Critic Reviews



Based on 11 critic reviews provided by Metacritic.com
The Big Chill represents the best of mainstream American film making. It's a reminder that the same people who turn out our megabuck fantasies are often capable of working even more effectively on the small, intimate scale of The Big Chill.
Indeed, the entire film is a kind of sock-hop benefit for Approaching Middle Age. This maturing generation never played Taps with such glamour or good humor. Play the music and let the big chill—the knowledge that "we're all alone out there, and we're going out there tomorrow"—melt away in the warmth of the feel-good movie of '83.
An entertaining look at the 80s embourgeoisement of 60s student activists steers skillfully between social satire and sentiment.
And there's that perfect soundtrack, jammed with hit after timeless hit. So integral is the music to the heat of Chill that even a now-hackneyed scene like ensemble-dancing-while-cleaning-the-kitchen (to the Temptations' ''Ain't Too Proud to Beg'') takes on a glow far lovelier than the chore warrants -- as does this ingratiating, fake movie.
Boston Globe
The Big Chill is not an ode to the '60s or '80s, but a touching, sincere account of boys and girls who became men and women. [30 Sep 1983, p.1]
The Big Chill is a splendid technical exercise. It has all the right moves. It knows all the right words. Its characters have all the right clothes, expressions, fears, lusts and ambitions. But there's no payoff and it doesn't lead anywhere. I thought at first that was a weakness of the movie. There also is the possibility that it's the movie's message.
In the final analysis, the film doesn't amount to much, except to provide a good opportunity for the fine ensemble cast to show off their talents.
Each member of the well-chosen cast not only creates a distinct character with unique and memorable resonances but also meshes these separate personalities to form as satisfying an example of ensemble acting as we are likely to see for quite some time to come.
There is no place for depth or nuance in this slickly engineered complacency machine, which roars along at a single tone and pace, neatly dispelling every troubling intimation with a Mary Tyler Moore one-liner and solving all its conflicts with tricks of rhetoric.
The Globe and Mail (Toronto)
When The Big Chill is busy being funny, it's a great comedy, but when it goes for depth, it hits bottom an inch down. [30 Sep 1983, p.E1]

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