Reviews: What Are Critics Saying About The Whale Film, Starring Brendan Fraser? | Playbill

The Verdict Reviews: What Are Critics Saying About The Whale Film, Starring Brendan Fraser?

The psychological drama is based on Samuel D. Hunter's 2012 Off-Broadway play of the same name.

Brendan Fraser in The Whale film A24

The adaptation of Samuel D. Hunter's The Whale premiered at the Venice International Film Festival September 4, and the reviews are rolling in. The film will be released theatrically December 9 via production company A24.

Directed by Darren Aronofsky, The Whale follows Charlie, a reclusive online writing instructor who lives his life marooned on a couch after growing to 600 pounds. He attempts to reconnect with his estranged teenager daughter, but he has to face his own guilt in order to repair their relationship.

The cast includes Brendan Fraser, Sadie Sink, Hong Chau, Samantha Morton, and Ty Simpkins.

Read the reviews below.

The Arts Fuse (Ed Symkus)

Awards Watch (Robert Ruggio)

Boston Globe (Odie Henderson)

Chicago Tribune (Michael Phillips)

Collider (Brian Formo) (Jonathan Sim)

Film School Rejects (Lex Briscuso)

The Film Stage (Rory O'Connor)

Financial Times (Raphael Abraham)*

Games Radar (Jane Crowther)

The Globe and Mail (Barry Hertz)

The Guardian (Peter Bradshaw)

The Hollywood Reporter (David Rooney)

IndieWire (Leila Latif)

Little White Lies (Hannah Strong)

Next Best Picture (Tom O'Brien)

The New York Times (Kyle Buchanan)*

Pittsburgh Magazine (Sean Collier)

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Mark Kennedy)

The Playlist (Jack King)

Roger Ebert (Brian Tallerico, Christy Lamire)

SaltWire (Chris Knight)

Screen Daily (Wendy Ide)

Screen Rant (Mae Abdulbaki)

The Seattle Times (Soren Andersen)

SlashFilm (Marshall Shaffer)

South China Morning Post (James Mottram)

Star Tribune (Chris Hewitt)

The Telegraph (Robbie Collin)

Time (Stephanie Zacharek)

Variety (Owen Gleiberman)

The Washington Post (Ann Hornaday)*

The Wrap (Alonso Duralde)

*This review requires creating a free account or a paid subscription.

Playbill will continue to update this page as reviews come in.

The Whale debuted in January 2012 at Denver Centre Theatre Company before heading Off-Broadway later that year at Playwrights Horizons, where it took home the Lucille Lortel Award for Best Play and the GLAAD Media Award for New York Theatrical Production, in addition to earning a Special Drama Desk Award for Significant Contribution to Theatre. The play subsequently crossed the pond for a run at Theatre Royal Bath in 2018.

 Check out photos of the Off-Broadway production, starring Tony winner Shuler Hensley, below:

Tony Winner Shuler Hensley Is 600-Pound Man in NYC Premiere of The Whale

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