Two Lovers - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Two Lovers Reviews

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Hank Sartin
Time Out
November 18, 2011
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
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Christine Champ
Film.com
May 6, 2011
Full Review | Original Score: A
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Rick Groen
Globe and Mail
April 10, 2009
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.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Peter Howell
Toronto Star
April 10, 2009
Gray guides his strong cast to a resolution that is both surprising and entirely realistic.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Trevor Johnston
Time Out
March 27, 2009
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.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/6
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Ann Hornaday
Washington Post
March 13, 2009
If Two Lovers winds up being Phoenix's last movie, at least it offers posterity incontrovertible proof that, once, he was a contender.
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Bill Goodykoontz
Arizona Republic
March 5, 2009
What elevates Two Lovers beyond the mundane is the strength of the performances.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
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Roger Moore
Orlando Sentinel
March 4, 2009
Phoenix's performance overwhelms the slight story.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
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Mick LaSalle
San Francisco Chronicle
February 27, 2009
Very little is explicit. The audience is left to infer much from spotty information, and yet a full and specific picture emerges. We are never in doubt of the truth of the characters and the absolute solidity of the world being depicted.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
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Colin Covert
Minneapolis Star Tribune
February 27, 2009
The film is all about creating a mood, and it hangs over you for days.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Amy Biancolli
Houston Chronicle
February 27, 2009
[A] compact, compassionate portrait of a man struggling to define himself and his own understanding of happiness.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Tom Long
Detroit News
February 27, 2009
Instead of opting for a big dramatic setting he stays small, finding the tender truth within what could have seemed a cliché.
Full Review | Original Score: B+
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Lisa Kennedy
Denver Post
February 27, 2009
It's the sort of brooding turn that makes us mourn Phoenix's threatened retreat from acting.
Read More | Original Score: 3/4
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Tom Maurstad
Dallas Morning News
February 27, 2009
While Gray shares Leonard's love of photographing Brighton Beach street life and storefronts, and does so with great sensitivity and skill, this is such a worn-out cinematic setting that it has the effect of someone who's forever showing you baby photos.
Full Review | Original Score: C+
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J. R. Jones
Chicago Reader
February 27, 2009
Joaquin Phoenix and writer-director James Gray team up again for something on a smaller scale, and though the story is no less familiar the results are frequently affecting.
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Christopher Orr
The New Republic
February 27, 2009
[A] film full of simple scenes brimming with unspoken complications.
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Richard Roeper
Chicago Sun-Times
February 27, 2009
Ranks with the best work Joaquin Phoenix has ever done.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
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Steven Rea
Philadelphia Inquirer
February 26, 2009
Despite its essential implausibility, Two Lovers lingers in your consciousness -- or loiters there, like Leonard standing on the street corner.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Moira MacDonald
Seattle Times
February 26, 2009
The remarkable intimacy Gray finds with his cast lifts the movie up as its quiet story unfolds, pulling us in and making the world smaller until nothing matters but these three.
Read More | Original Score: 3.5/4
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Ty Burr
Boston Globe
February 26, 2009
It's one of the few movies I've seen recently that improves on a second viewing, in part because Phoenix does such remarkably subtle work.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
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Tasha Robinson
Chicago Tribune
February 26, 2009
If Phoenix does carry through on his threat to leave acting behind for good, he could hardly ask for a more tastefully executed, sweetly melancholy swan song.
Read More | Original Score: 3/4
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James Berardinelli
ReelViews
February 26, 2009
It may be a little too heavy to represent an ideal date movie, but it's an honest, adult romance that deserves recognition for not pandering to those on a quest for 90 minutes of escapism.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Roger Ebert
Chicago Sun-Times
February 26, 2009
A film of unusual perception, played at perfect pitch by Phoenix, Shaw, Paltrow and the other actors. It is calm and mature. It understands these characters. It doesn't juggle them for melodrama, but looks inside.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
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Anthony Lane
New Yorker
February 17, 2009
However moody, Two Lovers didn't strike me as a downer, for the simple reason that it wells with sights and sounds that are guaranteed to lift, not sink, the spirits.
