A substitute teacher (Adrien Brody) and a principal (Marcia Gay Harden) are among those trying to maintain their sanity in the face of a crumbling high-school environment.
" The movie's motives might be admirable, but its execution is so bogged down in impenetrable old-white-guy self-pity that the real problems facing public education and its practitioners get buried in the wallow. "
" Detachment gets to you. It hits hard. "
" It wants to be an expose of the pervasive horrors of modern life. Instead, it just forces us to detach as well. "
" It's nice to see righteous anger in a movie. If only the education drama "Detachment" knew what to do with it. "
" Adrien Brody, one of the weirdest looking actors of the millennium, plays Henry Barthes, a man so emotionally blocked by a lifetime of disillusion that he cannot connect with any other human being. "
" Harrowing depiction of the American educational system features a superb performance by Adrien Brody. "
" Even at its most ludicrous - when it is shouting into your ear - its sheer audacity grabs your attention. "
" Everywhere you turn in Detachment, someone is trying to make you feel like hell. "
" Brody is brilliant, but can't save the Book of Job proceedings from tilting over into the ludicrous. "
" The movie is one big scream, cliched and hardly credible as an oblique call to civility. "
" Despite many nameable flaws, [it] is a wrenching and powerful achievement... "
" [Brody] is undermined by a bloated script (from Carl Lund, a former public-school teacher) that lumbers him with bloviating asides about how we have failed our children. "
" Detachment gets an A for enthusiasm but a C for execution. "
" A loud, grating wallow in dime-store despair. "
" The film is guilty of reverse sentimentality, where the relentless unhappiness comes to seem as manufactured and artificial as the schmaltz in a romcom. "
" There's something weirdly effective about the artistic desperation, which includes inserts of chalkboard animation and to-the-camera testimonials. "
" The movie works, and, though it cries out against so much, you sense that the one thing it does not cry is wolf. "
" Brody, as the semi-fallen idealist, has a haggard eloquence, and Tim Blake Nelson, Christina Hendricks, and James Caan, as his colleagues, act out a bitterly funny spectrum of desolation. "
" "Detachment" quickly gets stuck in its own world-weariness. "
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