Synecdoche, New York Reviews

  • 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

  • (Synecdoche, New York movie review at Philadelphia Inquirer)

    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

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