(I) (2019)

Critic Reviews

44

Metascore

Based on 7 critic reviews provided by Metacritic.com
75
“The Friend” is successfully anchored by its three leading players ... The sensitivity of these performances, particularly from Affleck and Segel, offers a reckoning on sincere friendship and the limits of devotion that remains with the viewer, long after the days of waiting and the years of pain have finally come to an end.
70
A handsome, earnest drama ... This is a tasteful, respectful and thoughtful film about what it means to be a true friend in the darkest of times.
70
It succeeds by sticking closely to the important specifics ... It’s a small-scale human story, precious few of which make it to film these days. It’s also, if you’re in the market for that kind of thing, an extremely effective tearjerker.
50
An honest but insistently scattershot true-life tearjerker ... Most of the fault lies with the fragmented, nonlinear structure “The Friend” uses to approximate the flowing nature of the Esquire piece.
40
While the screenwriter, Brad Ingelsby, does root us in the minutiae of the trio’s day-to-day, it’s never in particularly interesting ways, and over an indulgent 135-minute runtime, we gradually grow tired of them, often questioning exactly why we need to know so much about their lives.
30
Overlaying the drama with the false cheer of lively music and bouts of humor, the story feels out of touch with the very emotions it desperately tries to evoke. Neither tearjerker nor very affecting drama, it defaults to somewhere in the middle.
30
So much of the unpleasantness has been scrubbed from the picture, until what remains is precisely the kind of dishonest, sanitized no-help-to-anyone TV-movie version of death that inspired Teague to set the record straight in the first place.

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