The product is concept, not execution, and the delivery techniques bear standard Hollywood patents.
Lisa Schwarzbaum - Entertainment Weekly
A doggedly workmanlike variation of an old story: the lone crusader doing battle with the big bad establishment.
Stephen Holden - New York Times
While some scenes deliver, Flash of Genius suffers from an occasional lack of narrative tension.
Claudia Puig - USA Today
In the end, Flash of Genius abandons its most interesting story line - Kearns v. Kearns - for a reliance on formula.
Michael O'Sullivan - Washington Post
...The problem with Flash of Genius isn't that the subject is dull but that the movie is.
Ty Burr - Boston Globe
If only the movie were more than intermittently interesting.
Joe Morgenstern - Wall Street Journal
Flash of Genius tells this story in faithful and often moving detail.
Roger Ebert - Chicago Sun-Times
...It wants so desperately to be a Hollywood-style story of the little guy triumphing over the big guy that it races past much of the subtlety of Kearns' story...
Mark Olsen - Chicago Tribune
Seriously undermined by the skeletal script, which barely develops the characters and unintentionally raises more questions about Kearns's quixotic battle than it answers.
Reece Pendleton - Chicago Reader
Flash of Genius has its corn, its conflation, its composite characters. But Kinnear does what he's done in the past: You underestimate the guy's acting chops, and suddenly, strikingly, he floors you.
Steven Rea - Philadelphia Inquirer
A kamikaze flight of a movie that presents itself like a weighty Oscar contender. If there were a category for Best Unintentional Self-Parody, it would be a shoo-in.
Colin Covert - Minneapolis Star Tribune
The film stumbles at times... but it's essentially solid storytelling.
Tom Long - Detroit News
Kinnear captures both the distracted-genius absentmindedness of a man inspired and the crumbling psyche of a man possessed. It's easily Kinnear's best performance in years, maybe ever.
Bill Goodykoontz - Arizona Republic
Too much technical information about circuit boards, Motorola transistors and U.S. patent laws eventually takes up more screen time than Kearns' sympathetic story, leaving the viewer restless and bored.
Rex Reed - New York Observer
Very small potatoes in the cinematic annals of inspiring little-guy-fights-the-system melodramas, to the point that it's a wonder it was thought to be strong bigscreen material.
Todd McCarthy - Variety
The flaws of Flash of Genius are worth putting up with for Kinnear's committed performance...
Lou Lumenick - New York Post
The film's sedate pace and ungainly structure... throw its biggest shortcoming into the spotlight. It lacks a clear villain.
Roger Moore - Orlando Sentinel
The notion that a car part holds all the beauty and inspiration of a great piece of art is what makes Flash of Genius so watchable.
Linda Barnard - Toronto Star
If it doesn't rise to the level of It's a Wonderful Life, it's because Marc Abrams is no Frank Capra. And after all, this isn't about angels, it's about windshield wipers.
Jonathan F. Richards - Film.com
This is an inspirational melodrama derailed by the low stakes of the subject and the flaws of its hero.
Liam Lacey - Globe and Mail
We have seen this kind of tale before, and director Marc Abraham is unable to convince us that we want to see it again.
James Berardinelli - ReelViews
Kinnear takes the star spot in Flash of Genius and rides it to glory.
Peter Travers - Rolling Stone
Kinnear is outstanding as Kearns, physically conveying the stubborn, scruffy sense of resolute ethics that drives him at the expense of almost everything else.
Neil Pond - American Profile
Kinnear inhabits the terrifically uncomfortable role of the rabbit staked out in a clearing to attract wolves.
Kelly Vance - East Bay Express
Dean Essner - Digital Spy
Garth Franklin - Dark Horizons
Dave White - Movies.com
... Its true story, filmed and acted with great skill, has an uncommon poignancy.
Greg Maki - Star-Democrat (Easton, MD)
As in all films that make the questionable move of placing him front and center, Kinnear just blends in with the wallpaper.
