High Life

Critics Consensus

High Life is as visually arresting as it is challenging, confounding, and ultimately rewarding - which is to say it's everything film fans expect from director Claire Denis.

80%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 5

43%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 631
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High Life Photos

Movie Info

A handful of drug-addicted petty criminals discover their plan to pull off the perfect crime isn't quite perfect at all in this dark fusion of comedy and action from director Gary Yates. It's 1983, and Bug (Stephen Eric McIntyre) has just been released from prison. Bug meets up with his friend and former cellmate Dick (Timothy Olyphant), who is working as part of the cleaning crew at a hospital; it's Dick's first on-the-books job, and it provides him with a steady paycheck as well as an opportunity to steal drugs to feed his appetite for opiates. Thanks to Bug, Dick is quickly fired, but Bug soon gets an idea for a quick and lucrative score. Automated Teller Machines have become a common item while Bug was in stir, and he hatches a clever plot to rob a bank's ATM machines by posing as repairmen. Dick thinks Bug's scheme can actually work, and they recruit two guys to help pull the job, small-time thief Donnie (Joe Anderson) and Billy (Rossif Sutherland), a fellow junkie Dick meets at a twelve-step meeting. However good the plan looked on paper, once Dick and Bug meet up with Donnie and Billy to pull the job, it becomes obvious things aren't panning out and their partners in crime are even less dependable than they are. High Life was based on the play of the same name by Lee MacDougall, who also wrote the screenplay for the film.

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Critic Reviews for High Life

All Critics (5) | Top Critics (2) | Fresh (4) | Rotten (1)

  • High Life is filled with surprising, artful flourishes.

    January 15, 2010 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…
  • The plot gets twisted but the direction by Yates never does. He finds the humour in a desperate situation. It's hard to hate or even despise Dick and his stooges, because you can sense how needy they are.

    January 15, 2010 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…
  • This witty film wins us over with its likeable-loser characters and twisty plot. It also has an intriguingly serious edge

    July 7, 2010 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…
  • So, finally, deciding whether or not to see this movie boils down to one simple thing. If you didn't see it on stage, chances are you'll have a good-enough time.

    January 15, 2010 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…
  • Quote not available.

    September 15, 2009 | Rating: 1.5/4

Audience Reviews for High Life

  • Feb 11, 2012
    Probably the most unique role I've seen Timothy Olyphant do, and it worked pretty well. Not exactly a laugh-a-minute comedy, but it generally works as a heist gone wrong dramedy, appropriately set in the early 80s. At 80 minutes it never amounts to much, but I appreciated most of the dark sense of humor, and what seems to be a fairly realistic depiction of how addicts think. 3/5 Stars
    Jeffrey M Super Reviewer
  • Oct 14, 2010
    Once again I notice the low rating from some people, but I personally really enjoyed this movie. I admit that I am a Tim Olyphant fan, so maybe I am a little biased. I dont think that is the case, though. I truly got a kick out of this movie. It is a black comedy, of sorts, so that makes me like it even more. All in all good flick.
    Cynthia S Super Reviewer
  • Sep 02, 2010
    timothy olyphant is a good watch here as a lowlife loosing his job, and setting in motion a plan to steel from the new cashpoints, this being 1983. but due to events and a mad partner things go wrong, a entertaining efort, it has a lot going for it, and while it doesent hit the heights its worthy of a lot
    scott g Super Reviewer
  • Jun 18, 2010
    Brilliant failed heist movie. Ex con Olyphant and his buddies try to work out a violence free hijacking which fails miserably in every way. Superb story, great acting and the sense of humour made me laugh throughout.
    Barry L Super Reviewer

High Life Quotes

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