Two Lovers

Critics Consensus

Two Lovers is a complex, intriguing, richly-acted romantic drama



Reviews Counted: 161

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User Ratings: 56,274


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Average Rating: N/A
Reviews Count: 0
Fresh: 0
Rotten: 0


Average Rating: 3.2/5

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Movie Info

A depressed young man moves back in with his parents and finds his life turned upside down as he struggles to choose between the beautiful daughter of a close family friend and the scintillating but volatile next-door neighbor whose passion helps to reignite his lust for life. The third screen outing for writer/director James Gray and actor Joaquin Phoenix following We Own the Night and The Yards, Two Lovers co-stars Gwyneth Paltrow, Isabella Rossellini, and Vinessa Shaw. ~ Jason Buchanan, Rovi

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Joaquin Phoenix
as Leonard Kraditor
Gwyneth Paltrow
as Michelle Rausch
Vinessa Shaw
as Sandra Cohen
Elias Koteas
as Ronald Blatt
Isabella Rossellini
as Ruth Kraditor
Moni Moshonov
as Reuben Kraditor
John Ortiz
as Jose Cordero
Julie Budd
as Carol Cohen
Bob Ari
as Michael Cohen
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News & Interviews for Two Lovers

Critic Reviews for Two Lovers

All Critics (161) | Top Critics (50)

  • Despair and confusion are explored in Two Lovers with a rigorous, unsentimental directness that is also full of feeling.

    Jun 5, 2009 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…
  • Keeps a grip on you.

    Jun 5, 2009 | Rating: 3.5/5 | Full Review…
  • Phoenix plays that schism -- the damaged soul in a hunky body -- to perfection, so well that we overlook the logical chasm at the centre of the tale.

    Apr 10, 2009 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…
  • Gray guides his strong cast to a resolution that is both surprising and entirely realistic.

    Apr 10, 2009 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…
  • Gray's direction lovingly toys with images of containment and release, effectively playing out the drama in visual terms - but we never really feel it.

    Mar 27, 2009 | Rating: 3/6 | Full Review…
  • Kraditor's vacillating affections make up what could have been a frustratingly underpowered drama but for Gray's subtle, intelligent direction and Phoenix's raw performance.

    Mar 27, 2009 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…

    Wendy Ide

    Times (UK)
    Top Critic

Audience Reviews for Two Lovers


A profoundly involving romantic drama that benefits from a sophisticated direction and great performances from its cast - mainly Joaquin Phoenix, who is absolutely perfect and brings this melancholy tale of depression and impulsive passion to another level.

Carlos Magalhães
Carlos Magalhães

Super Reviewer

A very schizophrenic movie. As in, I loved the parts with Gwyneth Paltrow, hated the parts with that other chick.

Jennifer Xu
Jennifer Xu

Super Reviewer

examines what love is, or more precisely, what we THINK love is. Two Lovers features Juaquin Phoenix as a damaged soul (now there's a stretch, based on what has happened to him since this film) who, while barely coping with life (he was dealt a raw deal concerning his former fiance)meets up with two diametrically opposed women; one, who his Jewish family is pushing on him, wants to protect and "cure" him, while the other, in a daring performance by Gwyneth Paltrow, is just as damaged and even more needy than Phoenix. The story ark is familiar, and yet it works well here, due to Phoenix's odd and somehow detached performance; charming one moment and yet a ghost of a man who lives with his parents in others. The scenes with Paltrow and Phoenix together, especially those that take place on the building's roof, shot as though you are an easdropper, with walls in the way as the charactors move about, are sizzling. The cinematography throughout is wonderful and moody, with nice lighting touches as when Phoenix and Paltrow converse from their rooms across an alleyway. The ending scenes holds enough suspense that, even if you seriously suspect what's coming, the way in which it is presented will satisfy you. Now some may find the resolution of the film disquieting (I know I did), but really, it fits the charactor, and is honest to the film and all that has come before, however distasteful you might find it. Again, what is love? Is it mutual need? Perhaps. This film certainly let's you ponder the conundrum.

paul sandberg
paul sandberg

Super Reviewer


Joaquin Phoenix's performance is superb in this drama film. There is something profoundly moving and profoundly truthful here and I'm sure it has to do with Phoenix's portrayal. Gwyneth Paltrow is wonderful as the girl walking an emotional tightrope. And Vinessa Shaw is a real find. I was also moved by Isabella Rossellini as Joaquin's mother! Beautiful and intense but unlike many of her contemporaries not "cosmetic" A real extraordinary face. In fact she looks more like her mother Ingrid Bergman now than she ever did.

Dean McKenna
Dean McKenna

Super Reviewer

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