Nomadland is the Worst Movie Ever!

February 27, 2021

Nomadland movie review by soultravelers3 digital nomads
Nomadland is a boring, bleak & truly bad movie, so it seems like the 
hype everywhere is very misleading, thus that is why it feels like the longest movie ever, even though it's actually a very short movie. I wish I had been warned how horrible Nomadland is, so I am warning you!

Why would advertisements call it a "miracle" and "life changing" which conjures up visions of inspiration and extraordinary wonderment? In truth Nomadland is a very, very slow, dull movie about poverty, death, grief, pain and great hardship without a plot. 

I am thrilled an Asian woman director is getting praised & I love the lead actress Frances McDormand, but even she can not save this plotless, dreary movie that would have worked better as a true documentary, so we could at least care about the people in this movie.

Nomadland is slow and boring

I have lived and traveled in an old RV in the US, Mexico and Europe for over a decade on a very tight budget, so I find it interesting that many who actually live or lived the life of a nomad, do not like this movie. Don't listen to the paid critics, here are honest reviews from some IMDB reviews I felt told the truth about this movie:

"First in-theatre movie since COVID started. I was suspicious of the 1 hour 45 minute runtime, but now realize that this stinking carcass of a script couldn't carry itself over the two-hour mark. There's no story here. No arc. The character ends up in the same pointless spot in the end as she started from in the opening shot. No real tension anywhere. Might as well label this a documentary. Skip."

"We get it if you don't let go of the past and move on your life ends up unhappy and sad. Incredibly boring. Wife asked me multiple times to turn it off.
Watched it because of the ratings it received from people with very poor taste. BAMBOOZLED!"

"What was that Seinfeld episode? "It's a show about NOTHING!"
Well, there you have it, except this is a movie. Preface to say the only reason I even watched this is because many critics have it as one of the frontrunners for the Oscars. I was curious. You get to watch clothes flip in the laundry, hamburgers cooking on the grill, and mostly see a lady walk around areas that have little to no meaning.
That's about it. At one point, I thought I was watching a parody about an overly artsy movie and had to remind that it is a serious drama.
If you are not a fan of slow films, then you can just pass on this. It is no exaggeration to label this one of the slowest movies ever.
Most startlingly, for a movie so slow that seems to strive for meditation and deeper meaning, there really actually is nothing underneath the surface. I wish I never seen it, and can't wait to get the taste out by watching something truly good."

"Let's be frank -- plot is weak, movie itself boring af, acting is totally amateur not professional. Just another overrated movie, thanks for wasting my 1.5+ hours"

"Disappointing and FLAT
While Frances McDormand is always great to watch she just couldn't save this movie. The storyline is exceedingly thin and nothing else makes up for it. I wish there were as many meaningful scenes of plot and character development as there were long drawn out shots of her walking aimlessly through the trailer park. Everything in this movie disappointed except for the cinematography. So many other movies dealt with the subject of the film better.....whether it be nomadlife, poverty, soul-searching etc. More than anything else this film is just unenjoyable. Period. The end!"

"I spent the whole film wondering when it was going to start.
The world is sad and depressing enough at the movement without having to sit through this dirge of a film, I'm sure it will win many awards voted for by middle class Guardian reader type people who like to have a window on another life so alien to their own. But If I want to watch depressed suicidal people crapping in vans sadly all I have to do is look out of the window. Not for me."
"Ho hum Other than the fine acting and a good premise, this film did not deliver. There was nothing out of the ordinary. No shocking surprises, action or even a bad character in the film. Quite frankly , I don't get the fuss. This film based on truth, still could have had more pizzazz and it simply did not. Such a shame too, because I actually believed the hype and I was let down."

"Mediocre film about being homeless in a van struggling
Not sure what's special about this besides the fact it's a struggle to be homeless living in a van."

"A pretty lifeless story that just comes across flat
'Nomadland' is based on a work of non-fiction - and it shows. It's a well made movie, but not a lot happens. It's the kind of movie where if someone asked you what the plot was it would be hard to answer. You'd basically just say we follow a woman around for 108 minutes while she travels around and changes job a lot. Some people seem to be falling in love with this movie, but I'm not quite sure what they're seeing in it that I didn't.
Frances McDormand is critical to this movie being as watchable as it is. She is becoming one of the most likeable and consistent actresses working today. I do prefer her in roles like 'Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri' where she has a little more sass and edge to her character. Here she is a little flat, but that's more to do with her character not actually having a whole lot to do throughout the film."

