By Amy Ryan
September 09, 2005 at 07:23 PM EDT

Socrates said the unexamined life is not worth living, and today, movie critics said An Unfinished Life is not worth writing creative headlines. It was too easy to make the connection between perceived flaws in Lasse Hallstrom’s movie and the word ”Unfinished” in the title. The word ”Life” reminded many reviewers of titles of movies they liked better. Others saw a contrast between the film’s macho ranch setting and its sentimental emotional terrain. Here’s a sampling of the Unfinished product (see, it’s hard to resist!):

Here’s that Socrates allusion they hope their readers will get:
New York Post: ‘An Unfinished Life’ Not Worth Living
USA Today: This ‘Life’ is worth examining

‘Unfinished’ symphony:
Detroit Free Press: Unfinished Business
Rocky Mountain News: A life, and movie, unfinished
New York Sun: An Unfinished Theology
Orlando Sentinel: There is much that is unfinished throughout latest Redford film
Boston Globe: There’s something missing from ‘Unfinished’

‘Life’ lines:
Kansas City Star: A wonderful ‘Life’
The Oregonian: Imitation of ‘Life’
Washington Examiner: A ‘Life’ Too Ordinary
Philadelphia Inquirer: Cast gives life to tired lines
Miami Herald: Life works out good enough
Minneapolis Star Tribune: Cast brings ‘Unfinished’ to life
Cleveland Plain Dealer: An unreal life

Range rovers:
San Jose Mercury News: Ho-hum on the range
Boston Herald: ‘Life’ on the range: Where love, loss, play
Everett (Wash.) Herald: Group hugs on the range

Who’s in the movie besides J. Lo?
New York Daily News: Redford, the Natural
Asbury Park (N.J.) Press: Redford, the way he is
Christian Science Monitor: Robert Redford finds ‘Life’ after stardom
Atlanta Journal-Constitution: Robert Redford, Morgan Freeman shine in ‘An Unfinished Life’

What else is playing at the art house?
Village Voice: Broken Glowers
Dallas Observer: Grizzly Man: Redford grows old gracefully in ‘An Unfinished Life’
Los Angeles City Beat: Grizzled Man: Robert Redford finally acts his age in ‘An Unfinished Life’

The New York Times Non-Sequitur Award:
The New York Times: A Rancher, a Woman, and a Grizzly, All Stuck in Traps

Orlando Weekly: Oprah’s Bear Cub

Not even trying:
Seattle Post-Intelligencer: Superb cast elevates low-key ‘Unfinished Life’
South Florida Sun-Sentinel: ‘An Unfinished Life’: A fractured family seeks to re-create their lives
Arizona Daily Star: Film delivers messages like a Hallmark
New York Observer: J. Lo Is Good! In Lasse’s Western