Critic Reviews



Based on 32 critic reviews provided by
Village Voice
With dexterity and care, Swanberg illuminates our muddled perceptions of our own relationships. He fixates on the minutiae of hanging out, the stuff of little loves and lies, the feints and thrusts we make in sorting matters of head and heart.
Swanberg once again shows a capacity for capturing small moments that exist outside the direction of the plot. At the same time, the effective fragments of "Drinking Buddies" take his oeuvre in a new direction by accumulating into a reworking big picture.
The actors all blend terrifically, making this the film equivalent of great hang time.
In a film about how hard it is to know what you want, and then to express it, Swanberg gets to the heart of the matters of the heart with disarming doses of both charm and wisdom.
The Playlist
Credit Swanberg who served as both director and editor for making a film that feels loose without ever being ponderous or phony.
We knew Livingston, Kendrick and Johnson (“Safety Not Guaranteed”) would work in this setting. But Wilde adds to the growing repertoire she showed off in “Deadfall” and “Butter,” films no one saw but which revealed that she’s a lot more than a pretty face.
Slant Magazine
Less precise and cohesive than much of Joe Swanberg's recent work, as its small, improvisational skeleton struggles to meet the demands of the more ambitious story it's trying to tell.
The best thing you can say about the movie is that you couldn’t accuse it of being a sellout — nor would you think it was a Joe Swanberg movie.
It deserves credit for avoiding the conventions of romantic comedies and defying audience expectations, but only to a degree. Instead of hitting the expected notes and beats, Drinking Buddies instead ambles sideways. It’s headed nowhere in particular, but at least the voyage is pleasant.
Relative to the major brands, the intimate, handcrafted approach should yield more flavor. Instead, Drinking Buddies offers mostly froth.

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