"Long & dreary
I love Frances McDormand. Why she chose to make this bleak, dreary film is questionable. There isn't much acting in this so much as her character traveling around the country in a broken down van doing odd jobs for money. She meets others doing likewise. That's it. That's the movie. I kept looking at my watch thinking this has to end soon, and it didn't. "

"The movie sucks big time . I don't know what the hell was this movie about ?? The Acting was fine but that's the only positive thing about this junk . Cmon Frances you are way better than this ."

"Predictable, lacking drama and a plot
If you have seen the trailers, you have seen the movie. Yes, there are more scenes and David Strathairn shows up doing his usual humble,sensitive, beta male routine....and people drive around and share what? As pointed out earlier, France McDormand's character chooses to live this way. She is depressed, morose,unavailable and happy swimming along in her perpetual melancholia. Its just not very....interesting. Or compelling."

"Most Boring ever
Frances McDormand continues her streak of nominations in terrible movies. She might be good but her movies are not. This movie gets a -2 on the snore meter."

"Bad script good acting
You have a character that is broke and the movie really never explains why. Her husband would have had a union job at 3M, they didn't have kids. She was a substitute teacher without a degree? Where did all the money go. She meets with her sister who says she is an adventurer, yet she lived in the same town for 25 plus years in the same house. Maybe instead of trying to make her look like a saint, they should have studied someone who is self centered and never saved for the future. Or just blame 3M, which is the lazy way out."

"What a waste
A movie without a point. Stupidest Movie I have ever watched. Not sure how it even has 1 five star review. A total waste of 2 hours."

This one is what they call an Oscar-bait movie: the social commentary fills every inch of the screen oozing out of every scene and every piece of dialogue (even those that are absolutely unnecessary). And Frances McDormand fits here perfectly as she looks exactly like your average homeless person (oh I'm sorry, houseless) and her character delivery, although a bit strained, feels more or less natural whereas all of the other actors seem like were given the job from the craigslist - I don't know but nothing really clicked for me from those portrayals. Lines get said, scenes get cut weirdly, some nice and quiet music for having you safely fallen asleep added and where does it all lead to? I won't be surprised if Nomadland wins some Oscars, especially for Frances, but I think overall this is a one time movie with a serious, relevant topic being raised but executed poorly so that the end product can easily be thrown away in the trash as it neither makes you empathize with any of the characters nor makes you even care about what's going to happen next in the movie while you go along with it."

"Nice try...but why is there no story? Is this not an essential part of movie making? The film jumps from place to place from character to character without any structure. Is it a documentary or a movie? I have no idea..."

"Would Have Made a Better Documentary
The great Frances McDormand repeats every acting trick in this going-everywhere-without-going-anywhere story. If you ever wondered how a film could go on for two hours without any of the characters or the story undergoing any changes whatsoever, you have found your answer. As it progressed, flat tire episode after flat tire episode and laundromat scene after laundromat scene, the film becomes an almost parody of self-conscious pretentiousness, its director clearly hypnotized by her star and the rambling story going absolutely nowhere despite the multiple locations across the US. Why would this have made a better documentary? Because some of the lives it tangentially explores would have provided some interesting narratives had they been more fully developed and had the film moved away from its central character. As it is, the film stays on McDormand's, who doesn't evolve at all. Tedious, overhyped "art film". Do not watch after a full meal."

"Depressing More like a Documentary
They should have called it "Lost". There was not much story and the direction was horrible. I love Frances and even got Hulu so I could watch this. This is the worst film I ever saw her in. It was so depressing I almost hoped her character would kill herself in the end. So disappointed. I wanted it to be good. I know the area where this was filmed and have met people like this that they portray. Shame. Bad film."

"Better than NyQuil
Nope. Just don't. Soccer, watching paint dry, and the WNBA said this was boring."

"What the critics won't say...
I'm a huge fan of Frances McDormand, but this is a nothing movie with real life nomads who obviously can't act making the whole film feel like a really dull documentary. But the critics will praise this movie in the name of "looking good" by supporting an Asian female director, real life nomads on the edge of society, and the commentary on the Great Recession. Do a real documentary and skip the bad movie making."

