You Were Never Really Here - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

You Were Never Really Here Reviews

April 20, 2018
What it lacks in straightforward narrative structure, it makes up for in chest-level punch, and "You Were Never Really Here" lands like a blow to the sternum.
Full Review | Original Score: B+
April 14, 2018
You Were Never Really Here is not a film that particularly wants you to "like" it. But with its highbrow talent and arty flourishes, it all but dares you to admit that you disliked it. Challenge accepted.
April 13, 2018
[Phoenix], the mumbling master of smug self-indulgence, dons another layer of Emperor's new duds to favor us with a performance as subtle as a fart in a sardined elevator and twice as odiferous.
Full Review | Original Score: 0/5
April 13, 2018
We do not deserve Lynne Ramsay.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
April 12, 2018
In a case of trying to run before knowing how to walk, Ramsay tries to make a different kind of action movie without bothering to master the rudiments of the form.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
April 12, 2018
Joaquin Phoenix has never been shy about going big if the role called for it -- and maybe even if the role didn't necessarily call for it -- but his performance here ranks as one of his best because of what happens between the outbursts.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
April 12, 2018
Ramsay's screenplay is based on a novella by Jonathan Ames, which scans as the leanest of prose. Ramsay turns it into violent, visual poetry.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
April 12, 2018
You Were Never Really Here amounts to more than a Taxi Driver for our time. Despite the obvious homage, this is a Ramsay film, rooted in the Glaswegian auteur's feverish, kaleidoscope style.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
April 12, 2018
A journey to the deepest levels of the dark side, "You Were Never Really Here" is an art-house crime thriller that succeeds on every technical and creative level.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
April 12, 2018
You Were Never Really Here is a demanding film, but it's not a reckless one. To watch it is to see a rigorous and intensely creative filmmaker at work.
April 12, 2018
"You Were Never Really Here" is as uncompromising as films get, a kind of concentrated trip through the violent thoughts and actions of a seriously disturbed man who also happens to be the hero.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
April 12, 2018
Audiences, particularly heterosexual male audiences, still eat up the old rugged-individualist noir cliches. It's about time a female director of serious nerve threw the genre a curveball.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
April 12, 2018
You don't watch You Were Never Really Here. You fall into it, one shot and sound at a time.
Full Review | Original Score: A
April 12, 2018
Through it all walks Phoenix as Joe, and rarely has this mercurial actor seemed so simultaneously threatening and vulnerable, unstoppable and lost.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
April 11, 2018
"You Were Never Really Here" is a good film, maybe even a great one. But I can't honestly say that I liked it.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
April 9, 2018
If you're left a little in the fog as to what's happened and why, it's not a drawback: The execution is so assured, you simply go with the flow of striking, suggestive images.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
April 6, 2018
You Were Never Really Here is hard going: easy to revere, fascinating to explore, but nagging in its grimness and, were it not for the rooted presence of Joaquin Phoenix, difficult to believe in.
April 6, 2018
A taut and almost unbearably intense 90-minutes, without an ounce of fat on it. Ramsay doesn't give you a second to breathe.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
April 5, 2018
With a jarring 11th-hour twist, [director Lynne] Ramsay leaves you pondering what menace lies beneath all those familiar sights and sounds.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
April 5, 2018
Style overwhelms substance; characters recede into a fog of endless setup accentuated with Johnny Greenwood's meaningfully strident score.
April 5, 2018
Joaquin Phoenix is simply stupendous in a revenge thriller from the brilliant Scottish filmmaker Lynne Ramsay that gets under your skin and makes it crawl. You won't know what hit you.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
April 4, 2018
You Were Never Really Here may be something of a blunt instrument. But it still managed to knock me out.
April 4, 2018
The gravity and force of Mr. Phoenix's performance and Ms. Ramsay's direction are impressive, but it's hard not to feel that their talents have been misapplied, and that there is less to the movie than meets the eye.
January 23, 2018
A film of external beauty in Ramsay's visual language and sound design but it's anchored by the internal work of her leading man.
June 29, 2017
[Director Ramsay's] return seals her standing as one of our most fearless and forceful filmmakers, if not one as prolific as she deserves to be.
May 31, 2017
A transcendent, at times almost dangerous film.
Top Critic
May 29, 2017
Ramsay has made a terrific short story, economical as hell but also so moment-for-moment gripping that you want to pore over its every shot, its every dark cranny.
Full Review | Original Score: A-
May 27, 2017
You Were Never Really Here is a powerful assault of a film, but it's missing its director's inimitable poetry.
Top Critic
May 26, 2017
For all of its meticulous construction and often masterful craft, the film remains something to coldly admire rather than easily embrace, often playing more as a collection of accomplished filmmaking moments than as a fully enthralling whole.
Top Critic
May 26, 2017
Ramsay has made more sensually rapturous films, but this may be her most formally exacting: No shot or cut here is idle or extraneous.
May 26, 2017
It's a mesmerizing illustration of [Ramsay's] ability to treasure small gestures and whispered exchanges over exposition to construct a tapestry of alternately gripping and melancholic emotions.
Full Review | Original Score: B-