I gave up making heads or tails of Synecdoche, New York, but I did get one message: The compulsion to stand outside of one's life and observe it to this degree isn't the mechanism of art -- it's the structure of psychosis.
Owen Gleiberman - Entertainment Weekly
To say that Charlie Kaufman's Synecdoche, New York is one of the best films of the year is such a pathetic response to its soaring ambition that I might as well pack it in right now.
Manohla Dargis - New York Times
The film is either a masterpiece or a massively dysfunctional act of self-indulgence and self-laceration. It has brilliance, either way: surreal, utterly distinctive, witty, gloomy in the manner that his fans will recognise and adore.
Peter Bradshaw - Guardian [UK]
A burning, smoking house that people mindlessly inhabit in Synecdoche, New York is an apt metaphor for what is wrong with this confounding, massively ambitious film.
Claudia Puig - USA Today
The acting is magnificent, especially Hoffman's anguished, distracted, solipsistic portrayal of Cotard.
Philip Kennicott - Washington Post
Synecdoche, New York comes as close as any film has to explaining the epic indignity of the creative process, how some great works collapse beneath their own abstraction.
Wesley Morris - Boston Globe
As is typical of Kaufman, whether this surrealist, time-skipping noodler is successful depends on what you want to see.
Joe Neumaier - New York Daily News
I was struck by the peculiar magic of this film, even moved by it, once I gave up all attempts to understand it as a straightforward linear narrative.
Amy Biancolli - Houston Chronicle
It's hard to say just what kind of movie Charlie Kaufman's directorial debut is, and by the end of it, his film has made a pretty convincing case that it's pointless to try.
Tom Maurstad - Dallas Morning News
It's heartbreaking how rich this failed project is, with enough poetry for several great movies, but not enough push for one.
David Edelstein - New York Magazine
If you want to show a poor player that struts and frets his hour upon the stage, go right ahead, but give that hour all the life you can.
Anthony Lane - New Yorker
This is a film with the richness of great fiction.
Roger Ebert - Chicago Sun-Times
I found it bracing, and genuinely in touch with the sweet chaos and ache of life.
Michael Phillips - Chicago Tribune
It seems more like an illustration of his script than a full-fledged movie, proving how much he needs a Spike Jonze or a Michel Gondry to realize his surrealistic conceits.
Jonathan Rosenbaum - Chicago Reader
Carrie Rickey - Philadelphia Inquirer
It takes enormous assurance and skill to pull off this kind of meta-story, and Kaufman succeeds; nothing in his direction says 'rookie.'
Colin Covert - Minneapolis Star Tribune
A surreal exploration of art, love and death, it has the Fellini-esque feel of some lost European cinematic masterpiece that reaches far past the normal boundaries of drama and into the very essence of existence.
Tom Long - Detroit News
It's a strange trip, to be sure, but a worthwhile one for those willing to take it.
Bill Goodykoontz - Arizona Republic
Mr. Hoffman is emerging as one of our greatest actors, and he alone makes this film worth seeing.
Andrew Sarris - New York Observer
No matter how bad you think the worst movie ever made ever was, you have not seen Synecdoche, New York. It sinks to the ultimate bottom of the landfill, and the smell threatens to linger from here to infinity.
Rex Reed - New York Observer
Kaufman's venturesome dramaturgy and compelling writing scene-by-scene are enough to keep one's curiosity piqued.
Todd McCarthy - Variety
It's the first movie this year that demands at least two viewings to absorb its densely textured humor, which makes earlier Kaufman works such as Adaptation and Being John Malkovich look positively straightforward.
Lou Lumenick - New York Post
Roger Moore - Orlando Sentinel
Synecdoche is fun to mull over, for a while.
Peter Howell - Toronto Star
Cole Haddon - Film.com
As the external reality disappears, so does the viewer's reason to care.
Liam Lacey - Globe and Mail
Synecdoche, New York strives to be a work of greatness. But Kaufman's overarching vision is a lot less interesting than the small insights he gathers along the way.
