Critic Reviews



Based on 15 critic reviews provided by
I don't know if what the Safdies endured growing up was akin to what audiences experience in Daddy Longlegs. But I'm very glad they survived to make a very good film about it.
At its best, this beautiful, off-the-cuff comedy-drama recalls John Cassavetes' shaggiest, most honest work.
The Safdies filmed with handheld cameras, an obvious affection for New York and its denizens, and a script that includes so much structured improvisation that it's hard to imagine any of the dialogue was actually written down. Not surprisingly, the result is a character study with an almost documentary feel to it.
The real treasure, however, is Bronstein, whose charismatically loopy, caffeinated performance carries an air of suspense: Can he keep his kids out of harm's way? Will his clownish antics suddenly turn toxic? Is it simply a matter of when?
Daddy Longlegs is a discovery destined for year-end top ten critics lists and comparisons to classics like Vittorio De Sica's "Bicycle Thieves" are expected. Hopefully, Daddy Longlegs will also introduce the Safdie brothers to the larger audiences they deserve.
Bronstein's performance is crucial. It's difficult to make a manic character plausible, but he does.
The film's grungy, ultra-low-budget look, thanks to the Safdie's handheld camera, is just right for catching the crummy, hardscrabble, rat-infested milieu.
Has a certain dark charm if you can put up with very jittery camera work and editing.
St. Louis Post-Dispatch
Like other so-called "mumblecore" movies, including Bronstein's own "Frownland," this is an unnervingly intimate glimpse of dysfunction, with a shaky-cam aesthetic and seemingly improvised dialogue.
Any normal mother or father, seeing how the movie's protagonist, Lenny, ostensibly supervises his two sons (Sage and Frey Ranaldo), is likely to suffer cardiac arrest.
A disconcertingly jumpy tale of breathtakingly crummy parenting, the windblown movie dares a tolerant audience not to call Child Services.

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