Reviews - Labor Day (2013)
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Labor Day (2013)

Country: USA

Genres: Drama

Director: Jason Reitman

Writers: Jason Reitman, Joyce Maynard

Stars: Kate Winslet, Josh Brolin, Gattlin Griffith, Tobey Maguire, ...

A depressed mother's husband has left her for she could not bear a second child. Living alone with her only son, she has an unlikely meeting with an injured escaped convict, and reluctantly takes him into her own care. The man proves to be better than his criminal image as the three bond over Labor Day weekend. The only problem? Everyone in town is looking for him.

100 | 2014-01-29 | Rex Reed

It resonates with delicacy, passion and restraint, touching the heart in places where cynics fear to go.
Read More: New York Observer

90 | 2013-09-03 | Todd McCarthy

Reitman keeps a strong grip on all the aspects of the story to prevent it from becoming corny, unduly melodramatic or obvious.
Read More: The Hollywood Reporter

88 | 2014-01-31 | Steven Rea

It is a yarn. But it's so full of passion, poetry, and humor that it becomes, for the time, quite real.
Read More: Philadelphia Inquirer

88 | 2014-01-30 | Richard Roeper

Labor Day is an admittedly strange hybrid. Rarely have I seen such outrageous plot points executed with such lovely grace.
Read More: Chicago Sun-Times

83 | 2013-09-03 | Eric Kohn

There's a certain elegant simplicity to the movie's execution that maintains a spirit of familiarity but also keeps the material afloat.
Read More: indieWIRE

80 | 2014-03-17 | Dan Jolin

A tender, nostalgic and warm ‘family’ drama which also quietly seethes with the threat and tension of imminent danger. Labor Day shows a new side to Jason Reitman as a filmmaker, and we like it.
Read More: Empire

77 | 2013-09-03 | William Goss

Jason Reitman’s adaptation of Joyce Maynard’s Labor Day is as consistently assured a piece of filmmaking as any we’ve seen from the filmmaker and very much in keeping with the decreasingly glib nature of his output.
Read More: Film.com

75 | 2014-01-30 | Joe Williams

With Labor Day, director Jason Reitman turns a Nicholas Sparks scenario into an Alfred Hitchcock creep-show.
Read More: St. Louis Post-Dispatch

75 | 2014-01-30 | Lou Lumenick

Winslet and Brolin have wonderful chemistry together, and Reitman makes well-worn metaphors like steamy weather and pie making (the film has been embraced by the American Pie Council) seem newly invented.
Read More: New York Post

70 | 2013-12-26 | Betsy Sharkey

The film finds its footing as the weekend progresses and the temperature and tension — outside and in — rise.
Read More: Los Angeles Times

70 | 2013-09-03 | Peter Debruge

To the extent that Adele’s hunger for affection resonates with audiences, what emerges is a powerful — if implausible — romance.
Read More: Variety

67 | 2014-01-31 | Peter Rainer

We see him (Brolin) whip up a first-class chili, but his specialty is peach pie, which we watch him prepare so lovingly that I was surprised Reitman didn’t include the recipe in the end credits.
Read More: Christian Science Monitor

67 | 2014-01-30 | Lawrence Toppman

A melodrama that reaches the heart but hardly ever convinces the head.
Read More: Charlotte Observer

67 | 2014-01-30 | Louis Black

The film constantly plays against expectations. Reitman’s skilled direction of the superb cast allows the ridiculous to become poetic, the artificial to unfold naturally, the absurd to achieve a deep romantic resonance.
Read More: Austin Chronicle

63 | 2013-12-23 | R. Kurt Osenlund

A better film would have had the gumption to maintain the poetic bleakness, rather than steer toward what ultimately feels like safe compromise.
Read More: Slant Magazine

60 | 2014-03-18 | Cath Clarke

What keeps this out of Nicholas Sparks bumper-paperback territory are terrific performances and Reitman’s control of the drama.
Read More: Time Out London

60 | 2014-01-06 | Anthony Lane

You can love the look of the movie and still not believe a single word of it. To be fair, the climax is surprisingly touching; somehow, the residents of this cooked-up tale manage to earn our pity and support.
Read More: The New Yorker

60 | 2013-09-16 | Catherine Shoard

With its frank approach to the basics of human desire, its steady, intense focus on a small-town story which could have come straight from Douglas Sirk, Reitman's fifth feature appears to bear little resemblance the four that went before.
Read More: The Guardian

50 | 2014-02-06 | Connie Ogle

If you can get past the ludicrous fantasy — well, wait, that’s the problem. You can’t get past the ludicrous fantasy.
Read More: Miami Herald

50 | 2014-02-03 | Dana Stevens

A sluggish romantic drama
Read More: Slate

50 | 2014-02-03 | James Berardinelli

"Labor" isn't just a word in the title of Jason Reitman's new film, it's a description of what it feels like to sit through the movie.
Read More: ReelViews

