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Old Joy

20joy When old friends Mark (Daniel London) and Kurt (Will Oldham) embark on a weekend camping trip in the Oregon Cascades, they find themselves exploring much more than nature in this meditation on friendship, memory and generational malaise. As the men journey deeper into the wilderness -- first losing, and then finding, their way -- they struggle to find common ground in the divergent paths they've chosen.
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Netflix Rating: 2.6
NYT Critics' Pick
Two old friends drive out of Portland, Ore., one day and into a strained reunion in Kelly Reichardt's "Old Joy," a triumph of modesty and of seriousness that also happens to be one of the finest American films of the year. Read the review
Rotten Tomatoes® Scores
85%  
74%
 
Movie Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes®

See all Old Joy Reviews

 
Old Joy may be built around a road trip, but it's also a movie about two roads -- and two souls -- diverging.
Steve Murray, Atlanta Journal-Constitution  full review
 
You may find yourself asking whether anything's going to happen. But for those who can tolerate a slow-brewing movie, [director] Reichardt's work provides sufficient rewards.
Robert Denerstein, Denver Rocky Mountain News
 
Subdued, artistic, with beautifully nuanced performances that are as true as they are often elusive of commercial triumph.
Lisa Kennedy, Denver Post  full review
 
At just 76 minutes, Old Joy is a minimalist film, but illuminating, bittersweet, gentle and deeply alive.
Colin Covert, Minneapolis Star Tribune
 
The movie captures gorgeous mountain scenery with the simplicity of an Ozu film. It also benefits from the naturalistic performances.
John Monaghan, Detroit Free Press  full review
 
It plays for a scant 73 minutes, but if feels as long as a Wagner opera.
Richard Nilsen, Arizona Republic  full review
 
The real resonance of Reichardt's at once lean and profound little movie is that, without saying anything directly, it can seem to say so much.
Geoff Pevere, Toronto Star  full review
 
Wise, resonant and genuinely special.
Jason Anderson, Globe and Mail  full review
 
Old Joy's not-going- anywhere-ness is a big part of its charm.
Steven Rea, Philadelphia Inquirer
 
Fresh as spring water and warm as sunlight, it steeps us in the beauties we will always miss, if we keep dividing the world into winners and losers.
Michael Wilmington, Chicago Tribune  full review
 
The movie explores the increasingly coarse line between nostalgia and acceptance for the way things are, without exclamatory revelation and uproarious self-pity. It's Sideways for realists.
Wesley Morris, Boston Globe  full review
 
Slow moving but ultimately quite touching.
Ruthe Stein, San Francisco Chronicle  full review
 
It feels so real it hurts, and it's the perfect antidote to all those movies where all sorts of stuff blows up.
Stephen Hunter, Washington Post  full review
 
Captures the weary mood of a generation that's crested its peak along with an era, quietly making a case for how well suited film can be to capturing the finer points of human interaction while preserving their mystery.
Carina Chocano, Los Angeles Times  full review
 
Let us say simply that Ms. Reichardt's brand of minimalism leaves me truly joyless.
Andrew Sarris, New York Observer
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