Salinger - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Salinger Reviews

January 28, 2014
Salinger triumphs, though, as an absorbing portrait of a singular man of mystery.
Full Review | Original Score: A
January 21, 2014
Too bad that Salinger offers no real insight into the elusive writer and is fueled almost entirely by trivial anecdotes.
January 6, 2014
The movie has a shallow, paparazzo literalism. It just wants to catch the legendarily reclusive Salinger getting into a Jeep.
September 23, 2013
What emerges is a portrait of an enigma.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
September 20, 2013
Where Salinger succeeds is in the gripping section on World War II, and in the exquisite, often melancholy details in the stories told by the likes of Joyce Maynard.
Read More | Original Score: 3/4
September 20, 2013
The treatment of J.D. Salinger's writing in this overwrought documentary is so inflated and pompous it comes as a relief when Judd Apatow shows up to describe The Catcher in the Rye as a funny book filled with great lines.
Full Review | Original Score: C-
September 20, 2013
A good documentary can lead you to a place of not knowing what to believe about a subject. A bad documentary tells you what to believe, and why, but in ways provoking disbelief in the movie's tactics.
Full Review | Original Score: 1.5/4
September 20, 2013
This documentary reconstructing the life of the ultimate cult author is like a three-act thriller, and the character at the center of the story is a mute man of mystery.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
September 20, 2013
When [Salerno] drops the stylistic overkill and lets these people talk about Salinger, what emerges is a riveting picture of a contradictory, deeply selfish, troubled man.
September 19, 2013
Cataloging what's missing from Salerno's movie -- for instance, why "The Catcher in the Rye" worked, or didn't, and what it meant and still means to the American novel -- would run into the sports section.
Full Review | Original Score: 1.5/4
September 19, 2013
The movie epitomizes everything in the culture from which Salinger himself fled. It is, as Holden Caulfield would put it, phony.
Full Review | Original Score: 1/4
September 19, 2013
A fluffed-up documentary that sticks it to the already famously flawed author without providing much revelation.
Full Review | Original Score: 1.5/4
September 19, 2013
A fascinating picture of one of the 20th century's most enigmatic writers, a man who retreated from public life only to be pursued by prying fans.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
September 19, 2013
Salinger is fascinating because Salinger was fascinating. But the film is frustrating, maddeningly so, because it is bent on trumpeting its own importance over that of its subject.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
September 19, 2013
Given the many stories about Salinger and the dearth of images, it would have been more efficient just to skip the documentary altogether.
Full Review | Original Score: 1.5/4
September 19, 2013
Salerno's 10-year trawl through Salinger's closely guarded life gets repetitive, since there are no known film interviews or audiotapes of the author to draw on.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
September 19, 2013
Any insights the film has to impart about the writing process are delivered in embarrassingly literal fashion.
September 17, 2013
Salinger is self-important, redundant, and interminable.
September 12, 2013
"Salinger" is all surface.
September 10, 2013
It's a relentless assault on a man who wished to be left alone.
Full Review | Original Score: 1.5/4
September 6, 2013
By turns fascinating and infuriating.
Full Review | Original Score: B
September 6, 2013
Make sure you bring a barf bag when you watch this doc's tacky re-enactments, hear its cheeseball score and endure literary posturings so florid they'd embarrass Baz Luhrmann of The Great Gatsby.
Full Review | Original Score: 1/4
September 6, 2013
It feels overstuffed and overlong, getting bogged down as it does in the minutiae of certain segments of Salinger's life without conveying a big-picture sense of what his actual writing was like.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
September 6, 2013
It's a good thing J.D. Salinger isn't around to see Shane Salerno's bio-documentary Salinger or he'd come after Salerno with a hatchet. He really would.
September 6, 2013
One of those documentaries where a lot of fancy people who never met the guy use the word "must" a lot. Oh, well, he must have thought this, they say, waving their hands around. Oh, this must be why he did this. It's all kind of annoying, actually.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
September 5, 2013
There's virtually no attention paid to Salinger's language, the finely wrought prose and keen ear for the American vernacular that made him stand out among midcentury writers of fiction.
September 5, 2013
Insightful gems are unearthed throughout the flawed but engrossing Salinger, a much-anticipated documentary about the author of The Catcher in the Rye.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
September 5, 2013
It is curious that a movie about such a notorious perfectionist should be so sloppy in matters of judgment and craft.
Read More | Original Score: 2/5
September 5, 2013
All of this is compelling. But Salerno, as if he's unsure of what he's got, goes to great lengths to heighten the drama with crisp editing, a strong score, frequent sound effects and snappy visuals.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
September 5, 2013
[Salerno] took a kitchen-sink approach, and while the film moves quickly for its 120 minutes, that approach blunts its impact.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
September 5, 2013
The cult of J.D. Salinger will be burnished by this lively but superficial doc.
September 5, 2013
Even if the documentary's climactic revelation amounts to a commercial plug, it's an unquestionably enthralling one, as Salerno's two hour-plus account of Salinger's complexities covers virtually every aspect of his life story.
Full Review | Original Score: B+
September 5, 2013
The result is something of a literary-style "TMZ" - certainly interesting, but a little bit sleazy - and, in terms of glimpses into the man himself, ultimately disappointing.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/5
Top Critic
September 5, 2013
The stories are pretty fascinating, but like all documentarians, Salerno faces the problem of what to put onscreen.
Full Review | Original Score: C-
September 5, 2013
Salinger fans will see it through a frown of disdain, emitting occasional whimpers of protest, but see it they will for its revelations, dropped at cunningly dispersed at intervals throughout an otherwise wearying 2-hour-and-15-minute running time.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
September 4, 2013
This documentary is, perhaps, a lengthy advertisement for those upcoming books as well as the new biography, but it certainly stands on its own as a revealing glimpse at the genius and the misanthropy of a legendary man of letters.
September 3, 2013
It ends up feeling like a long-winded carnival-barker pitch, even though a goodly number of genuine gems are buried within its noisy confines.
September 3, 2013
You wonder why Salerno thought the man who created Holden Caulfield would be best served by an abundance of sentimentalism, a stock sap-tastic score and some genuinely cheesy dramatizations on a black stage (the director is no Hollywood phony, but still).
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
September 3, 2013
What the movie gets hilariously, howlingly wrong is the idea that a life like Salinger's-so extraordinary, yet so willfully humdrum-could somehow be captured by the most shopworn of cinematic techniques.
August 28, 2013
Like the book, it suffers from its creators' obsessive zeal. Only here, you can't page ahead to the next chapter.
Full Review | Original Score: C