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Irrational Man

Mystery . Drama . Comedy

On a small town college campus, a philosophy professor in existential crisis gives his life new purpose when he enters into a relationship with his student.

Actors: Emma Stone , Joaquin Phoenix , Jamie Blackley , Parker Posey , Meredith Hagner , Ethan Phillips , David Aaron Baker , Susan Pourfar , Tamara Hickey , Joe Stapleton , Nancy Carroll
Directors: Woody Allen
Country: USA
Release: 2015-07-17
More Info:
  • David Rooney

    Allen's dialogue is witty, his plotting zings along with forward momentum in all the right places, and his observation of elastic moral principles in flux is both mischievous and unsettling, yielding a tasty final-act Hitchcockian twist.

    The Hollywood Reporter Full Review
  • Richard Roeper

    [A] dark and wickedly funny and sometimes flat-out wiggy little number.

    Chicago Sun-Times Full Review
  • Richard Brody

    When the Dostoyevskian drama kicks in, Allen’s venomous speculations take over, and bring to the fore a tangle of ghostly conundrums and ferocious ironies, as if the director, nearing eighty, already had one foot in the next world and were looking back at this one with derision and rue.

    The New Yorker Full Review
  • Mark Olsen

    Irrational Man never does make sense of the inscrutable Abe, just as most people, Allen included, remain mysteries to themselves and others. This finally reveals the film to be neither comedy nor drama, but an all too human horror story where the monster is within.

    Los Angeles Times Full Review
  • Scott Foundas

    Allen’s visual direction and editing rhythms are particularly sharp and precise this time around, as is his work with the actors.

    Variety Full Review
  • Graham Fuller

    Irrational Man heads to one of the most startling pieces of action he’s ever filmed. It hints where he stands now as a moralist or cynic in a corrupt world.

    Screen International Full Review
  • Marjorie Baumgarten

    Woody Allen generates films with such rapidity and inconsistency that you can never be certain if this season’s offering will be a hit or a miss. I’m happy to report that Irrational Man is a delight.

    Austin Chronicle Full Review
  • Calvin Wilson

    Phoenix is perfectly cast as the ethically problematic Abe, whose novel approach to lifting himself out of an existential funk lends the story its suspense.

    St. Louis Post-Dispatch Full Review
  • Rene Rodriguez

    A wobbly enterprise saddled by stilted dialogue and convenient contrivances. But view it as a Woody Allen film, and the plot thickens.

    Miami Herald Full Review
  • Peter Travers

    Allen has crafted a suspenseful mind-teaser that might feel too much like an intellectual exercise if Phoenix and Stone didn't infuse it with raw humanity. The conceptual bubble Allen creates in Irrational Man is potent provocation built to keep you up nights.

    Rolling Stone Full Review
  • Eric Kohn

    If the genre elements sustain the work as a whole, the plot suffers from the meandering quality that frequently plagues late period Allen work. Still, the filmmaking finds its groove in individual moments.

    indieWIRE Full Review
  • Andrew O'Hehir

    Let’s give Allen full credit, by the way, for casting Posey as this wounded, sexy and emotionally rich middle-aged woman, a character enormously more interesting than Jill. Full Review
  • Amy Nicholson

    It works better than most of Allen's recent films because it's a trifle without pretense, and because the director's finally smartened up — a little — right when everyone's written him off.

    Village Voice Full Review
  • Peter Rainer

    Allen isn’t doing anything terribly deep-dish here, just gussying up the standard crime-movie tropes. To what end? His point, I think, is to demonstrate that human beings, no matter how educated, are capable of justifying the most awful acts.

    Christian Science Monitor Full Review
  • Rex Reed

    At an obvious crossroads in his life, Woody Allen has been thinking about guilt, morality, consciousness and the limitations of the intellect. I wish he had done it in a more entertaining and satisfying film than Irrational Man.

    New York Observer Full Review
  • Steve Macfarlane

    Woody Allen and Joaquin Phoenix's collaboration on Irrational Man's antihero is the closest the film gets to a saving grace.

    Slant Magazine Full Review
  • Ian Freer

    A thriller in the key of Woody. The “same old, same old” but still entertaining.

    Empire Full Review
  • Dave Calhoun

    There’s something sloppy and sluggish about ‘Irrational Man’, even by Allen’s patchy standards.

    Time Out London Full Review
  • Dave Calhoun

    It all feels pretty familiar: the tortured genius, the younger woman, the plot taking a suffocating turn, murder as an existential debate, the world increasingly closing in on our antihero. But there’s something sloppy and sluggish about Irrational Man, even by Allen’s uneven standards.

    Time Out New York Full Review
  • David Edelstein

    Woody Allen’s philosophical thriller Irrational Man is irrationally entertaining. It shouldn’t work. It’s laughably plotted and sketchily written. Intellectually, it’s jejune — or at least high in jejunosity. But if you can manage to keep your eye-rolling in check, you might find yourself getting into it.

    New York Magazine (Vulture) Full Review
  • Manohla Dargis

    The horror of where rationalism can lead (the death camps, for one) hangs over Irrational Man and helps hold you as does Mr. Phoenix, even with some bad writing and Mr. Allen’s narrative laxity and lack of interest in how real people live.

