Winter's Bone


Winter's Bone

Critics Consensus

Bleak, haunting, and yet still somehow hopeful, Winter's Bone is writer-director Debra Granik's best work yet -- and it boasts an incredible, starmaking performance from Jennifer Lawrence.



Reviews Counted: 167

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User Ratings: 51,617


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Reviews Count: 0
Fresh: 0
Rotten: 0


Average Rating: 3.7/5

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Movie Info

Her family home in danger of being repossessed after her meth-cooking dad skips bail and disappears, Ozark teen Ree Dolly (Jennifer Lawrence) breaks the local code of conduct by confronting her kin about their conspiracy of silence. Should she fail to track her father down, Ree Dolly, her younger siblings, and their disabled mother will soon be rendered homeless. ~ Jason Buchanan, Rovi

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Critic Reviews for Winter's Bone

All Critics (167) | Top Critics (41)

  • Debra Granik's bleak little film is as tough, unflinching and fascinating as the characters who eke out a life amid its cold, gray hills.

    Jan 31, 2011 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…
  • A rewarding, richly detailed exploration of the strength of character required when confronted by ugly truths.

    Nov 17, 2010 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…
  • The Coen Brothers' O Brother Where Art Thou? was the last film to make such delirious use of mountain music. The rest of the world can start drooling over Lawrence. I'm gonna git me a copy of that soundtrack.

    Sep 22, 2010 | Rating: 4/5
  • It is all given unironic dignity and power due to the outstanding lead performance from 20-year-old Jennifer Lawrence as Ree, a young woman who must take on some scary neighbourhood types to protect her family.

    Sep 16, 2010 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…
  • Think a film like Trash Humpers offers insight into a crappy life in the poor South? Winter's Bone will make you see the light.

    Sep 16, 2010 | Rating: 4/5
  • Granik balances the pace and intrigue of a mystery thriller with total compassion for Ree, played with much skill by Lawrence.

    Sep 15, 2010 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…

    Dave Calhoun

    Time Out
    Top Critic

Audience Reviews for Winter's Bone


With an excellent performance by Jennifer Lawrence, this is a haunting and extremely distressing drama whose downbeat atmosphere feels always suffocating and real as it drags us into this bleak universe filled with dreadful people living in so much misery and poverty.

Carlos Magalhães
Carlos Magalhães

Super Reviewer


Bleak and disenchanting look at the dark side of the American country side. Carried by great acting performances and the fascinatingly gloomy criminal networks of Ozark County the film manages to engage the audience, even if it primarily consists of Jennifer Lawrence walking through the woods and talking to hostile hillbilly hicks. Surprisingly, that works because we very soon start to care about Ree.

Jens S.
Jens S.

Super Reviewer

What makes "Winter's Bone" eerily unique in the indie realm is its depiction of people made disadvantaged in life, and yet they live by a system of honorable codes. Our main character Ree (Lawrence) takes care of her mother and two younger siblings, and has to deal with the disappearance of her crack cooking father. She has to try and keep their house from being taken away by finding him, but is met with controversy. Ree is a strong character who is mature beyond her years, because she has to be to survive the harsh backwoods' conditions. Most of the film serves as a portrayal of the silence that's instilled in this community who deal primarily in drugs and other illegal activities. Ree is often threatened with severe punishment if she doesn't halt her questioning, though she is only seventeen and is serving a noble purpose. Nobody, especially a teenager, should have to grow up so fast, but it seems that everyone is older than they appear: teenagers are married with children, or serve as the gatekeepers in their households, though many aren't even old enough to vote. The only issue I really have with this film is that there aren't that many hurdles for Ree to get over. The only time she's really met with controversy is when she's attacked, otherwise many of the conflicts associated with the plot are wrapped up by the end, which just feels too easy.

Spencer S.
Spencer S.

Super Reviewer


A 17 year old girl left to care for her family in dirt-poor rural Alabama goes in search of her absentee father when faced with the choice of either forcing him to appear before the court or losing their home. Winter's Bone, despite its detective story-style premise, has a flavour very much of a frontier western; take away the synthetic fabrics, pick-up trucks, indoor plumbing and narcotics of choice and you have a community whose life has probably remained pretty much unchanged in the last hundred years. It's a portrait of the struggles of living below the poverty line in contemporary rural America as Jennifer Lawrence's destitute but proud heroine explores the underbelly of her tightly knit but deeply dysfunctional extended family. It's a stark, bleak and gritty drama full of characterful and completely believable performances set within a part of contemporary society rarely depicted outside of trailer trash stereotypes. Tense, occasionally frightening and extremely well observed, Winter's Bone is a serious drama that chooses substance over superficial flash and is all the more affecting and disturbing for it.

xGary Xx
xGary Xx

Super Reviewer

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