Ordinary People - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Ordinary People Reviews

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Bryant Frazer
Bryant Frazer's Deep Focus
June 22, 2003
| Original Score: 2/5
John Wirt
Advocate (Baton Rouge, LA)
October 21, 2005
The 1980 drama hasn't aged well.
| Original Score: 2/5
Top Critic
Dave Kehr
Chicago Reader
December 13, 2006
The film looks austere and serious, rather as if it had been shot inside a Frigidaire, and the oppressiveness of the images tends to strangle laughter, even at the most absurd excesses of Alvin Sargent's script.
Peter Ackroyd
The Spectator
August 4, 2015
It would be unfair to blame Ordinary People for the culture from which it springs; and, within its limits, this is an entertaining and skillful film.
Top Critic
Kathleen Carroll
New York Daily News
February 17, 2015
With the skill of a practiced surgeon, Redford gradually peels away the protective layers of his characters, exposing their flaws, their darkest fears and ultimately, their innermost feelings.
Top Critic
Don Macpherson
Time Out
January 26, 2006
An actors' movie and an advert for therapy, extremely bitter, but handsomely directed in its elegant pretentiousness.
Sue Heal
Radio Times
January 10, 2014
This is still an auspicious directorial debut that stands as one of the first films to deal intelligently with the role of therapy.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
Philip Martin
Arkansas Democrat-Gazette
January 29, 2005
| Original Score: 4/5
Top Critic
Roger Ebert
Chicago Sun-Times
October 23, 2004
An intelligent, perceptive, and deeply moving film.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
Top Critic
James Berardinelli
April 30, 2009
What Redford accomplishes is to provide an excellent portrait of how well families can hide their inner turmoil from the prying eyes of outsiders.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Nell Minow
Common Sense Media
December 26, 2010
Story of emotional honesty is best for older kids.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
Clint Morris
Film Threat
May 6, 2005
| Original Score: 3/5
Top Critic
Todd McCarthy
February 20, 2008
A powerfully intimate domestic drama.
Mark R. Leeper
December 21, 2004
| Original Score: 4/5
Tim Brayton
Antagony & Ecstasy
March 13, 2011
Better than forever being dismissed with a huffy "I can't believe that beat Raging Bull".
Full Review | Original Score: 7/10
Cole Smithey
October 7, 2005
| Original Score: 4/5
Felix Vasquez Jr.
Cinema Crazed
July 1, 2013
A masterpiece.
Christopher Null
August 13, 2001
Directed by Robert Redford (who won an Oscar, as did the film itself), in his dazzling directorial debut, Ordinary People is at once stuck in the late 1970s and impeccably timeless.
Full Review | Original Score: 4.5/5
MaryAnn Johanson
Flick Filosopher
January 1, 2000
An uncomfortable film, one that leaves you aching for its characters. Expect a bit of a funk afterward.
Full Review | Original Score: 9/10
Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat
Spirituality and Practice
January 15, 2002
A sensitive portrait about a young man struggling to regain equilibrium after his brother's death that helps us gain a fresh perspective on adolescence and adulthood.
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