Only God Forgives - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Only God Forgives Reviews

Top Critic
Wesley Morris
Grantland
August 1, 2013
Directors are always digging around in their psyches for material - David Lynch, Alejandro Jodorowsky, Lars von Trier ... Refn's anxiety seems out to top theirs. But there's no joy or folly or transcendence. It's a one-dimensional video game of death.
Full Review | Original Score: D+
Top Critic
Colin Covert
Minneapolis Star Tribune
August 1, 2013
Ryan Gosling and his "Drive" director, Nicolas Winding Refn, sail into the heart of darkness and emerge with a trinket of crackpot porno kitsch.
Full Review | Original Score: 1/4
Top Critic
Dave Calhoun
Time Out
July 30, 2013
Style over substance doesn't really tell the half of it: you can bathe a corpse in groovy light and dress it in an expensive suit, but in the end that rotting smell just won't go away.
Full Review | Original Score: 1/5
Top Critic
Richard Roeper
Chicago Sun-Times
July 23, 2013
This is one of the most shocking and one of the best movies of the year.
| Original Score: 3.5/5
Top Critic
Mick LaSalle
San Francisco Chronicle
July 22, 2013
Refn's nerve is admirable, even if his film often borders on unwatchable.
Top Critic
Ann Hornaday
Washington Post
July 19, 2013
The most objectionable thing about Only God Forgives isn't that it's shocking or immoral, but that it's so finally, fatally dull.
Full Review | Original Score: 1/4
Top Critic
Alonso Duralde
TheWrap
July 19, 2013
The more arts-minded drag queens will be doing [Kristin Scott Thomas] this Halloween.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/10
Top Critic
Rene Rodriguez
Miami Herald
July 19, 2013
Mocking the improbable characters and bizarre juxtapositions is too literal and superficial a reading of this dreamy, entrancing movie.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
Top Critic
David Edelstein
New York Magazine/Vulture
July 19, 2013
I thought it was just about the worst ... thing I've ever seen. In fact, I was depressed it wasn't laughed off the screen.
Top Critic
Peter Travers
Rolling Stone
July 19, 2013
Where Drive shrewdly mystifies, Only God Forgives stupefies. You can see its gears grinding. But I'll always hang on for a rare talent like Refn. Even when he stumbles, he leaves you eager to see what he's up to next.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
Top Critic
Ali Arikan
RogerEbert.com
July 19, 2013
Refn and Smith might have been going for authentic urban, disquiet, but the result is middle of the road trash-can of manufactured, polished, execration.
Full Review | Original Score: 0.5/4
Top Critic
Stephen Whitty
Newark Star-Ledger
July 19, 2013
I never had a doubt that director Nicolas Winding Refn was in absolute control.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
Top Critic
Adam Graham
Detroit News
July 18, 2013
Refn seems to have some issues he needs to work out, and "Only God Forgives" does as well. If it doesn't quite get all the way there, at least it's an interesting mess.
Full Review | Original Score: C
Top Critic
Peter Howell
Toronto Star
July 18, 2013
It's possibly the least glamorous and also least interesting role Gosling has ever had. It's not likely to expand his fan base much, or Refn's for that matter.
Full Review | Original Score: 1/4
Top Critic
Sara Stewart
New York Post
July 18, 2013
What makes it high art? The fact that it happens really slowly, I think, or that it's interspersed with patience-testing camera pans of wallpaper.
Full Review | Original Score: 1/4
Top Critic
David Thomson
The New Republic
July 18, 2013
This is a ludicrous, showy film, and we are left to reconcile those two antagonistic qualities, or get out.
Top Critic
Claudia Puig
USA Today
July 18, 2013
God may forgive you for seeing this needlessly brutal film. But you won't forgive yourself.
Full Review | Original Score: 1.5/4
Top Critic
Joe Morgenstern
Wall Street Journal
July 18, 2013
Nicolas Winding Refn's excruciatingly-though definitively-pretentious exercise in ritual violence gives chiaroscuro a bad name.
