Sundance Film Festival Review Roundup: THE DETAILS

The critical response to Jacob Aaron Estes’ dark comedy THE DETAILS, starring Tobey Maguire, Elizabeth Banks and Laura Linney, among others, has been decidedly mixed. A sampling of reviews:

“Writer-director Jacob Aaron Estes’ real accomplishment is successfully moving the tone of the movie from broad comedy to some serious business. THE DETAILS was picked up at Sundance by the Weinsteins, who should be able to use the picture’s star power and savvy marketing to make it a date night conversation piece.” — James Greenberg, The Hollywood Reporter

“Fundamentally a black comedy, Jacob Aaron Estes’ sophomore directorial effort veers toward infidelity melodrama, outrageous spoof, AMERICAN BEAUTY-style suburban parable and a few other places before coming back around again. It was such a tonal grab bag that, when the movie world-premiered Monday night at the festival, there were moments that seemed designed for drama that elicited laughter, and vice versa.” — Steven Zeitchik and Amy Kaufman, Los Angeles Times

“This dark, deeply cynical film eventually arrives at a morally complex and potentially satisfying end, full of intriguing and unsettling questions about responsibility, karmic retribution and the possibilities of redemption … But it takes a while for the movie’s many pieces and issues to fit together.” — Anthony Kaufman, ScreenDaily

“THE DETAILS is a darkly comic tale that can never quite seem to get a handle on its tone. … THE DETAILS has a lot to offer, most notably frustration.” — Matt Goldberg, Collider

“The suburban black comedy THE DETAILS begins with Tobey Maguire having a piano dropped on his head. That’s new, but though there are some fresh elements to this film, it winds up feeling like a would-be AMERICAN BEAUTY that does not take on that film’s depth or resonance and can’t quite make its dramatic and comic elements work together.” — Kyle Smith, New York Post

“THE DETAILS definitely has some twisted moments, but it’s not hard to find the humor in this black comedy … [It] is ultimately a quirky comedy about how no deed (good or bad) goes unpunished.” — Becky Kirsch, BuzzSugar

Be sure to satisfy all your festival needs with the latest buzz, top stories, and celebrity interviews from Sundance Channel’s coverage of the 2011 Sundance Film Festival.