Mistress America

Critics Consensus

Mistress America brings out the best in collaborators Noah Baumbach and Greta Gerwig, distilling its star's charm and director's dark wit into a ferociously funny co-written story.



Total Count: 176


Audience Score

User Ratings: 6,534
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Movie Info

In MISTRESS AMERICA, Tracy (Lola Kirke) is a lonely college freshman in New York, having neither the exciting university experience nor the glamorous metropolitan lifestyle she envisioned. But when she is taken in by her soon-to-be stepsister, Brooke (Greta Gerwig) - a resident of Times Square and adventurous gal about town - she is rescued from her disappointment and seduced by Brooke's alluringly mad schemes.(C) Fox Searchlight

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Critic Reviews for Mistress America

All Critics (176) | Top Critics (45)

  • [Gerwig's] performance as Brooke Cardinas, the anti-heroine of Noah Baumbach's Mistress America, is a highly calculated, artificial comic turn.

    Oct 30, 2015 | Rating: 2.5/5 | Full Review…
  • Noah Baumbach is one of those successful directors who's obsessed with failure.

    Oct 23, 2015 | Full Review…
  • The difference between a good screwball comedy and a great one is that you care about the screwballs, and in that sense, Mistress America is great indeed.

    Oct 14, 2015 | Full Review…
  • Mistress America isn't a deep psychological examination of women's friendships. First and foremost, it's a comedy, and it's simply hilarious.

    Sep 3, 2015 | Rating: 3.5/4 | Full Review…
  • "Mistress America" is comedy at its best - thoughtful and real while consistently riotous.

    Aug 28, 2015 | Rating: A | Full Review…

    Tom Long

    Detroit News
    Top Critic
  • Despite clocking in at a skinny 84 minutes, Mistress America overstays its welcome.

    Aug 28, 2015 | Rating: 1.5/4 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Mistress America

  • Jan 28, 2016
    I actually wish Baumbach had pushed the zany and farcical elements further rather than falling back on a familiar narrative. Gerwig's performance deserved something bolder.
    Alec B Super Reviewer
  • Dec 18, 2015
    It is great to see a Noah Baumbach movie that doesn't try my patience for a change with his insufferable characters, as he crafts a delightful story that works really well precisely because it understands that their flaws don't make them at all lovable or cute in their pathetic quirkiness.
    Carlos M Super Reviewer
  • Dec 01, 2015
    In his second feature of the year writer/director Noah Baumbach delivers much of what we're accustomed to with sharp observations and witty dialogue that cut complicated emotions down into simple and coherent sentences. Re-teaming with Frances Ha star and real-life companion Greta Gerwig the two have crafted a script that tells of lonely college freshman, Tracy (Lola Kirke), whose world is turned upside down by her adventurous soon-to-be stepsister, Brooke (Gerwig). With Mistress America Baumbach and Gerwig have again tapped into this hip world that only exists in New York City and exploited it for the benefit of relaying universal themes we all consider more as time continues to pass us by. As I said in my review of While We're Young earlier this year it tends to feel as if Baumbach is repeats himself especially given Gerwig could essentially be playing an extension of her Frances as both of these young women are embarking on their thirties and watching the possibility of realizing their dreams dwindle. Still, it's as if each of these features that have featured a mix of Ben Stiller and Gerwig are, while similar, still able to present a certain caveat of what makes these similar characters unique to each film. By illuminating one particular quality and focusing in on a certain set of flaws the whole of Baumbach's body of work will seemingly one day amount to an exploration of what a single yet complicated human psyche actually looks like. In Mistress America we are given a brief eighty-five minute exploration that feeds off the creative mind and the difference in living and creating. Tracy is the young, aspiring writer with her entire life in front of her who finds a muse in someone ten years older who is simply trying to live as much as she can before maturity inevitably takes away all her youthful tendencies. Essentially, Tracy knows not what she has and Brooke, while admittedly something of a mess, wants only to hold on to what Tracy has an abundance of, but takes for granted. This is a precisely written, hugely funny movie that only makes me yearn for more collaborations between these two. Also, like Frances Ha, the music choices are once again on point.
    Philip P Super Reviewer
  • Nov 08, 2015
    A hymn to libertarian capitalism, this is best seen as a documentary about the American dream. These people can take any risk because, as loyal youth born to the prosperous white middle class, someone will always bail them out or offer them a comfortable lifeline like, say, a nice grant of public money or a debt repaid just by asking. It is an unremitting ode to 24/7 self importance. The backdrop is the grimy, haphazard city that we are to think of as cool, wherever in the world it happens to develop. And this is New York, the cream of free enterprise. Watch it, and take note. You may get what you are wishing for, you and your children could live like this, so choose wisely.
    . . Super Reviewer

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