The Fabelmans

A coming-of-age story about a young man’s discovery of a shattering family secret and an exploration of the power of movies to help us see the truth about each other and ourselves.

  • Released: 2022-11-11
  • Runtime: 151 minutes
  • Genre: Drama
  • Stars: Gabriel LaBelle, Paul Dano, Seth Rogen, Julia Butters, Judd Hirsch, Jeannie Berlin, Robin Bartlett, Oakes Fegley, Chloe East, Gabriel Bateman, Art Bonilla, Jonathan Hadary, Sam Rechner, Isabelle Kusman, Keeley Karsten, Sophia Kopera, Greg Grunberg, James Urbaniak, Lane Factor, Meredith VanCuyk
  • Director: Steven Spielberg
  • moorejw-52415 - 10 March 2024
    Every time I watch Michelle Williams in something it infuriates me more and more. Why can they never find a suitable wig for her? This wig has got to be the worst.

    Her acting in this is so over the top and ridiculous that it made me cringe. The phone scene made me laugh out loud. It was like a porn actor was asked to be in a Hollywood film.

    Spielberg found the most irritating actors for most of this movie and then asked them to put on a play in front of the camera. Then the uncle showed up, and I swear he was going to start singing Fiddler On The Roof.

    I hated this melodramatic garbage. Stop putting Michelle Williams and Paul Dano in things, they are both so blah.
  • wrigco - 22 January 2024
    slow long and boring
    When this first came out I thought it would be a drag and oh boy how right I was. I'm far too old to to waste my precious time sitting through such a long, detailed story of someone's life. I could not finish it. Even the parts that were touching such as when he showed his Mother the movie of her and Bennie: it just took so long before she actually even watched it. Granted, the last parts of it are supposed to be the best, but I couldn't last that long and signed off when they were on their way to California.

    Also, what colour are his eyes? Disconcerting when they are so large and blue when he's a kid and then turn an unremarkable brown in adolescence.

    I also still cannot bear Seth Rogen.
  • francescabalzani-26183 - 23 November 2023
    Beautiful and moving
    This beautiful film narrates the story of Steven Spielberg's youth and, more specifically, how his passion for cinema blossomed and became a profession.

    In the same way as in anybody's life, Spielberg's (in the film Sam) passions and life chouces are deeply linked to his upbringing and to his relationship with his parents.

    He was born and raised in a family of well educated Jewish immigrants, his father was an engineer, whereas his mother was a musician, a stunning artistic figure, torn by her drive to follow her own passions. Sam's mother is played stunning Michelle Williams, who plays a character lost in time, divided by reason and desires, and ultimately following the latter. There is something mystique and mysterious about her, every movement she makes is a piece of art... The photography and soundrack are really good and help make this film a must - watch!
  • dwbell - 10 January 2023
    Oi Va Voy!
    A bloated, lazy and ultimately tedious self-indulgence that assumes that the viewer will care about its characters and story as much as it's director and writer. It's a problem shared with Branagh's Belfast and the French film Mr Bojangles. The film doesn't earn its climaxes as we are not invested in the character's journies, trials and travails. Spielberg and Kushner (who have both made terrific works in the past) here rely on over-used stereotypes (Brisket, anyone?, High school jocks and nerds) that deliver little payoff. What, ultimately, is the lesson learned from the bullet-headed uncle sleeping Shiva? It doesn't seem to impact the character of our hero at all. And everything takes so long (dancing in the firelight on the camping trip, viewing and reviewing the film of the 'hidden' moments of the camping trip etc). The actors are working hard because they are in a big, personal film by Spielber. It doesn't pay off. Michelle Williams seems to be channeling Shirley McLean, Judd Hirsh is doing his best Mel Brooks (if only!), Paul Dano has only been given one note to play by Spielberg and Kushner. The film is way too long, has no energy and wouldn't inspire anyone to take up film-making or any other creative pursuit. It may be based on Mr Spielberg's life, but perhaps he should have left it to someone else to make the movie version. Dull, dull, dull.
  • johntpfr - 8 January 2023
    Oh so bad
    The screenplay and acting were irredeemably bad IMHO. I get that this is a true story and is apparently quite accurate to the people and events, but almost every scene was like nails on a chalkboard to me... and I'm not a hyper critical audience! The evolution of Spielberg's film making was cool, but why he wanted to make a movie wallowing in his oddball mother... and not to have it written and acted better is beyond me. Even the name of the film is awkward and actually off-putting to me. I quit on this movie about 45 minutes in... my wife thought enough of it to finish it... so, who knows, maybe you'll like it.
  • Boristhemoggy - 4 January 2023
    I could not even make it to the end
    I love Spielberg films, he's an amazing director and I do like seeing autobiographies. However this film simply had too many elements that I dislike and I couldn't continue watching.