Stephanie Zacharek - Salon.com
The prospect of Kaufman's directorial debut was really exciting -- which makes the lugubrious result that much more disappointing.
Dana Stevens - Slate
Some will call this art. I'll content myself with thinking of it as an ambitious misstep by a creative individual who failed to realize what he was trying to represent.
James Berardinelli - ReelViews
The film has a deeply affecting aura of true melancholy.
Ray Bennett - Hollywood Reporter
It's that rare bird in our debased pop culture that gives you something to chew on when you leave the theater besides where to go for dinner.
Peter Travers - Rolling Stone
[A] sprawling, awe-inspiring, heartbreaking, frustrating, hard-to-follow and achingly, achingly sad movie.
Carina Chocano - Los Angeles Times
Brent Simon - Shared Darkness
Joshua Rothkopf - Time Out
Mark Kermode - BBC Radio Five Live
An important and intriguing film that must be seen to be believed.
Mike Edwards - Obsessed With Film
Mike Edwards - What Culture
The power and tragedy of the love story, or hell, the life story of Caden Cotard will become a part of you, because it is your story, and his story is yours, and back and forth and so on and on because 'everyone's everyone'.
Simon Miraudo - Quickflix
Art is a dream through which some seek to rise above the mundane. "Synecdoche" is the nightmare of succumbing further to the mundane via art. What could be inaccessible is instead gloriously indispensable - a confounding & combative, but great, film.
Nick Rogers - Suite101.com
The line between reality and imagination, possibility and pipe-dream, become immaterial, and the film becomes the overflowing contents of a fertile mind spilled out all across the screen.
Ian Buckwalter - DCist
His directorial debut is a remarkably deep and rich film, somewhat daunting upon first showing, challenging the audience to take in this complex movie.
Sam Bathe - Fan The Fire
Inaccessible and endlessly frustrating, Synecdoche is replete with art-house pomposity and the type of muddled profundity one sees in an introductory philosophy seminar.
Sonny Bunch - Washington Times
Every scene is pitched at the highest level and acted accordingly.
Rob Gonsalves - eFilmCritic.com
This is a movie designed to provoke, entertain and infuriate, that boldly goes into areas where few films from the English-speaking world nowadays dare penetrate.
Philip French - Observer [UK]
This is a classic Kaufmanesque work: bold, bizarre and utterly baffling.
Cosmo Landesman - Times [UK]
Synecdoche, New York finally feels bitter, hollow and adolescent: like a gargantuan music video conceived for an emo band with a penchant for Pirandello.
Jonathan Romney - Independent
Kaufman, who once dazzled us with his japester's invention, uses those same tools to do something else here. He leaves us reeling.
Tim Robey - Daily Telegraph
Somehow, because it resists unlocking, it feels more serious, troubling, significant. It's as funny as it's depressing. It's as brilliant as it is baffling.
Dave Calhoun - Time Out
A difficult, maddening and elusive film that's also intriguing, profound and darkly funny.
Matt Bochenski - Little White Lies
Awash with ideas, imagination and structural daring, Kaufman's latest is an audacious experiment that repays multiple viewings.
Neil Smith - Total Film
It seems churlish to overly criticise. Kaufman's daring, ambition and frequent moments of beauty and sadness are worth the overindulgence.
Rob Daniel - Sky Movies
Synecdoche (pronounced Sih-neck-doh-kee, by the way) is beautifully acted throughout, scripted by Kaufman with the same valorous unorthodoxy as his Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, and shot with real panache.
Derek Malcolm - This is London
Despite flaws of intellectual hubris, this is no vanity botch-up like Southland Tales. Fairweather fans may flee towards sunnier pictures. But when it's in the zone, it's moving, radical and exhilarating.
Chris Roberts - Uncut Magazine [UK]
Sprawling and complex, meticulously constructed yet willfully messy, it's the sort of film in which you can find significance in nearly every line without ever really getting any closer to a satisfying explanation of what's going on.
