Eric Lees’s review published on Letterboxd:
You knew it, I knew it, everyone knew it. From the second I finished the trailer I was convinced. "This WILL be the BIG ONE!" I told myself. It was a dream come true. Spike Jonze, Joaquin Phoenix, Arcade Fire, that's a match made in heaven. Joaquin Phoenix continues to prove to me he is the single most talented actor in the Bizz, in a surprisingly subdued, sentimental, and subtle performance as Teddy Twombly, a man who has just recently been filed for divorce and has become very lonely, lost in his world in depression. Growing more and more lonely and depressed, he hears about a new super advanced Operating System which is called the OS1. He purchases it and after a series of questions asked about his personal life, along comes Samantha, his new OS1, whom he quickly becomes infatuated with. I love films that expose the dark, ugly, melancholic, and miserable side of love, showing finding love is hard, but MAINTAINING it is even harder.
It's also refreshing to see such an inviting, original, and fascinating future world, a world we're not far from. Little quirks here and there are seamlessly worked into the narrative, and this future society feels perfectly natural, and I lost myself in it, believing this was the real world. Her is not science fiction, paradoxically it's as human of a love story as it gets, the best since Lost in Translation. It's still Ted Twombly's personal story, his journey into finding some semblance of peace with himself and the world, and if it feels at all like a personal film for Jonze it's because he sticks with that painful, powerful point of it all being about you, your other, and growth.
His love is forbidden, but not outright condemned, as we find out others are in love with their OS's. Whereas in love stories like Romeo and Juliet this forbidding makes their love stronger and spicier, here in Her it's just the right small dose of forbiddance that it leads to severe complications, and the film brings up questions about our relationships and use of technology, why we strive forwards in our creations, and what does it all mean in the end. These are questions that become relevant with every year.
Fun, sad, heartwarming, heartbreaking, thought provoking, and charming as a whole, Her is the great masterpiece of 2013, the one we've been waiting for.