Critic Reviews



Based on 39 critic reviews provided by Metacritic.com
Fogelman clearly gets a thrill in constructing a tapestry full of one random tragedy after another (seriously, almost nothing good seems to happen to these people long term). And he also appears to love manipulating the audience’s emotions with these subsequent tragedies.
The Film Stage
There’s too much going on. Maybe if Fogelman had a season of television to delve into these characters’ connections and inject the vigor of Will’s chaotic mind into the quieter passages that follow, Life Itself could be great.
Screen International
Some of the wit and emotion strikes home and the longer we spend with individual characters the more their story resonates.
Dan Fogelman’s Life Itself packs in enough narrative twists and turns to leave viewers with a sense of emotional whiplash. One tragedy bleeds into another so often that the events begin to blur.
Though Life Itself is neither good nor “so bad it’s good,” it’s also such a bizarre, inexplicable film that it’s almost worth seeking out just to experience it for yourself. For those who want to watch a worthwhile family melodrama, however, just stick with This Is Us.
It’s contrived at every turn and talky like a French film, though 100 percent American indie in its earnest conviction that it’s saying something of substance about the unpredictable roller coaster of life and love.
It is sentimental and sprawling, which are not necessarily bad things, but also manipulative and contrived, which very much are.
Life Itself thinks you’re stupid. Or, if not stupid, unable to understand how a movie should work. It’s a movie made for people who can’t be trusted to understand any storytelling unless it’s not just spoon-fed but ladled on, piled high, and explained via montage and voiceover.
A vapid exercise in narrative kitsch that spans two languages and multiple decades and love stories.
You rarely get the sense of Fogelman’s characters being complex figures with internal lives – instead they’re merely there to smile weakly through whatever trauma their sadistic creator puts them through.

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