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Julia Roberts, Jude Law, Natalie Portman, Clive Owen, Nick Hobbs ... see more see more... , Colin Stinton , Jaclynn Tiffany Brown , Michael Haley , Peter Rnic , Steve Benham , Steve Morphew

Set in contemporary London, a story of passion, drama, love, and abandonment involving four strangers--their chance meetings, instant attractions and casual betrayals.

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81% liked it

241,001 ratings


68% liked it

203 critics

DVD Release Date: March 29, 2005

Stats: 16,368 reviews

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Flixster Reviews (16,368)

  • May 20, 2007
    Hello stranger. Depressingly adult anti-romance.

    Compare with the the similarly themed and entertaining Carnal Knowledge for a look at what I think is director Mike Nichols losing a step or two - actually impressively little for 33 years down the road.
  • September 8, 2014
    Once in a lifetime a film/play like this comes up, one that works as a true mirror to our own faults, flaws and vices, embodied by four fascinating, multidimensional protagonists who hurt and manipulate one another, using their words as cruel weapons and revealing their innermost... read more weaknesses in the process.
  • February 21, 2014
    I don't quite remember this film. Watched it a long time ago. Not particularly memorable I suppose.
  • October 4, 2011
    Based on a play (and written by that play's creator), this is a film about love, lust, relationships, betrayal, and a generalization about some, but not all, facets of human sexuality and desire.

    It covers a period of several years and follows four people who all start as stran... read moregers with one another, but end up tightly connected (and disconnected) over and over again. It's a good concept, and a lot of it works, but I feel like this was better as a stage play sense it really doesn't come off as all that cinematic in its execution. Also, it's rather pretentious and I'm not sure if this is quite what it really could have been.It makes some good statements about the human condition, but I was left a little underwhelmed.

    I will give this film a lot of credit and say that it does have some sharp writing, great dialogue, and some fantastic performances. It has a few scenes that are just absolutely fantastic and rather devastating, but I also feel like this film could have been far edgier, scathing, and really do the topic justice.

    As I mentioned above, the acting is great. All of the four mains are firing on all cylinders, yet it's the two women who really shine here, mostly because they are each playing characters that help them shed certain images and reputations they have acquired. That's not to say that the men don't excel, because they do. The men just don't have the better roles (but each does get a few really good moments with their roles).

    People seem to love this movie, but I just can't get onto that bandwagon. It's good, really good at times, but I feel like it's a watered down version of what it could have been. I was left underwhelmed, slightly dissatisfied, and hoping that the statements the film tried to make would really blow me away instead of being mostly interesting but not much more. Still, the film does have its moments, so that's why I'm still giving it a mild pass.
  • June 23, 2011
    Quite a sexy film. Weird and unusual but the film is well written. A must see!
  • February 1, 2011
    Mike Nichols directs a well observed and witty study of relationships based on the love quadrangle between two couples. Far from the usual sentimental drivel you'd expect from Hollywood style films about "romance", this movie which although can seem a little overly self conscious... read more in places, does have the kind of brutal honesty that superficially seems the antithesis. These lovers are in turns selfish, manipulative, spiteful and pathetic; just like real people. Jude Law is the perfect choice for playing a smug, self-involved asshole, Owen treads the fine line between likability and self righteous nastiness as does Portman's beautiful but emotionally needy bimbo. And Julia Roberts is inevitably Julia Roberts. At the end of the day you're still just watching a bunch of pretentious, priveleged, pretty people back stab each other and as such is not really my kind of thing, but if you're ever emotionally blackmailed by your other half into having to sit through a film about *cringe* "relationships" then this is far from the most painful. I am a man, after all...
  • January 23, 2011
    Fantasic film! I knew very little about this film going into it, so I had no idea what to expect. What I found was an intense, tragic story of the relatonships of four people. The story takes place over a period of many years, so the films jumps around alot, but I never felt lost... read more at all. The story was so brilliantly executed that I was completely taken in by it.

    The actors really added to this feeling. Natalie Portman and Clive Owen both give phenomenal performances, both worthy of Oscar noms. It was nice to see Natalie Portman's first "adult" I can't wait to see her performance in Black Swan. Jude Law and Julia Roberts also give great performances. The acting in this film is fantastic and really adds to to complexity of the story. Yes, the characters piss me off like no other, but the performances add a sense of realism to the story, allowing for the audience to feel sad for the characters too.

