Keep the Lights On - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Keep the Lights On Reviews

Top Critic
Dave Calhoun
Time Out
October 30, 2012
This is a painful drama, but its pain is more studied than emotive, and it demands that we think just as much as it makes us feel.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
Top Critic
Colin Covert
Minneapolis Star Tribune
October 25, 2012
The cast, uniformly excellent, draws us into a vibrant, energetic Manhattan where commitments are forged and broken through sheer chance and those seeking permanence must continually resist temptation and ennui.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
J. R. Jones
Chicago Reader
October 25, 2012
A complex and mysterious tale of a love affair, one that lacks the tidy story arc of a movie but feels real.
Top Critic
Roger Ebert
Chicago Sun-Times
October 25, 2012
When you summon memories of this film, they are almost always of two men in a room, in a default state of discontent.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
Top Critic
Liam Lacey
Globe and Mail
October 12, 2012
A heart-breaking love story and call for emotional transparency in relationships.
Top Critic
Calvin Wilson
St. Louis Post-Dispatch
October 11, 2012
The performances are first-rate, with Lindhardt particularly moving as a guy who's in deep denial about just how much he can expect from a relationship with an addict.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
Top Critic
Wesley Morris
Boston Globe
October 11, 2012
The movie over-blurs the line between plain and plaintive. It's not necessarily craziness you crave, it's inflection; it's need, if not from the characters then from the filmmaking.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
Top Critic
Linda Barnard
Toronto Star
October 11, 2012
Observing Erik face the inevitable, that loving a drug addict means always coming second to the substance, is heartbreaking and real.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
John Hartl
Seattle Times
October 4, 2012
An accomplished indie filmmaker ("Forty Shades of Blue"), Sachs creates a genuinely romantic bond between his actors that feels fresh and free of clichés.
| Original Score: 3.5/4
Top Critic
Ann Hornaday
Washington Post
September 21, 2012
Such is the stuff of high drama, but "Keep the Lights On" maintains an oddly distant air.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
Top Critic
Tirdad Derakhshani
Philadelphia Inquirer
September 20, 2012
A gritty, devastating melodrama that chronicles an intense, complex, and heartrending relationship over the course of a decade.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
Top Critic
David Lewis
San Francisco Chronicle
September 13, 2012
A harsh yet delicate tale of two New Yorkers whose co-dependent relationship is fueled by sex, drugs and complex longings for companionship.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Randy Myers
San Jose Mercury News
September 12, 2012
Sachs makes us feel the struggle as he exposes raw, complex emotions while avoiding clichés.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
Top Critic
Bilge Ebiri
New York Magazine/Vulture
September 7, 2012
[A] haunting, melancholy relationship drama.
Top Critic
Lou Lumenick
New York Post
September 7, 2012
A tough, well-acted little indie ...
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
A.O. Scott
New York Times
September 6, 2012
The look, mood and rhythm of the film are exquisitely, even thrillingly authentic.
| Original Score: 3.5/5
Top Critic
September 6, 2012
A nuanced portrait of emotional turmoil, persuasively acted, richly sensual one moment, wrenching the next ...
Top Critic
Alonso Duralde
TheWrap
September 6, 2012
What makes Keep the Lights On more interesting than your average addiction story is the subtle suggestion that Erik's dependence on Paul and his messes is just as debilitating as Paul's taste for drugs.
Top Critic
Owen Gleiberman
Entertainment Weekly
September 6, 2012
Lindhardt, sweet and childish and achingly vulnerable, gives a stunning performance.
Full Review | Original Score: A
Top Critic
Elizabeth Weitzman
New York Daily News
September 6, 2012
Lindhardt pushes the picture into realms of such exposed intimacy, you almost feel like you're dating him yourself.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
Top Critic
Sam Adams
AV Club
September 6, 2012
A poignant case study in the changing contours of gay life.
Full Review | Original Score: A-
Top Critic
Nick Schager
Village Voice
September 5, 2012
Sachs creates an intensely intimate stew of fear, anger, longing, and regret.
Top Critic
Joshua Rothkopf
Time Out
September 4, 2012
It's hard to recall a film so attentive to the uncertain moments in all relationships: the teary Christmas toasts, the slow slide away from patience and tenderness.
Full Review | Original Score: 5/5
Top Critic
David Edelstein
New York Magazine/Vulture
September 4, 2012
Sachs depicts a once-transient culture stumbling toward a design for rooted living.
Top Critic
David Denby
New Yorker
September 3, 2012
The two characters are ciphers, and the script, which Sachs co-wrote with Mauricio Zacharias, is by turns underwritten or banal.
Top Critic
David Rooney
Hollywood Reporter
August 30, 2012
A stiff central performance diminishes its emotional impact, but the visually alluring film's sensuality and tenderness give it a lingering spell.
Top Critic
Eric Kohn
indieWIRE
August 28, 2012
Sachs' screenplay does a terrific job capturing the drama shared by urban sophisticates with an understated approach that foregrounds Erik's ongoing confusion.
Full Review | Original Score: B+
Top Critic
Andrew O'Hehir
Salon.com
January 28, 2012
Not only does this film gloriously fulfill the potential that Ira Sachs has tantalized movie-lovers with for years, it also help explains what took him so long.
Top Critic
William Goss
Film.com
January 27, 2012
Bless [Sachs] for eschewing melodrama in favor of tenderness, but his characters are often left adrift in a sea of conflicting emotions.
Top Critic
Justin Chang
Variety
January 24, 2012
Delicately tracing the troubled nine-year bond between two men living in New York, Ira Sachs mines his own memories to sensitive, melancholy if somewhat muted effect in Keep the Lights On.