(2016)

Critic Reviews

95

Metascore

Based on 24 critic reviews provided by Metacritic.com
100
Surprising, awkward, refreshing and, at times, downright hilarious, German director Maren Ade's dazzlingly original follow-up to her 2009 Berlinale Silver Bear winner Everyone Else is that rarest of things: a nearly three-hour-long German-Austrian arthouse comedy-drama that (almost) never drags.
100
The film's sweetness and bitterness are held so perfectly in balance, and realised with such sinew-stiffening intensity, that watching it feels like a three-hour sports massage for your heart and soul.
100
According to the most basic laws of cinema, Toni Erdmann, Maren Ade's third feature as a writer-director (she has five times that many credits as a producer), shouldn't work. It's practically one long string of nesting, oxymoronic self-cancelling paradoxes: here is the world's first genuinely funny, 162-minute German comedy of embarrassment.
100
The film takes precisely as much time as it needs for its muddled, maddeningly human characters, played with extraordinary courage and invention by Peter Simonischek and Sandra Hüller, to find their way into each other, and so into themselves.
100
Toni Erdmann is one of the most stirring cinematic experiences to come around in a long time.
100
The film's no-nonsense, visually plain documentary-style of shooting feels utterly appropriate to its sly evocation of the absurdities and banalities of modern life. Just brilliant.
91
The Playlist
Every family is its own country with culture and customs and embarrassments that seem alien beyond its borders, but the genius of Maren Ade's brilliantly funny and slyly crushing Toni Erdmann is that it makes the utterly foreign nation of its central father/daughter relationship feel so much like home.
83
the film isn't always successful at justifying its heft, repeating the central father-daughter tension innumerable times before the pair finally start to make some progress. It's only thanks to the two actors' extraordinary authenticity that the film continues to work as long as it does.
83
the film isn't always successful at justifying its heft, repeating the central father-daughter tension innumerable times before the pair finally start to make some progress. It's only thanks to the two actors' extraordinary authenticity that the film continues to work as long as it does.
80
The film is very funny - but asks its audience to wonder if being funny, if wanting to make people laugh, and particularly if using comedy for family-bonding, really is the sign of being relaxed and life-affirming in the way people who are talented at comedy often assume.
60
CineVue
There are numerous delights for the patient and the two leads give prize-worthy performances but at just under three hours this is one drawn-out gag that almost outstays its welcome.

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