Wilson - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Wilson Reviews

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Super Reviewer
½ December 12, 2018
I find it easy to describe myself in one word. Not because I'm some super complex individual, I just mean that none of us are any one thing at all times, right? And I think that anyone who claims that they are one thing at all times is lying through their teeth. Just like this whole thing with liberals vs conservatism. I'm liberal about some things and I'm conservative about others. I think we need stricter gun control laws than we currently have, so in that regard, I'm more conservative. Being one thing at all times is like only wanting to watch one type of movie or wanting to enjoy one style of music. Though, at the very least, in terms of music, it's far more about personal taste than anything else. There are good movies in every genre and, in my opinion, I don't single out movies based on the fact they might belong to a genre I'm not fond of. The point is, however, that I can't describe myself in one word, because human beings are much more complex than to be bogged down by a simple one-word description. Sometimes I'm optimistic, sometimes I'm misanthropic, sometimes I'm a realist. It all depends on how I'm feeling that particular day. The reason I bring this up is because this movie focuses on a misanthrope who, since his wife left him, has completely isolated himself from the world, perhaps subconsciously, as a result of his wife leaving him and getting an abortion. In Wilson's own mind, this was his own chance at having a family, at having a positive impact, theoretically, in someone's life, no matter how minuscule that change might have been. When his wife abandoned him and aborted their child, he sort of retreated unto himself, became a bit of a hermit and a bit of an unfiltered misanthropic asshole. Conceptually speak, I do like the movie. Because, once Wilson's ex, Pippi, comes back into his life seventeen years after she left him and he is told that she didn't have an abortion, she just gave her up for adoption, Wilson completely and totally embraces the idea that he's actually a father with such gusto that it's, actually, kind of sweet to see how this cynical and dour man light up with joy at the fact that he is a father. Wilson, really, was kind of a man who was just living life to live it, basically counting down the days, weeks, months and years until his death without really changing his way of being or interacting with people. He is also a very immature man, in his own way, and knowing he has a daughter and the lengths he goes to in order to get to know her and be in her life, forces him to grow up, along with Pippi. Like I said, I think the arc is a good one and Woody Harrelson delivers a great performance, as you would expect, but I don't know if I feel that the movie is actually 'good', per se. This movie is based on a graphic novel by David Clowes, who wrote the comic book Ghost World (and also co-wrote the script for its movie adaptation). I'm honestly not that familiar with his work, so I wouldn't be able to compare it to the graphic novel. But I find this movie interesting in that it, very much, feels like a series of chapters haphazardly put together as a movie. Or skits with, somewhat, of an overarching narrative. What I mean by that is that the movie is divided into segments and those segments don't always feel like they're part of a coherent whole, even if they're meant to be. Like, as an example, when Pippi comes back into Wilson's life feels like a chapter all its own. Even if the continuation to that chapter, in the movie, is Pippi and Wilson meeting their biological daughter, it DOESN'T feel like that at all. It doesn't feel connected, it all feels separate from one another. It's a series of segments/skits thrown together to make a film. You get the story the movie is trying to tell, but it doesn't ever do anything to change the perception that the movie is, quite stiltedly, segmenting its story into chapters. It doesn't exactly flow well. And I find this to be an interesting flaw in that this movie is based on Clowes' own graphic novel. He already has the storyboards and the script to work with. All he has to do is find a way to connect all the dots and he just...doesn't. Which is a shame because, again, I think that Wilson is a great character and his story arc is really interesting, but the movie is structured in a way that doesn't really maximize the potential its story and characters had. Another issue is the inconsistent tone. The movie, when it's funny it's not hilarious and when it's dramatic it kind of lays it on pretty thick. Not to the point that it's nauseating, but after Wilson is sent to prison for 'kidnapping' and serving almost three years, it seems that the world is plotting to prove Wilson right in regards to his isolation from the rest of humanity. And there are some bits of the movie where Wilson comes across as a pathetic sad sack. Again, I appreciate Wilson's arc as a character, but there are things that I probably would have tightened up or cut out all together for the sake of character consistency. Wilson just does not seem to be the type of man that would resort to what he did near the end of the movie. And I feel that the movie uses this to show you that Wilson has truly changed and how he wants to be a part of his daughter's life and, also, his grandson's life as well. I'm not saying that you shouldn't have had Wilson attempt to make an effort to fill the emotional void that has been there for almost two decades, but I wish the movie would have done so more skillfully than it did. It's not a bad movie, it's actually fairly decent with good performances all around. I just don't like segmented structure of the film, the inconsistent tone and some issues with Wilson's emotional redemption. And that's a shame, because with Harrelson's great performance and a great script, this could have really been quite enjoyable. Sadly, however, it falls considerably short of that. Not bad, just not something you really need to see considering the potential that was there to begin with.
½ October 27, 2018
Woody Harrelson stars in this mediocre comedy that is neither funny nor entertaining.
September 7, 2018
Excellent indie film! This one really caught me by surprise. Touching, funny, and occasionally disturbing - just like life. :) Everything comes into focus by the end...literally and figuratively.
August 11, 2018
Woody was great. I liked the movie.
August 3, 2018
A strange comedy. It was watchable, but I didn't care for how it turned out. (First and only viewing - 12/31/2017)
½ June 24, 2018
I'm a fan of indie films and a fan of Woody Harrelson, however I didn't really get on with this film, in fact I even dozed off. Wasn't a fan of the character at all.
May 27, 2018
What a miserable person and a miserable movie....annoyingly unfunny.
April 16, 2018
This movie is fantastic
½ April 2, 2018
The hero is too annoying for his age. As if he didn't learn before through punches in the face. The light comes when he get in jail. Not credible, unless he's a benign psychopath.
March 12, 2018
Starts off with Wilson's lack of a filter being incredibly mortifying and awkward, but eventually, he becomes very sympathetic. The story's unpredictability is believable and entertaining.
March 12, 2018
It's okay, but would have been a lot better if it had been more believable.
March 10, 2018
oNE OF THE worst movies I've ever seen! Nothing enjoyable about watching it, didn't seem like anybody made any effort with the script. Wooden acting/filming. Just awful.
February 17, 2018
Weak plotting leaves Wilson's Woody Harrelson and ace supporting cast stuck in neutral.
½ February 12, 2018
Interesting movie. A little slow and bland at times. Harrelson does a nice job of playing an eccentric character.
½ December 9, 2017
I think perhaps the disconnect from audiences on this movie is that most people anticipate a comedy or deep drama. However, I unexpectedly loved this movie not for it's depth of plot but for it's glimpse into psychology. We rarely see a film that shows us the thoughts of a "normal" character. He didn't reach fame or understanding. He didn't fall completely or rise above it all. It's not inspirational, just a movie about a person going through the daily tribulations associated with a mental disorder. The movie made me feel awkward at most times and it's almost reminiscent of Mice and Men. Only, this movie doesn't give the main character the excuse of having visible handicaps. I say Bravo to the writer and also Woody Harrelson who pulled off the nuances of this character beautifully.
½ December 9, 2017
Interesting movie that will probably turn off a lot of people. I really had no idea what this movie was about before watching it. It takes a really hard right turn about half way through the movie. You can't help, but feel sorry for Wilson. This movie is a dark comedy that can be touching at times.
October 24, 2017
Bored, turned off after 10 min or so. Comic was awesome, movie just dull.
October 21, 2017
"If nobody likes being around with "Wilson", why should we?"
DVD Movie Review: Wilson
Date Viewed: July 5 2017
Directed By Craig Johnson (The Skeleton Twins)
Screenplay By Daniel Clowes, Based on his graphic novel
Starring: Woody Harrelson, Laura Dern, Isabella Amara, Judy Greer, Cheryl Hines, Margo Martindale, David Warshofsky, Brett Gelman, Mary Lynn Rajskub and Lauren Weedman.

