Shirley Reviews

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July 8, 2020
Decker and Gubbins zig just where you might expect them to zag - but for all their departures from fact, they're not bold enough to give the tale quite the kind of vicious twist Jackson herself could be counted on to deliver.
June 8, 2020
Decker's filmmaking is often dreamlike, but her storytelling has a cruel bite of reality to it-just as Jackson's writing did decades before.
June 8, 2020
It's easy to admire the performances without feeling like the journey adds up to much. While Moss captures the complexity of Shirley's personality, the movie sheds scant light on the underlying why of it all.
June 7, 2020
The movie feels not a little like "Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?" with a literary George and Martha tormenting each other for fun.
June 6, 2020
The deeper the author plunges into the project, the more subjective the movie becomes, revealing the dark visions that descend on Shirley in ghastly, expressive bursts.
June 6, 2020
There are few more daring actors around right now than Moss, and "Shirley" may be her best performance yet. She's brutally cutting but the pain of every slight ripples across her face.
June 5, 2020
By the time Shirley draws to a close, you end up feeling pleasingly spent, like you just stayed up all night drinking a bottle of Canadian Club while discussing literary theory with a dear old confidant you hadn't seen in years.
June 5, 2020
With the support of Moss, who's become a specialist in deconstructing the idea of feminine hysteria, and Young, who plays Rose like the flushed heroine of a grim fairy tale, Decker ends up in a place that's strange and satisfying.
June 5, 2020
Moss's facial expressions have a virtually musical complexity and offer surprises, with fiery glares and subtly tormented distortions that shift very slowly and infinitesimally but register onscreen with great dramatic power.
June 5, 2020
Earns an A for ambition but a grade average lowered by prolixity, pomposity, murky complexity and an excess of perversity.
June 4, 2020
[The] twisted dynamic is thrilling, all the more so because Moss' performance as Shirley is so ferocious.
Top Critic
June 4, 2020
Like a lot of great genre writers, Jackson consistently used thriller conventions to illuminate the phantasms of the mind and turn her own demons into art. Shirley is a worthy testament to her legacy.
June 4, 2020
Moss' channeling of Jackson keeps the movie crackling.
June 4, 2020
It's one of the best films of 2020.
June 3, 2020
Whatever sophisticated point Decker and screenwriter Sarah Gubbins aim for here is undone by its pretentious academic characters, whose arrogant droning would make you switch seats if you were next to them at a coffee shop.
June 3, 2020
Moss, brazen and witty and seeming to push herself to the very edge of control, is a galvanizing presence, convincingly wild even as she's trapped in a hothouse of sometimes dubious ideas.
June 3, 2020
With Elisabeth Moss brilliantly playing horror author Shirley Jackson like a volcano on the verge of eruption, this teasing, spellbinding psychodrama from Josephine Decker preps us to expect the unexpected. Fasten your seatbelts.
June 3, 2020
[Josephine Decker's] most ambitious film to date.
June 3, 2020
Moss delivers a ferocious star turn in a film that functions primarily as a showcase for her tough, uncompromising talents.
June 3, 2020
"Shirley" is slow and uneventful, but intermittently interesting, and Moss is great.
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