Alistair Harkness - Scotsman
His film is about the way life transmutes into art, but the art he creates is so lifeless as to be alienating. It's a piece poking fun at morbid self-indulgence that becomes morbid and self-indulgent itself.
Christopher Tookey - Daily Mail [UK]
Charlie Kaufman's playfully indulgent brainteaser is intriguing and annoying in equal measure. The cast are great and take it very seriously but while it is a strangely clever film at times, it is never an easy journey..
Mark Adams - Sunday Mirror [UK]
The controlled romantic madness of Kaufman's best work becomes a world of symbolic and thematic promiscuity at once lifeless and inchoate. Too many ideas interbreed as wit goes to the wall.
Nigel Andrews - Financial Times
It's a cerebral, smart and downright surreal trip into the far reaches of the mind. I'm still having trouble working out whether it's a work of genius or a self-indulgent pile of guff.
David Edwards - Daily Mirror [UK]
A toweringly ambitious and bafflingly confusing film that gives a glimpse of the daily battles going on in the director's mind.
Wendy Ide - Times [UK]
Astonishing. Kaufman has surpassed himself with a film that will delight and confound. You will want to see it again. And again.
Andrew Male - Empire Magazine
Watching it, I felt like a cow gazing at a Rubik's Cube. In fact, it's the first movie since Mulholland Dr. to leave me flummoxed.
Robbie Collin - News of the World
As a writer, Kaufman has used surrealism to humorously examine humanity. And now as a director he goes even further, creating something that feels like Woody Allen crossed with David Lynch. It's funny and emotional, but also impenetrable.
Rich Cline - Shadows on the Wall
An epic meditation on the meaning of life that feels like it lasts a lifetime.
Dean Essner - Sun Online
It is not the kind of film you can quickly consume and easily forget; it requires patience and dedication but the rewards are worth it.
Caroline Jowett - Daily Express
Dean Essner - Irish Times
That's not the half of it. Kaufman has one of the busiest minds in movies. He oozes with the kinds of paranoia and invention that used to make Woody Allen funny; but he's crazier.
Paul Byrnes - Sydney Morning Herald
Like the play within the film, Synecdoche is bravely ambitious, with glimpses of Kaufman's genius. But it's also an indulgent slog that only the most diehard Kaufmanites will happily endure.
Rosamund Witcher - Heat Magazine
A soul-altering, heart-changing, brain-transplanting masterpiece.
Matthew De Abaitua - Film4
For too long Caden (and Kaufman) are raising big issues and only grasping at the edges, which makes the film frustrating to watch.
Stella Papamichael - Digital Spy
Click for full review
Joseph Proimakis - Movies for the Masses
The odd thing about this film is that it's more fun to think about than to actually watch. But you know what? Having thought about it, I actually want to go and see it again.
Julie Rigg - MovieTime, ABC Radio National
So dense, so complex and so downright puzzling that even Kaufman fans may balk at it.
David Stratton - At the Movies (Australia)
A haunting meditation on ageing, the purpose of art, and the nature of mortality.
Julian Shaw - FILMINK (Australia)
A nightmare for those who like things served easy -- but if you relish off-the-deep-end bravado, its pleasures are boundless.
Alex Lucas - Empire Magazine Australasia
Kaufman's directing debut is as intricate and thought provoking as all his writings, an often surreal, sometimes obtuse and occasionally funny work of great complexity. It's a challenge for audiences, who will no doubt divide into heated camps.
Andrew L. Urban - Urban Cinefile
Some of it works; much of it does not. In any event, Kaufman fans can be assured there is plenty to talk about as fantasy and reality twirl together in dizzying fashion
Louise Keller - Urban Cinefile
O simples fato de Kaufman ter dirigido o filme e o bastante para que o circulo final se feche e complete a estrutura elegante, complexa e estimulante concebida por um dos roteiristas mais fascinantes que Hollywood ja produziu.
Pablo Villaca - Cinema em Cena
Starts out in what feels like the real world only to gradually become something that isn't, on the surface, real, but only resonates more strongly in the emotional department as it goes. It's a fantastic accomplishment.
