The Talent Given Us - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

The Talent Given Us Reviews

Top Critic
Damon Smith
Time Out
October 13, 2005
Faux documentary, home movie or unexpurgated family therapy? The Talent Given Us, a funny, surprising ride with a mercurial New York clan, is all three.
Top Critic
Christopher Kelly
Fort Worth Star-Telegram/
October 13, 2005
[A] one-of-a-kind movie that sends the family road-trip genre happily spinning into these self-obsessed, overanalytical times; it's National Lampoon's Vacation as re-imagined by Dr. Phil.
| Original Score: B+
Top Critic
Shauna Lyon
New Yorker
October 13, 2005
The notion that there is no escape from one's family is elevated-and ameliorated-by the inkling that the Wagners' story is, in fact, real.
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Tom Long
Detroit News
October 7, 2005
Ultimately, the movie isn't as strong as the idea behind the movie, or the people inside that idea.
Read More | Original Score: C+
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Terry Lawson
Detroit Free Press
October 7, 2005
What initially seems hard to watch, even excruciating at times, becomes hard not to, a fascinating fiction that seems to be more real than just about any actual documentary you can imagine.
Read More | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Jessica Reaves
Chicago Tribune
September 29, 2005
If you enjoy HBO's cult hit Curb Your Enthusiasm, you're almost guaranteed to enjoy this bawdy, heartbreaking, deeply discomfiting mockumentary.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Roger Ebert
Chicago Sun-Times
September 29, 2005
A brave, funny, affecting film.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
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Lisa Kennedy
Denver Post
September 23, 2005
A work of inspired, embarrassingly hilarious, uncomfortable fiction.
Read More | Original Score: 3/4
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Walter V. Addiego
San Francisco Chronicle
August 26, 2005
We're encouraged to believe that at least some of what we're hearing is a reflection of 'real' family concerns, but the film makes it impossible to tell what's genuine and what's pretend in all the soul-baring.
Full Review | Original Score: 1/4
Top Critic
Moira MacDonald
Seattle Times
August 12, 2005
Most of us really, really don't want to be a fly on the wall while somebody else's family works out its issues in interstate therapy sessions.
Full Review | Original Score: 1.5/4
Top Critic
Roger Moore
Orlando Sentinel
July 29, 2005
It's fiction -- but it's fiction with the cutting edge of truth. It's so funny, it hurts.
Read More | Original Score: 4/5
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Frank Scheck
Hollywood Reporter
July 12, 2005
Ultimately the film's insights and observations seem not so much universal as self-absorbed and solipsistic.
Top Critic
Kevin Thomas
Los Angeles Times
July 1, 2005
It's difficult to see how this picture -- essentially chronicling a long car trip -- could mean much to anyone but the Wagners and their friends and relatives.
Read More | Original Score: 2/5
Top Critic
Ella Taylor
L.A. Weekly
June 30, 2005
The Talent Given Us appalls as much as it entertains.
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Lisa Schwarzbaum
Entertainment Weekly
June 29, 2005
A film of uncommon originality.
Full Review | Original Score: A-
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Richard Roeper
Ebert & Roeper
June 20, 2005
I think it's an interesting experiment, but it was very difficult for me to make it all the way to the end.
Top Critic
Scott Foundas
June 18, 2005
Brutally truthful, funny and touching in nearly equal measure, this semi-autobiographical, micro-budget road movie lacks any of the obvious bells and whistles that even indie features seem to need nowadays.
Top Critic
Jami Bernard
New York Daily News
June 17, 2005
Weird and wonderful.
Read More | Original Score: 2.5/4
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Lou Lumenick
New York Post
June 17, 2005
Its remarkable candor is like spending a memorably hilarious, harrowing and unforgettable weekend with your wacky in-laws.
Read More | Original Score: 3/4
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Manohla Dargis
New York Times
June 16, 2005
Andrew Wagner's strange and delightful movie shouldn't work but does rather remarkably.
Full Review | Original Score: 4.5/5
Top Critic
Dennis Lim
Village Voice
June 14, 2005
This raw, fascinating, often unpleasant film is not in the least coy about its queasy mix of exploitation and therapeutic exhibitionism.