The Glass Castle (2017) - Rotten Tomatoes

The Glass Castle (2017)



Critic Consensus: The Glass Castle has an affecting real-life story and a hard-working cast in its corner, but they aren't enough to outweigh a fundamentally misguided approach to the material.

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Movie Info

Chronicling the adventures of an eccentric, resilient and tight-knit family, THE GLASS CASTLE is a remarkable story of unconditional love. Oscar (R) winner Brie Larson brings Jeannette Walls's best-selling memoir to life as a young woman who, influenced by the joyfully wild nature of her deeply dysfunctional father (Woody Harrelson), found the fiery determination to carve out a successful life on her own terms.

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Brie Larson
as Jeanette Walls
Woody Harrelson
as Rex Walls
Naomi Watts
as Rose Mary Walls
Sarah Snook
as Lori Wells

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Critic Reviews for The Glass Castle

All Critics (154) | Top Critics (38)

[Destin Daniel] Cretton wants to make an old-fashioned melodrama but fails to stylize the material in any compelling way

August 24, 2017 | Full Review…

Clocks in at two hours and seven minutes but it's so intense that I was hardly aware of the time.

August 14, 2017 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…
Top Critic

There are heart-tugging moments in The Glass Castle, but Walls's bestselling memoir needed to be roughed up and aired out. For it to match up to the book, the movie needed the glass to be smashed, not every shard treasured.

August 14, 2017 | Rating: 2/4 | Full Review…

By laminating Walls' story with a Hollywood sheen, the narrative climaxes in an artificial and contrived manner.

August 13, 2017 | Rating: 2.5/4 | Full Review…

Due to the herculean task of adaptation, "The Glass Castle" lacks the emotional potency of Cretton's earlier work and the unflinching detail of Walls' memoir.

August 11, 2017 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…

Dark, dysfunctional, and filled with blinding hope, this is one glass house that's difficult to throw stones at.

August 11, 2017 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for The Glass Castle


The story of a very unusual family plays on two time frames, with the emphasis on the past for quite a while. Harrelson is fantastic, of course, but so are the child actors. There are slow moments, but overall the story remains fascinating, never entirely judging the unconventional parents, always on the fence between failure and deep love. The fact that the pendulum ultimately falls very clearly on one of the two sides makes for a pretty touching ending, too.

Jens S.
Jens S.

Super Reviewer


Based on a best-selling memoir, The Glass Castle is a compelling character drama about family. As newspaper columnist Jeannette Walls prepares to start a new life with her fiancé she struggles to break free from her homeless parents whose bohemian lifestyle constantly kept them on the move and in poverty throughout her childhood. Starring Brie Larson, Woody Harrelson, and Naomi Watts, the film has a strong cast that gives some really good performances (especial Harrelson). And the script is incredibly well-written; telling parallel stories in the past and present that are both engaging and enhance each other, creating suspense and intrigue. However, the epilogue-ish ending seems forces and kind of counters a lot of the dramatic conflict and character growth. Yet despite its few weaknesses, The Glass Castle is a remarkably touching film.

Dann Michalski
Dann Michalski

Super Reviewer

Interesting true story, but honestly wore it's welcome out halfway through. I cared enough to finish it, but it was 2 hours that felt like 3.

Nicki Marie
Nicki Marie

Super Reviewer

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