While the other reviews here aren't so favorable, I actually liked this film and its entire vibe revolving around reclusive author J.D. Salinger in his early life. I think Hoult did a great job telling the story of this shy individual who truly was "all about the writing," and never believed in selling out or changing his ideas to fit others' visions. While it may not be groundbreaking, I feel it was worth watching.
Imagine Wikipedia bullet points of Salinger's life strung together on a filament of tortured artist cliches and you've got a good idea of what this movie is like. Hoult does a fine job with what he's given's to work with but the other actors suffer with one dimensional characterizations or as in the case of Salinger's first wife, Sylvia, no characterization at all.
Phony. A conventional cookie-cutter biopic based on one of the most unconventional authors of the 20th century. Salinger deserved much better than this. The subject matter and material will keep you interested, but the film itself is a formulaic misstep - not to mention that it's the most digital looking period piece in recent memory. Kevin Spacey is more distracting than supporting while Nicolas Holt is wonderful.