Jeffrey Chen - Window to the Movies
More like an interesting treatment for a movie than an actual movie.
Dennis Schwartz - Ozus' World Movie Reviews
A pretentious, witless disaster that largely wastes a great cast; one of the worst films of 2008
Fr. Chris Carpenter - Orange County and Long Beach Blade
Another love letter to existence from one of, if not the best, screenwriter of the day.
Cole Abaius - Film School Rejects
Writer Charlie Kaufman is the pseudo-intellectuals' "intellectual." He's pompous, self-flagellating and pretentious. So they love him. Kaufman makes Sarah Palin seem humble.
Tony Macklin - Fayetteville Free Weekly
This might be the best film of 2008.
Robert Roten - Laramie Movie Scope
I call B.S.
Michael Dance - The Cinema Source
Charlie Kaufman's latest example of screenplay extrapolation begins with an obscure definitional allusion...and ends in some sort of self-referential apocalypse.
Bill Gibron - PopMatters
An impossible, bewildering and brave failure of a movie ...
Philip Martin - Arkansas Democrat-Gazette
...although it has its partisans, this is a bleak and unsatisfying film that has to be considered a failure.
Daniel M. Kimmel - Worcester Telegram & Gazette
This makes the film interesting in concept but disappointing in execution. And surreal touches added throughout that just do not add up to anything but a film more challenging than rewarding.
Mark R. Leeper - rec.arts.movies.reviews
You'll walk out of Charlie Kaufman's new movie feeling like a drunk bodybuilder just went bumper bowling with your brain.
Mike Ward - Richmond.com
He goes for Fellini's 8 1/2 but comes up 8 short.
Phil Villarreal - Arizona Daily Star
While flirting between brilliant and pretentious, Kaufman can't fill the emotional black hole at his movie's core.
Sean Means - Salt Lake Tribune
To attempt to encapsulate Synecdoche, New York, in a few hundreds words seems a daunting task -- akin, perhaps, to building an entire gymnasium out of wet sand or watching video clips of Ann Coulter without feeling a bit of puke rising up into the
Matt Brunson - Creative Loafing
Watching the film is also wearying, like assembling a puzzle from a box into which a sadist continually pours new pieces.
Lawrence Toppman - Charlotte Observer
It was Charlie Kaufman, at the multiplex, with a mindfrak.
MaryAnn Johanson - Flick Filosopher
Kaufman has succeeded in portraying an unflinchingly honest and deep examination of the soul of a person without jumping through traditional hoops of this happened here, this happened next.'
Eric Melin - Scene-Stealers.com
For about two-thirds of its length, this is an extremely funny if extraordinarily dark comedy... But we begin to measure out the time in teaspoons, and the movie becomes banal and morose.
John Beifuss - Commercial Appeal (Memphis, TN)
Synecdoche, New York is a self-indulgent mope. It's also a work of genius.
Robert W. Butler - Kansas City Star
You could quite possibly be enthralled -- or not.
Pete Hammond - Hollywood.com
It is a portrait of disappointment and melancholy, tickled by bits of wit, that defies logic and resists description.
Duane Dudek - Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
Life is so complicatedly humiliating, Kaufman insists, and he's right. Too bad his insistence is so simple-mindedly aggrandizing.
Jonathan Kiefer - Sacramento News & Review
A dour, depressing and somewhat cold work.
Jeff Vice - Deseret News, Salt Lake City
The directorial debut by esteemed writer Charlie Kaufman demands a lasting impression...
John Esther - Pasadena Weekly
Charlie Kaufman's dreary, solipsistic attempt at self-therapy inflicted on an unwary audience.
Louis Proyect - rec.arts.movies.reviews
The more you ruminate on Synecdoche, New York, the more resonance you find in it.
Rene Rodriguez - Miami Herald
It's the first Kaufman movie that feels chiefly a work of painstaking self-expression rather than some fiendishly clever experiment in anti-commercial commercial filmmaking.
Shawn Levy - Oregonian
Dean Essner - St. Louis Post-Dispatch
As the movie rambles along with its own brand of quasi-magical surrealism, the links to real experience grow scarcer and more frayed.
