Critic Reviews

67

Metascore

Based on 34 critic reviews provided by Metacritic.com
100
I think you have to see Charlie Kaufman's Synecdoche, New York twice. I watched it the first time and knew it was a great film and that I had not mastered it. The second time because I needed to. The third time because I will want to.
88
Chicago Tribune
As a director, Kaufman isn't yet his own best salesman. He's not enough of a visual stylist to sell his script's most challenging conceits. But the cast rises to a very strange and rich occasion.
88
It's got more imagination than half a dozen movies combined; there's nothing else out there like this, and to me that's a very good thing.
80
Synecdoche, New York is one heck of a head-trip.
70
The Hollywood Reporter
Will mesmerize some and mystify others, while many will be bored silly. It's not a dream, Kaufman says, but it has a dreamlike quality, and those won over by its otherworldly jigsaw puzzle of duplicated characters, multiple environments and shifting time frames will dissect it endlessly.
63
Philip Seymour Hoffman creates a mesmerizing portrait of the artist as a young, old and middle-aged man.
63
In Synecdoche, Kaufman the screenwriter is not well-served by Kaufman the filmmaker. As a director, his propensity for heavyosity leadens rather than leavens this affair.
60
Hoffman, Morton and Jon Brion's aching score somehow capture the all-too-human need to get things right. If you're in a certain frame of mind, those moments make up for all the stagecraft.
50
The temptation to be emphatic about Synecdoche, New York is overwhelming but should be resisted, because the movie really is a mixed bag. A particularly odd mix.
38
The film disappoints terribly, too. The directorial debut of such an imaginative and clever screenwriter was a highly anticipated event. His "Being John Malkovich" and "Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind" are two of the most innovative and intriguing movies of the past decade. Synecdoche is one of the most maddening.
33
I gave up making heads or tails of Synecdoche, New York, but I did get one message: The compulsion to stand outside of one's life and observe it to THIS degree isn't the mechanism of art -- it's the structure of psychosis.

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