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The Squid and the Whale

  R HD Closed Captioning

Noah Baumbach

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Plot Summary

Based on the true childhood experiences of director Noah Baumbach, The Squid and the Whale tells the story of a patriarch (Jeff Daniels, Dumb & Dumber, Speed) of an eccentric Brooklyn family who once had been a great novelist, but has settled into a teaching job. When his wife (Laura Linney, Exorcism of Emily Rose, Kinsey) discovers a writing talent of her own, jealousy divides the family, leaving two teenage sons to forge new relationships with their parents. Linney's character begins dating her younger son's tennis coach (William Baldwin, Backdraft, Flatliners). Meanwhile, Daniels' character has an affair with the student (Anna Paquin, X-Men, Almost Famous) his older son is pursuing.

Rotten Tomatoes Movie Reviews

TOMATOMETER

93%
  • Reviews Counted: 141
  • Fresh: 131
  • Rotten: 10
  • Average Rating: 7.9/10

Top Critics' Reviews

Fresh: A wry exercise in acute observation and emotional distancing, Noah Baumbach's The Squid and the Whale represents what's best in autobiographical filmmaking. – Kirk Honeycutt, Hollywood Reporter, Jun 24, 2010

Fresh: The movie's lasting sting belies its brief 80 minutes. This is one cinematic novella that stays with you for quite a while. – Ty Burr, Boston Globe, Nov 24, 2011

Fresh: The Squid and the Whale is essentially about how we grow up by absorbing what is useful in our parents and forgiving what is not. – Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times, Jul 7, 2010

Fresh: Brevity is, indeed, the soul of wit, and in this case, wit barely starts to describe the value of this dead-on, full-of-life motion picture. – Bruce Westbrook, Houston Chronicle, Dec 6, 2005

Read More About This Movie On Rotten Tomatoes

Customer Reviews

laughter and tears

If you can relate to the dark humor of this film about family disintegration, it will probably touch you deeply. I'm not sure how the actors do it, but they are simultaneously caricatures and very honest/believable. I suppose the caricature element allows us the levity necessary to get through the author's (and echoes of our own) heartbreak. The film isn't for everyone, but even so I found the acting superb.

The bad reviews actually tell how wonderful this movie is

Life is not all rainbows and sunshine. This movie makes it clear. There is an honesty in the characters, their behavior and the plot line that makes this movie so compelling, heartbreaking and awkwardly heartwarming. The story line, while a bit twisted at times, tells a truth that most of us can relate to. And while some may be put off by the vulnerable and downright selfish nature of the characters, there is something to be said about an actress or actor who can stir up that sort of disdain, they've kept you in it, no matter how vile you find them to be. And i found parts of this movie to be heartwarming. There is a bond in a family that you can never escape and sometimes, you just have to grow up and face it for yourself.

My Favorite Movie Of All-Time (Next To Superbad)

Easily one of the best of all-time. This film elequently shows how much something like a divorce can mess up a family, and does it with a unique, clever style that isn't like any indie film you'll ever see. Words can't describe how great this movie really is. One little gripe though. $10 is kind of steep for a movie that's barely 80 minutes long. Yes, it's a really good movie, but I don't think $10 is an appropriate dollar amount for this movie. Let me put it this way, if it ever goes on sale for $5, I'll buy it in an instant. But nonetheless, it's a very good movie and I'm glad iTunes finally got it. My respect for iTunes has now skyrocketed.

The Squid and the Whale
View In iTunes
  • $12.99
  • Genre: Drama
  • Released: 2006

Customer Ratings