Collateral Beauty

Collateral Beauty


Collateral Beauty.  Rating:  2 (out of 5).  After a tragedy struck, a man retreats from life and begins to question the universe. And so he writes to Love, Time, and Death, and receives unexpected answers. The movie premieres on VOD on Tuesday, March 14.  The Wall Street Journal calls the film “A movie that means to be uplifting but turns out to be insufferable.”

Starring: Ann Dowd, Edward Norton, Helen Mirren, Jacob Latimore, Kate Winslet, Keira Knightley, Michael Peña, Naomie Harris, Will Smith
Director: David Frankel
Rating: PG-13
Genre: Drama, Romance



The New York Times says, “Many of the words that I would like to use to describe this waste of talent and time…can’t be lobbed in a family publication. So, instead, I will just start by throwing out some permissible insults: artificial, clichéd, mawkish, preposterous, incompetent, sexist, laughable, insulting.”

Village Voice finds, “Maybe you’ll be at a dinner. Maybe nobody will believe you. Or maybe they will, and someone will say, “Hollywood is terrible at making movies about trauma.”“

Entertainment Weekly gives the film a C- rating, and further notes, “For all good Intentions, they can’t save a movie that so clearly wants to be something greater– It’s a Will-derful Life? Grief, Actually?—but mostly ends up a Collateral mess.”

New York Post thinks, “The Will Smith weepie Collateral Beauty couldn’t be more calculated and manipulative if it slapped you on the back, shoved a giant lollipop into your mouth and immediately tried to sell you a time share in Tampa.”

Wall Street Journal calls the film “A movie that means to be uplifting but turns out to be insufferable.”

Boston Globe writes, “Too well-meaning and too infused with genuine poignancy from Smith and Harris for the film to be dismissed as just a trigger for our snark reflex. But it’s a shame that the tears Smith sheds aren’t serving a better conceived story.”

According to The Seattle Times, “Collateral Beauty is a pretty terrible movie, but it left me with one overarching thought: My life, and surely yours, too, would be vastly improved if only Helen Mirren were perpetually lurking nearby, offering advice.”

Variety says, “By the end of Collateral Beauty, you’d have to have a heart of stone for the film not to get to you a bit, but even if it does, you may still feel like you’ve been played.”

Chicago Sun-Times finds, “Collateral Beauty is a fraud. It is built on a foundation so contrived, so off-putting, so treacly, the most miraculous thing about this movie is this movie was actually made.”

The Hollywood Reporter thinks, “Audiences who enjoy smiling through tears, and don’t mind having their buttons pushed in the most obvious ways, could probably do a lot worse.”

USA Today gives the film 1.5 out of 4 stars, and further notes, “It’s a familiar theme indeed but one that hits a sour note with the tearjerking drama Collateral Beauty.”

Los Angeles Times writes, “This movie doesn’t rise to the level of so-bad-it’s-good. But no less impressively, perhaps, it’s just bad enough that you actually wish it were worse.”

According to Chicago Tribune, “Collateral Beauty is much more shallow nonsense than anything else.”

San Francisco Chronicle thinks, ““Collateral Beauty” is warm, fuzzy, lousy and likable. The cast is surprising.”

Washington Post says, “The movie manages to be simultaneously superficial and heartbreaking. That’s no easy feat — nor is it a laudable one.”

Arizona Republic finds, “This wildly distasteful premise is meant to be cute and enlightening, like a modern Frank Capra flick, but this is hardly “It’s a Wonderful Life.” Instead, the movie keeps tripping over itself.”

St. Louis Post-Dispatch gives the movie 2.5 out of 4 stars, and further notes, “Collateral Beauty is based on a premise so preposterous that the film shouldn’t work. But the illusion of credibility is sustained just well enough to keep things from falling apart.”

Austin Chronicle thinks, “Collateral Beauty is ultimately as mushy a movie as the phrase itself, whose definition is never fully explained by the script. It’s another example of something sounding good but meaning little.”

Charlotte Observer gives the movie 3 stars, and further notes, “Many critics will complain about emotional manipulation, but I share Roger Ebert’s view: “Some people like to be emotionally manipulated. I do, when it’s done well.” I think “Beauty” does it well.”

