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6,448 Ratings

The Squid and the Whale

Directed by Noah Baumbach
United States, 2005
Comedy, Drama


With excruciating honesty, Noah Baumbach’s acclaimed third feature—which marked a turn toward an increasingly personal style—chronicles the experiences of two young brothers growing up in 1980s Park Slope, Brooklyn, as they navigate the jagged contours of the divorce of their parents, both writers.

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The Squid and the Whale Directed by Noah Baumbach

Awards & Festivals

Academy Awards

2006 | Nominee: Best Writing, Original Screenplay

Sundance Film Festival

2005 | 4 wins including: Dramatic (Directing Award)

Independent Spirit Awards

2006 | 6 nominations including: Best Feature

Snatching an instant here or a moment there from this brilliant, pulsing movie is to do it an injustice. Emotions come and go in a flash—from painful adolescent diffidence to embarrassing reversions to one-upmanship to the greater mortifications of ill-chosen words and actions that betray a conflicted heart—each one lovingly wrought and then positioned within the great whirlwind of human interaction.
November 25, 2016
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The conventional wisdom around Noah Baumbach as a cranky misanthrope with a preemptive grudge against his fictional players—one of the hoariest ad-hominem characterizations in circulation—wasn’t yet in full swing when The Squid and the Whale bruised audiences with its lucidity and rawness… The film executes its mercilessness in dart throws, with each offhand aggression piercing the cork around the bull’s-eye until the board is nearly filled up and a moment of release is granted.
November 24, 2016
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We’re trapped in an intimate relationship with these people. The never impersonal perspective is evident, too, in the disorienting rush of the editing, which is as knife’s-edgy as the abrupt dialogue (unlike in most movies about “literate” people, scene partners don’t engage in a sustained rally: they brutally swat ground strokes past each other). People, places, and moments exist in almost uncomfortably vital proximity, spatial and temporal.
May 17, 2011
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