• R, 1 hr. 49 min.
  • Drama
  • Directed By:
    Vera Farmiga
    In Theaters:
    Aug 26, 2011 Limited
    On DVD:
    Jan 9, 2012
  • Sony Pictures Classics


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Higher Ground Reviews

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Dan S

Super Reviewer

March 11, 2014
An intriguing, if ultimately unsuccessful take on religion and how one woman (Vera Farmiga) begins to struggle with her faith while living within a somewhat cultish group of people. Farmiga shows she is a capable director, and her performance is outstanding, but ultimately the movie feels too simple, like she is settling instead of going all-in and taking real risks. In the end, the film benefits from its character development and remains interesting even if it is slowly paced, but ultimately it is just an average offering on the topic of religion that is not too memorable. Far from bad, but skipable.
September 8, 2012
. . .enthralling and powerfully believable. It is a courageous but sympathetic film that meddles between humanity's certain beliefs and practices.
Matty Stanfield
August 17, 2013
Vera Farmiga makes an extremely impressive directorial debut with this low budget film. An examination of both self and faith, this movie is both enlightening and entertaining. A must see.
June 30, 2013
HIGHER GROUND is that rare film that depicts the difficulty of being human. By tracing one woman's struggle with her faith, Farmiga, explores friendship, family, career, art, and culture, and the importance of it all when trying to become a fully rounded human being. Avoiding stereotypes and cliches, HIGHER GROUND continually surprises in its analysis of religious faith. All the characters are fully rounded people--not bad or good--just human trying to make sense of it all. The film has the guts to show how difficult all decisions can be and the compromise inherent in life. This is a true indie in that it explores what mainstream films never do in a true in-depth way. It's not a perfect film, like many first time directors, Farmiga explains too much at times and includes cut-ins that do little to but emphasize what is already apparent but in other ways Farmiga shows the hand of an old master. HIGHER GROUND is subtle, caring, and most importantly, human and well-rounded. A lovely film.
John B

Super Reviewer

September 22, 2011
Vera Farmiga does a fabulous job both in directing this film and playing a leading role. It is a study of a Christian community but also a study of presumptions about faith and how it is called into question at times in our lives.
February 25, 2013
Interesting subject matter, but too many plot lines go no where, including the main one.
March 4, 2013
Film interessante, che tratta con sensibilitÓ un tema delicato come la fede. Lo fa raccontanto il percorso di vita di Corinne, da adolescente a donna adulta e madre, e il suo senso di insoddisfazione e frustrazione nei confronti di un Dio con cui, nonostante tutti i suoi sforzi, sente di non riuscire a comunicare. Offre buoni spunti di riflessione, in particolare sulle differenze nel modo di rapportarsi alla fede. Il ritmo lento e la durata (forse eccessiva) lo rendono un po' pesante, anche se non manca qualche momento divertente. Nel complesso il mio giudizo Ŕ positivo.
February 23, 2013
i watched this cause exposing myself to something i have no interest in is probably good for me.
January 27, 2013
Fantastisk debut av Farmiga om det opium vi kallar tro!
January 11, 2013
Farmiga is great and the main reason to watch this.
December 17, 2012
Really well made indie movie about the nature of faith. Vera Farmiga's directorial debut is perfectly observed and slowly heartbreaking. If Jesus is the definitive answer to all questions, and if you're intelligent, then it narrows down the diversity of questions you can ask.
December 11, 2012
A deconversion story that isn't always perfect or subtle, but it's genuineness and honesty make up for its shortcomings.
November 30, 2012
This was pretty good. A good drama about the tested faith of a woman fighting to find her own voice in a male dominated deeply religious community. It was really interesting to see the main character go through trying times with her faith by her side, and other times where the devoutness of the community tests her desire to be herself. Pretty good, honestly.

Super Reviewer

August 28, 2011
Faith and Feminism: The Movie.

That's a pretty good way to describe this, the directorial debut of its star Vera Farmiga. It's loosely based on some novelist's memoirs, and it follows a woman named Corrine who has spent the vast majority of her life immersed in a tightly-knit community of Fundamentalist Christians. Her life with them has been fine, but the older she grows, thew more her closeness to them begins to fracture. She starts to have a crisis of faith, and her task of trying to be simultaneously holy and worldly really takes a toll on her and those around her.

This is an emotional, challenging, and thoughtful film, and Expected it to be no less than this given it's and indie, and someone like Farmiga is at the helm. She's a great actress, an intellectual feminist, and very sensitive when it comes to shedding light on the particular subjects the film deals with, namely, how to be a good faithful Fundamentalist, yet also be a believer in feminism.

Besides herself, Farmiga acts alongside a crack cast that includes reliable supporters like John Hawkes, Joshua Leonard, Norbert Leo Butz, and Dagmara Dominczyk among others. All of the performances are quite good, and you can see that this was really an earnest labor of love for them.

Movies like Saved! had previously tackled this kind of subject matter, but I found this treatment to be quite fresh and absorbing. As someone who has personally had his faith tested, I felt I could relate to this film to some degree, but I really don't know how an atheist or some other type of person would react to this. As such, maybe it's best to just treat this as primarily a character study instead of a specific treatise or something.

The music is good, the camera work is decent, and the film is actually about something important, yet is also entertaining. As such, this is definitely one I recommend. I also hope to see more directorial work from Farmiga in the future, because, even though I love her acting, she really shows a lot of promise behind the camera, too.
October 21, 2012
slow and boring...and religious freaks give me the creeps...
September 2, 2011
I didn't understand her problem, and I didn't really care.
October 10, 2011
Vera Farmiga's performance is a force to be reckoned with
she amazingly portrays a woman who attempts to look beyond her faith and in the process is looked down upon because of it
choosing to believe something else, paying the consequences of it, and learning a great deal more about her belief system
it might question a few things too much about religion but Farmiga's directorial debut shines regardless
February 25, 2012
The editing with just awful - and the script - and (some) of the acting.
Canoodling a noodle
August 17, 2012
Poorly paced, pointless and boring, Higher Ground has its moments for sure, but they are so few and far between that you don't really care anyway. Every character is unlikable and I didn't sympathize with the main character at all. I found her annoying and contrived even if her performance was pretty good. 3/4 of the movie is spent with meaningless uber-religious mumble. At first I thought, this has to pay off somewhere; there HAS to be some reason for including these parts. Maybe they will show the evil side of organized religion or possibly they'll tell the story of how she grows as a person after being trapped by unfriendly jesus freaks. But nope, there was very little pay off and nothing really felt like it was necessary to be in the movie. I feel like the director dropped the ball on every chance to turn the movie around. Oh, she finds another guy who is friendly, different and funny? Will she give up her old ways to be with this new guy? Again, no, she would rather have their possible storyline be squashed by him reading kids book with another lady gripping his leg while the main character does a weird little smile.
August 8, 2012
In painting a picture of American Christianity, the strokes are a bit too broad for my taste at times. As a film, it is meandering and doesn't quite seem to gel, even by the ending, which felt out of left field. However, it is beautifully shot for the most part, and Vera Farmiga's performance was excellent.
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