Dutifully tracing events from the true story that inspired it, the film is serious, somber and sorely lacking in verve or any other enlivening spirit. It's thankfully not overly pompous about its subject, but it also fails to capture the natural inspiration of its story. That's in part because the characters feel constructed rather than lived in, even when the actors, led by a restrained Greg Kinnear, give it their sincere best.
The movie is so bland that while it seems like I should give it a pass, I find myself unable to. The only time it rouses any emotion is when he's dropping his family faster than a dealer flushing coke in a police raid. And that's not good when the film is meant to be largely sympathetic to the guy. I should care about this guy, but the film doesn't do the necessary work of making him a recognizable human being. Everything just flows along by the pattern, singing itself--and me--to sleep.
"What little tension exists in Flash of Genius stems not from its ho-hum narrative, but from its attempts to fashion a heartwarming tale from a true-life story that, in many respects, wasn't all that heartwarming." - Nick Schager
Greg Kinnear gives a very good performance and the courtroom scenes are great, but in the end the movie is extremely predictable and not all that different from every other true story/inspirational movie out there.
While there's nothing really wrong with this movie, it was just disappointingly boring. I would have liked to know more about his family as they grew up, and their motivations for getting involved again. Not really anything to hold on to here.