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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. Read critic reviews

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Movie Info

A college freshman (Lola Kirke) cures her disappointment and loneliness by allowing herself to be pulled into the wacky schemes of her future stepsister (Greta Gerwig).

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Critic Reviews for Mistress America

All Critics (182) | Top Critics (62) | Fresh (148) | Rotten (34)

  • I realize that watching a 20-something hipster have a quarter life meltdown for two hours might be entertaining for some, but I still cannot get into it.

    September 1, 2017 | Rating: D | Full Review…
  • This is [Noah] Baumbach on a new level, thanks to [Greta] Gerwig-bless this woman-who keeps her comedic charm throughout even the strangest territories.

    February 27, 2017 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…
  • [In the second half,] Baumbach is able to turn his loving gaze away from Gerwig long enough to let his actors shine and allow us to enjoy all the mayhem.

    June 12, 2016 | Rating: 2.5/4 | Full Review…
  • It's got a fast pace and screwball spirit, and is the closest thing Baumbach's done to pure comedy since his peerless debut picture 'Kicking and Screaming.' But there's a lot more going on here than just laughs.

    May 30, 2016 | Full Review…
  • [Gerwig's] performance as Brooke Cardinas, the anti-heroine of Noah Baumbach's Mistress America, is a highly calculated, artificial comic turn.

    October 30, 2015 | Rating: 2.5/5 | Full Review…
  • A deliciously funny yet poignant study of an impressionable 19-year-old and the older woman she takes as a role model.

    October 30, 2015 | Rating: 4/5 | 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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