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Reviews & Ratings for
Detachment More at IMDbPro »

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Index 120 reviews in total 

Very Good and not for everyone

Author: Rovshan Gasimov from Azerbaijan and United Kingdom
8 November 2014

This movie was in my "movies to watch" list for a long time. I did not really see the trailer before and always i was looking at it and just let it go.

Once i thought like its been long time that this movie in my list and i have to watch. So i did and this movie really influenced me. For my point of view, makers of this movie tried to touch very important point. I think the only people who can really like this movie are the ones who have life like that or know someone like that.

People around you looks really stupid. They are not educated and they do not know what is going on in the world. You do have an idea about reality, but you still cannot change or do anything, because you are always thinking, but not doing. Even if you want to do something, you do not know what to do, so you decide just live and do not care about anything. Live for yourself. But, you know it does not matter how cold you are and you do not care about anyone, you still have feelings in the depths of your heart.

I advice to watch.

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It starts with a whisper

Author: tieman64 from United Kingdom
24 October 2014

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

"I call him religious who understands the suffering of others." - Mahatma Gandhi

Tony Kaye's "Detachment" stars Adrian Brody as substitute teacher Henry Barthes. The product of an abusive home, Barthes remains at a protective distance from other human beings. Rootless, anhedonic and without material or personal attachments, Barthes spends his days bouncing from school to school. Students don't matter. People don't matter.

Barthes' journey toward compassion and so connection begins when he meets Erica (Sami Gayle), a damaged prostitute. He takes Erica into his home, cares for her, their relationship offering respite from a world that is otherwise callous and indifferent. How indifferent? Throughout "Detachment", Kaye portrays the high-school, the streets, the family and the workplace as vile arenas. Teachers, principles, businessmen, children, adults, students...everyone on display is a cauldron of apathy, guided only by hate, ignorance, profit and self-gratification. How can such a society produce anything but monsters? How can such a society produce anything but burnt-out bodies, misery and sickness?

Kaye's solution, of course, is to try a little tenderness; inject a little love and empathy into the mix. It's a tactic which Barthes himself tries. But after hugging a depressed teenager, Barthes quickly becomes a child abuse suspect. It's a cruel irony. We no longer underestimate the power of a touch, smile, listening ear or kind word, but view such things with suspicion at best, signs of weakness at worst.

"Detachment" is said to be about the "problems with America's failing school system", but it's not really. Kaye has no interest in assigning blame to either teachers, parents or students. All may be simultaneously culpable, but for Kaye, these people and institutions are products of something else; something widespread, global and deeply entrenched. "The powers that be are dumbing us to death!" Barthes yells, as he rants about the dangers of what he calls a "marketing Holocaust". But no one listens.

"Detachment" boasts a fine performance by Adrian Brody, whose character represents the moral flip-side to his work in Ken Loach's underrated "Bread and Roses". The film has been criticised for being heavy-handed, bombastic and over-the-top, criticisms which are all true. "Detachment's" last act, which contains a clichéd suicide and much forced "tragedy", is itself mostly a mess. But some of this can be excused; shot on a low budget and in a just a handful of days, what Kaye achieves given the limitations imposed upon him is admirable. In a world of vacuous spectacle, a humble film with a point is a thing to celebrate.

7.9/10 – A good film, despite a poor second half. See "Half Nelson".

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Altered realities of teenagers

Author: KineticSeoul from United States
1 October 2014

I thought this movie was a glimpse into the past when I was in high school. As a matter of fact this is one of those movies, I wished I saw earlier in my life because it is impactful to a certain extent. And gave me a more in depth perspective of today's youth. What this film shows is the altered realities of teenagers in this present time and why they feel so detached. When you are in your teens your still in that learning phase in your life and part of it is the downfall of the environments in certain schools. Which can lead to coldness, super immaturity and being ungrateful for the effort that is given to you by others. I know, because I was actually one of those students. This film shows the heroic aspects of some teachers. Watching this movie now, at a time when I started to realized certain things on this journey called life. Makes movies like these more meaningful. This is a film that is most definitely worth a watch, especially for high school students. Adrien Brody's performance is superb and all the other cast members did a good job, including Lucy Liu. Overall, I thought this film could have done a bit more when it came to the student elements, but it did a good enough job to make a 9/10 in my opinion. Plus the caving in of the teachers was done right, maybe slightly exaggerated but I am no teacher myself. Perhaps if it stayed more true to the writer it just might have been better, but it's pointless to delve upon the what if.


