The Immigrant Reviews

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David Denby
New Yorker
September 22, 2014
The physical look of the movie is a revelation of a lost past.
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Wesley Morris
Grantland
June 11, 2014
The film is an achievement. Its complex reckoning of moral decency deserves a bigger audience.
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Geoff Pevere
Globe and Mail
June 6, 2014
Gray's movie is an almost flawlessly articulated example of the kind of thing we like to say they just don't make any more: serious, adult, character-driven and impassioned.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
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Peter Howell
Toronto Star
June 5, 2014
At times, Khondji's golden portraiture can make the characters seem encased in amber. But there's a tremendous payoff for the patient.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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G. Allen Johnson
San Francisco Chronicle
May 29, 2014
An astonishingly beautiful, irresistibly grim movie ...
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
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David Thomson
The New Republic
May 28, 2014
This is Gray's most mature work, and the picture raises Cotillard to a select pantheon.
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Steven Rea
Philadelphia Inquirer
May 23, 2014
It's a little freaky to watch Phoenix go at it, a smooth-talking beguiler who suddenly turns stumblebum. But there's nothing freakish about Cotillard.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
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Tom Long
Detroit News
May 23, 2014
It's the stuff of melodrama, elevated by Gray's sure hand and made more by Phoenix and Cotillard, lovers and haters and something beyond.
Full Review | Original Score: A-
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Colin Covert
Minneapolis Star Tribune
May 22, 2014
"The Immigrant" is one of those rare, strikingly beautiful film experiences that transport you to another world.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
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Bill Goodykoontz
Arizona Republic
May 22, 2014
Steeped in period atmosphere, "The Immigrant" tells the story of one woman's struggle, and it is a struggle indeed, to find her way in a new country.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
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Peter Keough
Boston Globe
May 22, 2014
Gray, despite the rough edges, manages to meld decades of melodrama into a film that is at once simple and complex, morally black-and-white and psychologically ambiguous.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
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John DeFore
Washington Post
May 22, 2014
Gray directs this handsome and evocative film with emotional restraint, making its archetypal title character a living individual whose moral journey is never simple.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
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Rafer Guzman
Newsday
May 22, 2014
Its portrait of early 20th-century New York, a melting pot on a relentless simmer, feels wrenchingly real.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Ben Sachs
Chicago Reader
May 22, 2014
Beautifully shot (by Darius Khondji), designed, and performed, this may well be Gray's masterpiece.
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Joe Williams
St. Louis Post-Dispatch
May 22, 2014
From the Caruso serenade for the new arrivals at Ellis Island to the discordant reality on the other side of the golden door, "The Immigrant" has a ringing message: Succeeding in America is a dream act.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Rene Rodriguez
Miami Herald
May 22, 2014
The Immigrant is the fourth collaboration between Gray and Phoenix, and it's their most fruitful to date.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Andrew O'Hehir
Salon.com
May 22, 2014
From Ellis Island to Central Park to middle-class Brooklyn to the crowded streets of the Lower East Side, Gray delivers a gritty, muted portrait of Roaring '20s New York, photographed in monochrome tones by master cinematographer Darius Khondji.
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David Edelstein
New York Magazine/Vulture
May 19, 2014
The movie earns its dissonances. It's richer than anything onscreen right now.
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Peter Rainer
Christian Science Monitor
May 16, 2014
Gray and his cinematographer Darius Khondji and production designer Happy Massee have done a magnificent job of re-creating this Lower East Side melting pot -- the best I've seen since the De Niro flashbacks in The Godfather II.
Full Review | Original Score: B+
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Stephen Whitty
Newark Star-Ledger
May 16, 2014
Call it a novelistic film, if you must. But know that it is a cinematic film, too. And above all - a James Gray one.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
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Michael Sragow
Orange County Register
May 15, 2014
I can't think of another actor today who could vitalize the character of a virtuous, wronged woman as vividly and unsentimentally as Marion Cotillard does in The Immigrant.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
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Betsy Sharkey
Los Angeles Times
May 15, 2014
One of those prickly period pieces about hard times that gets under your skin and leaves you unsettled long after.
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A.O. Scott
New York Times
May 15, 2014
The film is earnestly and unabashedly melodramatic to an extent that may baffle audiences accustomed to clever, knowing historical fictions. But it also has a depth and purity of feeling that makes other movies feel timid and small by comparison.
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May 15, 2014
A magnificently lush, broody period piece that harks back to the great maternal melodramas of the mid-20th century.
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Claudia Puig
USA Today
May 15, 2014
What predominates is a dully morose, overheated and implausible story.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
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Peter Travers
Rolling Stone
May 15, 2014
It's Cotillard, recalling icons of the silent screen, whose face reflects the bruised heart of The Immigrant, a timeless film from a director whose work rewards the closest attention.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Dana Stevens
Slate
May 15, 2014
I wanted to fall under this movie's spell as if watching one of those early 20th-century immigrant melodramas-instead, it felt like visiting a meticulously appointed but too-tidy historical museum.
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Matthew Kassel
New York Observer
May 15, 2014
Neither Ewa nor Bruno has much depth and often come off as stock characters in a movie with little new to offer about the immigrant experience.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
Top Critic
May 15, 2014
Gray is the most underappreciated of this country's major filmmakers; his movies distill a century's worth of American feature film-a little late silent cinema here, a little New Hollywood there-into a distinctly personal style.
Full Review | Original Score: A
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Peter Debruge
Variety
May 14, 2014
This rich, beautifully rendered film boasts an arrestingly soulful performance from Marion Cotillard.
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Todd McCarthy
Hollywood Reporter
May 14, 2014
Marion Cotillard scores another triumph as a Polish woman whose welcome to 1920s New York could scarcely be more trying.
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Stephanie Zacharek
Village Voice
May 13, 2014
It's as if the ghosts of an older, vanished New York have been freed from the tyranny of faded photographs and allowed, once again, to move, think, and feel.
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Jake Coyle
Associated Press
May 13, 2014
Gray has said he was inspired by Puccini, and with a staggering last shot, "The Immigrant" reaches a crescendo of operatic beauty.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
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Richard Brody
New Yorker
September 30, 2013
The ambient fury of the director James Gray's teeming historical drama is built into the very fabric of his tensely unbalanced wide-screen images.
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Jordan Hoffman
Film.com
May 29, 2013
The best movie of its kind since Elia Kazan.
Full Review | Original Score: 8/10
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Jon Frosch
The Atlantic
May 28, 2013
An old-fashioned but subdued melodrama, with a pleasingly ripe musical score and scenes full of big emotions performed at a hushed pitch.
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Keith Uhlich
Time Out
May 24, 2013
The shock of the old made new, a miracle achieved, a great movie rising before me-like a delusion, like a dream.