The Motel Life - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

The Motel Life Reviews

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December 31, 2017
The film is more downbeat than tense, interweaves animation sequences, and perhaps worked better in the original novel.
May 30, 2014
A pedestrian, undeveloped indie clunker, its failure as a complete, satisfying story especially disappointing since the sibling relationship at its center could have been special with a better script.
Full Review | Original Score: 1.5/4
April 16, 2014
Watching The Motel Life, I felt that I was in the hands of someone capable of making a great film.
April 10, 2014
There's definitely a niche audience out there that will love The Motel Life; and this is a film that deserves to be loved.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
April 4, 2014
The whole thing is deep-down conservative and wetter than a Labrador's kiss.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
April 4, 2014
The rambling plot may resemble a lyric from a mawkish country song but the film-makers bring an engaging mix of tenderness and grit to the downbeat material.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
April 3, 2014
The film is heavy-going, unformed and self-indulgent, with characters who are neither sympathetic nor (crucially) interesting.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/5
April 3, 2014
Stephen Dorff excels as a luckless hobo in this bruised and booze-soaked adaptation of Willy Vlautin's 2007 novel.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
April 2, 2014
Fans of indie cinema's mood-movie fringes, check in.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
March 31, 2014
Powerful, moving and melancholy. A low-key treat.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
December 2, 2013
This debut film does establish a fragile mood that lingers like a morning fog.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
November 22, 2013
As the protagonists wallow in melancholy and despair, they drag helpless moviegoers in with them.
November 21, 2013
In case you weren't aware, Dorff is actually a great actor.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5
November 17, 2013
Love and loyalty often carry the day. But love and loyalty are not carrying the day now.
Full Review | Original Score: 5/10
November 15, 2013
Sensitive lensing and acting render an unusual story of brotherly love touching in a promising first film.
November 14, 2013
A bruised, purple plum of a drama that mostly connects as a mood piece about the muddy rut of low self-esteem, and belief that life offers no better circumstances beyond just day-to-day subsistence.
Full Review | Original Score: B
November 13, 2013
More of an actors' showcase for Stephen Dorff and Emile Hirsch to get in some sharp practice than a cogent drama, "The Motel Life" is a warts-and-all indie effort that comes up short.
Full Review | Original Score: C+
November 13, 2013
Alan Polsky and Gabriel Polsky propel the material in a way that can feel over-determined. But they grasp the eccentricities and desperation of fringe dwellers, and at its strongest their atmospheric film has the pull of a sad outlaw song.
November 8, 2013
We have seen many films about losers on the run, but in the directorial debut of former Chicago siblings Alan and Gabe Polsky, we get an intriguing new take on brotherly love not only gone wrong, but clearly hopeless from the beginning.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
November 8, 2013
This independent drama effectively captures the spirit of much contemporary fiction: the tone is at once precious and stark, and the narrative drifts from one episode to another (and from realism to fantasy) as though it were playing out in a dream.
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