• The Squid and the Whale (2005)

The Squid and the Whale

Release Date: 2005

DVD Release Date: March 21st, 2006

R |1 hr 20 min

Plot Summary

A pair of brothers living in Brooklyn are caught in the middle of, and deeply affected by, the divorce of their erudite parents, Bernard (Jeff Daniels) and Joan Berkman (Laura Linney). Older sibling Walt (Jesse Eisenberg) sides with dad and acts out at school, while younger brother Frank (Owen Kline) quietly backs up mom. The household tension rises further when Joan's writing career takes off and surpasses the failed ambitions of her professor ex-husband.

Cast: Jeff Daniels, Laura Linney, Jesse Eisenberg, Owen Kline, William Baldwin, Halley Feiffer, Anna Paquin, Adam Rose

Director: Noah Baumbach

Genres: Drama

Production Co: Emerging Pictures

Keywords: Growing up, 1980s, Emotional, Rivalry, House

Ratings & Reviews

  • 100
    Glenn KennyPremiere

    It's a rare film that can be convincingly tender, bitterly funny, and ruthlessly cutting over the course of fewer than 90 minutes. The Squid and the Whale not only manages this, it also contains moments that sock you with all three qualities at the same time. show more

  • 100
    Allison BenediktChicago Tribune

    Steering clear of phony melodrama and indie pretense, Baumbach captures a crisis in one family's life that, though it shakes the foundation, leaves all four Berkmans drifting toward highs and lows unknown, each of them only dimly aware that, no matter what the movies tell us, we never really come of age. show more

  • 40
    Joe MorgensternWall Street Journal

    The absence of any nuance in the father's character bespeaks the filmmaker's unwillingness to trust his audience. Making the movie may have been therapeutic for him, but I can't say the same about watching it.

See all critic reviews on metacritic.com


Nominated Writing (Original Screenplay)
Nominated Best Performance By an Actress in a Motion Picture - Musical or Comedy
Nominated Best Motion Picture - Comedy or Musical