Critic Reviews

82

Metascore

Based on 37 critic reviews provided by Metacritic.com
100
Chicago Tribune
Steering clear of phony melodrama and indie pretense, Baumbach captures a crisis in one family's life that, though it shakes the foundation, leaves all four Berkmans drifting toward highs and lows unknown, each of them only dimly aware that, no matter what the movies tell us, we never really come of age.
100
Premiere
It's a rare film that can be convincingly tender, bitterly funny, and ruthlessly cutting over the course of fewer than 90 minutes. The Squid and the Whale not only manages this, it also contains moments that sock you with all three qualities at the same time.
100
Charlotte Observer
Squid keeps you on your toes, but payoffs will have you smiling - maybe in rueful recognition of the truth - in scene after scene.
91
Entertainment Weekly
In hovering, The Squid and the Whale becomes its own realistic display of family entropy, as cautionary as it is educational.
88
Without jerking tears or reducing the acid content of his wit, Baumbach's humane movie gets under your skin.
88
The young actors' performances are particularly haunting.
88
Philadelphia Inquirer
Insightful, funny-sad memoir of divorce, intellectual style and emotional rebirth.
88
New York Daily News
A great divorce movie. It's also one of the canniest comedies ever made about a certain kind of literary pretension.
88
All I know is, it is better to be the whale than the squid. Whales inspire major novels.
75
An entertaining and perceptive film with one big problem.
40
Wall Street Journal
The absence of any nuance in the father's character bespeaks the filmmaker's unwillingness to trust his audience. Making the movie may have been therapeutic for him, but I can't say the same about watching it.

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