Michael Sragow - Baltimore Sun
Screenwriter Kaufman's first venture as a director is audacious, ambitious, amazing. It's also intricate, self-referencing, and all-encompassing.
Marjorie Baumgarten - Austin Chronicle
Kaufman does all he can to throw in enough details to confuse the viewer, to the point of headache-inducing irritation.
Austin Kennedy - Sin Magazine
Though the theme isn't new (Pirandello, Fellini), the fact that Kaufman forgot to give the protagonist any spark of personality whatsoever is rather cutting-edge. Yet exceedingly dull. How ironic.
Kimberly Gadette - LivePDX
Charlie Kaufman's existential fantasia with the odd name is a weird, tiresome rumination on love, hate and the creative process. Fellini did it far better in '8 1/2' in 1963.
Susan Granger - SSG Syndicate
It's an utterly brilliant film in that it evokes its intended feelings with apparent effortlessness -- not like a staged, contrived snapshot but like a wholly unique piece of art.
Eric D. Snider - EricDSnider.com
It's really quite brilliant. But it's also so difficult and so emotionally downbeat that it's hard to characterize it as "entertaining."
Andy Klein - Los Angeles CityBeat
Brazen and witty and starkly serious...Synecdoche stands in relation to Kaufman's best previous screenplays in the same way that David Lynch's INLAND EMPIRE stood in relation to Mulholland Drive.
Nick Davis - Nick's Flick Picks
Synecdoche, New York is a huge film about puny sentiments, an anti-heroic epic of failure, remorse, alienation, and self-pity. It may not be the best film of the year, but it is very likely to be the most extraordinary.
Christopher Orr - New Republic
Christopher Orr - The New Republic
Kaufman's other works at least weaved a thread of hope within all their bends; here, the lack of it is glaring and sinks the viewer's spirit along with the film itself.
Tricia Olszewski - Washington City Paper
A benchmark for this moment in time. To not recognize that is a bad mistake, and a terrible shame.
Walter Chaw - Film Freak Central
If you want a film that is big and true and tough, go see Synecdoche. And then go see it again, because it's so rich with ideas that you can't possibly get them all the first time around.
Beverly Berning - culturevulture.net
With any impressionist piece of work, your feelings overtake you. I was left with Caden slowly suffocating me with his despair.
Jeff Bayer - The Scorecard Review
The cast of Synecdoche, New York is so pitch-perfect and the concept so original that it could be the best choice for people looking to exercise their brain's this holiday season.
Brian Tallerico - Movie Retriever
Relentlessly morose ... this labyrinth of a film is constructed recursively with characters playing other characters ad infinitum, ad nauseam.
Steve Rhodes - Internet Reviews
There are a million tiny pleasures in Synecdoche, New York, one of the year's oddest, most ambitious movies.
Chris Hewitt (St. Paul) - St. Paul Pioneer Press
The temptation to be emphatic about Synecdoche, New York is overwhelming but should be resisted, because the movie really is a mixed bag. A particularly odd mix.
Mick LaSalle - San Francisco Chronicle
Synecdoche, New York builds a wall of high concept, so high you can't find the good movie hiding somewhere behind it.
Moira MacDonald - Seattle Times
Kaufman has created, what could be his masterpiece, by messing with time and editing in such a way that you are just blown away mentally.
Kevin McCarthy - WJFK-FM (CBS Radio)
Charlie Kaufman's Synecdoche, New York turns out to be just as off-putting and as baffling as its title.
Gary Thompson - Philadelphia Daily News
While not uniformly successful, and potentially disastrous for some viewers, Synecdoche, New York is dazzling for its ambition and risk-taking.
Bruce Kirkland - Jam! Movies
Have your coffee? Feel like a brain teaser? Well, then, let's give the plot of Charlie Kaufman's directorial debut, Synecdoche, New York a try.
Travis Nichols - Seattle Post-Intelligencer
One of those movies that's full of ideas and sparks lively discussions after the lights come up. Too bad that actually sitting through the thing feels like torture.