Michael Dequina - TheMovieReport.com
Ethics is at the heart of this David and Goliath story based on fact; a powerful story with a resonant emotional punch, but the storytelling is long winded with an emphasis on detail for detail's sake
Louise Keller - Urban Cinefile
It's as if the filmmakers are too nervous about making a mistake, so consistently take the safe path, draining the movie of colour and leaving us sympathetic but uninspired.
Brian Webster - Apollo Guide
Nothing too special here.
Ben Lyons - At the Movies
There is depth, there is complexity, there is authenticity to this character.
Ben Mankiewicz - At the Movies
Following a twelve-year patent dispute regarding the invention of the intermittent windshield-wiper motor, it's not as interesting as it sounds.
Sean Burns - Philadelphia Weekly
A thoughtful inquiry into the doubtful benefits of pursuing one's ideals 'to the end of the line,' as they say in Double Indemnity.
Thomas Peyser - Style Weekly (Richmond, VA)
On its simplified terms of one man against the machine, the movie works, thanks almost entirely to Greg Kinnear's performance.
Michael Dance - The Cinema Source
You may find yourself staring at your windshield wipers in fascination after you see "Flash of Genius," whichi s based on the real-life story of a "little guy" who went up against a corporation.
Linda Cook - Quad City Times (Davenport, IA)
Kinnear is excellent...
Jim Lane - Sacramento News & Review
As Ralph Nader learned, it's tough to make car-safety stimulating.
Amy Nicholson - Los Angeles CityBeat
Inventor fights for recognition in feel-good film.
S. Jhoanna Robledo - Common Sense Media
As filtered through screenwriter Philip Railsback's pen, Kearns' extraordinary life is rendered...well, ordinary.
Ethan Alter - Film Journal International
Greg Kinnear's performance drives an old fashioned and satisfying David vs. Goliath picture.
Richard Knight - Windy City Times
Well constructed, albeit bland, story.
Harvey S. Karten - Compuserve
It's as slow and lifeless a crowd pleaser as you'll see all year, a David-and-Goliath story that would have been a much stronger film if it realized that David has to be a little nuts to take on Goliath.
Brian Tallerico - Movie Retriever
It will also make you realize that, no matter how noble, not everyone's life should be made into a movie.
Marc Mohan - Oregonian
Did you like Tucker: The Man and His Dream? It's in the same boat but less stylish and with a bit more heart.
Chris Hewitt (St. Paul) - St. Paul Pioneer Press
If you spend the entire movie making sure I'm aware that someone is socially awkward, he shouldn't turn into Henry Drumond from Inherit t the Wind during the closing argument.
Jenna Busch - UGO
Sadly, first-time director Marc Abraham presents this story exactly the same as all the other biopics, all highlights.
Jeffrey M. Anderson - Combustible Celluloid
The big-screen version of inventor Robert Kearns' legal battles with Ford and Chrysler... is about as exciting as Kearns' Wikipedia entry.
Robert Wilonsky - L.A. Weekly
For those who enjoy this sort of inspiring, true-life story and are able to sort through the good and the bad in its central character, Flash of Genius is a smart choice.
Josh Hurst - Christianity Today
Out of such plain materials as a windshield wiper, an inventor and a courtroom trial, Abraham has made one of the most original and memorable American movies of the year.
Michael Sragow - Baltimore Sun
[Greg Kinnear] gives one of the most carefully modulated and moving performances of his career.
Kurt Loder - MTV
... a compelling courtroom drama - think Revenge of the Nerds crossed with To Kill a Mockingbird
Philip Martin - Arkansas Democrat-Gazette
The film's major drawback is its unintentional drone-like quality. It's poorly lit and the somber production design becomes a grind rather than looking like one.
John P. McCarthy - ReelTalk Movie Reviews
...The movie seems to have been crafted on an assembly line that specializes in inspirational tales of ordinary Davids triumphing over merciless Goliaths.
