Ben Stiller Gets Serious in Decent Greenberg
Squid and the Whale director does nice job with tough material
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 19, 2010 1:28 PM CDT

(Newser) – Ben Stiller takes a serious turn playing an angsty 40-something in Greenberg, the latest from The Squid and the Whale's Noah Baumbach, and the film gets mostly solid reviews:

  • J. Hoberman, Village Voice: "The style is observational, the drama is understated, and, when the time comes, it knocks you out with the subtlest of badda-booms."
  • Emanuel Levy, EmanuelLevy.com: "A star is born: The main reason to see Greenberg is not Ben Stiller, who has played similar parts before, but a new, gorgeous actress named Greta Gerwig, who has so far made a mark in a number of small indies."

  • Betsy Sharkey, Los Angeles Times: "Much of the spot-on nuance the filmmaker brought to Squid has gone missing. In Greenberg, it's sometimes difficult to figure out whether it's (Stiller's character) or Baumbach who has lost his way."
  • David Denby, New Yorker: Baumbach handles tough material "with assurance. ... Honorably, the movie is not the usual rigid-arc fable of redemption."