(2002)

Critic Reviews

66

Metascore

Based on 36 critic reviews provided by Metacritic.com
90
In Auto Focus, the strangely wonderful and weirdly touching new film from Paul Schrader, the comedy and the tragedy keep getting mixed up.
83
The performances are vividly alive.
80
Certainly the movie is one of Schrader's most accomplished, and most entertaining, but there's something cold and unforgiving about his vision, delivered with a severity that only a bred-in-the-bone Calvinist could muster.
75
On one level, it's an unsettling biopic and an acerbic look at a bygone media age. On another, it's a cautionary tale with uncommon relevance and bite.
70
Newsweek
It’s not a particularly sexy movie. What’s shocking to Schrader is not Crane’s promiscuity, but his obtuseness. It’s the story of the unbearable lightness of Bob.
63
The Globe and Mail (Toronto)
When the bloody climax comes, we look on apathetically, as desensitized to the violence as a pornographer is to sex.
63
Boston Globe
Uplifting? Not bloody likely. Mesmerizing? Very, thanks to Greg Kinnear's eerie performance as Crane and director Paul Schrader's lucid depiction of the character's happy-go-lucky descent into hell.
50
Miami Herald
It's a clammy, depressing movie, but not a very illuminating one.
50
The A.V. Club
Kinnear's mesmerizing performance comes close to redeeming Auto Focus, suggesting depths the film never gets around to exposing, but Schrader's alternately flat and histrionic storytelling sends the film hurtling beyond redemption.
40
New York Magazine (Vulture)
Schrader really isn't interested in Crane except as the straw man for his moral lessons about sin and sexuality and the nature of celebrity. Auto Focus is the perfect capper to Crane's career: Even in a movie about himself, he remains minor.

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