Christopher Kelly - Fort Worth Star-Telegram
The acting is fine. What's missing is drama.
Jim Slotek - Jam! Movies
Christopher Kelly - Fort Worth Star-Telegram/DFW.com
I wouldn't say that the new film Flash of Genius is terrible. It's actually not that bad. However, it could have been so much better.
Kevin Carr - Film School Rejects
As told by producer turned director Marc Abraham, [Bob]Kearns' story has just about as much drama as watching water wiped away on a windshield by his invention.
Gary Wolcott - Tri-City Herald
Anyone familiar with other real-life David vs. Goliath stories like Erin Brockovich can guess how the story will turn out. But on the strength of Kinnear's performance, I would recommend this middle-of-the-road picture.
Marco Cerritos - Boxoffice Magazine
The film made me want to be a better person and shows you that life is sometimes about honor and not money.
Kevin McCarthy - WJFK-FM (CBS Radio)
Although it's competently made... Flash of Genius contains no spark of life at all.
Stephen Whitty - Newark Star-Ledger
The most gripping movie about engineering windshield wipers you will ever see. Take that any way you care to.
Bob Strauss - Los Angeles Daily News
If all you want is to see a movie about a regular Joe triumphing over an evil corporation, that and only that is what you'll get.
Luke Y. Thompson - E! Online
However the makers of Flash of Genius faced a problem they couldn't quite solve: This is a story about windshield wipers.
Daniel M. Kimmel - Worcester Telegram & Gazette
just about everyone not named Trump or Gates will be rooting for this underdog to get what is rightfully his
Willie Waffle - WaffleMovies.com
Try imagining the pitch for Flash of Genius: "It's a true story about the guy who invents the intermittent windshield wiper blade."
Brandon Fibbs - Colorado Springs Gazette
It's a testament to Kinnear's charisma that we stick with Kearns through thick and thin.
Robert W. Butler - Kansas City Star
There's a fine line between standing up for yourself and selfishness, and Flash of Genius drives right over it.
Christy Lemire - Atlanta Journal-Constitution
It's an amazing and touching true story that will have you on the edge of your seat and may even cause you to shed a tear or two.
Steve Rhodes - Internet Reviews
Gratifying reality-based David vs. Goliath story.
Susan Granger - SSG Syndicate
We might be talking about windshield wipers instead of industry pollution in Flash of Genius, but somehow justice seems more dear in this odd movie.
Tom Keogh - Seattle Times
"Flash of Genius" isn't that good, but it's an enjoyable way to start the Oscar season.
Peter Hartlaub - San Francisco Chronicle
Earnest but artless...not only exhibits no signs of genius but barely registers on the competence gauge.
Frank Swietek - One Guy's Opinion
Flash of Genius is a moving film - although definitely not a feel-good epic - that's well-paced, well-written, and superbly acted.
Rebecca Murray - About.com
"Flash of Genius" is a film that is desperately in search of one--some burst of inspiration that would transform it from the paint-by-numbers inspirational saga that it is into something deeper and better.
Peter Sobczynski - eFilmCritic.com
The theoretically fascinating real-life story becomes just another product of the studio assembly line.
Josh Bell - Las Vegas Weekly
The film rests easily on Kinnear's narrow but sturdy shoulders.
Dan Lybarger - eFilmCritic.com
Is being proved right worth the cost to the man and his family? "Flash of Genius" answers this: yes and no.
Robin Clifford - Reeling Reviews
There's definitely hope for an industry that can still make a movie as good as Flash of Genius about a subject as difficult as intellectual property rights.
William Arnold - Seattle Post-Intelligencer
I would have been much more enthusiastic about this film if it had emphasized the moral corruption of the American system of civil justice than just heaping all of the blame on Ford.
Tony Medley - Tolucan Times
This movie doesn't really offer anything new, but the quiet, meditative execution was refreshing.
Austin Kennedy - Sin Magazine
It's the individual story, fleshed out by Philip Railsback's intelligent script, that makes the audience care.