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Its one of those rare movies of our times that catches u unaware .....

Author: abbasalimassah from Iran
20 August 2014

I am still dazed and could not as yet cry, as I normally do, being a typical Virgo-born higher sensitive and a long time die-hard lover of worldwide cinema and sometime critic because I didn't have any, repeat any, knowledge at all about this film and it was just by going thru my son's library of movies, suddenly this name of a film called DETACHMENT caught my eye and being alone at home, decided to stretch my legs on the reclining sofa and see what this movie is about and believe me that i touch wood, did not have to pause even for once or stretch my legs as intended but instead, uptight I found myself, sitting on the carpet, glued with glasses to the TV set, having put the film a flash and then... Yes, its not a movie but something that is totally true of our age and times and being a writer, as a hobby, I know exactly all, yeah, repeat all, the happenings shown in this beautifully photographed and crisply edited and naturally acted by all the performers, particularly the main lead, I am spellbound with each and every scene having touched me so much...that I thought of writing briefly just to inform my patrons and lovers of cinema, be the fans or those men behind the scenes of our films, to surely, include this list in their ALL-TIME FAVOURITE. Abbas Ali Massah Tehran, Iran 20th August, 2014 +++++

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Independent film-making has never been stronger or more powerful than Tony Kaye's "Detachment" starring Adrien Brody in a mesmerizing role.

Author: dom-lerose-8
16 July 2014

A substitute teacher makes his way to a dysfunctional school in which kids are not diligent, bullying, drugs, and violence are common and hope is scarce. Adrien Brody gives the best performance of his career as Henry Barthes, a lonely, troubled, and depressed substitute teacher who gets a job teaching part time at a disturbing school and ends up having a unique experience. He meets a female student who has similar feelings as he does played by director Tony Kaye's daughter, Betty Kaye. As Henry interacts with his students more and more, he becomes even sadder. One night he meets a young female prostitute named Erica (a first role by the talented Sami Gayle)who ends up living with him as protection due to the dangers of the outside world and her loneliness. The two form a beautiful relationship that sticks to you like you know the two people personally. The film deals with the theme of being cut off from the rest of the world and from happiness, hence the title "Detachment." Writer Brian Lund does a brilliant job on his first script by using the school Henry teaches at as a metaphor for his misery, and adds a powerful story with brutal but realistic consequences that ends on a smart note. Superb character development, great detail to make you feel for the characters, and a sad story make this one of the best screenplays you'll ever read. Tony Kaye comes back into the film world and proves he can make just as powerful a film as he did in 1998 with "American History X." A fine job of directing by Kaye for using socially relevant material. He makes the film seem so real and makes you forget your watching a film. The performance by Adrien Brody is also very realistic. Brody tackles everything needed for such a demanding role, and makes you feel for Brian Lund's interesting character. "Detachment" is very sad, honest, and unpleasant at times, but is a strong sensation of what misery looks like and how to overcome it by making relationships and forgiving yourself. This film is a monumental indie picture and should be regarded as one of the most detailed and powerful cinematic experiences of all time.

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The "Open your eyes" movie

Author: Andrey Dimitrov from Sofia, Bulgaria
23 June 2014

I didn't expect the movie to be something big, but I was up for a surprise. The acting was perfect in all the scenes. The music and effects were always on point and affecting the viewer just the way they are supposed to. The story flows from one direction to another and you, as the viewer, just enjoy this really truthful and sad ride. The movie touched me like no other movie has done so far. It also gives a really good point of view of the education system, the struggles between teachers and kids, motivation and different aspects of life. This movie definitely made me remember, think and understand a lot of things in my life. Just watch it, you will regret skipping this piece of art!

