Saying August Rush is contrived is like saying that, in terms of continents, Asia is pretty big. None of the movie feels natural, and even the few potentially honest parts are loaded with preordained irony and/or necessity. The script by Nick Castle and James V. Hart is a study in formula, each piece existing solely to bring the story to its inevitable end, and excess, complications and subplots weighing down what is basically a simple story. Strange, isn't it, that a movie that's meant to be sweet and heartwarming only brings out the cynic in me?
While taking notes, I added some comments to certain developments. The most prevalent word among them is "oy," but I also sighed to the heavens and wrote "Come on" but with an obscenity written in between. Odd, isn't it, that a movie that's meant to be happy and unassuming had me cursing? I didn't hate August Rush, but I was pretty annoyed by it—its cloying nature, its whimsical view of fate, its indifference about its characters. That last one is the most irritating, as it means we're supposed to just accept the previous two and care about the movie without having anyone in it about which to care.
See mark-reviews-movies for full review