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View All This Must Be The Place News
All Critics (84)
| Top Critics (24)
| Fresh (55)
| Rotten (29)
Penn has created a colorful tour guide, but in "This Must Be the Place," there's no there there.
Writer-director Paolo Sorrentino handles the story with surprising thoughtfulness.
The cast ... is outstanding, dragging the offbeat story through the occasional look-at-me distractions.
Although "This Must Be the Place" holds our attention, it's a little difficult to say where it's headed.
If you give Penn (and the movie) a chance, the character works, movingly and somewhat miraculously.
The movie replaces emotional precision and intellectual honesty with syrupy sincerity and insistence.
It's a beguilingly strange, distancing, even discombobulating venture, at times gently lyrical, at others nightmarish.
The conceit of showing a pop-culture figure's life out of the limelight is beyond hackneyed, but the film's incongruous visual splendor and Penn's all-or-nothing commitment keep Sorrentino's unabashed folly afloat for a while.
Sorrentino's aggressively life-affirming movie has wormed its way into the hearts of a surprising number of usually sensible, discerning critics.
As oddly magnetic as Sean Penn's performance is, the film seems more preoccupied with being quirky and puzzling than with telling a cohesive, satisfying story.
"It would take a week mucking out a pork pie factory to acclimatise for a hamfest as nauseating as this."
Penn's Cheyenne is endearing and ultimately a little bit heartbreaking.
A messy movie that throws many narrative elements together without any cohesion, drifting from odd character study to hunt-the-Nazi road-movie, and it is so rambling and disjointed in its structure that it feels pointless, with Sean Penn in an extremely annoying performance.
Inert and disappointing
A retired Goth pop star tracks down a Nazi who oppressed his deceased father. The script is a bit wonky, but Sean Penn has some great moments in a unique against-type role as the effeminate, tormented ex-rocker.
Meandering and episodic 'This Must Be The Place' is Italian born Paolo Sorrento's first foray into English language cinema and the result is interesting if inconsistent. Playing out as a coming of age/road movie hybrid the story charts aged goth Cheyenne's across America is search of a nazi war criminal responsible for humiliating his father.
As Cheyenne's journey progresses it becomes more strange, indulging in quirkiness at the cost of story and somewhat isolating itself from the viewer. Tonally the film is inconsistent, with moments of comedy turning into those of drama in a jarring fashion. Despite its problems the film occasionally reaches the level of intrigue it strives for and Penn's Gothic performance is oddly endearing if a little tiresome.
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