Grant Paulsen’s review published on Letterboxd:
The Best Pixar Movie Since Wall•E (2008)
''Is all this living really worth dying for?''
At first this film seemed like it was going down a very cliché route, and I did not think I was going to like it. But once the point of the film became more clear I was hit in an instant with a lot of feels. Joe Gardner is a pretty good character, lately with Pixar movies even the good ones like Inside Out (2015) and Coco (2017) I’ve felt like the characters have been rather lacking, but I actually thought the character work in this film was pretty solid.
My only issue with the film is that while I loved the conclusion for this story, there was one aspect of it that felt a little rushed.
“I’m just afraid that if I died today... that my life would amount to nothing.”
Pete Doctor still hasn’t let me down, and I genuinely appreciate how he made this film different from other Pixar movies rather than just sticking to the standard Pixar formula, which I felt Inside Out (2015) fell victim to a bit too much. It feels like he was trying to bring a genuine, passionate, and profound arthouse film to the Pixar library, kind of similar to Ratatouille (2007) and Wall•E (2008), and in my opinion he succeeded. Go watch it, it’s really good, in my opinion it’s Pixar’s best in years.
“I’m not sure... but I do know... I’m gonna live every minute of it.”
So refreshing after the crushing disappointment that was Incredibles 2 (2018) and Toy Story 4 (2019).
Also Hot Take: Soul (2020) is Pete Doctor’s Best Film