Critic Reviews

50

Metascore

Based on 28 critic reviews provided by Metacritic.com
80
The future as candy-coloured paranoid nightmare: not quite Gilliam's best, but still the most satisfying movie he's made for years.
80
It's the tangle of workings-out not the easy answer that are the proof of a theorem, and that magnificent, sparkling, insightful chaos abounds here.
70
The Zero Theorem is a spectacle that demands to be cherished - as long as the society Gilliam portrays is a satire, not a prophesy.
67
There's much to like, from Waltz's performance to the typically rich production and costume design.
63
At once cluttered and cavernous, hysterical and static, romantic and cynical, The Zero Theorem works most effectively moment by moment and in the details.
63
Like “Brazil” and “Twelve Monkeys,” it's about human connections in a technologically warped world rendered lonely and unlivable by the lack of those connections.
63
No matter how feverishly Gilliam directs and no matter how enthusiastically his actors act, the whole thing remains too, er, theoretical.
60
It isn't just that Gilliam's ragged, wild style is easily recognizable after nearly four decades of feature films, it's a sense that Zero Theorem recycles its tone, visual design, and plot points directly from his past work.
60
All of Gilliam's little details are fun and there are some laugh-out-loud lines, but the actual story itself is never compelling and simply doesn't zip as it should.
60
This all feels like an homage to Gilliam's “Brazil,” though Zero Theorem also has shadows of “12 Monkeys” and other films in the onetime Monty Python animator's cinematic carnival.
60
It's anarchic, sometimes amusing, intermittently tedious, with ideas about digital alienation and the corruption of technology that too often feel blunt and tired.
60
The film has a ragged charm, a Tiggerish bounce, and a certain sweet melancholy that bubbles up near the end.
50
Orwellian paranoia doesn't die, it just gets fresh trimmings, and while The Zero Theorem is as messy and overstuffed as Fibber McGilliam's closet, its sorrow and anger and demented humor strike just enough fresh sparks to keep this career alive.
40
The Telegraph
Raucous but fatally confused, openly pilfering its central themes from Gilliam's own 1985 masterpiece Brazil, but with no idea how to develop them.
40
It doesn't really add up to much, beyond a timely reminder that it would be better for everyone to stop uploading and downloading and just unplug and be human.
38
Terry Gilliam has imposed a mix tape of his greatest hits, whose greatness was debatable to begin with, on a whiff of a story that might've flourished under the maxim "less is more."
38
Another project whose narrative gets swallowed by its design.
30
A sci-fi confection that, at best, momentarily recalls the dystopian whimsy of the director's best-loved effort, “Brazil,” but ends up dissolving into a muddle of unfunny jokes and half-baked ideas, all served up with that painful, herky-jerky Gilliam rhythm.
25
Zero is more of an intellectual exercise in which you're never given all the variables to solve the problem - and then you find your calculator was on acid the whole time anyway.

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