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This is a great movie

Author: liz8200 from Florida
19 June 2014

The emotional depth in this film will keep you involved until the end. The main character Adrien Brody is a teacher who is hunted by the suicide of his mother, and her abuse by her father. Its about the human condition. A despair that's from old wounds that interfere with every relationship. While everyone is trying to survive from there own personal trauma they find themselves in unkind impersonal relationship. The teachers at the school may have started with good intentions but have become burned out. They had a desire to make a difference in the kids life but mainly found resistance disrespect and no desire to succeed. You can see how a kind word, acceptance, a parent who shows an interest in the child is what could have made a difference.

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A very sad but heartfelt film; Brody and the ensemble cast are terrific

Author: Amy Adler from Toledo, Ohio
16 June 2014

Substitute teacher Henry (Adrien Brody) likes his job just fine. Emotionally scarred from a difficult childhood and still dealing with a sick, nursing home-dwelling grandfather, Hank wants as few attachments as possible. Hence, we know the meaning of the film's title. As a sub, he can't truly get to make long term connections with the students or faculty. Yet, he is quietly very good at his profession, gaining respect from his pupils and the district's personnel offices. Things can change. Henry decides to accept a sub position that will last a month, a detour from his routine. Sure enough, Henry wins the attention and admiration of most of his students, especially Meredith (Betty Kaye), who has a troubled home life despite being a promising art pupil. Also, there is an attractive fellow teacher (Christina Henricks) who shows an interest in the new guy. Finally, Henry encounters a teenage hooker-runaway on the subway, Erica (Sami Gayle) and decides to heal her surface wounds and keep her off the streets, at least temporarily. Now, Hank has a bunk mate, which develops into a tentative father-daughter relationship. Unhappily, Henry still suffers from destructive mental flashbacks and his sick dad. Will he truly let himself get out of his preferred state of detachment? This is a sad but powerful film about opening our hearts to good relationships in life and letting go of those that hurt us. Its tricky, yes. As the teacher who wants to shut down his emotions to avoid pain, Brody is excellent. Also fine are the great supporting players, Lucy Liu, Marcia Gay Harden, James Caan, Blythe Danner, Hendricks, Kaye, and Gayle. Gayle, especially, is terrific as the troubled runaway while Kaye, the director's daughter, is quietly heartbreaking, too. The setting on Long Island is bleak enough for the subject matter while the script, which could be called too heavy, makes its points nonetheless. Add on the excellent direction and you find a movie that is hard to forget. No, don't see it if you are having a miserable day yourself but make time for it when you can better handle a sad but richly rewarding tale of teens and the people that instruct them in life.

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Author: Kevin from France
20 May 2014

There's something utterly haunting about this movie. Something that lies within the whole atmosphere created by the atypical cinematography & the story itself. I've seen this film three times and am touched every time a bit more. Henry Barthes is one of the most haunting, wounded character I've encountered in films, movies or whatever and the portrayal done by Adrian and, once again, the cinematography communicate perfectly his sadness and the whole helplessness & unforgivingness I felt characterized this story and, well, life itself - in fact, almost every characters in this story is wounded in one way or another and actresses & actors did a great job.

For everyone who enjoyed this one, I recommend Short Term 12. Seen this one today and it made me thought about Detachment for some reasons - read there that there's some similitude in the theme and that both of them had me crying almost the whole time.

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Grim, but Potentially Life-Affirming

Author: Ed Entropy from Canada
11 May 2014

"And never have I felt so deeply at one and the same time so detached from myself and so present in the world."—Albert Camus

This film about the difficulties faced by students and staff in an inner city high school opens with the above quote by Camus. After watching substitute teacher Henry Barthes (Adrien Brody) struggling to reach the hopelessly lost youths in his classroom while dealing with his own ghosts and an elderly grandfather, one is left to ponder the applicability of the Camus quote.

Barthes wanders from one substitute teaching job to the next, avoiding lasting contact with anyone. An artistically gifted student creates an art piece depicting Barthes as a man with no face, alone in the world. Barthes encounters students who are at risk in many ways, and he works with staff members who are at various stages of burn out. Everyone seems to be dysfunctional in one way or another, all of which is a reflection of broader societal malaise. In spite of many challenges, Barthes feels compelled to reach out and provide support to lost souls, and in so doing his preoccupation with his own circumstances is lessened.

"We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars."—Oscar Wilde

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