Film Review: A Man Called Otto

This review is spoiler-free.

2023 is here and hopefully it’s going to be a good year for films!

I had my first cinema trip (of many, I hope!) last night to see A Man Called Otto, the American adaptation of the Swedish book and film, A Man Called Ove. Here are my thoughts…

Tom Hanks is Otto, a grumpy widower living in a tight-knit community who has given up on life after the loss of his wife. He goes about his days set in the same routine of enforcing the rules of the community, much to the annoyance of his neighbours, that is, until a new family move in across the street from him, which turns his life upside down and starts to break down the moody exterior and reveal the true man underneath.

The premise might sound familiar to you, and A Man Called Otto doesn’t do anything to change up this generic tale. It’s very predictable, with nothing really there to surprise the audience… What you expect, is what you will get. If you are a fan of Ricky Gervais’ After Life, then you will find quite a few similarities between these two stories. That’s certainly what I took away when I left the film.

However, just because a film is formulaic and predictable does not mean it is bad. A Man Called Otto is a heartwarming, funny and often emotional. I wouldn’t say it’s necessarily a “feel-good” film because there is some heavy subject matter to deal with, but a balance is well-struck, it’s certainly something that has the ability to make someone laugh one moment, then cry the next.

This is one of Tom Hanks’ best performances in years, as he effortlessly showcases the many layers of Otto as the audience get to know the true man hidden behind the veil of grief. There is a strong supporting cast of likeable characters, especially Mariana TreviƱo’s Marisol, who is a stark to Otto at first, and helps to bring the best out of him.

A Man Called Otto is not a bad film, it’s just not a great film either. It’s the type of story you’ve undoubtedly seen many times before and don’t expect it to break the mould in any way. However, if you go in with such a mindset then I have no doubt you’ll find it both heartwarming and entertaining. It’s not a film I would necessarily recommend you see at the cinema unless you have an Unlimited membership like myself, but when this inevitably hits a streaming service somewhere, it’s worth a watch.

I give A Man Called Otto a 6.5/10.

Follow my socials!





Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s