slowly suffocating me with his despair.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/10
Rosamund Witcher
Heat Magazine
May 15, 2009
Like the play within the film, Synecdoche is bravely ambitious, with glimpses of Kaufman's genius. But it's also an indulgent slog that only the most diehard Kaufmanites will happily endure.
| Original Score: 2/5
Austin Kennedy
Sin Magazine
November 14, 2008
Kaufman does all he can to throw in enough details to confuse the viewer, to the point of headache-inducing irritation.
Full Review | Original Score: 1.5/4
Michael Dance
The Cinema Source
January 6, 2009
I call B.S.
Full Review | Original Score: D+
Tricia Olszewski
Washington City Paper
November 9, 2008
Kaufman's other works at least weaved a thread of hope within all their bends; here, the lack of it is glaring and sinks the viewer's spirit along with the film itself.
Brian Orndorf
November 6, 2008
Kaufman's directorial debut is a piece of performance art that drips with intangible meaning, but lacks any sort of drive that compels the viewer to invest in this punishing two hours of furious artistic masturbation.
Full Review | Original Score: C-
Mark R. Leeper
December 9, 2008
This makes the film interesting in concept but disappointing in execution. And surreal touches added throughout that just do not add up to anything but a film more challenging than rewarding.
Full Review| Original Score: 4/10
Tim Brayton
Antagony & Ecstasy
October 24, 2008
Whatever work it takes to unpack the film's levels upon levels of meaning, it's not worth it... Unremittingly grim, without any spark of life.
Full Review | Original Score: 5/10
Top Critic
Claudia Puig
USA Today
October 24, 2008
A burning, smoking house that people mindlessly inhabit in Synecdoche, New York is an apt metaphor for what is wrong with this confounding, massively ambitious film.
Full Review | Original Score: 1.5/4
Top Critic
Jonathan Rosenbaum
Chicago Reader
December 17, 2008
It seems more like an illustration of his script than a full-fledged movie, proving how much he needs a Spike Jonze or a Michel Gondry to realize his surrealistic conceits.
Brent Simon
Shared Darkness
May 15, 2012
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