Critic Reviews



Based on 41 critic reviews provided by
There's a grand paradox at work in Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk. The film isn't simply a technological experiment; it's also a highly original, heartfelt, and engrossing story. And part of the power of it lies in the way that those two things are connected.
An absorbing character study, even if it's ultimately not one that justifies its much-vaunted technological advances.
So long as “Billy Lynn” remains focused on his ambiguous mindset, it remains an engaging, somewhat theatrical character study. But Lee's ongoing need to complicate his approach yields a movie trapped between conventional narrative tropes and questionable attempts to deliver something that registers on a more visceral level.
Slant Magazine
It does astounding work animating the mind of its young soldier, but it runs into technical difficulties whenever it tries to grasp the bigger picture.
It's a radiant debut for young newcomer Joe Alwyn, who plays a Texan war hero uneasy in his own land. It's a shakier curtain-raising for Lee's ambitious weaponising of new technologies.
The Playlist
Billy Lynn has its moments, but its critical and unexpected folly is that the cutting-edge technology diminishes the picture emotionally, its ungainly look trivializes the drama and indulges it with an undesirable air of superficiality.
Don't let Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk's technical achievements carry the full weight of its errors. The plot and its poor execution leave the camerawork struggling to find much to dazzle with.
It's just a film that never really finds its footing, a problem that would have been noticeable with or without the increased frame rate. It's just that at 120 frames a second, it's so much more noticeable.
The movie gives us fragments of characters and rich flashbacks, but they're not supported by a fully-formed narrative. Lee has boldly introduced a new technology, but that technology was a bad fit for this project.
Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk winds up being a wearying experience, not because of its emotional content but because of its lack of cohesion and its ultimate collapse into gross and unearned sentimentality.

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