Manchester by the Sea - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Manchester by the Sea Reviews

Top Critic
James Berardinelli
ReelViews
December 8, 2016
Unforced acting couples with a nuanced, insightful script to tell a story that, although seemingly simple, is achingly complex.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
Top Critic
Ty Burr
Boston Globe
December 7, 2016
The sadness of "Manchester by the Sea" is the kind of sadness that makes you feel more alive, rather than less, to the preciousness of things.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
Top Critic
Mick LaSalle
San Francisco Chronicle
December 6, 2016
Affleck is magnificent, but the movie is something less than that, because it can't completely overcome some built-in challenges. Even so, Manchester by the Sea deserves honors for being so different, and for working on the mind in a particular way
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Kate Taylor
Globe and Mail
December 2, 2016
Its initial enigma seems to need no explanation; yet, once deciphered, the film does not falter but moves only deeper into the emotional territory it charts.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
Top Critic
Adam Graham
Detroit News
December 2, 2016
It's painful and tragic, yet it's cut with elements of humor and laughter. Just like life.
Full Review | Original Score: A
Top Critic
Matthew Lickona
San Diego Reader
December 1, 2016
It's Affleck's movie to quietly own as layer upon layer of Irish impassivity is stripped away from his visage until the unspeakable can be spoken.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
Top Critic
Tom Shone
Newsweek
December 1, 2016
Lonergan found the right man in Affleck, standing stony-faced while others weep, his performance a master class in submerged feeling... But it's Williams who stuns, in the course of a single, astonishing dialogue toward the end of the film.
Top Critic
Moira MacDonald
Seattle Times
December 1, 2016
Not everything broken, this wise movie reminds us, can be mended.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
Top Critic
Calvin Wilson
St. Louis Post-Dispatch
December 1, 2016
"Manchester by the Sea" is one of the best films of the year.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
Top Critic
December 1, 2016
There's a funny sequence when Lonergan surprise-reveals that Lee fathered one, then two, then three children, who tumble out from the corners of the screen like squashed clowns.
Full Review | Original Score: B-
Top Critic
Rene Rodriguez
Miami Herald
December 1, 2016
"Manchester by the Sea" is the latest installment in a body of work from an artist fascinated by how life marches on, with or without us, and how we scramble to keep up. Not everyone can, though.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
Top Critic
Rafer Guzman
Newsday
December 1, 2016
A heart-wrenching drama anchored by Affleck, who notches up yet another subtle, stunning performance.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
Top Critic
David Sims
The Atlantic
November 29, 2016
A drama of rare power-a tale of human suffering that succeeds because of its love for its characters, rather than for their misfortunes.
Top Critic
Richard Brody
New Yorker
November 25, 2016
It's less a movie of aesthetics than of synesthesia, transmitting an unbearable burden of inner coldness and emptiness by means of warmhearted wonder.
Top Critic
Peter Howell
Toronto Star
November 24, 2016
One of the year's best pictures.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
Top Critic
Bill Goodykoontz
Arizona Republic
November 23, 2016
"Manchester by the Sea" is a masterpiece in a minor key, an exploration of grief that never lets its characters - or its audience - off the hook.
Full Review | Original Score: 5/5
Top Critic
Tirdad Derakhshani
Philadelphia Inquirer
November 22, 2016
An achingly graceful, heartfelt, working-class story about loss, grief, and family obligations.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
Top Critic
Mara Reinstein
Us Weekly
November 22, 2016
It's a masterful, all-American tale that delves deep into the black hole of grief. At times, it can all be emotionally overwhelming - but isn't that a characteristic of a great movie?
Top Critic
Ann Hornaday
Washington Post
November 22, 2016
"Manchester By the Sea" is a film of surpassing beauty and heart. Even at its most melancholy depths, it brims with candid, earnest, indefatigable life.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
Top Critic
Stephanie Zacharek
TIME Magazine
November 22, 2016
If you open yourself to the experience, Lonergan's movies allow you to live with characters until they feel like people you know. Sometimes they're people you don't like very much. But somehow, by the end, they're your people.
Top Critic
Anthony Lane
New Yorker
November 21, 2016
If you feel ashamed to be laughing, then Lonergan has got you exactly where he wants you-stirred and confounded, casting around for breaks in the cloud of sadness.
Top Critic
Lindsey Bahr
Associated Press
November 18, 2016
It's hard to overstate the magnificence of Kenneth Lonergan's Manchester by the Sea.
Top Critic
Peter Rainer
Christian Science Monitor
November 18, 2016
Because Lonergan is so true to the intricacies and rhythms of family strife, we trust his vision. When it comes time for the fade-out, he doesn't gussy up sorrow with a sunrise glow. Healing is hard.
