Mary Poppins Returns
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All Critics (25)
| Top Critics (9)
| Fresh (21)
| Rotten (4)
"Gabriel" exhibits a welcome understanding of the broken, and the ripple effect of their pain.
Gabriel is a showcase for Culkin, but it doesn't lose sight of the experiences of the characters' loved ones and the bone-deep exhaustion that comes with caring about him.
"Gabriel" never entirely compliments its eponymous subject with a story that can match his erratic mentality, but Howe's restrained approach is refreshingly unsentimental, never once creating the possibility of an easy resolution to the situation.
Is "Gabriel" trying to say anything about mental illness, or society's attitude toward it? I don't think so, and that's probably for the best, because it's a big part of what makes the movie so refreshing.
This film maintains its anxious themes throughout, which makes for some tedious stretches because the tension never breaks. Despite that, or maybe because of it, "Gabriel" is unexpectedly absorbing.
Rory Culkin's turn in the deeply felt and haunting "Gabriel" is so powerful you can't look away.
[Writer/Director Lou] Howe should be commended for taking on such a mature project that has its moments of intrigue, but Gabriel just never quite gets there.
Gabriel watches, ponders and ultimately avoids an arc required to elegantly resolve the story.
[A]ll is transcended when an actor like Rory Culkin sets to a role with such ardor, such wide-eyed, hollow-faced habitation... Gabriel pulses with its protagonist's eddying damage... suicidal urges, meds-shedding and diverse bipolar-inflected woes.
Culkin's terrifically effective performance and Howe's pitch-perfect writing and directing make it the kind of insightful, project that makes cineastes feel good about feeling bad.
Dark but never dire, always protecting sensitivities and secrets until the right moment for confrontation comes along. Instead of giving into hysterics, Howe shows phenomenal patience.
Rory Culkin shines (and terrifies) in this modest but deftly handled psychological thriller from first-time director Lou Howe.
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