50 | 2014-01-31 | Liam Lacey

I can’t pardon Labor Day’s mush, not just because it’s mush, but because it comes with an unappetizing side order of condescension and contempt.
Read More: The Globe and Mail (Toronto)

50 | 2014-01-31 | Peter Travers

The pie looks delicious, but Labor Day feels stale.
Read More: Rolling Stone

50 | 2014-01-30 | Steve Persall

It's all bathetic enough for Labor Day to be subtitled The Prisons of Madison County.
Read More: Tampa Bay Times

50 | 2014-01-30 | Ann Hornaday

It’s difficult to believe a word of Labor Day, but then again you don’t have to in order to luxuriate in Winslet and Brolin’s bubbling, steaming chemistry.
Read More: Washington Post

50 | 2014-01-30 | Mick LaSalle

This is win-win for everybody, but it's too win-win - a setup that short-circuits drama, that shoehorns a situation into a precooked formulation: He's a real prisoner and she's an emotional prisoner, and each offers the other the possibility of freedom.
Read More: San Francisco Chronicle

50 | 2014-01-30 | Marc Mohan

While it's nice to see Reitman try to branch out from the hip, acerbic humor of "Juno" and "Young Adult," his clumsiness with this more earnest material is an unpleasant surprise.
Read More: Portland Oregonian

50 | 2014-01-30 | Michael Phillips

Kate Winslet has such sound and reliable dramatic instincts (That Face doesn't hurt, either) she very nearly makes something of Adele.
Read More: Chicago Tribune

50 | 2014-01-30 | Bill Goodykoontz

Even with the talent involved, almost everything about Labor Day plays less like something you’d buy a ticket to watch and more like something you’d buy in an airport bookstore to read.
Read More: Arizona Republic

50 | 2014-01-29 | Roger Moore

For all its filmmaking care and care-worn performances, is nothing more than a beach book, inconsequential and utterly out of place in January.
Read More: McClatchy-Tribune News Service

50 | 2014-01-22 | Chris Nashawaty

With his latest film, the mawkish and melodramatic Labor Day, Reitman has done an unexpected about-face: He's ditched Wilder for Douglas Sirk. And the swap doesn't do him — or his fans — any favors.
Read More: Entertainment Weekly

50 | 2013-09-03 | Chris Willman

A full-immersion exercise in the old-fashioned women's weepie that skews far closer to Nicholas Sparks' brand of contrivance than Diablo Cody territory.
Read More: The Playlist

42 | 2014-01-29 | A.A. Dowd

Improbably, this saccharine melodrama comes courtesy of Jason Reitman, the Hollywood scion director who made "Juno" and "Up In The Air." Clearly, he’s chasing a change of pace, a hard right turn away from the sardonic redemption stories that have previously sported his byline and into the unfamiliar realm of Sirksian soap.
Read More: The A.V. Club

40 | 2014-01-31 | Bob Mondello

Labor Day may be filled with autumn's falling leaves, but it makes sense that they're bringing it out as a prelude to spring, for the sap — and I do mean sap — is rising.
Read More: NPR

40 | 2014-01-29 | Scott Tobias

Reitman has placed a not-unreasonable bet that sensual creatures like Winslet and Brolin can convey the passion necessary for their relationship to make sense, but the film carries itself too stiffly, like it’s so afraid of making the wrong choices that it doesn’t make any good ones.
Read More: The Dissolve

40 | 2014-01-28 | Joshua Rothkopf

The film will do until "Fifty Shades of Grey" turns up. The more you think about Labor Day, the more calculating it gets.
Read More: Time Out New York

40 | 2013-09-16 | Tim Robey

Though pristinely faithful to Maynard's book, it blurs inexorably into Nicholas Sparks.
Read More: The Telegraph

38 | 2014-01-31 | Christy Lemire

Actors of the caliber of Brolin and Winslet can do nothing but the best with what they're given, struggling to find nuance and humanity in romance-novel archetypes.
Read More: RogerEbert.com

38 | 2014-01-30 | Claudia Puig

Labor Day feels like a belabored, sappy slog.
Read More: USA Today

38 | 2014-01-30 | Ty Burr

The movie’s a somber affair, but if you see it in the right frame of mind, it’s the guilty-pleasure hoot of the season.
Read More: Boston Globe

30 | 2014-01-30 | Stephen Holden

The movie’s principal saving grace is Ms. Winslet’s convincing portrayal of Adele, a despairing woman of low self-esteem just a twitch away from a nervous breakdown. In almost every other respect, this overbaked romantic hokum is preposterous.
Read More: The New York Times

30 | 2014-01-30 | Joe Morgenstern

Labor Day, adapted from a novel by Joyce Maynard, is the kind of movie that turns clarity into stultification; everything is perfectly clear and almost everything — pie-making excepted — is perfectly lifeless.
Read More: Wall Street Journal

30 | 2014-01-28 | Amy Nicholson

Labor Day is so self-conscious and phony, it must be the work of a pod person. Humans, film lovers, and fans of Reitman's till-now-flawless filmography: We've gotta fight back.
Read More: Village Voice