A signature Linklater in that characters are fleshed out through spontaneous, hanging-out style dialogue. The performances are great and its scope is admirably taut. It is one-dimensional, but this is justified for its personal--though unevolved--nature. 79/100 - Very Good. (3.5)
Richard Linklater continues to produce one fantastic film after another- this specific one being a great study of depression and post war trauma. While the cast is overall great, the standout for me is Steve Carrell, giving a subtle, internal performance that is never flashy nor draws attention to itself.
A Richard Linklater film about the human touch and the importance of being present for your friends when time is fleeting and tragedy strikes sounds like the most meta Linklater film ever, but unsurprisingly, one of the best, most quintessential American directors working today — armed with a trifecta of Oscar-worthy talent from Oscar-worthy performances — makes it all work.
Richard Linklater is the master of the hangout, and though he—more than any American director—has gotten away with explicitly philosophical dialogue, his latest is at its best when its old-timers are shootin' the shit instead of making big political statements. As it explicitly reconciles patriotism with cynicism, it becomes a fitting tribute to the cinema of the 70s, when American lives were so exalted a subject.