The Holdovers

critic Reviews

, 96% Certified Fresh Tomatometer Score
  • Beautifully bittersweet, The Holdovers marks a satisfying return to form for director Alexander Payne.
  • , Fresh Tomatometer Score
    Mark KermodeKermode and Mayo's Take (YouTube)
    The format may be unsurprising but there is nothing unsurprising about just how good and enjoyable this is... this is the kind of bittersweet, character-dialogue driven piece they just don't do anymore.
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  • , Fresh Tomatometer Score
    David SextonNew Statesman
    It is the genius of Paul Giamatti to make us, over the course of this great movie, not just re-evaluate and learn to respect this mess of a man but actually... to love him.
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  • , Fresh Tomatometer Score
    Wendy IdeObserver (UK)
    There’s a bracingly astringent bleakness under its surface layer of melancholy humour; a biting, sharp edge that counters the occasional lurch towards sentimentality.
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  • , Fresh Tomatometer Score
    Linda MarricHeyUGuys
    The Holdovers emerges as a testament to Payne's unique storytelling ability, offering a grownup drama for intelligent audiences, inviting a nuanced exploration of the complexities of human relationships against the backdrop of cruel classist rigidity.
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  • , Fresh Tomatometer Score
    Donald ClarkeIrish Times
    Some may still baulk at the conventional structure. But conventions emerge for a reason. An absolute treasure. Merry Christmas to you all.
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  • , Fresh Tomatometer Score
    Clarisse LoughreyIndependent (UK)
    Giamatti gives a wonderful performance here. He roots his character’s frustrations not in cruelty but in misguided desperation -- an eagerness to mould these boys into men better than himself.
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  • , Rotten Tomatometer Score
    Noah BerlatskyEverything is Horrible (Substack)
    The movie is supposed to uplift and suffuse you in a warm Christmas glow, but Payne’s manipulations are fundamentally cynical—and barely conceal a core of self-satisfaction and cruelty.
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  • , Fresh Tomatometer Score
    Ernesto DiezmartinezLetras Libres
    The protagonists of The Holdover are the type of characters that have populated Payne's previous films: creatures overwhelmed by their social environment, who are not denied the possibility of learning and redemption. [Full review in Spanish]
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  • , Fresh Tomatometer Score
    Joanne LaurierWorld Socialist Web Site
    A pleasant, digestible film and the three leads are appealing. ... It is not a genuine advance for the director. The comedy-drama’s general trajectory and ultimately heartwarming denouement are set out for all to see virtually from its opening sequence.
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  • , Fresh Tomatometer Score
    Matthew St. ClairCinematic Words of a Chaotic Gemini (Substack)
    A straightforward yet effective enough piece of holiday viewing.
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