"The movie is only an hour and forty-five minutes and I found myself struggling to pay attention. It dragged on a bit, and was boring, and quite frankly, depressing"
"Nomadland was a depressing watch for me, and if I had to do it over again, I likely would have skipped it all together.. "
"Besides being depressing, it is also very slow. It is only an hour and forty-five minutes but it felt so much longer. I had a very hard time not getting distracted while watching it and caught myself almost falling nodding off here and there. Maybe this means I should go back in and give it another try, but having drank a cup of coffee right before watching it, I can assure it was the movie that made me tired."While I understand Nomadland is meant to take viewers on a journey along with Fern, too much of it fell flat for me to make me say it is worth a watch. " ( Mama's Geeky)

Nomandland is a bad  boring movie
I feel the advertising is dishonest and the movie makes a grave error by being such a bleak, depressing, slow, dark (cinematically & thematically) film because I KNOW this lifestyle well & many who live it and have lived it for decades. I know people forced into it who live on very, very little doing it right now and love it because it is an inspiring, joyful lifestyle and the film misses that entirely. They miss the greatness of what Bob Wells supports. It makes me sad that they make RV nomads look like the biggest losers on the planet, when they are likely the most free and happy. They distort things and show the worst possible scenarios. Yes, there are many poverty issues in this country that need to be changed, but they are missing the point of nomads completely. 

At first, Bob was devastated that his life had come to living out of a vehicle. But after a while, he had a change of heart and “fell in love with the freedom, simplicity, frugality, independence, and earth-friendliness of the nomadic way of life.” Distractify 

Many critics loved this movie and I must say it makes me wonder if they were paid off, but I also have friends who liked the movie ( although everyone I talked to who liked the movie also found it depressing, slow or boring too in places). Also, everyone who liked the movie had no experience of long term travel in an RV, van or car and they felt very sorry for the nomads. 

It is art, so everyone will have their own opinion which is great. As a former actress who has been in many films, with a daughter who is an actress in films & husband who is a visual artist, we love art and film. We tend to be very open minded and generous about the many varieties and give most things a chance. We really wanted to love or at least like this film. NONE of us liked it and thought it was one of the worst films we have ever seen. You can make up your own mind, and may see it differently, but at least you have been warned as I deeply wish I had been. 

We need more positive, uplifting, joyous films like The Biggest Little Farm that shows challenges and problems, but also how to over come them and find strength and joy while becoming triumphant! Long term nomads are a wave of the future as it is a very blessed, free, healthy & joyous life. Working from home, schooling from home, learning minimalism & ways to live healthy & more loving & more free is the wave of the future. I feel blessed that I got to live this life & raise/school my family around the world like this and knew it would grow and grow for more people. (Note how bright, hopeful, loving this photo is compared to the dark, dreary, sad main photo for Nomadland is.)  I hope someday they do make a great, uplifting, inspiring, bright, happy movie that shows the true joy, freedom and positive future that is coming with nomads & everyone living a freer life. 

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Kathie Shahan

I am so glad I found this site! I thought, after watching Nomadland, something must be wrong with me. I must be missing something because this movie was so highly acclaimed by the "professionals". Well the "professionals need to quit their day job and go work at Amazon or something because this movie was BEYOND boring!! I love Frannie McDormand and that is why I watched but .....1 hour and 48 minutes of watching someone live ( and crap) in a van???? Come on Hollywood, are you THAT out of ideas??


Have to agree 100%. I had a screener copy in early January and after watching it told evryone I know to avoid it like the plague and told my local cinema it was terrible and wouldn't bring in any money. I was right. They 3 week run of 45 sessions had a total audience of less than 300. That's 7 people per screening average

Luke Holden

It's a complete scam to call this film award winning.Elitist propaganda rubbish.

Kathie Shahan

I agree with what everyone has already said, especially the ones saying this movie received so many good reviews because we have to be overly politically correct these days so lets praise the Asian writer, director, producer. Shame on people!! That is so condescending! This movie is absolutely terrible. Watching Frannie McDormand take a crap in a van was more than I could take. You call this "art"? To all the people who loved it: GROW UP and GROW A BACKBONE. Stop sucking up to the establishment and admit this MOVIE SUCKED!!


DON'T waste your time watching this movie, it doesn't have a plot, doesn't have a story, doesn't have anything, doesn't look like a documentary, totally trash, it is a movie about NOTHING, such a waste of time and money doing this garbage!

jeanne dee

I am so happy to hear that so many of us feel the same way!

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