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Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close: Movie Review

Movieguide Magazine


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Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close is one of the best movies ever. Extremely well crafted, it hits all the emotional notes.

Nine-year-old Oskar and his dad, Thomas Schell, are extremely close. Oskar has problems socializing and has been tested for Asperger’s syndrome, but the results were inconclusive. His dad is trying to bring Oskar out of his shell by having him search for a fictional missing New York City borough, the sixth borough. To do so, Oskar has to talk to people he would normally avoid and go to places he wouldn’t normally go. Like many children with Asperger’s syndrome, Oskar is very brilliant in some unique ways.

On “the worst day”, as Oskar calls 9/11, he’s sent home early from school and hears some messages from his father, who’s in a meeting in one of the two Word Trade Center towers on one of the top floors. Oskar can’t bring himself to pick up the phone when the sixth call comes. It’s clear from this last message that his father thinks Oskar is there and just wants to tell him how much he loves him. (Go to for more plot info.)

Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close is a very powerful movie. It is pro-forgiveness, pro-family, pro-faith and profound. It deals with a very painful subject in a brilliant way. This is one of those rare movies where everything about the movie is well crafted.

Thomas Horn, who plays the little boy, is brilliant. Tom Hanks, Max von Sydow and Sandra Bullock give incredible performances. The director, Stephen Daldry, has done something really good in a year with some very good movies.

The only negatives are that Oskar lies but eventually asks for forgiveness. Also, Oskar uses some words that sound like obscenities in a way that avoid the obscenity itself, just the way children used to do 50 years ago when cursing wasn’t the norm, but was forbidden.

Overall, however, Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close is a stirring, profound, remarkable movie with a lot of heart.

NOTE from Dr. Ted Baehr, publisher of Movieguide Magazine. For more information from a Christian perspective, order the latest Movieguide Magazine by calling 1-800-899-6684(MOVI) or visit our website at Movieguide is dedicated to redeeming the values of Hollywood by informing parents about today's movies and entertainment and by showing media executives and artists that family-friendly and even Christian-friendly movies do best at the box office year in and year out. Movieguide now offers an online subscription to its magazine version, at The magazine, which comes out 25 times a year, contains many informative articles and reviews that help parents train their children to be media-wise consumers.

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About The Author

MOVIEGUIDE® was founded in 1985 by Dr. Ted Baehr, past president of the Episcopal Radio & Television Foundation and former director of the Television Center at the City University of New York. MOVIEGUIDE® is affiliated with the Christian Film & Television Commission® ministry (CFTVC). Both MOVIEGUIDE® and CFTVC are dedicated to redeeming the values of the entertainment industry, according to biblical principles, by influencing industry executives and artists and by informing and educating the public about the influence of the entertainment media and about how to train their families to become