The Prize Winner of Defiance, Ohio - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

The Prize Winner of Defiance, Ohio Reviews

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Tara Thorne
The Coast (Halifax, Nova Scotia)
July 11, 2016
If you don't already know that Julianne Moore is one of our greatest living actors, this underseen film will prove it to you, as she takes a potential simp... and makes her dignified and inspiring.
Top Critic
Owen Gleiberman
Entertainment Weekly
September 7, 2011
Full Review | Original Score: B-
Lisa Ann Cockrel
Christianity Today
September 27, 2006
This Prize Winner is a winner for its smart portrayal of a resourceful woman who loved her family, loved words, and loved life.
| Original Score: 3/4
Ken Hanke
Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC)
June 21, 2006
Far worse films with far lesser credentials have been given much fairer shots.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/5
Steven D. Greydanus
Decent Films Guide
April 12, 2006
[Offers] an almost subversively idealistic subtext to a now-familiar ritual exposé of the American dream.
Full Review | Original Score: B+
Pete Croatto
March 13, 2006
Moore delivers one of the best performances of 2005.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/5
Todd Jorgenson
Denton Record-Chronicle
November 9, 2005
...assembles an uneven but fairly inspirational package, manipulative in spots but with its heart in the right place.
Full Review
Mike Ward
November 4, 2005
In the end, Prizewinner is surprisingly uplifting and proves to be more of a timeless, genderless feel-good story than a period chick flick.
Top Critic
Bill Muller
Arizona Republic
October 20, 2005
Rarely do you have a movie in which both lead actors give Oscar-worthy performances, but Defiance, Ohio is one.
| Original Score: 4/5
Top Critic
Susan Walker
Toronto Star
October 14, 2005
For once, a true story gets no romanticizing or needless embellishment to become a captivating movie.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Moira MacDonald
Seattle Times
October 14, 2005
An uneven but loving tribute to a remarkable woman -- who would, undoubtedly, have wished to rewrite it herself.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
Top Critic
Carrie Rickey
Philadelphia Inquirer
October 14, 2005
What distinguishes Anderson's work is her obvious empathy with all of her characters, including Kelly Ryan, whom she does not demonize.
| Original Score: 3/4
Gary Thompson
Philadelphia Daily News
October 14, 2005
It's a well-done autobiography, full of small but telling moments and details that add dark edges to the frame.
Liz Braun
Jam! Movies
October 14, 2005
This is an engaging film about a real family and about optimism in the midst of hardship, but it's also a fascinating historical document.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
Top Critic
Wesley Morris
Boston Globe
October 14, 2005
There's not much to the film's story, but the characterization of a family's life is vivid and rich.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
David Foucher
EDGE Boston
October 14, 2005
Julianne Moore delivers another hard-hitting performance as a 1950s housewife - and despite being too earnest to be entirely believable, it's a highly rewarding film.
Full Review | Original Score: B+
Nell Minow
Movie Mom at Yahoo! Movies
October 13, 2005
Moore's radiant performance does for this movie what the real-life Ryan's "contest-ing" did for her family in the 1950's -- it holds it together with mesmerizing grace.
| Original Score: B
Top Critic
Ann Hornaday
Washington Post
October 13, 2005
It has its own subversive power, as it elevates one family's struggle for working-class survival and valorizes a woman of simple faith and inner strength.
William Arnold
Seattle Post-Intelligencer
October 13, 2005
Moore's performance stays miraculously away from caricature, makes us believe the nobility of her Donna Reed-ish character and turns the movie into a strangely satisfying, retro-feminist vision.
Full Review | Original Score: B
Jeanne Kaplan
Kaplan vs. Kaplan
October 6, 2005
Julianne Moore is absolutely outstanding in this role, giving an Oscar-worthy performance.
Full Review
Top Critic
Joe Leydon
February 23, 2012
Felix Vasquez Jr.
Cinema Crazed
April 29, 2009

Boston Phoenix
December 17, 2005

Deseret News, Salt Lake City
December 6, 2005

Baltimore Sun
October 29, 2005
Top Critic

Houston Chronicle
October 29, 2005
Top Critic

AV Club
October 1, 2005
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