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Ben Mankiewicz
At the Movies
February 17, 2009
A movie you sense is supposed to be a nuanced story of depression and the complexity of our emotional choices becomes far too straightforward.
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Ben Lyons
At the Movies
February 17, 2009
I thought it was a gritty New York story and actually really lost myself in the characters.
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Peter Rainer
Christian Science Monitor
February 17, 2009
The film has a moody expressiveness that stays with you.
Full Review | Original Score: B
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Betsy Sharkey
Los Angeles Times
February 13, 2009
Themes of loneliness, alienation and unrequited love are not new, but there is always that sense of the unexpected in Phoenix that keeps you curious.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
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Elizabeth Weitzman
New York Daily News
February 13, 2009
Director James Gray is best known for hard-edged dramas like Little Odessa, so it's surprising to find he has such a well-developed romantic side.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
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Kyle Smith
New York Post
February 13, 2009
A dismal cine-splotch about depressed losers in outer Brooklyn by writer-director James Gray.
Full Review | Original Score: 1.5/4
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Joe Morgenstern
Wall Street Journal
February 13, 2009
This is an inspired performance by a superb actor in an elegantly grave romantic drama.
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Dana Stevens
Slate
February 13, 2009
The movie's occasionally risible sincerity is what sets the flawed but riveting Two Lovers apart from other recent films about young New Yorkers in love.
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A.O. Scott
New York Times
February 13, 2009
Though it is set in the present, Two Lovers takes place in what often feels like an earlier incarnation of New York.
Read More | Original Score: 3.5/5
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Amy Nicholson
I.E. Weekly
February 12, 2009
An uncannily perceptive acknowledgment of settling -- Paltrow with Phoenix, and Phoenix with Shaw -- with a happy kiss at the end that leaves us chilled.
Full Review | Original Score: B+
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Peter Travers
Rolling Stone
February 12, 2009
Bravely wearing his heart on his sleeve, James Gray directs the tender and terrific Two Lovers as an antidote to the virus of hip.
Read More | Original Score: 3/4
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Claudia Puig
USA Today
February 12, 2009
An involving, gently paced and well-cast drama about a tortured soul and his efforts at redemption.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Keith Phipps
AV Club
February 12, 2009
The particulars of the story, Gray's moody compositions and feel for the neighborhood, and especially the performances rescue Two Lovers from the obvious.
Full Review | Original Score: B
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Andrew O'Hehir
Salon.com
February 12, 2009
An intense emotional drama, beautifully photographed and profoundly ambiguous, suspended somewhere between realism and psychosexual allegory.
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Joshua Rothkopf
Time Out
February 11, 2009
Finally, the year's first serious American movie.
Read More | Original Score: 5/6
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Owen Gleiberman
Entertainment Weekly
February 11, 2009
You have to watch it with different brain muscles than you're used to using, because the film has no frills or hooks, no visible 'arcs,' nothing to grab on to but the fragile humanity of the people on screen.
Full Review | Original Score: A-
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Rex Reed
New York Observer
February 11, 2009
Two Lovers has roots in pure soap opera, but its gentle pacing and delicate performances lift it blithely above the dangers of parody as it tells the story of two tortured misfits groping in the dark for human contact.
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Andrew Sarris
New York Observer
February 11, 2009
The acting is all first-rate, and Mr. Gray and his cinematographer, Joaquín Baca-Asay, have captured their locale in its most somber stages, as if to emphasize the essential sadness of the two love stories, and the chill they induce in the viewer.
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J. Hoberman
Village Voice
February 10, 2009
The performers are attractive if unconvincing. The auteur's worldview is unappealing yet authentically his.
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Todd McCarthy
Variety
February 9, 2009
An involving, ultimately touching romantic drama about a young man's struggle deciding between the two women in his life.
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Ray Bennett
Hollywood Reporter
February 9, 2009
A throwback to the days when love in the movies involved the mind as well as the heart.
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David Edelstein
New York Magazine/Vulture
February 9, 2009
Although Paltrow is radiant (and she nails the character's ditzy sense of entitlement), it's Phoenix's movie. He is, once again, stupendous, and stupendous in a way he has never been before.
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St. Louis Post-Dispatch
May 19, 2008
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4