Blue Car Reviews

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David Rooney
Variety
April 1, 2009
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Time Out
June 24, 2006
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Bill Muller
Arizona Republic
June 12, 2003
Worth watching for the coming-out party of Agnes Bruckner, a relative newcomer who shows her mettle with an extraordinary performance in this very ordinary tear-jerker.
| Original Score: 3/5
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Andrew Sarris
New York Observer
June 11, 2003
An impressive first effort from Ms. Moncrieff, but the eternal Aristotelian in me finds it depressing to watch characters always walking around in moral quicksand.
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Connie Ogle
Miami Herald
May 30, 2003
A well-intentioned coming-of-age film anchored by two indelible performances but weakened by an overabundance of drama.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
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Stanley Kauffmann
The New Republic
May 28, 2003
The film is strengthened by the two leading performances.
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Nicole Arthur
Washington Post
May 23, 2003
We've seen this unhappy scenario played out many times before, but seldom with a better eye for detail.
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Stephen Hunter
Washington Post
May 23, 2003
Certainly no feel-good flick of the summer. But it's always tough and honest.
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Carrie Rickey
Philadelphia Inquirer
May 23, 2003
It's rare that a movie makes a viewer experience the psychodynamics of an encounter so profoundly -- usually theater is a better medium for that -- but Moncrieff has exceptional skills.
| Original Score: 3/4
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Eric Harrison
Houston Chronicle
May 23, 2003
The story is so well-acted and honestly written that after a while it stops bothering us that we know where it's going.
Full Review | Original Score: B
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Ty Burr
Boston Globe
May 23, 2003
It's that central dance between teacher and student that makes the movie both hard to watch and worth your attention -- a subtle waltz of power in which it's difficult to tell who's leading until too late.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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St. Louis Post-Dispatch
May 23, 2003
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Jane Sumner
Dallas Morning News
May 22, 2003
It's a writer-director's important debut and a giant leap to leading roles for a brave actress.
Full Review | Original Score: B-
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Jeff Strickler
Minneapolis Star Tribune
May 22, 2003
As bitterness piles upon disappointment piles upon loneliness, Blue Car stalls under the weight of its emotional baggage.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
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Eleanor Ringel Gillespie
Atlanta Journal-Constitution
May 22, 2003
I didn't like Blue Car, and the only thing I found appalling is how blatantly predicable and pseudo-daring the supposedly appalling stuff is.
Full Review | Original Score: D+
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Moira MacDonald
Seattle Times
May 16, 2003
A coming-of-age tale acted with such honesty, and directed with such quiet understanding of its troubled characters, that its nearly unrelenting grimness takes on a poetic quality.
| Original Score: 3/4
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C.W. Nevius
San Francisco Chronicle
May 16, 2003
From the rain-streaked windshield to the unaffected line readings from a stellar cast, there is not a shot in Blue Car that doesn't ring true.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Tom Long
Detroit News
May 16, 2003
Blue Car isn't an easy ride, but it's worth taking.
| Original Score: B
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Roger Ebert
Chicago Sun-Times
May 16, 2003
A valuable cautionary tale.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
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Terry Lawson
Detroit Free Press
May 16, 2003
A beautifully crafted and painfully sincere movie that makes most dramas about teenagers seem about as real and relevant as American Pie.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Glenn Lovell
San Jose Mercury News
May 15, 2003
Thanks to Bruckner and Strathairn, who's queasy beyond the call of duty, this is one indie that resonates well beyond the end credits.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Mark Caro
Chicago Tribune
May 15, 2003
For the most part, Blue Car succeeds in fulfilling Meg's assignment to 'touch the hidden nerve.'
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Peter Howell
Toronto Star
May 9, 2003
It's rare that a first-time director demonstrates such a sure hand, but Moncrieff is the real deal.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
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Liam Lacey
Globe and Mail
May 9, 2003
The movie unfolds, wobbling between scenes that feel fresh and genuine and others that feel seriously overfreighted with ethical judgments.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
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Richard Roeper
Ebert & Roeper
May 5, 2003
... this film is so smart ...
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Bob Campbell
Newark Star-Ledger
May 2, 2003
A cozy, well-made vehicle without the capacity to carry everything that writer-director Karen Moncrieff piles into it.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
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Jack Mathews
New York Daily News
May 2, 2003
A fine first film, and one you won't easily forget.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
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Megan Lehmann
New York Post
May 2, 2003
An unflinchingly honest coming-of-age portrait.
| Original Score: 3/4
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Stephen Holden
New York Times
May 1, 2003
A most impressive writing and directing debut for Karen Moncrieff.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
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Claudia Puig
USA Today
May 1, 2003
Has the feel of a novel in which the characters linger in one's memory well after the book has been read.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Kenneth Turan
Los Angeles Times
May 1, 2003
Even with its drawbacks, Blue Car remains an intimate, thoughtful drama, with a performance no one is likely to forget.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/5
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John Anderson
Newsday
May 1, 2003
Intimate, honest, if occasionally contrived.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
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Ella Taylor
L.A. Weekly
May 1, 2003
A quietly devastating song for our lonely age.
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Rex Reed
New York Observer
May 1, 2003
Ms. Moncrieff's mature direction distills nuanced performances from her actors to tell a well-balanced, compelling and enlightening story with refreshing candor.
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Lisa Schwarzbaum
Entertainment Weekly
April 30, 2003
Strathairn's portrayal of a flawed man is so moving and Bruckner's Meg so painfully true -- a breakthrough performance -- that thoughts of Lolita are left far behind.
Full Review | Original Score: A
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Laura Sinagra
Village Voice
April 29, 2003
A teacher-student tangle that uses its So-Called Lifeness as a beard for interactions that veer from everyday surreal to hauntingly injurious.
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Peter Travers
Rolling Stone
November 6, 2002
Strathairn works miracles by finding the humanity in a deeply flawed man. And Bruckner is an amazement, piercing the heart without begging for sympathy.
| Original Score: 3/4
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Frank Scheck
Hollywood Reporter
August 21, 2002
Handles a difficult subject with an admirable mixture of sensitivity and frankness.