    Firstly it is almost like a parody. Is it supposed to be comedy? Or a biopic with humour? I don't know but it was slightly surreal and childish at times and I just could not keep my focus. It almost felt like they were playing cartoonish caharcetrs.

    Also Seth Rogen is the most ridiculous man in Hollywood, and I simply couldn't suffer him any more than 45 minutes.

    In addition I make it a point to never watch religious films. It's usually Christians portrayed and I simply can't put up with the christian narrative. In the Fabelmans the narrative is Jewish, but like any film with religion as a core theme it feels rammed down your throat. I know nothing of Judaism and not much about christianity and nothing at all about Islam. I just know that excessive religious elements in any film put me off. If there is a clear and important point to be made then fair enough, but otherwise no.

    Finally the story seemed to me to be disjointed. I could not keep pace with subject and topic change and was left wondering exactly what it is that Spielberg wanted to get across with this film.

    With all this is mind I decided to give it a 4 as a lot of my dislike is simply personal taste. But that's what review is isn't it?
  • jacksisjax - 1 January 2023
    Hold on-
    This film is very good. It's incredibly well done. Artistic. Thought provoking. It felt like real art! It was a real human imperfect depiction of our difficult lives. It felt real, raw.

    Maybe more real then people may like. Everyone I watched this film with hated it. Rather understandably, it is incredibly depressing. 'Twas a bloody train wreck.

    But that's the point, that's the brilliant point! It's a train wreck! When you face how imperfect, unfair and messed up life is then maybe it seems a little more bearable.

    More real then movies should be.

    Never will I ever watch this movie ever again. I don't need to. I don't want to. But you should see this film, but expect the train wreck. Expect to not feel great during the whole experience.
  • markerhein - 29 December 2022
    A movie where nothing much happens.
    The Fabelmans is a perfect example of how Hollywood will greenlight any movie that is brought forward by a powerful Hollywood titan. Very early on, it becomes clear that this is the personal story of Spielberg's early years. While it is likely intensely interesting to Spielberg, it is pretty boring stuff for the rest of us. We all have a past and just like the Tic Tok "One thing about me" videos demonstrate, it is rarely interesting to anyone else.

    Eminem's early years story, 8 Mile, stands in stark contrast as a mesmerizing story that we need to know. The Fabelmans is virtually devoid of unique life. A semi dysfunctional family is not unique. In fact it is what we all are faced with. The only real difference may be my mother never brought home a monkey which needed a polio vaccine.

    Hopefully Spielberg has another Shindler's List or Saving Private Ryan in him. I will wait patiently.
  • andrewbunney - 28 December 2022
    Self-indulgent drivel
    The Fabelmans is bland, lacklustre, shallow, flat, & phony, with very long takes. Right from the start you're wondering why these scenes aren't edited.

    And as for the story content, I found myself saying, 'As if!', every couple of minutes.

    Poor Michelle Williams (Manchester By The Sea), directed here so that she looks like she can't act.

    This is trowelled-on Americana, initially from the 50s (big fin cars). It's shows a hermetically sealed life in a large Jewish family, sidelining the girls in the family completely, as the young lad (Spielberg) spends his time and money on improved movie equipment. This allows for a great deal of 'tech talk'.

    No doubt it eventually moves on from the 60s, but so slowly, I'll never know.
  • grahamvandyke - 26 December 2022
    Incredibly strange
    Let me put it out there first- This isn't a bad movie. I actually wasn't bored at all throughout its long duration, and the story was fantastic and compelling. The big problem was the characters.

    I can only describe every single character in this movie like being in the middle of a manic episode (like what you would see someone suffering from bi-polar disorder). Every emotion is massively exaggerated, and nothing is left to nuance. The disconnect between the characters on screen and the audience becomes wider and wider as they continuously act more and more like caricatures of real people.

    I genuinely wanted to like this movie more, but it just fails to deliver on execution. Nevertheless I wanted the finish the movie, and at no time felt that urge to shut it off like I would any other sub-par movie.