• Unrated, 1 hr. 33 min.
  • Drama
  • Directed By:
    So Yong Kim
    In Theaters:
    Sep 5, 2012 Limited
    On DVD:
    Feb 18, 2013
  • Tribeca Film


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For Ellen Reviews

Page 1 of 2
Jason Best
Movie Talk

This low-key but shrewdly observed US indie movie from Korean-American writer-director So Yong Kim pointedly opens with a man at a crossroads, unsure of which direction to take. Decision made, he soon afterwards skids into a snowdrift.

Full Review Source: Movie Talk

February 23, 2013
Philip French
Observer [UK]

Mumblecore stuff with touching, truthful moments ...

Full Review Source: Observer [UK]

February 17, 2013
Tara Brady
Irish Times

It's almost as though we're working toward an inverted, non-humorous riposte to John Goodman's line in The Big Lebowski: Say what you like about nihilism, at least it's an ethos.

Full Review Source: Irish Times | Original Score: 3/5

February 15, 2013
Rich Cline

One of those mopey independent dramas that drifts through a mere hint of a plot, this film is worth a look for its unusual setting and a superb central performance from Paul Dano (last seen in Looper).

Full Review Source: Contactmusic.com | Original Score: 3/5

February 15, 2013
Andrew Pulver

Paul Dano makes So Yong Kim's story of a deadbeat rocker with marriage problems his own.

Full Review Source: Guardian | Original Score: 4/5

February 14, 2013
Trevor Johnston
Time Out
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It's uncomfortably funny, achingly true - and the work of an absolutely genuine artist.

Full Review Source: Time Out | Original Score: 4/5

February 14, 2013
Tim Evans
Sky Movies

It's a challenging watch - Yong Kim allows plenty of time for the scenes to breathe - but it's genuinely touching, ending on a note that says all too much about the nature of the ultimate commitment-phobe.

Full Review Source: Sky Movies | Original Score: 3/5

February 14, 2013
Jennifer Tate

A tender and engaging drama with a handful of touching scenes and a stellar performance from Paul Dano ...

Full Review Source: ViewLondon | Original Score: 3/5

February 14, 2013
David Parkinson
Empire Magazine

Awkward, spartan storytelling from Korean director So Yong Kim that captures the tender heart of family bonds.

Full Review Source: Empire Magazine | Original Score: 3/5

February 11, 2013
Emma Simmonds
The List

Although little is explicitly stated, the characters' back-story is effectively communicated - yet it's difficult to truly care.

Full Review Source: The List | Original Score: 3/5

February 11, 2013
Brent Simon

Writer-director So Yong Kim's mastery of tone and elements turns For Ellen into a thing of tender, forlorn beauty.

Full Review Source: Shockya.com | Original Score: B+

February 7, 2013
Neil Smith
Total Film

[A] glacially paced indie from Treeless Mountain director So Yong Kim, a Sundance special whose muted emotions take a while to access.

Full Review Source: Total Film | Original Score: 3/5

January 25, 2013
Kenneth Turan
Los Angeles Times
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"For Ellen" is a small but exquisite film, beautifully observed and impeccably executed.

Full Review Source: Los Angeles Times | Original Score: 4/5

October 18, 2012
J. R. Jones
Chicago Reader
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his quiet indie drama distinguishes itself most when writer-director So Yong Kim gets the rocker alone with his daughter for a brief visit that will probably be their last.

Full Review Source: Chicago Reader

October 18, 2012
Roger Ebert
Chicago Sun-Times
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This performance, unlike anything Paul Dano has ever done, must have required some courage.

Full Review Source: Chicago Sun-Times | Original Score: 3.5/4

October 18, 2012
Ty Burr
Boston Globe
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"For Ellen" tries one's patience, but what works, works for keeps.

Full Review Source: Boston Globe | Original Score: 2.5/4

September 20, 2012
Prairie Miller
Long Island Press

It is the sensitively crafted, difficult struggle of father and daughter to connect, that forms the tender and awkward anchor of this tale. And that is the real romance here, a delicately nuanced unusual love story that is the heart of this movie.

Full Review Source: Long Island Press

September 9, 2012
Joe Neumaier
New York Daily News
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Dano's moments of strangled silence are awkwardly moving.

Full Review Source: New York Daily News | Original Score: 3/5

September 6, 2012
Keith Uhlich
Time Out New York
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Kim mostly avoids indie-cliché pitfalls for the first hour, and her use of wintry landscapes as counterpoint to Jody's crises of conscience is practically Bergman level.

Full Review Source: Time Out New York | Original Score: 3/5

September 4, 2012
Michael Atkinson
Village Voice
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The film does find a patient balance between its obvious sincerity and the scenario's lack of depth and surprise.

Full Review Source: Village Voice

September 4, 2012
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