Critic Reviews



Based on 41 critic reviews provided by
Director Stephen Daldry has fashioned an emotionally powerful cinematic testimony about that horrific late summer day.
Best of all, von Sydow is absolutely wonderful, with the great veteran actor clearly relishing this very unusual role as he darts, skulks and, in a stealthy way, mugs across town. Without saying a thing, he dominates the middle part of the movie.
In supporting roles, Bullock and Hanks deliver performances that are low-key and perfectly scaled. Viola Davis and Jeffrey Wright are, likewise, excellent as a couple Oskar meets on his reconnaissance expedition.
So all the handsome shots that turn the city into a toyland and all the superb editing and vibrant art direction - all the formal tricks Daldry uses to whip you up and work you over - risk being too much. After 45 minutes, it can feel like junk on a sundae. But the movie has a human coup.
A polarizing load of quirkiness in Extremely Loud gunks up (at least for this hometown mourner; your results may vary) what is at heart a piercing story.
In Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close, director Stephen Daldry must walk a tricky line between poignancy and pathos. He occasionally slips into maudlin turf.
Solidly crafted, impeccably acted and self-important in the way that Oscar loves, Extremely Loud is also incredibly close to exploitation.
It's a far better thing to remember Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close than to watch it. Looking back, much of what is irritating, precious and tiresome about the movie recedes and drops away, while all the movie's virtues, which are considerable, rise to consciousness. There are good things here - just be prepared to blast for them.
The only bright spot in Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close is Max von Sydow, as a mysterious, and mysteriously mute.
The result is that, as with Hanks' performance, what's missing - subtlety, truth, an earned sense of rebirth - is stronger than what's here. Despite all the connections in Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close, it never connects to us the way we need it to.
The production's penchant for contrivance is insufferable - not a single spontaneous moment from start to finish - and the boy is so precocious you want to strangle him. It's surely not the fault of Thomas Horn, the remarkable young man who plays him.

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