(2008)

Critic Reviews

57

Metascore

Based on 33 critic reviews provided by Metacritic.com
75
Smart People, unlike "Sideways" or "The Savages," has a plot that's a little too rote.
70
The Hollywood Reporter
Poirier is a master at dialogue. His script crackles with sharp lines and he gives all his scenes a splendid comic undertow.
67
There much more roiling beneath the surface of these characters and it's a shame we don't come to understand them better. Smart people, dumb choices: it's true for both the characters and the filmmakers.
67
The A.V. Club
Dennis Quaid could stand in for Jeff Daniels' similarly toxic snob in "The Squid And The Whale," if only he were a little smarter and a little better-dressed.
63
The main problem with Smart People is that it never breaks new ground. This is territory we have seen tilled to better effect by more perceptive motion pictures.
60
Variety
Dysfunctional family seriocomedy is well cast, but characters and conflicts lack the sharper definition of similar recent exercises like "Little Miss Sunshine," "The Upside of Anger" and Noah Baumbach's films.
50
Chicago Tribune
Church is most at home in his character’s skin; aside from the game but strident Quaid, all the leading players are ideally cast. It’s the script that isn’t ideally cast.
50
It's impossible to tell whether the film's ending is happy because it's happy or because it's ending.
50
The Globe and Mail (Toronto)
Quaid doesn't have much to work with, and so deflects the portrayal away from the mind toward the body – consistently giving the coot a hunched, pigeon-toed gait. Nice try, but that bird won't fly.
40
Village Voice
It's like the entire season of a sitcom whittled down to a single episode. There's no time for characterization, no room for emotion, no interest in anything other than moving the story forward. It's all action, no reaction. One minute they're miserable; 90 minutes later, aww better.

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