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Sister (2012)



Average Rating: 8.3/10
Critic Reviews: 21
Fresh: 21 | Rotten: 0

No consensus yet.



liked it
Average Rating: 3.7/5
User Ratings: 1,539

My Rating

Movie Info

Simon (Kacey Mottet Klein) lives with his older sister (Léa Seydoux) in a housing complex below a luxury Swiss ski resort. With his sister drifting in and out of jobs and relationships, twelve-year-old Simon takes on the responsibility of providing for the two of them. Every day, he takes the lift up to the opulent ski world above, stealing equipment from rich tourists to resell to the local kids down in the valley. He is able to keep their little family afloat with his small-time hustles and



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All Critics (65) | Top Critics (21) | Fresh (62) | Rotten (3)

What a beautiful and desperate film.

January 18, 2013 Full Review Source: Detroit News
Detroit News
Top Critic IconTop Critic

[An] absorbing French drama.

January 10, 2013 Full Review Source: Chicago Reader
Chicago Reader
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The movie takes a refreshingly low-key, observational approach to storytelling ...

January 3, 2013 Full Review Source: Chicago Sun-Times
Chicago Sun-Times
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"Sister" avoids sentimental indulgence. There's no room for wallowing in this spare, almost ascetic exercise ...

December 6, 2012 Full Review Source: Arizona Republic
Arizona Republic
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French-born director and co-screenwriter Ursula Meier balances the scenario's bleak, wrenching aspects with a stirring confidence in the redemptive power of love.

November 29, 2012 Full Review Source: Minneapolis Star Tribune
Minneapolis Star Tribune
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Seydoux perfectly captures the anger and self-defeat of ill-educated, hedonistic, man-chasing young women who live on the fringes.

November 9, 2012 Full Review Source: San Francisco Chronicle
San Francisco Chronicle
Top Critic IconTop Critic

The pair [Klein & Seydoux] artfully weaves the ties that bind, crafting something that is both fragile and tenuously hopeful.

November 12, 2013 Full Review Source: Limelight

Strong, pungent, snow-laden contemporary Swiss drama...Director Ursula Meier fills the film with unspoken desperation that is almost tear-inducing.

November 8, 2013 Full Review Source: 3AW

Scorn may give way to momentary solicitude, but Sister is by no means a tenderhearted morality tale.

November 5, 2013 Full Review Source: Film Comment Magazine
Film Comment Magazine

One of those films that quietly gets under your skin - in the best possible way. It's a film about character and relationships. And its unpredictability is what adds the dramatic tension

October 26, 2013 Full Review Source: Urban Cinefile
Urban Cinefile

The content gets grittier and grittier as the film progresses and some may be disappointed by the ending, which leaves us hanging - as if on a mountain ledge. But maybe that is the point. Performances are brilliant, though

October 26, 2013 Full Review Source: Urban Cinefile
Urban Cinefile

A simple but emotionally laden slice-of-life drama that is at turns heartbreaking and hopeful.

January 25, 2013 Full Review Source: Times-Picayune

Slow-moving to the point of being glacial, Meier's icy endeavour is just barely rewarding enough to warrant the effort required to sit through it.

January 20, 2013 Full Review Source: Quickflix

Director Ursula Meier conjures a convincing sense of place.

January 17, 2013 Full Review Source: Oregonian

For fans of Ursula Meier's last movie, the strikingly offbeat domestic drama Home, this act of auteur-on-auteur emulation may feel like a comedown. Yet it's still stirring work.

January 9, 2013 Full Review Source: Time Out Chicago
Time Out Chicago

Strong cinematography, excellent performances, and a deft touch with how adulthood can be forced upon what should be carefree adolescence make it emotionally memorable without ever feeling manipulative.

January 3, 2013 Full Review Source:

A low-key, affecting story of dreams at odds with reality and crime sprung from necessity.

January 3, 2013 Full Review Source: RedEye

We come away relieved and somehow chastened, the same way we might feel after having our pocket picked by a true artist.

December 20, 2012 Full Review Source: East Bay Express
East Bay Express

The storytelling is exciting and the characters well-observed.

November 29, 2012 Full Review Source: St. Paul Pioneer Press
St. Paul Pioneer Press

For the most part a distant film, Sister supplies a full behavioral experience that's riveting at times, with lead performances by Lea Seydoux and Kacey Mottet Klein communicating isolation in bravely vulnerable ways.

November 28, 2012 Full Review Source:

Audience Reviews for Sister

Really well done movie. I wanted to feel sorry for the pair of them, but I just couldn't, they were too unlikeable with their actions. But then part of me understood why they were both like that.
Very subtle film that does challenge you a little.
Gillian Anderson is barely in it. Not sure why she has top billing. Her character is really nothing here and could easily have been omitted.
December 28, 2013

Super Reviewer

Switzerland as you've never seen it before. Sure, there is the postcard image of a ski paradise against the backdrop of grandiose mountain tops. Luxury and adventure, for whoever has the wallet. But behind the picturesque facade dwells a contrast; a story from another reality, filtered through the daily life of the 12-year-old Simon and his older sister Louise.

She's the passive of the two: self-dismissed from her job and brazenly foul-mouthed. Disappearing every once in a while to meet an array of fleeting boyfriends. We recognize the archetype.

Simon, a miniature criminal, makes a living on stealing skiing gear from unsuspecting tourists. He is handy and self-taught; have become mentally adult far too rapidly. At some points also caught in the act, which manifests inter alia in a scene where he is lightly assaulted by one of his victims. In broad daylight, in front of lunch-eating guests. That no one steps in between when a fully-grown man beats him bloody in the snow, ought to say something about the Swiss perception on child abuse.

Bittersweet it is, however, to see how Simon and Louise yet allow themselves to smile, with misery hanging on their shoulders. Broken souls, whose background really spurs more questions than provide any satisfying answers. I wanted to know more about how it came to be this way. How it went from point A to point B. But the narrative mostly just scratches the surface. At any rate refreshing in its unforced approach, but more depth and less money quarrels and it could have gone from good to brilliant.

Nuanced and well-written, we nonetheless receive an earth-shattering twist which changes everything we've taken for granted about the characters' established relationships. Thought-provoking in its originality, about situations you know are out there, but are seldom depicted on celluloid.

Sister, in its essence, is mercurial love-hate dynamics on the slithery uphill of life. Where the precocious Simon doesn't just steal boots and goggles, but also our undivided attention. That we are furthermore treated to an appearance by "X-Files"-star Gillian Anderson, adds additional icing to this uniquely concocted pathos-cake.
April 21, 2013
Mike S

Super Reviewer

Meier shows she can manage a sad subject with sensitivity, but it is Klein who completely shines as the adorable, charismatic young protagonist. However, the film doesn't seem to know how to end, and the two only English-speaking characters added to the story are superfluous.
April 27, 2012

Super Reviewer

This was Switzerland's official submission for foreign language film at the 2013 Oscars. I saw it at our local Cinematheque prior to attending an Oscars party. Simon and Louise are trying to get by as best they can in their low rent apartment at the base of a mountain ski resort. It is hard to turn your eyes away from the acts of really desperate people, and they are surely not very virtuous. Still it is difficult to root for these two young antiheroes. The title is misleading and the incestuous moments will probably make many audience members squirm.
April 16, 2013

Super Reviewer

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Foreign Titles

  • Winterdieb (DE)
  • Sister (UK)
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