Under the Skin - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Under the Skin Reviews

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½ July 21, 2016
Scarlett Johansson's magnetic performance as an alien trying to find her place in the world, allied with some impressive imagery, are able carry the film on its own.
½ July 20, 2016
Slow pacing, beautiful imagery and hypnotic soundtrack of the film create special atmosphere that can't be described but only experienced. Action with almost no dialogs unhurriedly unfolding on the background of Scottish landscapes brings to mind "Valhalla Rising" (2009) and this is the closest association I can think of to describe "Under the Skin". Some "cosmic" visuals, usage of music and pacing feels similar to "2001: A Space Odyssey" (1968). Otherwise, it is hard to say anything else and it is better just to have a look at it yourself even if you are not a fan of such cinema.
July 9, 2016
Would of been brilliant if it wasn't excruciatingly slow.
½ July 3, 2016
Under the Skin is a chilling, shocking and atmospheric masterpiece. The mysticism, deadliness and vulnerability of Scarlett Johansson's character really propelled the film beyond my expectations.
July 3, 2016
To warn potential viewers of Under the Skin, this required more patience from me than most films have done. I did not understand what was happening until about an hour into the movie. If you are looking for immediate clarification, HERE IS THE PREMISE: A group of aliens is conducting experiments on humans, mostly males, using their inner organs and blood for some project and leaving their deformed tissue to float underwater. These aliens, anthropomorphic in figure with coal-black skin and no hair, are cloaked with human skins, which likely were extrapolated from other humans through similar experiments. One alien, played by Scarlett Johannson, is hired to lure males into the experimental chamber, best accomplished through sexual temptation. As she grows more comfortable in her skin -- pun absolutely intended -- she observes how humans interact, enjoy their daily lives, treat their bodies, etc. At the start of these experiments, she has practically zero compassion for humans and treats them like we would lab rats. Overtime, however, humans offer her compassion and her interest in integrating with the human race grows stronger. Despite her efforts, her position in the experiments and her true identity impede on her desire to be human. Writing all of that has lowered the difficulty I might have had in writing this review, as the story itself is probably not what will resonate strongest for the majority of viewers.

If you saw a trailer and thought Under the Skin would be a very sensual movie, I might say that you are close. Alluring might be more accurate, in the same way that 2001: A Space Odyssey is alluring. Kubrick clearly had an influence on director Jonathan Glazer. Firstly, he chose the music of Micachu, which is as jittery and clustered as Ligeti and Penderecki's best works. Daniel Landin's cinematography portrays Johannson's moments of sexual temptation with such sharp lighting and a notable amount of physical space, adding unnerving danger to the perpetual enchantment of this movie. Enchanted as I was, I felt that the scenes of greatest horror had a fundamental flaw: What were the tempted males thinking, in those moments? I refuse to believe that sexual frustration can distract someone from the fact that the room was an enormous open space with zero furniture and faraway walls. I get it, Johannson has sexual appeal. These aliens do not have powers of hypnosis though. Otherwise, they would not need a well-figured alien to tempt individuals to the lab. So how is it that they have no sense of what their environment is? If you are able to suspend your disbelief with greater leniency than myself, you will find these scenes to be wholly effective. Personally, this is a significant part of the story that could have used some explanation.

Similar to Kubrick, Glazer wants to tell a story through imagery. There is nothing wrong with that choice. I like how the progression of Johannson's character -- a very fascinating performance, on her part -- plays with the sound mixing, where her compassion for and understanding of humanity is intertwined with the clarity of individual voices. In some moments, during her drives around the city of Glasgow, Scotland (I think...), she is overwhelmed by the meticulous actions that humans take, progressing from quick cut clips of humans every few seconds to a cluster of actions layered on top of one another. For the most part, whether or not Glazer had let the imagery come from the story, the artsiness works. Pacing: not perfect, but I never felt bored. That may relate to when I began to put the pieces together, meaning that pacing favourability will not be close to universal. I oblige myself to consider that in my rating. In certain stretches of the film, not knowing what is going on can mean one is forced to sit through parts that do not add to the understanding of the plot. Most of the time, I could connect minute moments to my version of the story's theme: Human compassion has greater appeal than physical sexuality, but countless factors can prevent one from receiving compassion.
July 3, 2016
a true masterpiece. it's a shame lot of people don't get it, or don't even try to...
July 2, 2016
"Under the Skin" is not for everyone. It is a work of art, filled with excellent performances, terrifying imagery, complex metaphor and one of the most interesting female characters I've seen in a while. The film's main image might be open to interpretation according to each viewer, but I believe it has a lot to say how women are fragile in the hands of savage men as well as how looks are superficial. An artistic science fiction masterpiece. 4/5 stars
June 24, 2016
With Independence Day: Resurgence opening, I thought I'd go back and view what I consider to be an underrated alien movie. In the film Under the Skin, Laura, played by Scarlett Johansson (The Avengers, Don Jon) is an extraterrestrial, who disguises as a woman of Earth. Who drives around Scotland, capturing unsuspecting men. With this type of plot, many of us would assume a great horror film. However, we get a great mixture of an artistic direction, science fiction, fantasy, drama, and themes through this film.

I believe, that Under the Skin, will be a film that will be studied, debated, and examined for years to come. For those who have read, seen the trailer, and or movie, you already know that it's an artsy fartsy kinda film, that film nerds really get into.

This film doesn't spoon feed you every little detail. Meaning, nothing really feels forced upon you. It lets you (the viewer), come to your own decision, your own thought process, your own beliefs.

In addition, the imagery is amazing. I really like the camera work, and how there were hidden shots. Oh my God, I sound like one of those artsy fartsy film nerds now. I especially loved the creepy score. Such as, when Laura enters the black void with the dark pool.