The Telegraph observes, “I still can’t quite believe it exists, though I may yet find myself shouting about it on the street.”

The Globe and Mail gives the film 2 out of 4 stars, and further writes, “Perhaps inspired by A Christmas Carol, the tear-jerking and star-studded Collateral Beauty will appeal to sentimentalists and suckers for platitudes, while those with more discerning tastes will wonder what the Dickens this film is trying to say.”

The Guardian says, “This horrifyingly yucky, toxically cutesy ensemble dramedy creates a Chernobyl atmosphere of manipulative sentimentality, topped off with an ending which M Night Shyamalan might reject as too ridiculous.”

Consequence of Sound finds, “It is not a bad film because of its sincerity of intention. It’s a bad film because it manages to make that sincerity feel disingenuous as it goes on, more and more so with each passing scene.”

Empire Online gives the movie 2 out of 5 stars, and further writes, “In a month of A Monster Calls and Manchester By The Sea, Collateral Beauty serves up a hollow portrait of grief. Despite its quality cast and slick visuals, the result is sombre and saccharine rather than uplifting.”

Indiewire thinks, “With the bizarre way Whit and his crew talk about numbers and money, Collateral Beauty is just another story about spoiled rich people.”

Movie Nation gives the film 2 out of 4 stars, and further notes, “All “Collateral” amounts to is a shiny film that invites you to lose yourself in the romance of great faces, made up to perfection, misty-eyed with sympathy and affection.”

ReelViews observes, “Pretentious and manipulative, the movie bludgeons viewers with its new age philosophizing and its desire to be considered meaningful.” gives the movie 1.5 stars, and further notes, “This is “Collateral Schmaltz,” the kind that has the power to close rather than open your heart as you rush out of the theater while the terribly named OneRepublic ballad, “Let’s Hurt Tonight,” provides exit music.    “

Rolling Stone thinks, “The unholy mess that director David Frankel and screenwriter Allan Loeb have unleashed for the holidays strands an all-star cast…on a sinking ship that churns the waters from absurd to zombified with frequent stops at pretentious.”

According to Screen International, “Collateral Beauty never manages to shake off its all-too-deliberate air or willingness to follow the easiest path. Its life lessons are packaged with cloying, overt mawkishness which aren’t quite the feel-good home run Frankel seems to expect.”

A.V. Club gives the film a D rating, and further writes, “Collateral Beauty is one of those cloying movies about learning to take the good with the bad that feels like it was made by aliens with little grasp of human life.”

ScreenCrush says, “So many of the decisions by director David Frankel and writer Allan Loeb make absolutely no sense.”

The Film Stage gives the movie a D rating, and further notes, “Collateral Beauty is soggy garbage intended to make you cry, but it’s so clumsy in its manipulations that you almost feel sorry for it, the way you would if you realized the mugger trying to take your money was holding a fake knife and was actually two kids in a trench coat. You thought this would work? You would think. Bless your dumb heart.”

According to TheWrap, “Collateral Beauty is certainly a case of outright sentimental damage, not beauty, but of course the word collateral also means money that can be bargained with, and hopefully that’s what the ill-fated cast of this picture received in some abundance.”

Time says, “Every so often there comes a movie so tasteless, so nakedly pandering, so bodaciously ill conceived that you’ve got to see it to believe it. This year, that movie is Collateral Beauty.”

The Playlist gives the film a C+ rating, and further writes, ““Collateral Beauty” isn’t nearly as superficial as it could’ve easily been, but it’s also largely forgettable. Bearing the marks of a manufactured Hollywood product, in a time when real feeling both inside and outside the multiplex is being widely shared, it makes this overwrought drama ring extra hollow.”

Time Out New York finds, “It’s just impossible to get past the core ridiculousness and arm-twisting manipulation of the plot.”

Total Film thinks, “A-list sad-faces abound in a film where absurd concept is rivalled only by banal execution.”

According to We Got This Covered, “Collateral Beauty is a Hallmark tear-jerker in the worst way, so out of tune with human emotion that it almost becomes satire.”

Slant Magazine gives the film 0.5 out of 4 stars, and further writes, “David Frankel’s film argues that the power of miracles can be manufactured by those who can fund them.”


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