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Fogelman clearly gets a thrill in constructing a tapestry full of one random tragedy after another (seriously, almost nothing good seems to happen to these people long term). And he also appears to love manipulating the audience?s emotions with these subsequent tragedies.

Read review Gregory Ellwood
The Washington Post

Movies should invite viewers in, taking them on a journey together with the characters on-screen. Unfortunately, ?Life Itself? is less journey than lecture.

Read review Kristen Page-Kirby
The Hollywood Reporter

It?s contrived at every turn and talky like a French film, though 100 percent American indie in its earnest conviction that it?s saying something of substance about the unpredictable roller coaster of life and love.

Read review David Rooney
Rolling Stone

How do you rate a cinematic black hole that doesn?t deserve a single star? Do you simply give it five eyerolls? Better question: How does a movie, with all the talent in the world going for it, become a such a blithering botch job?

Read review Peter Travers
Entertainment Weekly

Excellent performers are wasted, especially the criminally underutilized Patinkin and Annette Bening, both of whom appear in just bit parts. With far too much confidence but nothing to say, Life Itself lives up to the college-freshman affectedness of its own title

Read review Dana Schwartz

Despite good moments and an ambition to reach for the profound, Life Itself settles for trite, sentimental and patience testing. A killer cast deserve better.

Read review Ian Freer
Chicago Sun-Times

'Life Itself' begins with a cinematic shell game, with Fogelman pulling a short con on the viewer for no discernible reason

Read review Richard Roeper

What hurts the most is the wholehearted dedication each of these actors brings to such truly horrendous material: they make Life Itself almost watchable?almost?but there?s no effective cure for this kidney stone of a movie. Please, please, just let it pass.

Read review Stephanie Zacharek