(2012)

Critic Reviews

42

Metascore

Based on 14 critic reviews provided by Metacritic.com
80
Packed with fine performances, this attack on suburban conformity is surprising, darkly hilarious and cleverly leaves the insanity judgement to its audience.
63
Not every cute movie about the mentally ill is Oscar worthy, but this touching and riotous one from Down Under works well enough.
60
It's always a pleasure to see Collette, a performer who always cranks up the energy, and yet here, as so often, she gives the impression of a ferocious screen intelligence somehow not being used to the full.
58
The more dramatic moments feel unanchored to the more farcical, and the humor ranges erratically from scatological to tender/heartwarming and back to cheap shots at slightly uncomfortable stereotypes. "Uneven" would be the kind way of putting it, but "messy" is probably nearer to the truth.
55
Even though Hogan has some terrific actors to work with - Toni Collette and Liev Schreiber among them - it's never clear what he's trying to say or do with Mental.
50
The hippie heroine of this wacky Aussie comedy cheerfully theorizes that Australia was actually originally settled not by convicts but by mental patients - which may possibly explain the antics of Russell Crowe and Nicole Kidman, among others.
40
Once a scarred shark hunter (Liev Schreiber) enters the fray, the film's tone shifts from madcap to maudlin, and the narrative from being merely grating to actually galling. Artistic inspiration can be close to madness, but Mental is just plain nuts.
40
There is a lot of yelling and emoting and it all gets strident very quickly - as in, the first 10 minutes. Hogan keeps everything self-consciously quirky, with lots of bright primary colors all over the place, but it feels like wild overkill.
40
The cutesy energy is just too much in this Aussie comedy that's overly bemused by its quirkiness.
12
Given the film's garrulous multitude of characters, one wishes they would all just shut up and sing.

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