Sean Burns - Philadelphia Weekly
while I am still not certain how it all fits together or what it all means, I can tell you that if you do take a chance and go to see it, it will stick in your brain for a long time to come regardless of whether you love it or hate it.
Peter Sobczynski - eFilmCritic.com
Kaufman's directorial debut is a piece of performance art that drips with intangible meaning, but lacks any sort of drive that compels the viewer to invest in this punishing two hours of furious artistic masturbation.
Brian Orndorf - BrianOrndorf.com
It's all crazy enough to work for a while, but the 124 long minutes don't pass soon enough.
Jeffrey M. Anderson - Combustible Celluloid
Engagingly surreal, if utterly impenetrable drama from Charlie Kaufman that is challenging, maddening, laugh out loud funny and deeply moving, all at the same time.
Matthew Turner - ViewLondon
This film never sings, exactly, but it moves, and it does so bearing a great sadness.
Bryant Frazer - Bryant Frazer's Deep Focus
Kaufman's gift is finding humanity in flotsam, something he does well but hasn't done this beautifully since Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind.
Amy Nicholson - I.E. Weekly
A great big incomprehensible phantasmagoria. I'm all for 'personal' movies, but this one's private.
Peter Rainer - Christian Science Monitor
Much like protagonists in previous Charlie Kaufman scripts, Caden is an artist in search of his art.
Cynthia Fuchs - PopMatters
Kaufman comes closer to creating a kind of cinematic magic realism than any American director has done in living memory. And it's only his first film.
Chris Barsanti - PopMatters
in this portrait of an artist as an old man in decline, no amount of reproduction, trickery or fantasy can or ever will suffice to deflect the inevitable end.
Anton Bitel - Eye for Film
It's not so much that his film defies description as that none could adequately prepare you for the experience of watching it. Kaufman's existential musings are sometimes self-indulgent, but they are also heartfelt and wickedly funny.
Rossiter Drake - San Francisco Examiner
Paul Gallagher - Future Movies UK
The most ambitious, challenging, frustrating and thrilling American movie since I'm Not There - maybe since Mulholland Drive.
Scott Von Doviak - culturevulture.net
A brilliant, gut-wrenching plunge into the painful work of facing the decisions we make and choosing to either continue onward, or live in regret.
Alissa Wilkinson - Christianity Today
James Verniere - Boston Herald
Thomas Caldwell - Cinema Autopsy
Dave White - Movies.com
Dean Essner - Bullz-Eye.com
Undeniably brilliant at times, Synecdoche, New York is also incredibly dense.
Chad Greene - Boxoffice Magazine
When I say Charlie Kaufman should be put on suicide watch, I'm not being facetious.
Josh Larsen - LarsenOnFilm
With Synecdoche, New York, the scribe at last adds the job of director to his resume, finally giving us a glimpse of what a pure, unfiltered Charlie Kaufman film looks like. The result is truly something to behold.
Ethan Alter - Film Journal International
sets out to encompass all of what makes us human but only finds room for what makes us unhappy.
Matt McKillop - Filmcritic.com
Whatever work it takes to unpack the film's levels upon levels of meaning, it's not worth it... Unremittingly grim, without any spark of life.
Tim Brayton - Antagony & Ecstasy
...a picture that is (a) brilliant, in scattered parts, but also (b) a reminder that virtually every writer needs an editor.
Kurt Loder - MTV
Nearly a month after watching Charlie Kaufman's directorial debut... I'm still figuring out whether it was a brilliant idea poorly executed or a poor idea brilliantly executed.
Edward Havens - FilmJerk.com
Evident passion and a tremendous amount of thought went into Synecdoche.
Bob Strauss - Los Angeles Daily News
As with nearly all the films Kaufman wrote before this one ... Synecdoche, New York is one heck of a head-trip.
Bob Mondello - NPR.org
For a film that desperately wants us to empathize with its main character's plight, Kaufman's inability to reconcile his overambitious gimmickry with the story's emotional demands is a fatal flaw.
