Always Shine


Always Shine

Critics Consensus

The tense and well-acted Always Shine tells an absorbing story while making a sharp, thought-provoking statement on women's roles in Hollywood.



Total Count: 44


Audience Score

User Ratings: 659
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Movie Info

Two women, both actresses with differing degrees of success, travel north from Los Angeles to Big Sur for a weekend vacation in Always Shine, Sophia Takal's twisty, psychological drama. Both see the trip as an opportunity to reconnect after years of competition and jealousy has driven a wedge between them, but upon arrival to their isolated, forest retreat, the pair discovers that their once intimate friendship has deteriorated into forced conversations, betrayals both real and imagined, petty jealousies, and deep-seated resentment. As the women allow their feelings to fester, each begins to lose their bearings not only on the true nature of their relationship, but on their own identities. Mackenzie Davis ("Halt and Catch Fire") and Caitlin FitzGerald ("Masters of Sex") give brave and raw performances as Beth and Anna, two women whose ideas of success are dictated as much by external cultural criterion as their own sense of self-worth. Beautifully photographed and assuredly directed by Takal, Always Shine wraps itself in an evocative shroud of dread and paranoia that lingers long after the final frame.

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Critic Reviews for Always Shine

All Critics (44) | Top Critics (11)

  • As the fog closes in, so too does the foreboding, expertly tuned to fraught dissonance by director Sophia Takal, who blends art-house flourishes with such horror conventions as the spotty cellphone reception that signals trouble.

    Dec 1, 2016 | Full Review…
  • [Takal has] created two characters with distinctly different approaches to femininity, but these are hard to separate from the women's habitual self-regard.

    Dec 1, 2016 | Full Review…
  • FitzGerald and Davis are both excellent, convincingly turning the smallest, most seemingly harmless discussions into highly charged cat-and-mouse workouts.

    Dec 1, 2016 | Rating: B- | Full Review…
  • None of this would be possible without the extraordinary performances of these two actresses.

    Nov 25, 2016 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…
  • "Always Shine" is a deft, assured movie with a sly self-reflexive undercurrent containing commentary on sexism and self-idealization that's provocative, and sometimes disturbing.

    Nov 24, 2016 | Full Review…
  • Every casual exchange becomes a lunge for dominance, and the movie keeps you flinching.

    Nov 23, 2016 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Always Shine

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