Home Viewing – Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close

Bottom Line: This ambitious 9/11 story falls short of what it needed to be. Far short.

The Gist: Oscar was a troubled boy even before his father was killed in the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001. A year later, he finds a key he believes his father left him. Starting out on a quest to solve the apparent mystery, Oscar travels the six (yes, six) buroughs of New York City, meeting others whose lives have been changed by the attacks and by, well, life.

The Verdict: Skip it. Although there are undeniably moving scenes, the movie fails in two major respects. First, Oscar is so annoying that it becomes hard to sympathize with him. He travels New York on his own and parents waver between the fear something bad will happen to him and the desire to send him for a long time out. Secondly, the film refuses to address the issue of evil in and around the attacks, preferring to make some sort of wounded World War II warrior parallel and press the point that war dehumanizes people. It’s a soft, feel-good attempt to account for actions that can only be explained by evil and feels incredibly false and extremely unsatisfying. Read our full review.

Be Aware: Rated PG-13 for thematic darkness, some disturbing images (of people falling off the twin towers and such things) and some language.

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