The Motel Life - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

The Motel Life Reviews

November 15, 2013
Sensitive lensing and acting render an unusual story of brotherly love touching in a promising first film.
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.
November 8, 2013
As good as "The Motel Life" is for the actors, that's how bad it is for the viewer.
Full Review | Original Score: 1/4
November 8, 2013
It's occasionally pretentious but ultimately moving, at least for the miniscule audience that will turn out to see such a downer of a movie.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/5
November 8, 2013
Hirsch and Dorff give it their all - as does the always-welcome Kris Kristofferson, as a boss and father figure to Frank - but they can't make up for the screenplay's shortcomings.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
November 8, 2013
Every frame feels right, every choice feels thought-out, considered. All adds up to a heartbreaking whole.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
November 7, 2013
The story may be slight, but the performances and ambience resonate.
November 7, 2013
For all its melancholy and grey, snowy landscape, "The Motel Life" never feels totally hopeless ...
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
November 7, 2013
It's admirable and even memorable, in its moody fashion, thanks to Roman Vasyanov's richly textured cinematography-he's a shooter to keep our eyes on-and three affecting performances.
November 7, 2013
The Polskys are painting a portrait of life on the margins [in The Motel Life], of broken people redeemed at least partially by art.
Read More | Original Score: 3/4
November 7, 2013
While this gritty indie is light on plot, the world of bars, casinos, hospitals and gallows humor is real and heartbreaking.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
November 7, 2013
Unlike most pictures about people living on the fringe, The Motel Life is never drab or depressing.
Read More | Original Score: 3/4
November 5, 2013
Recalling characters from a Bukowski novel or Tom Waits song but with less complexity, the brothers are endowed by their creators with little agency, not doing much except lamenting the sorry state of their lives.