Woody Harrelson is a terrific actor who can play lots of different kinds of characters but "Wilson" is such a stark, crass and uncomfortable lout of a character. The movie is based on the satirical graphic novel from "Ghost World" creator Daniel Clowes who also scripted. "Wilson" is a lonely, neurotic and painfully honest individual who hates the Internet as well as other plagues of modern society. Harrelson delivers a solid performance as the title character but the character brings out so much sentiment and cringe-worthy moments it's so hard to care about this guy.

As I mentioned earlier, Wilson (Harrelson) is a lonely, neurotic and painfully honest guy who struggles to make friends and he can't take the Internet as well as our modern society. Wilson's only friend is a wire fox terrier dog named Pepper. The plot moves along when Wilson reunites with his estranged ex-wife, Pippi (Laura Dern) who's a former prostitute and recovering addict. She tells Wilson that the baby he thought she aborted 17 years ago is still very much alive and well. The baby grew up to be Claire (Isabella Amara), a goth high-schooler who's depressed with her life because she's a complete outcast and she gets teased daily by her popular schoolmates.

This wonderful news delights Wilson and he explores a chance to connect with her. When Wilson and Pippi finally meet their daughter for the very first time, he persuades Claire to give him a chance to explain why he and her mother weren't there for her for all these years. Claire becomes shocked at the news at first but then she grows a little affection for him. Wilson, Pippi and Claire spent some quality time together and they even play pretend family when they come to visit Pippi's overbearingly, hyper-critical sister, Polly (Cheryl Hines).

After seeing through that their daughter isn't actually theirs, Polly calls the police on Wilson and the judge slaps him with a prison sentence of 36 months for alleged kidnapping. What kidnapping? The guy was only being friendly and getting along with his biological daughter? Alleged kidnapping gives you jail time in a maximum-security prison but tampering with national security information and destroying 33,000 emails doesn't. When will U.S. democracy ever learn?

The film tries so hard to be edgy, emotional and hilarious, it completely turns sour. From "White Men Can't Jump" to "The People vs. Larry Flynt" to "The Messenger" to the "Hunger Games" movies and to last year's wonderful "The Edge of Seventeen", Woody Harrelson has always been one of our most entertaining, energetic, funny and amazing actors working today but despite his best efforts here why should we root for this dry motormouth? Laura Dern, Cheryl Hines and Judy Greer who plays Wilson's dogsitter aren't given enough to do but Isabella Amara shines as Claire who contains the same cynical-towards-everybody outlook just like Wilson.

Directed by Craig Johnson who previously helmed 2014's "The Skeleton Twins" which became a critical hit at Sundance and starred Bill Hader and Kristen Wiig, "Wilson" might've gone into interesting places but the movie doesn't know where to take him or Woody Harrelson for that matter. If nobody likes being around with "Wilson", why should we?
October 16, 2017
I laughed my arse off. Woody was just perfect for this roll. Such a real view of so many peoples lives portrayed in an honest expression.
October 5, 2017
Wilson is the story of the prickly man played by Woody Harrelson who questions life and his life as well. This comedy has its moments but strangely it just doesn't hang together. And the the last third is just totally unrealistic as the story takes turns that just don't add up.
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