Jurgen Fauth - About.com
An intense and creative dramatization of the midlife crisis of a theater director whose fear of death and physical deterioration compels him into a mammoth project to give his life meaning.
Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat - Spirituality and Practice
Like most of Kaufman's work as a writer, Synecdoche, New York is a head trip that time and again returns to a place of real human emotion.
Scott Foundas - L.A. Weekly
Pretentiously convoluted...in the case of Synecdoche, New York--to garble Plato's version of Socrates--the examined life is not worth watching.
Frank Swietek - One Guy's Opinion
...though the headless chickens dance.
Keith Uhlich - UGO
Essentially multiplies Adaptation by an exponential factor and thus grows into a snarling, ungainly beast of self-reflexive absurdities.
Scott Tobias - AV Club
You can't help but think this must be what it looks like when your life flashes before your eyes.
Matt Pais - Metromix.com
The screenwriter who comments upon the human condition through staged recreations, be it from John Malkovich's brain or the sets of "Eternal Sunshine," has delivered his most affecting work with this flawedmasterpiece.
Laura Clifford - Reeling Reviews
The picture, just about as surreal as David Lynch on his quirkiest day, is at once staggering, baffling, morose, frightening, hilarious, continuously inventive, and unspeakably touching.
Dustin Putman - DustinPutman.com
Synecdoche is impeccably acted, inventively designed, sometimes laugh-out-loud funny, and often devastatingly sad.
Karina Longworth - SpoutBlog
It's an intricate piece to the puzzle of self-examination that began in Adaptation and continues into one of the most challenging, exasperating and beautiful works to hit theaters since probably Eternal Sunshine.
Erik Childress - eFilmCritic.com
Kaufman is full of ideas but doesn't know when to quit.
Rafer Guzman - Newsday
It's a writer's film, and Kaufman doesn't have the chops to turn his ironies into affecting drama. But the sheer scope of his conception is breathtaking and commendable.
Joshua Rothkopf - Time Out New York
Pity those nerds and fashion-sheep who'll waste time trying to connect Kaufman's symbols, cite the many David Lynch references and puzzle for ways to use 'synecdoche' in daily conversation.
Armond White - New York Press
Kaufman's meta-meta mind-boggler is, ultimately, far more heady and haunting than maddeningly egocentric.
Nick Schager - Lessons of Darkness
It's the best American film of 2008 to date, and probably of 2007 and 2006 as well.
Alonso Duralde - MSNBC
The artistic psyche has never been more joylessly explored than in Synecdoche, New York, the gallingly undisciplined directorial debut of revered screenwriter Charlie Kaufman.
Fernando F. Croce - Slant Magazine
A sprawling, messy work of inspired brilliance and real humanity, a film that enthralls and affects even as it infuriates and confounds.
James Rocchi - Cinematical
Kaufman directs this sprawl of ideas, twisted chronologies and bitter regrets with a tightly disciplined control of the material.
Allan Hunter - Screen International
Dean Essner - National Post
The truly committed will find something redeeming in this jumble, but the payoff isn't really worth the slog of getting there.
Katey Rich - CinemaBlend.com
If you share a taste for Kaufman's bizarre formulation of human and theatrical experience you'll appreciate his mixture of illusion with failure, the unkept promise of genius, the residue of defeat, disappointment and melancholy.
Jules Brenner - Cinema Signals
If Kaufman, like his protagonist, can't satisfactorily realize his masterpiece, it's not due to a lack of effort.
Jeremy Heilman - MovieMartyr.com
Even critics of this surreal postmodern narrative will acknowledge the rich female roles played by the best actresses today: Catherine Keener, Emily Watson, Dianne Wiest, Michelle Williams, Hope Davis, Samantha Morton, Jennifer Jason Leigh.
Emanuel Levy - EmanuelLevy.Com
Kaufman's high concept narrative is an evocative and empathic way of looking at the inevitability of death, and features a concentrated use of great female actors of our era.
Cole Smithey - ColeSmithey.com