REVIEW SUMMARY: Spike Jonze turns his eye toward science fiction with a touching, ultimately human love story between a man and an operating system that easily stands as one of the best genre movies of the past decade.
SYNOPSIS: Introvert Theodore Twombly purchases an artificially intelligent operating system, which he names “Samantha,” and begins falling in love with it.
PROS: Winning performances by all major and minor actors, particularly Joaquin Phoenix and a disembodied Scarlett Johansson; often understated screenplay and direction from Spike Jonze, especially in its handling of futuristic romance; limited intrusion of technology into story; plausible, likely vision of the future…
CONS: …that occasionally feels underpopulated; not quite enough time devoted to the OS’s own burgeoning culture.
Her is not the movie I expected. Most would not expect it from Spike Jonze, the director of the surrealistic Being John Malkovich and the brilliant Adaptation. It’s not that Her lacks the vision and insight of those two groundbreaking movies—it does not—but that it proves a vastly different experience from either, not least of which in its approach. Instead of a visit to the strange headspaces of celebrities or trekking through the ennui of writer’s block, Jonze’s new, breathtaking picture offers something both surprisingly familiar and far stranger than anything he has made before. Familiar, in that he once again visits areas of the heart most humans never knew existed. Strange, in that he has made a true quill science fiction movie, something those who know his work would never have expected, and done so incredibly well.