Box art for Old Joy

Old Joy

  • Rated NR

independent, special interest


Two old pals reunite for a camping trip in Oregon's Cascade Mountains.

Rotten Tomatoes® scores

  • Critic Score
    85%
  • Audience Score
    73%

movie reviews from Rotten Tomatoes®

  • Tomatometer®

    85%
    reviews counted: 29
    see all Old Joy reviews
  • Audience

    73%

Top Critic Reviews

Rotten: Let us say simply that Ms. Reichardt's brand of minimalism leaves me truly joyless.

- Andrew Sarris, New York Observer, Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Fresh: Captures the weary mood of a generation that's crested its peak along with an era, quietly making a case for how well suited film can be to capturing the finer points of human interaction while preserving their mystery.

- Carina Chocano, Los Angeles Times, Thursday, October 12, 2006

Rotten: Annoying, blank, and bereft of any narrative arc "Old Joy" has nothing familiar or enchanting to recommend it.

- Cole Smithey, ColeSmithey.com, Thursday, June 24, 2010

Audience Reviews

4 stars

The best way I can describe Old Joy is like this, at points in our lifetimes, our feelings change, simple feelings that effect the very core of what we are, it's part of our growth and development and sometimes it's not nice. Because it is often unpleasant, it's sometimes preferable that it be whispered in your ear, rather than shoved down your throat. Kelly Reichardt has depicted this perfectly in this short and gentle film. Even when very little is happening, there is always something nice to look at and Daniel London and Will Oldham play their parts with the subtlety and gentleness they require. I thoroughly enjoyed it and I'm looking forward to seeing more from Reichardt. I also now believe that every film should have a dog in it.

- SirPant, Wednesday, September 28, 2011

4 stars

The best way I can describe Old Joy is like this, at points in our lifetimes, our feelings change, simple feelings that effect the very core of what we are, it's part of our growth and development and sometimes it's not nice. Because it is often unpleasant, it's sometimes preferable that it be whispered in your ear, rather than shoved down your throat. Kelly Reichardt has depicted this perfectly in this short and gentle film. Even when very little is happening, there is always something nice to look at and Daniel London and Will Oldham play their parts with the subtlety and gentleness they require. I thoroughly enjoyed it and I'm looking forward to seeing more from Reichardt. I also now believe that every film should have a dog in it.

- SirPant, Wednesday, September 28, 2011

3 stars

This film was my first foray into the work of the well-respected Kelly Reichardt. If this film is any indication, I need to be ready for some serious introspection if I choose to go further. Although this film is very minimalistic, it tackles some pretty serious issues regarding the changing nature of friendships and the alienation that comes with growing old. It is a road picture in which the trip makes for a pretty interesting metaphor. No matter how you think a trip is going to turn out, there will always be some bumps in the road that you did not foresee. While some may be turned off by its languid pace, it is refreshingly and awkwardly honest. There are long stretches of silence between these characters and when they do converse, it is rather insipid dialogue. To capitalize on the emotional division between these two characters, Reichardt manages to keep these men in the same frame, but they couldn't seem any further apart. While a hearty dose of melodrama always spices up a good story, sometimes life isn't that way. In fact, silence far outweighs all of the words spoken in the world and it is interesting to see someone capture these moments in such a raw way. Am I eagerly awaiting this film's release on Blu-Ray? Of course not. But it is an honest look at friendship and something that isn't too often captured on film.

- axadntpron, Wednesday, July 6, 2011