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

3 stars

Even more minimalistic than Reichardt's follow-up, Wendy & Lucy. Still, it was a satisfying experience.

- robfearon, Friday, May 7, 2010

2 stars

When Kelly Reichardt hits it, she really hits it with great personal tales and nuanced performances. When she doesn't, you get nuanced boredom. Like Meek's Cutoff, this one falls into the latter category.

- fb721890245, Wednesday, July 3, 2013

4 stars

In the Pacific Northwest, two former college roommates, Mark and Kurt, reunite for a weekend trip to a remote and somewhat mystical Oregon hot spring. They were once free thinkers, postmodern hippies always stoned and at one with nature. These days, Mark is at the tipping point of letting that part of himself go forever and settling into a comfy, suburban lifestyle. Kurt hasn't just retained that carefree part of himself; it has defined his life as an unemployed drifter. What other history they share is pure speculation, as, for a quiet 76 minutes, we watch them meet, drive, get drunk, have a meal, finally locate the fabled hot spring, and then return to civilization. The dialogue is spare but filled with pain as these two floundering companions realize how far they've grown apart and attempt to reconnect with a beautiful earth that they may or may not take in as joyfully as they should. Part character study and part meditative nature film, it rewards patience in spades with images and observations that will linger in the mind long, long after the closing credits roll. Super bonus -- Yo La Tengo's gorgeous minimalist score is, like the movie, an invigorating walk in the crisp autumn woods.

- jeffriguez, Tuesday, June 26, 2007