Casting Scarlett Johansson as an alien humanoid, was a good choice for this film. honestly, Scarlett doesn't say much throughout the film. But she sells her performance well through facial expressions. For example, the way she gazes, and roams at men. How she looks at men with her eyes, and how she seduces these unsuspected men with her cherry red lipstick with a shade of crimson.

My only complaint with the film, is that some parts do drag on a little longer than needed. I believe that is my only complaint because, at times i was confused. Such as, why is she here? Is she hungry for men? Does she have a sinister plan? Fetish? Why Earth? Is she working with that motorcycle man? Searching for a mate? Alien invasion? etc.

Also, I believe this film was inspired by 2001: A Space Odyssey. Mainly, because the film is loaded with themes, headscratchers, metaphors, and leaving us wanting more (especially with the ending).

Many of us, including myself, love to see character development in movies. I personally love how in this film, Laura looks for victims, but she herself becomes a victim later on in the film. Or when Laura kills a man, and later on she meets a hitchhiker, she feels sympathetic towards him, and tries to comfort him by telling him he has beautiful hands.

Similarly, when Laura looks at human beings doing everyday things, she observes and seems enlightened in a way. In my opinion, the director was trying to demonstrate that every being on this planet is an alien in disguise. I also enjoy the other themes, of how mankind views beauty, and how true beauty is underneath us, it's... under the skin (that was a bad pun).

Under the Skin is a very interesting film. I believe that not everyone will enjoy this. But if you are an artsy fartsy film nerd, who loves seeing themes on discovering who we are, what it means to be human, films that make you think, and meditate on, Under the Skin is worth checking out.
½ June 22, 2016
Unless you like art-films it's probably not a movie you'll want to watch.
This movie it's slow, it's raw and it's atmospheric. Certainly intriguing, it keep me watching, it has some raw elements in the way it's film and it gets surreal in a lot of scenes, but overall it's not boring if you're into this type of films.
½ June 22, 2016
not even scarlets naked scene can save this horrendous and genuinely one of the worst films I have ever seen.
half star ­??? is for scarlets out of shape naked scene.
how did this film even get made?
I wanted to love this as it was made in Scotland but hated it. I should get a Duke of Edinburgh award for watching it to the end. don't say I didn't warn you.
it just goes to show that the over educated tomato ­??? review luvvies are so far out of touch with the normal working man, when they gave this movie over 80%
totally flabbergasted
June 18, 2016
This film was an instant classic for me. Deeply disturbing and bizarre, it is like no other film you'll see, ever. Scarlett Johansson is at the top of her game here. The Scotland countryside acts almost as a separate character injecting so much of the gloomy foreboding mood as our alien trolls around seeking her next helpless victim. An interesting commentary on the strange dynamics often at play in the way men and women interact.
June 18, 2016
It may be very abstract and I may have had a hard time understanding those thick scottish accents, but there is something very deep in what is not said, and only seen.
June 16, 2016
I absolutely love this movie. What an absorbing, fabulous show - I still think about it. A must-see!
½ June 14, 2016
Under the Skin is a 2014 film directed by Jonathan Glazer and follows an unnamed woman (portrayed by Scarlet Johansson) who uses sex appeal to trap men. The film uses unique camera work and stunning cinematography in order to portray the view of the human race by an other-worldly being. The addition of an amazing performance by Johansson, makes for a great film, along with the perfect amount of ambiguity to keep the audience guessing about the deeper meaning to the film. While I would have loved for more clarity to the alien's true intentions and more dialogue, the film's positive aspects outnumber the negatives and make for a beautiful, modern science-fiction film.
June 14, 2016
This is another example of why movie critics should be required to undergo a monthly enema. Yes, the imagery was "intoxicating" sporadically, but the rest of the movie was Scarlett Johansson in a bad wig quietly driving a minivan around town. The concept was intriguing but the execution was soo tedious you can't get through it without fast forwarding.
June 2, 2016
Slow, yet compelling and intense. I don't quite know why but I did like this film.
½ May 27, 2016
A powerful study on how we perceive beauty.
½ May 24, 2016
Ummm...no. Another disappointing sci-fi film starring ScarJo. By the end of the film, I felt that it really had potential to be an exMachina (and I loved exMachina). The film simply did not explain enough to the audience. I still don't understand what happened in that beach scene. And dialogue was too sparse. Not many movies can be successful with sparse dialogue, and this one wasn't either. Perhaps there was more explanation in the book (which I didn't read before watching).
May 9, 2016
***** Excellent
At first glance, I was not enamored with what was under Writer-Director Jonathan Glazer's film "Under the Skin". I was impatient with its slow pacing, but the skinny is that it never left my mind upon viewing, so I had to give this skin a second try, and I am so glad I did. The movie stars an excellent Scarlett Johansson as The Female; yea you got it, she is definitely The Female! Anyways, The Female preys upon Scottish men. She entraps them and literally sinks them into fatality. But this is not a female serial killer movie. There could be a wide array of interpretations on the narrative of "Under the Skin", and I was impressed in how Glazer gave us that grand arena to come up with our own conclusions on why The Female does what she does. I am not going to reveal more of the narrative, because I would be "under the fin" of you reading my review. Anyways, you have to be patient to see what's "Under the Skin", but I think you will be pleasantly pleased.
May 5, 2016
boring, beautiful, boring, scarlett, more boring parts, scarlett in shirtless, more boring, boring, boring, maybe at the end it has some thrilling parts, but this movie is so boring that you can fell asleep for 30 minutes and when you wake up you feel you loose nothing.
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