    This is a very tragic, depressing story about "love." The thing I love about this film is how real it feels. Each character truly seems as if they could live near me, it's quite fantastic to watch. The script is brilliant, acting is phenomenal, story is tragic and real, the emotion is intense. This is a great film...not an easy film to watch with out being touched by it. I love it!
  • January 13, 2011
    Brutally candid in its treatment of love, lust, loneliness, and loss. Cited the play in my paper "Contemporary Drama Meets 20th Century Loose Mamas." Showed end of Anna and Larry's fight scene at an academic conference to illustrate how in modern society, it's not just the act... read more of adultery that dominates but the verbal vitriol with which it is told. Went over well :~P

    Unclear: does Alice/Jane die at the end? She does in the play, but I had always assumed the last scene in the movie was just a pretty "can't take your eyes off of her" bookend. Upon rewatch, Justin pointed out that the pedestrian light is red as she crosses the street, perhaps foreshadowing her imminent demise. If so, Nichols could have made a slightly bigger deal about it - a slow-mo onrush of concerned passersby, crowding towards the bottom of the screen as the scene fades out.
  • January 4, 2011
    Perfectly written, perferctly directed, perfectly acted.
  • December 23, 2010
    The most realistic romance movie ever created with 4 amazing casts : Julia Roberts, Jude Law, Natalie Portman, and Clive Owen. The relationship between 4 people become more and more complicated in the movie. It's not a love triangle anymore, but quadrangle. Another not-so-ordinar... read morey kind of hollywood movie that offers smart performances. Mike Nichols gave us the darkest love story ever told.

Critic Reviews

Todd McCarthy
March 19, 2009
Todd McCarthy, Variety

Like dramas by Pinter and others, what seems trenchant and perfectly pitched in the theater can come off as arch even when skillfully transferred to film. Full Review

Dave Calhoun
June 24, 2006
Dave Calhoun, Time Out

Owen and Portman give excellent, committed performances, leaving Law and Roberts in the shade. Full Review

Scott Tobias
September 26, 2005
Scott Tobias, AV Club

Closer, a lacerating four-character suite on the elusiveness of love and intimacy, finds Nichols returning to his roots without having lost his sardonic edge. Full Review

Peter Travers
March 7, 2005
Peter Travers, Rolling Stone

Vibrates with eroticism, bruising laughs and dynamite performances from four attractive actors doing decidedly unattractive things.

Terry Lawson
December 11, 2004
Terry Lawson, Detroit Free Press

If it makes you uncomfortable, or leaves you disturbed, it has only done its job. Full Review

Robert Denerstein
December 11, 2004
Robert Denerstein, Denver Rocky Mountain News

Closer has lots to offer: smart performances, archly funny dialogue and a feeling for the way a group of strangers can become so familiar that they're apt to rip one another to shreds.

Lou Lumenick
December 11, 2004
Lou Lumenick, New York Post

Impeccably acted and directed -- but quite icy.

David Ansen
December 11, 2004
David Ansen, Newsweek

[A] chilly, caustic, foul-mouthed anatomy of modern romance. Full Review

Ken Tucker
December 11, 2004
Ken Tucker, New York Magazine/Vulture

Nichols is back, his instincts for intimacy as cutting as ever... Full Review

Colin Covert
December 11, 2004
Colin Covert, Minneapolis Star Tribune

There's not an American filmmaker who better understands the scheming perversity and self-deception lurking beneath our passions. Full Review

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    • Larry: She has the moronic of beauty of youth, but she's sly.
    • Alice: I don't want to lie. I can't tell the truth. So it's over.
    • Dan: When I get back, please tell me the truth.
    • Alice: Why?
    • Dan: Because I'm addicted to it. Because without it, we're animals. Trust me.
    • Alice: Where is this love? I can't see it, I can't touch it. I can't feel it. I can hear it. I can hear some words, but I can't do anything with your easy words.
    • Alice: I am the one who leaves.
    • Larry: What does your cum taste like?
    • Alice: Heaven.

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