Her – Review

herSpike Jonze doesn’t make nearly enough movies, but when he does they are made with great care and amazing craft.  I knew nothing about Her until I saw the trailer and I was immediately hooked.  I was very excited when I scored tickets to see this at AFI Fest.

Jonze also wrote Her and it’s a beautifully made story about the need for human beings to connect with others and to share their lives in emotional, meaningful ways.  It is also hysterically funny throughout.  Jonze has really crafted a wonderful blend of romance, drama and humor that will stay with you long after the picture is over.

Jonze has assembled a stellar cast anchored by Joaquin Phoenix.  His performance is wonderful and it is such a different character than we are used to seeing him play.  This is not a brooding loner or a dark character, he’s a man who wants to love and connect and live life, but maybe he doesn’t always know how.

Scarlett Johansson gives one of her best performances, even though it’s only her voice.  She is able to convey so many emotions and while I’m not her biggest fan, this is remarkable work.

Amy Adams, Rooney Mara, Olivia Wilde and Chris Pratt round out the cast and all have strong scenes and moments with Phoenix’s Theodore.

My only real criticism is that it gets a little slow in the second half.  Some scenes could certainly be tightened to maintain the excellent pace and flow of the first half.

All in all, Her is a beautiful piece of filmmaking that is very entertaining, but will also touch your emotions.  It’s a must see and I hope that we don’t have to wait four years for another Spike Jonze feature.

Rating: ★★★★☆


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Brian McQuery

Brian is a writer/director from Chicago who has made 9 short films and is developing his first feature. He has hosted Q&A events at the New Beverly Cinema in Los Angeles for films including GoodFellas and Aliens. He works as an Assistant Director on independent films. He misses Chicago style deep dish pizza, but otherwise loves living in Los Angeles. Web site:

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