I'm not really sure what everyone is complaining about. In regards to the comments saying it's too heavy-handed, I think it's a pretty heavy story. For me, the direction worked well. Now, I can see why people are saying it's too manipulative or pretentious, and I agree about that to a certain extent. I don't think you can call the direction by Stephen Daldry pretentious, but if you think something about it is possible pretentious, I think that may be the story in general, and it was told how it was supposed to be told. The story or subject matter is definitely not for everyone. Jonathan Safran Foer, and Eric Roth have written about these characters and events very truthfully. The 9/11 scenes in the film are not even depicting real-life events although people probably were falling off the buildings as depicted, but in the film, those shots take place in Oskar's mind as he thinks about his father. Some people are still grieving about that event. For a lot of people, it may even still be too soon to bring up the subject so vividly. Anyways, I just think that there is some truth in what most other people say about this film, but for me, it worked brilliantly. Thomas Horn, Sandra Bullock, Zoe Caldwell, and especially Max von Sydow portrayed their characters wonderfully. Also, for those who are saying they don't know why Max von Sydow received an Oscar nomination for his role as the mute renter, I think it's pretty clear: it's such a subtle performance. We understand every emotion and every gesture even though he never says one word. That is the sign of great acting. For those criticizing Thomas Horn on being too weird, I say this: The kid most likely had mild Asperger's Syndrom and acted it out very well. The obsessive searching for the lock, his extreme boldness and shyness, his vocabulary, his actions, the way his parents were treating him, etc. His character is indeed different and unique, but he is so likeable and vulnerable that my heart just went out to him. On a whole, this film is very difficult to watch, it's emotionally draining, but worth every penny. It was for me at least. I just have to talk about the way the filmmakers portrayed all the various characters that appeared in the film. It was so authentic and so well done, that I think if everyone was not as afraid to do what Oskar did, and go out and actually socialize with the people or somehow get connected would bring communities closer together. The range of characters (those willing to help, and those unwilling), was great to see. Viola Davis was really wonderful for the few scenes she was in. Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close hit me hard and close to me. I'm going to remember it for a long time.