    The New York Times Full Review
  • Chris Nashawaty

    Allen isn’t completely on autopilot here. There are a couple of sharp, sting-in-the-tail twists near the end, and Phoenix is at least interesting. But Irrational Man would be lesser Woody even if we hadn’t seen most of it before.

    Entertainment Weekly Full Review
  • Ignatiy Vishnevetsky

    Though Irrational Man’s existentialist moral crisis is mostly hokum, the movie still has a whiff of charm, thanks to a handful of good one-liners, a little misdirection, and Phoenix’s off-kilter performance, which completely ignores the rhythm of Allen’s speech in favor of naturalistic mojo.

    The A.V. Club Full Review
  • Gregory Ellwood

    His characters may spout Kant and debate the ethics of different human interactions, but it's only sugar coating on top of what is effectively a simple and familiar story.

    Hitfix Full Review
  • Peter Keough

    In the end, this feeble effort remains tainted, however unfairly, by the creator’s personal life. Maybe Allen should have titled it “Rationalizing Man.”

    Boston Globe Full Review
  • Ann Hornaday

    Irrational Man isn’t a comedy. There are, however, moments that invite rueful chuckles of recognition, especially when Posey’s character is giving Abe the business. She strikes a welcome madcap note in what is otherwise a series of bland medium shots of people talking.

    Washington Post Full Review
  • Bill Goodykoontz

    Allen builds to a climax that is ridiculous and a comment on … I don’t know. Fate? Folly? There are plenty of both in Irrational Man, but they’re not often a comfortable mix.

    Arizona Republic Full Review
  • Michael Phillips

    Irrational Man is full of holes. Abe's supposed to be a disillusioned activist, yet that side of him is so half-assedly developed, it's as if Allen himself didn't believe it.

    Chicago Tribune Full Review
  • Joe Morgenstern

    Ms. Stone is a consistent delight, whether thanks to or in spite of the script’s flirtations with self-parody. But Irrational Man isn’t funny either. It’s a Woody Allen film that the next one will make us forget.

    Wall Street Journal Full Review
  • Roger Moore

    Only Posey lightens up and lights up Irrational Man, which, for all its hectoring faults, is still a “Woody Allen Film,” and thus not a total write-off. At least the Newport, Rhode Island and environs locations are fresh.

    Movie Nation Full Review
  • Mike Scott

    For all of its faults, Irrational Man is a passable diversion at worst. While that's certainly not what Allen was aiming for, when you're talking about Woody Minor, it's enough. Barely, but enough.

    New Orleans Times-Picayune Full Review
  • Tim Robey

    Allen has worked wonders in the past with superficially similar moral tales, but this one’s a sketchy rehash.

    The Telegraph Full Review
  • John Bleasdale

    Both leads produce solid performances despite a sloppiness in both the direction and the writing.

    CineVue Full Review
  • Peter Bradshaw

    Irrational Man is a good idea, a sketch for a movie, but the movie itself is unrealised.

    The Guardian Full Review
  • Lawrence Toppman

    Plotting has never been writer-director Allen’s strong point, and the story falls apart. It depends on coincidences that are unlikely individually and ridiculous together.

    Charlotte Observer Full Review
  • Matt Zoller Seitz

    It is not merely a bad film. It is a collection of notes for a film that never quite evolved to the rough draft stage, much less cohered into a finished movie. That makes it more dispiriting than other notorious Woody Allen misfires. Full Review
  • Inkoo Kang

    Phoenix’s transformation from a scotch-soaked pile of tweed into a homicidally self-righteous ubermensch is fun to watch, but Allen too frequently loses sight of the story he’s telling.

    TheWrap Full Review
  • Jessica Kiang

    It's not funny enough to be a comedy, not well plotted enough to be a thriller but it's also not smart enough to be an actual exploration of all or even any of the many philosophies it, and Abe Lucas, espouses.

    The Playlist Full Review
  • Marc Mohan

    Allen's movies, even at their lowest, have usually boasted interesting musical scores, melding jazz, classical, and American standards. Irrational Man, though, uses The Ramsey Lewis Trio's "The 'In' Crowd," an already overexposed riff, so repetitively that I thought I was seeing the film with a temp soundtrack. The real Woody, whatever his flaws, would never have allowed this. I hope he comes back someday.

    Portland Oregonian Full Review
  • Nathalie Atkinson

    Not merely a bore, it’s excruciating.

    The Globe and Mail (Toronto) Full Review
  • Mick LaSalle

    Every so often he inflicts something like Irrational Man on the world, which is so awful you have to wonder if Allen wrote it himself or farmed it out to some look-alike cousin out to destroy him.

    San Francisco Chronicle Full Review
  • Joe Neumaier

    Irrational Man plays, like so much of Woody Allen’s work over the past 20 years, like a bad Woody Allen parody.

    New York Daily News Full Review
  • Lou Lumenick

    Irrational Man is so clumsily staged and lethargically paced that it makes such clunkers as “Small Time Crooks” and “Cassandra’s Dream” look like minor classics.

    New York Post Full Review
Add Soundtrack
  • 9. Prelude & Fugue No. 18 in G Sharp Minor, BWV 863 Performer: Bernard Roberts Stream Music Online
  • 12. Suite no 1 for unaccompanied cello in G Major, BWV 1007: Prelude Performer: Torleif Thedeen Stream Music Online