“Heady Stuff, But Plot Feels Forced Rather Than Organic”
The movie bubbles with intellectual curiosity and narrative ambition. And for that I dig it, even if Leaves of Grass has the habit of swerving and sometimes lurching from tone to tone.
Lisa Schwarzbaum - Entertainment Weekly
Mr. Norton is a pleasure to watch, and so is everyone else.
Neil Genzlinger - New York Times
Leaves of Grass is part goofy drug comedy, part shocking bloodbath. It's a riot of tones and genres, but unlike that other recent hybrid, Pineapple Express, the parts add up to something larger.
David Edelstein - New York Magazine
The movie is a showcase for digital technology and for Norton's virtuosity, but I wish it weren't such a weightless shambles.
David Denby - New Yorker
Tim Blake Nelson's Leaves of Grass is some kind of sweet, wacky masterpiece. It takes all sorts of risks, including a dual role with Edward Norton playing twin brothers, and it pulls them off.
Roger Ebert - Chicago Sun-Times
It's just another oblique backfire from Tim Blake Nelson, whose work as a writer-director in general wallows in a bog of mediocrity.
Rex Reed - New York Observer
One Edward Norton performance is often enough reason to see a movie, so it comes as no surprise that the prospect of two -- he plays twins -- is very much the main attraction, and reward, of Leaves of Grass.
Dennis Harvey - Variety
As a writer-director, Nelson keeps the laughs coming at a steady pace, and never condescends to his articulate redneck characters.
Lou Lumenick - New York Post
I could only bear 35 minutes, and I haven't walked out of anything since 'You, Me and Dupree.'
Brandon Judell - indieWIRE
The mirror image gag is one of the oldest in the book, and yet, if done well, it never really gets old.
Karina Longworth - indieWIRE
An identical twins comic crime drama goes seriously wrong.
Kirk Honeycutt - Hollywood Reporter
An offbeat thriller that is deepened -- rather than derailed -- by its tricky shift from darkly funny to just plain dark.
Gary Goldstein - Los Angeles Times
Maybe too small-scale to be anything truly special, but an original and witty film that both surprises and entertains.
James Luxford - The National
Essentially Deliverance cross-bred with A History of Violence...Leaves of Grass is a peculiar rural yarn and a sweet, assured examination of lost innocence and brotherhood that succeeds largely because of Norton's multi-faceted performance.
Shaun Munro - Obsessed With Film
Shaun Munro - What Culture
This is a very personal film from Nelson that is jam packed with ideas and heavily influenced by the Coen Brothers...
Laura Clifford - Reeling Reviews
The DVD extras give the film a boost with a well done "making-of?" featurette and a commentary of the film by director Nelson, star Norton and producer William Migliore.
Robin Clifford - Reeling Reviews
It's a jarringly realistic hybrid that echoes the more surreal aspects of real, rural life, and Norton walks/ambles through it all, sporting dueling personalities and distinct accents, but one very serious heart.
Marc Savlov - Austin Chronicle
Many cliches in uneven and odd mix of guffaws and philosophical analysis. . .[C]onsiderable violence surprisingly erupts...[M]ost fun is watching Norton interact with Norton.
Nora Lee Mandel - Film-Forward.com
Suffice to say that Blake Nelson doesn't have the visual gifts of his Minnesotan mentors, leaving us undistracted by surface flair and fully focused on his cartoonish characters and ragged, oddly callow script.
Eric Hynes - Movieline
... through it all, the two performances by Edward Norton feel natural, relaxed, utterly unlike a gimmick.
Drew McWeeny - HitFix
This is Tim Blake Nelson's affectionate and curious vision of his native Oklahoma, and what he sees makes for a uniquely restless, ribald motion picture.
Michael Smith - Tulsa World
Emerging director Tim Blake Nelson takes another step up with this comedy drama starring Edward Norton in what might go down as Norton's best performance yet.
Ron Wilkinson - Monsters and Critics
You could get whiplash from his movie's mood swings.
Michael Phillips - At the Movies
It's not the violence itself that bothers me, it's just that it completely destroys the tone of the movie.
A.O. Scott - At the Movies
The picture loses its mind on an abrasive hunt for irreverence, twisting something securely oddball into an affected, unnecessarily toxic tale of brilliant knuckleheads living up to their Tulsa potential.
Brian Orndorf - BrianOrndorf.com
Edgy, intelligent and unusual. And also uneven. [It] has so many good things going for it, though, that while you can't overlook the flaws, you might be willing to forgive them.
Frank Swietek - One Guy's Opinion
a fitfully enjoyable but unsatisfying playground of ambition and occasional wit
Jesse Hassenger - Filmcritic.com
It would be overly polite to call this a pale shadow of the tone-shifting Coen brothers farces from which Nelson -- who costarred in O Brother, Where Art Thou? -- is taking his cues.
Keith Uhlich - Time Out New York
Heady stuff, but plot feels forced rather than organic.
Harvey S. Karten - Compuserve
...a thoroughly independently minded movie that plays loose at putting across big ideas.
Cole Smithey - Daily Radar
Suddenly abandons all comedic promises and turns into a sadistic action film...a textbook example of a promising movie that takes a wrong turn from which it never recovers.
Marshall Fine - Hollywood & Fine
Messy genre jumbling has rhyme and reason in Leaves of Grass, as it speaks directly to the film's portrait of life's unpredictability and uncontrollability.
Nick Schager - Slant Magazine
Meant to blow your mind when not pulling your leg, the film has some surreal surprises in store. Like homicidal potheads, a Jewish menorah wielded as a deadly weapon, and a suspicious swastika scrawled backwards at a bible belt synagogue crime scene.
Prairie Miller - NewsBlaze
Writer/director Tim Blake Nelson manages a finely tuned balance that is rare in cinema. Moving from the far reaches of comedy to the nether regions of drama, he never skips a beat or sets the pitch too high.
Barbara Goslawski - Boxoffice Magazine
...worth checking out if only for Norton's phenomenal, Oscar-worthy turn as the film's diametrically opposed twins.
David Nusair - Reel Film Reviews
Playing identical twin brothers who have landed on very different ends of the personality spectrum, Norton gives two bravura comic performances, shoulder-to-shoulder...
Jan Stuart - Screen International