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About the Movie
Soon after arriving to teach at a small town college, Abe Lucas (Joaquin Phoenix) gets involved with two women, Rita Richards (Parker Posey), a lonely professor who wants him to rescue her from her unhappy marriage; and Jill Pollard (Emma Stone), his best student, who becomes his closest friend. While Jill loves her boyfriend Roy (Jamie Blackley), she finds Abe's tortured, artistic personality and exotic past irresistible. Pure chance changes everything when Abe and Jill overhear a stranger's conversation and when Abe makes a profound choice, he is able to embrace life to the fullest again. But his decision sets off a chain of events that will affect him, Jill and Rita forever.
Rotten Tomatoes Movie Reviews
- Reviews Counted: 185
- Fresh: 83
- Rotten: 102
- Average Rating: 5.5/10
Top Critics' Reviews
Rotten: In the end, this feeble effort remains tainted, however unfairly, by the creator's personal life. Maybe Allen should have titled it "Rationalizing Man."
Fresh: After a late wobble or two, Irrational Man packs a final, farcical punch that feels just right.
Fresh: At the age of 79, Woody Allen is still a formidable filmmaker ("Blue Jasmine" was just two years ago). But he is also, inevitably, Woody Allen.
Rotten: While it doesn't quite succeed, it's a mournful meditation too sharp and smart to dislike.
Think Matchpoint meets Scoop
This is a comedy but definitely a dark and ironic one. Stay away if you're into Ted/Oldschool/Bruce Almighty kind of comedies.
But a Woody Allen fan will truly appreciate this gem. Wonderful acting by the entire cast, beautiful picture and, of course, brilliant dialogues and story.
Of all the Woody Allen movies, this one is in the top 5 to me (loved Blue Jasmine, Midnight in Paris, Matchpoint, and When in Rome the most)... I loved it.
A philosophical stroll in the park
I usually dislike Woody Allen films because they often sound like Allen's angst-ridden manner of speech, (and I find him morally reprehensible). That said, I thoroughly enjoyed this film. Foremost, the two actors, Phoenix and Stone, are always a delight to watch, but also because the film is set atop a background of philosophical thought, with brief mentions of Sarte, Kant, Heidegger, and de Beauvoir, that carry the plot quite nicely. An unpredictable film (which is a feat, in itself) that had me rooting for the protagonist probably quite a bit longer than most audiences.
Come on, comedy? Pffff