Pariah - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Pariah Reviews

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John Anderson
Newsday
February 17, 2012
The gay coming-of-age story's been done, but "Pariah" has something fresh to say, largely about the knotty complexities of love, and how they might keep someone in the closet: How badly do you need to be free, to hurt the people you love?
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
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Colin Covert
Minneapolis Star Tribune
January 22, 2012
Rees brings a heartfelt connection to the material, based on her own coming-out story, but the film's ingredients aren't the freshest.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
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Tom Long
Detroit News
January 20, 2012
You don't have to be black or lesbian or even know someone who's gay to appreciate "Pariah"; you just have to have gone through or be going through the process of growing up.
Full Review | Original Score: B
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Calvin Wilson
St. Louis Post-Dispatch
January 20, 2012
"Pariah" is a small film about a big subject: the struggle to be who you are, not who others would like you to be.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
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Gary Thompson
Philadelphia Inquirer
January 13, 2012
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
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Rick Groen
Globe and Mail
January 13, 2012
If the destination is trite, the journey isn't - it comes with an ample supply of raw honesty.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Carrie Rickey
Philadelphia Inquirer
January 12, 2012
Rees tells Alike's story in vignettes that are sometimes slapstick, sometimes heartbreaking, always tender.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
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Bill Goodykoontz
Arizona Republic
January 12, 2012
Especially rewarding about Oduye's performance is how she's able to portray that frustration while retaining hope and optimism.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
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Bruce Demara
Toronto Star
January 12, 2012
Rees' script, peppered with colourful hip-hop argot, is smart and economical, with well-drawn characters, dialogue and situations that echo with authenticity.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
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Ann Hornaday
Washington Post
January 6, 2012
"Pariah" feels a lot like life, at its most confusing, contradictory and exhilarating.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
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Chris Vognar
Dallas Morning News
January 5, 2012
Adepero Oduye is excellent as a Brooklyn teen coming to terms with her sexual identity in this gritty film
Full Review | Original Score: B+
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Joe Morgenstern
Wall Street Journal
January 5, 2012
The originality lies in the details, and the dramatic energy that sustains almost every scene.
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Moira MacDonald
Seattle Times
January 5, 2012
An eloquent, haunting coming-of-age/ coming-out tale...
| Original Score: 3.5/4
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Wesley Morris
Boston Globe
January 5, 2012
"Pariah'' really feels like something rare.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Michael Phillips
Chicago Tribune
January 5, 2012
Rees packs a lot into a simple narrative, and only rarely overpacks.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
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Roger Ebert
Chicago Sun-Times
January 5, 2012
The film is an impressive debut for writer-director Dee Rees.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
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January 4, 2012
Pariah is a tender, sporadically goofy, yet candid examination of emergent identity.
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Lisa Schwarzbaum
Entertainment Weekly
January 4, 2012
In her fearless, world-here-I-am! debut Pariah, writer-director Dee Rees demonstrates, with simplicity and verve, that there's no substitute for authenticity.
Full Review | Original Score: A
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Peter Rainer
Christian Science Monitor
January 4, 2012
The filmmaking is often wayward, the scenes of confrontation sometimes too stagey, but Oduye is a marvelous young actress with a camera-ready face brimming with soulfulness.
Full Review | Original Score: B
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James Berardinelli
ReelViews
January 2, 2012
The movie's point, which is impossible to miss, is that it's hard being black & gay in America and, while there's undoubtedly truth in that sentiment, it doesn't necessarily make for a compelling motion picture circa 2011.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
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USA Today
December 29, 2011
The coming-out/coming-of-age story is almost a genre of its own, but Pariah has a fresh and distinctly urban take, anchored by an affable lead performance.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Joe Neumaier
New York Daily News
December 29, 2011
Something so honest and touching that you're instantly drawn in to its feelings and sense of place.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
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Peter Travers
Rolling Stone
December 29, 2011
The gifted Dee Rees makes finding out a stirring and heartfelt journey. And Adepero Oduye is unforgettable. A star is born.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
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Scott Tobias
AV Club
December 29, 2011
A small-scale, sensitive, humanist character study that's progressive and thoughtful without getting too far out of line.
Full Review | Original Score: B-
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Mary F. Pols
TIME Magazine
December 28, 2011
Pariah should be a special, important film for gay teens and their parents.
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Lou Lumenick
New York Post
December 28, 2011
This is a look at the joy, confusion and heartbreak of adolescence that's both culture- and locale-specific and, at the same time, universal.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Stephen Whitty
Newark Star-Ledger
December 28, 2011
The message - that prejudice exists in every community - is one worth listening to.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Amy Biancolli
San Francisco Chronicle
December 28, 2011
The film benefits most of all from Rees' careful screenplay, which dances that shifting line between fear and emergent hope. One of Alike's poems says it best: "Even breaking is opening. And I am broken. I am open."
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
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Betsy Sharkey
Los Angeles Times
December 28, 2011
Oduye as Alike is "Pariah's" subtle center, with the actress moving seamlessly between the tomboy thrilled to play hoops with her dad to the sour-faced daughter forced to wear pink by her mom.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
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Alonso Duralde
TheWrap
December 27, 2011
A moving story that's told with intelligence, heart and a working knowledge of the real world we live in.
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Stephen Holden
New York Times
December 27, 2011
At its heart is an incandescent performance by Ms. Oduye, who captures the jagged mood swings of late adolescence with a wonderfully spontaneous fluency.
| Original Score: 3.5/5
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Melissa Anderson
Village Voice
December 27, 2011
Funny, moving, nuanced, and impeccably acted...
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James Rocchi
MSN Movies
December 26, 2011
Pariah plays like a longer, more complex addendum to the recent It Gets Better campaign aimed at sending messages of survival and strength to gay and lesbian teens...
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
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Richard Brody
New Yorker
December 26, 2011
It's impossible not to root for Lee to assert her identity and to fulfill her dreams, but neither she nor the rest of the characters have any existence outside the script's exhortations.
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John DeFore
Hollywood Reporter
December 22, 2011
First-timer Dee Rees offers a fresh take on the overfamiliar coming-out genre.
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David Fear
Time Out
December 20, 2011
As clunky subplots and soap operatics start to nudge their way into the mix, the filmmaker seems unable to maintain that early tone and focus.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
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Andrew Barker
Variety
January 21, 2011
Vivid photography, true-to-life moments and a wonderful lead performance compensate for some first-timer missteps in debutante writer-director Dee Rees' Pariah.