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Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close Reviews

Our Review

Incredibly moving, extremely long

Adam Bub, MovieFix
More than 10 years after the 9/11 attacks, this film adaptation of Jonathan Safran Foer's bestseller Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close reminds us of the human face behind a global tragedy. In this case, it's a child dealing with the aftermath of the event, but its themes of love, loss, grief and hope resonate on a universal level.

The approach might at first seem deceivingly simple. We see the world through the eyes of precocious, super-intelligent nine-year-old Oskar (Thomas Horn), lovingly close to his father Thomas (Tom Hanks), but emotionally distant from his mother Linda (Sandra Bullock).

This child is anything but simple: obsessed by numbers, words, lists, objects and scientific proof, Oskar shows traits of autism, potentially Asperger syndrome. When he loses his father in the September 11 attacks, Oskar drifts further away from his mother, and embarks on a wild goose chase to find the lock that matches a key left by his father.

Handled with sensitivity, this moving drama is a cathartic, personal story that does fine justice to its source material. There isn't much dwelling on the attacks themselves; the hardest part is getting on with life afterwards.

While Bullock and Hanks are the big-name drawcards, and they are wonderful in their roles, it's the mature performance of newcomer Horn, discovered on US game show Jeopardy!, that really carries the film. He's one to watch.

Viola Davis, Jeffrey Wright and Max von Sydow (Oscar-nominated for this role) also lend weight to the proceedings as strangers who Oskar meets.

Some critics have called the film 'manipulative' and 'exploitative'. Those words don't come to mind for me, but the emotion is dragged out over 129 long minutes. Oskar's 'searching' scenes could really be tightened.

On a better note, New York has rarely looked so hauntingly beautiful on screen, from winter to spring in Central Park, to the transformed Manhattan city skyline.

There are countless 9/11 stories waiting to be told on screen. This is hopefully one of many to come.

Watch the trailer here

Your Reviews

Wonderfully intense movie, best I've seen in ages
Wonderfully intense movie, best I've seen in ages
Very well acted, a challenging insight into a sensitive boy's search to make sense of a huge tragedy. Brilliant ending, whole theatre sat entranced and some even burst into applause. Will go and so this movie again, and also read the book.
Karl
Karl
I quite liked it. Thomas Horn is a great little actor, and all the actors involved did a wonderful job with the story. I am glad that 9/11 was pushed pretty well much into the background, and did not show the actual attacks. I am not really ready to see much of 9/11 at all at the movies.
Dragged out
Dragged out
Enjoyed the movie very much. Tom Hanks never fails, nor did Sandra Bullock. Oskar seemed a lot older than the nine years he was supposed to be. There were times when I found myself saying "Cheeky little brat" But you did need to sympathize with him. Thomas Horn is an extremely good little actor.
John Wiggin
John Wiggin
I agree with the Movie Show. from their review -it is very American smulch
Robyn
Robyn
This is such a touching story....a journey of a child's grieving the loss of a father and trying to make sense of it. And of a mothers deep love and understanding. The title is a bit confusing. The movie has little to do with 9/11 and much more to do with the complex issues of grief, loss and love.

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