Top Critic
Stephen Holden
New York Times
July 18, 2013
What is on Mr. Refn's mind? Here is what he says in a director's note: "The original concept for the film was to make a movie about a man who wants to fight God." All right. Whatever.
| Original Score: 1/5
Top Critic
Ty Burr
Boston Globe
July 18, 2013
"Only God Forgives" is the kind of remarkable disaster only a very talented director can make after he finds success and is then allowed to do whatever he wants.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
Top Critic
J. R. Jones
Chicago Reader
July 18, 2013
As always, Refn's style is captivating, but the fascination with extreme gore never amounts to more than a fetish, and there's none of the deft characterization that made his revered Pusher trilogy and British biopic Bronson so engaging.
Top Critic
Kerry Lengel
Arizona Republic
July 18, 2013
It's not that overwrought violence and human depravity are unfit grist for art, but without a compelling plot and a modicum of character development, all this film has to offer is a repugnant prurience and heavy-handed atmospherics.
Full Review | Original Score: 1/5
Top Critic
Betsy Sharkey
Los Angeles Times
July 18, 2013
God only knows what Nicolas Winding Refn had in mind when he made "Only God Forgives."
Full Review | Original Score: 1/5
Top Critic
Joe Neumaier
New York Daily News
July 18, 2013
God might forgive, but the audience won't.
Full Review | Original Score: 0/5
Top Critic
Anthony Lane
New Yorker
July 18, 2013
Is Refn really tendering his grandly named film as a religious parable? If so, I'll pass.
Top Critic
Michael Phillips
Chicago Tribune
July 18, 2013
This is the worst, least, dumbest picture made by people of talent this year ...
Full Review | Original Score: 0/4
Top Critic
Jocelyn Noveck
Associated Press
July 18, 2013
Once you get past its slick veneer, you may find yourself looking at your watch, even though it clocks in at a concise 89 minutes.
Full Review | Original Score: 1.5/4
Top Critic
Eric Kohn
indieWIRE
July 18, 2013
Ryan Gosling is a talented actor who has faced the same challenge most distinctive performers inevitably must confront: the danger of turning into a walking cliché
Full Review | Original Score: C+
Top Critic
A.A. Dowd
AV Club
July 18, 2013
The results are sometimes striking, in pure visual terms, but rarely engaging; even as a brutish saga of underworld retribution, the film fails to get the heart pounding.
Full Review | Original Score: C
Top Critic
Owen Gleiberman
Entertainment Weekly
July 17, 2013
It's a solemnly preposterous piece of designer revenge pulp, with actors who stand around bathed in red and blue light like David Lynch mannequins in between scenes of torture and murder.
Full Review | Original Score: C-
Top Critic
Rex Reed
New York Observer
July 17, 2013
Part schlockfest, part campy fairy tale, this is a movie that begs you to bring your own barf bag.
Full Review | Original Score: 0/4
Top Critic
Peter Debruge
Variety
July 16, 2013
The wallpaper emotes more than Ryan Gosling does in Only God Forgives, an exercise in supreme style and minimal substance from Drive director Nicolas Winding Refn.
Top Critic
Jon Frosch
The Atlantic
May 28, 2013
The film succeeds to some extent as a pure stylistic exercise, with a few fine Lynchian moments blurring reality with erotic and violent fantasies.
Top Critic
Stephanie Zacharek
Village Voice
May 23, 2013
It's a genre picture with an art-housey structure, an instance of Refn and the normally phenomenal Gosling trying too hard to make an ultra-violent movie that's also, you know, tasteful.
Top Critic
Keith Uhlich
Time Out
May 23, 2013
Refn clearly thinks he's saying something profound with this laboriously overproduced dross, and I'm content to let him go on thinking.
Top Critic
David Rooney
Hollywood Reporter
May 23, 2013
A menacingly atmospheric mood piece that will not disappoint devotees of the Nicolas Winding Refn church of fetishistic hyper-violence.
Top Critic
Jordan Hoffman
Film.com
May 22, 2013
There's an old expression in musical theater - you don't leave humming the lights.
Full Review | Original Score: 5/10
Top Critic
Richard Corliss
TIME Magazine
May 22, 2013
The collision of violent spasms and art-film ennui leave the viewer's brain bloody but unfilled.