The Vanishing of Sidney Hall

An enigmatic detective embarks on a cross-country search for a once-prominent author who's mysteriously disappeared after a string of dangerous arsons have targeted his celebrated but controversial first novel.
Shawn Christensen
Logan LermanElle FanningKyle Chandler
English [CC]
Audio languages
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Supporting actors
Blake JennerNathan Lane
R (Restricted)
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Prime Video (streaming online video)
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4.1 out of 5 stars

397 global ratings

  1. 58% of reviews have 5 stars
  2. 19% of reviews have 4 stars
  3. 7% of reviews have 3 stars
  4. 6% of reviews have 2 stars
  5. 10% of reviews have 1 stars

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Top reviews from the United States

Sarah WhiteReviewed in the United States on May 11, 2019
1.0 out of 5 starsGave up after the first scene
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I don't know why people who write movies and novels and such think that it's really deep to talk about female students in sexually explicit ways IN THE CLASSROOMS where they are trying to learn. Stop. It's not edgy. The thoughts you have while masturbating are not deeply insightful metaphysical treatises. When your teacher tells you that's it's unwelcome and unwarranted, that's not because they're a talentless hack who doesn't appreciate good art. It's because it's their job to teach you to respect your fellow classmates, and to teach you that regurgitating the same trite bullstuff over and over again is not actually avant garde.

I'm done with movies like this. I am officially holding scriptwriters in Hollywood to higher standards. You have to catch my interest in the first five minutes, or you fail. Do it better.
45 people found this helpful
Amazon CustomerReviewed in the United States on May 25, 2018
5.0 out of 5 starsOccasionally all the stars align and a near perfect movie is made
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Occasionally all the stars align and a near perfect movie is made. For me, this is one of them. The fluid back and forth movement of time was perfect, as each scene filled a gap of understanding.

I think I might have to watch more movies by this director. And young Logan Lerman, I believe, will be an insighful, thoughtful and effective actor for years to come.
37 people found this helpful
1STARBUCK1Reviewed in the United States on May 3, 2018
5.0 out of 5 starsElle was great in her character
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The story is there! The script well done! Elle was great in her character. Some thought it slow, but I wanting to know more so it kept me interested . Great acting from all the characters. While it dealt with adult themes, I appreciated the fact that it was never seen. You had to use your imagination and it gave me the choice to NOT go there. To bad it didn't get better ratings. It was thought provoking. I wonder how true to life the personality of Hall is to other brilliant writers. Probably closer than we would like to think.......
28 people found this helpful
C-Shell on the BayReviewed in the United States on May 17, 2018
5.0 out of 5 starsUnusually beautiful film. I'll pay less attention to film critics' reviews in general now.
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The fact that the critics didn't like this movie leads me to believe that we need better critics. It is difficult to present a main character who becomes aimless and scattered while still keeping the viewer's focus, attention and empathy. I was very impressed.
30 people found this helpful
MendedheartReviewed in the United States on September 15, 2018
5.0 out of 5 starsPoignant, touching story. Excellent!
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I dived into this film thinking that it was a typical detective story. This is not your typical detective story; it is so much more, and it was such a wonderful surprise! Don't let the description drive you away if detective dramas aren't your jam.

The Disappearance of Sidney Hall tells the story of a young high school student who, as an underappreciated but prolific writer, hits it big when he indirectly becomes involved in the drama of another student and writes a novel about it. This novel becomes so famous and polarizing (think The Catcher in the Rye), that it begins to control his life in ways he could never have imagined, and he disappears, both literally and figuratively. Logan Lerman is excellent in the role of Sidney, who ages from approximately seventeen to thirty during the course of the film. I was stunned that this was the kid from the Percy Jackson movies, LOL! Kyle Chandler plays the quiet, unassuming detective, and is brilliant, as always; and Elle Fanning is sweet, charming, and heartbreaking as Sidney's love.

There are a couple of small twists in this film that I didn't see coming, and I appreciated them because they were done in such a smooth, understated manner. They quietly sneak in and make themselves known, and I love writing that does this successfully, without a big reveal necessary to make the story impactful. This film left me feeling poignant and pondering. It very much reminded me of two of my favorite novels by writer John Irving: The World According to Garp with a little bit of A Prayer for Owen Meany thrown in.

If one suspends disbelief at some elements of the plot, i.e., Sidney's literal overnight success, his teacher's connections, etc., that take place early in the film, and enjoys the story as a whole, this is an exceptional little movie!
16 people found this helpful
Margaret JolleyReviewed in the United States on May 6, 2018
5.0 out of 5 starsHe was intelligent and creative but had no emotional support
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This is not a movie you can "enjoy", but it is realistic concerning the complicated and a conflicting world of today's teenagers, especially in high school. The character of Sidney was sympathetic to me because of his overbearing mother and helpless father. He was intelligent and creative but had no emotional support. Kyle Chandler, as usual, does a top-notch performance and the inspiring character who brings all of the emotions together at the end. Chandler is an underrated actor and performs well in every role. The movie touched me and was very well done.
20 people found this helpful
catgirlReviewed in the United States on May 2, 2018
4.0 out of 5 starsNot as bad as the critics would have you think
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It's beautifully shot and the back and forth in time is meaningful and mostly well done. I got a bit tired of the main character's lack of affect and his blankness, but the story is intriguing and mysterious and keeps you watching. The girlfriend is a bit too pixie perfect, but Kyle Chandler is great as usual. His face is so expressive. Overall there's more emotional depth here than I expected. I guess the plot is a little far-fetched, but it was fun to watch a young writer strike it big. Does anyone know why the father was disabled? Did the mother do something to him? A lot of movie critics hated this flick, so if you come to it with low expectations, you might like it.
24 people found this helpful
Honest ReviewReviewed in the United States on May 5, 2018
5.0 out of 5 starsFor Me, One of the Best Seen In Awhile
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Enjoyed the storyline and characters. Shed a few tears in the end. Met all my needs for drama, mystery, the evolution of young love to the reality of adulthood, the dream to leave everything behind...Most times I’m left feeling “meh” about movies, but I will watch this again. Make sure you give this time and attention to effectively weave together the story.
26 people found this helpful
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