Cathy Jakicic - Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
The film never rises above its mundane subject matter, and it certainly doesn't do anything to distinguish itself from any other run-of-the-mill fact-based drama about One Man fighting against The System.
Eric D. Snider - EricDSnider.com
a cut-and-dried underdog story
Sean O'Connell - Filmcritic.com
...thinks it's an inspirational, based-on-fact, little-man-beats-the-system drama, when in fact it is one of the more depressing pictures I've seen in quite some time.
Josh Larsen - LarsenOnFilm
Flash of Genius takes an uninteresting idea -- on the surface, at least -- and actually makes it even less interesting than it already would be.
Jeff Vice - Deseret News, Salt Lake City
With minimal saccharine emotions and a reliance on low-key realism, Flash of Genius is a formulaic underdog tale carried out with decided intelligence.
Dustin Putman - DustinPutman.com
Director Mark Abraham gives the film a gritty authenticity, and he shows us the price Kearns and his family pay for his dedication and stubbornness.
Nell Minow - Beliefnet
Flash Of Genius has all the pleasures of an underdog film and none of the guilt of being pandered, patronized, and fed a feel-good moral.
Tasha Robinson - AV Club
This film rises slightly above convention thanks to Kinnear's strong performance as its not entirely likable hero.
Rafer Guzman - Newsday
If timing is everything, there's no better time for Flash of Genius and its story of the Little Guy getting ripped off by Big Business.
Gary Thompson - Philadelphia Daily News
A stand-up-and-cheer story that doesn't feel like it's pushing butts out of seats.
Matt Pais - Metromix.com
An endearing underdog yarn.
Phil Villarreal - Arizona Daily Star
Genius is appealing, and while the story is an odd one, it remains an intriguing observation of underhanded corporate business practices told through formulaic melodramatic trappings.
Brian Orndorf - BrianOrndorf.com
Celebrates one man's arduous and lonely crusade against injustice; it's a story the honors his courage and zeal.
Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat - Spirituality and Practice
Kinnear, a generally underappreciated actor, holds the picture together almost by force of will.
Hank Sartin - Time Out New York
Despite an obsessiveness bordering on (and occasionally toppling over into) mania, Kearns just doesn't have the kind of larger-than-life personality we look for in our cinematic little-guy heroes.
Josh Rosenblatt - Austin Chronicle
A stirring David and Goliath tale of steadfast perseverance and pride.
Jeanne Aufmuth - Palo Alto Weekly
Kinnear allows his character's small bit of humanity and desperation over injustice to keep the man's head barely above the quicksand.
Diana Saenger - ReviewExpress.com
What little tension exists in Flash of Genius stems not from its ho-hum narrative, but from its attempts to fashion a heartwarming tale from a true-life story that, in many respects, wasn't all that heartwarming.
Nick Schager - Slant Magazine
Flash of Genius could have been, and nearly is the right movie at the right time.
Joshua Tyler - CinemaBlend.com
Too bad this real-life battle is framed as classic David-Goliath story for the socio-economic-scientific context and eccentric persona of Kearns (well played by Kinnear) and his invention are fascinating and could have been more dramatically absorbing.
Emanuel Levy - EmanuelLevy.Com
Abraham has done a good job at setting up his characters, but then he fails to develop them, putting his story on cruise control.
Laura Clifford - Reeling Reviews
Sentimental but remarkably compelling, the saga of a little man's victory over a corporate giant will ensure that you'll never see your windshield wipers the same way.
David D'Arcy - Screen International
Dante's Inferno: Mulroney mesmerizes in this equal opportunity icon smasher. Just let it be said that I entered a dark wooden puppet movie and laughed till it hurt. Now there's a novel notion of pleasure as punishment.
Prairie Miller - NewsBlaze
Flash of Genius is a conventional crowdpleaser but not, I'm pleased to report, a shameless one.
Eugene Novikov - Cinematical