Full Review | Original Score: A
Top Critic
Matt Zoller Seitz
RogerEbert.com
November 18, 2016
The funniest movie about grief ever made -- but that's far from the only remarkable thing about it.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
Top Critic
Dana Stevens
Slate
November 18, 2016
Leaves you with the feeling you've just lived a whole separate lifetime and are re-entering, dazed, into your own.
Top Critic
Brian Lowry
CNN.com
November 17, 2016
Featuring Casey Affleck in an Oscar-caliber performance, it's a deeply affecting little gem of a film, which should gently sweep filmgoers up in its melancholy tides.
Top Critic
Joe Morgenstern
Wall Street Journal
November 17, 2016
Manchester by the Sea is formula-free and one of a kind, with only as much resolution as the steely grip of the past will allow.
Top Critic
Peter Travers
Rolling Stone
November 17, 2016
No film this year has moved me more with its humor, heart and humanity. Engrave the name Casey Affleck on the Oscar for Best Actor right now, so extraordinary and engulfing is his performance.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
Top Critic
November 17, 2016
Lonergan's film reveals itself as a wellspring of urgently needed compassion and grace.
Top Critic
Joshua Rothkopf
Time Out
November 17, 2016
An emotional powerhouse with the weave of great literature.
Full Review | Original Score: 5/5
Top Critic
A.O. Scott
New York Times
November 17, 2016
"Manchester by the Sea" is a finely shaded portrait, a study in individual misery set in a place that is observed with care and affection.
Top Critic
Rex Reed
New York Observer
November 17, 2016
An exemplary film of such exceptional wisdom, beauty, clarity, sensitivity and emotional depth that I had to rub my eyes to believe it.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
Top Critic
Chris Nashawaty
Entertainment Weekly
November 17, 2016
Lonergan has given us a masterpiece.
Full Review | Original Score: A
Top Critic
Kenneth Turan
Los Angeles Times
November 17, 2016
"Manchester By the Sea" is heartbreaking yet somehow heartening, a film that just wallops you with its honesty, its authenticity and its access to despair.
Top Critic
A.A. Dowd
AV Club
November 17, 2016
This is a staggering American drama, almost operatic in the heartbreak it chronicles, that's also attuned to everyday headaches, like forgetting where the car is parked and hitting your noggin on the freezer door.
Full Review | Original Score: A
Top Critic
Robert Abele
TheWrap
November 16, 2016
The result is a movie that, if never exactly a cathartic experience, carries you along in its clenched grip with an undeniable power. It's sad and funny and real.
Top Critic
April Wolfe
Village Voice
November 16, 2016
A poignant, surprisingly hilarious depiction of death, grieving, and small-town life.
Top Critic
Brian Truitt
USA Today
November 16, 2016
Manchester by the Sea is a deeply affecting and wickedly funny masterpiece showcasing the maturation of men, from the broken man and his nephew at its heart to the drama's phenomenal filmmaker.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
Top Critic
David Edelstein
New York Magazine/Vulture
November 16, 2016
Affleck proves he can convey suffering as well as any actor alive. His trebly voice is cracked with pain. He comes with his own chill fog.
Top Critic
Stephen Whitty
New York Daily News
November 14, 2016
Full of loss and grief and the grey skies of a wintry Massachusetts, "Manchester by the Sea" can sound like a pretty dreary two hours at the movies. It's not.
Full Review | Original Score: 5/5
Top Critic
Eric Kohn
indieWIRE
July 18, 2016
Manchester stands out for doing an old routine just right. It's not the next best thing, but it does justice to a familiar playbook.
Full Review | Original Score: B+
Top Critic
Justin Chang
Variety
July 18, 2016
[A] beautifully textured, richly enveloping drama about how a death in the family forces a small-town New Englander to confront a past tragedy anew.
Top Critic
Todd McCarthy
Hollywood Reporter
July 18, 2016
A wrenching family tragedy is dramatized with the depth of a high-quality American stage piece in Manchester by the Sea.
Top Critic
Alison Willmore
BuzzFeed News
January 28, 2016
The finest possible incarnation of the sort of starry, delicate drama that is a festival standard.
Top Critic
Kyle Smith
New York Post
January 24, 2016
"Manchester by the Sea" is precise in its vision, universal in its application. It's one of this year's few great films.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
Top Critic
Bilge Ebiri
New York Magazine/Vulture
January 24, 2016
Its world is cruel and chaotic, but it unfolds with purpose and grace.