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Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close Review

Movies.com Critics

2.5

Dave White Profile

Christmas mourning. Read full review

1.5

Grae Drake Profile

It takes a village...to shut this kid up. Read full review

Other Critics provided by Metacritic.com

Critics scores range from 0 to 100, with higher scores indicating more favorable reviews.

  • 3.0
    46

    out of 100

    Metascore®
    Mixed or average reviews
    based on a weighted average of all
    critic review scores.

  • 10

    out of 100

    Wall Street Journal Joe Morgenstern

    The production's penchant for contrivance is insufferable - not a single spontaneous moment from start to finish - and the boy is so precocious you want to strangle him. It's surely not the fault of Thomas Horn, the remarkable young man who plays him.

    Read Full Review

  • 63

    out of 100

    USA Today Claudia Puig

    In Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close, director Stephen Daldry must walk a tricky line between poignancy and pathos. He occasionally slips into maudlin turf.

    Read Full Review

  • 67

    out of 100

    Entertainment Weekly Lisa Schwarzbaum

    A polarizing load of quirkiness in Extremely Loud gunks up (at least for this hometown mourner; your results may vary) what is at heart a piercing story.

    Read Full Review

  • 80

    out of 100

    The Hollywood Reporter Todd McCarthy

    Best of all, von Sydow is absolutely wonderful, with the great veteran actor clearly relishing this very unusual role as he darts, skulks and, in a stealthy way, mugs across town. Without saying a thing, he dominates the middle part of the movie.

    Read Full Review

  • See all Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close reviews at Metacritic.com

For Families provided by Common Sense Media

OK for kids 14+

Drama about child's 9/11 loss stirs up sadness.

What Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close is based on the novel by Jonathan Safran Foer about an 11-year-old with Asperger's syndrome (or something very similar to it) who loses his father in the Sept. 11 attacks -- and how he copes with the loss a year later. Some scenes include graphic 9/11 imagery and news clips and may be too intense for young children. (If you watch with your teens, it's a good idea to have a conversation about 9/11 beforehand.) There's also some swearing (including "f--k") and drinking. Although the film centers around loss and tragedy, many adult characters are strong role models, and there's a message about learning to accept the answers that life gives you.

  • Families can talk about the movie's subject matter. Teens: What do you know about 9/11? How do you think the events of that day affected the children who lost their parents and/or other relatives?
  • How does the media usually portray/deal with 9/11-related stories? How does this movie compare to other depictions you've seen?
  • Why is Oskar so bent on finding the object that the key unlocks? What does it mean for him?

The good stuff
  • message true2

    Messages: The film's most basic message is this: Life might not make a lot of sense, but does it have to? We may never get the answers to our questions that we expect, but the answers do come, and they can be instructive, even wise.

  • rolemodels true4

    Role models: For a film about deep tragedy and chaos, the movie has wonderful role models: Oskar's father is creative and whimsical and cares for him very much; his mother allows him to be himself, proudly; his grandmother is supportive and non-judgmental. Even an old man who becomes part of their family in a strange way proves to be empathetic. Oskar comes across as insensitive, but it's hinted that he has Asperger's syndrome, which sometimes makes it difficult for him to recognize and respond to emotions.

What to watch for
  • violence false3

    Violence: The movie's story centers on 9/11, and the graphic images from that day are shown: the twin towers with billowing smoke, people falling from the buildings, relatives receiving panic-stricken and heartfelt phone calls from trapped loved ones. Also, in a fit of anger, a child starts thrashing around and hitting anything in his way. He also yells at adults and sometimes comes across as insolent and disrespectful, when really he's hurting and is unable to process his emotions.

  • sex false0

    Sex: Not applicable

  • language false3

    Language: Infrequent use of "dipsh--t," "d--k," and "a--hole," sometimes by a child. Also "oh God" as an exclamation, plus words that sound like "s--t" and "f--k" but aren't.

  • consumerism false3

    Consumerism: Labels seen/mentioned include Dymo, Wild Turkey, Juicy Juice, Nokia, AT&T, Barney Greengrass, Fig Newtons, and Fairway.

  • drugsalcoholtobacco false2

    Drinking, drugs and smoking: Some adult characters drink liquor in moments of stress.

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