Critic Consensus: Undertow's gently fantastical elements are balanced by fully realized characters and a story with genuine, steadily accumulating emotional weight.
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Critic Reviews for Undertow
A deep-fried piece of Southern Gothic that wears its unpleasantness like a merit badge...
Green's signature pastoral tangents and codeine pacing don't slow down this tale of two boys fleeing their psychotic uncle so much as inappropriately slacken any of the story's suspenseful aspects.
Green's characters often find themselves in raw, unprotected moments, but Undertow also can feel a little too mesmerized by its own junkyard visions.
The film's first half is hypnotically watchable.
Green is all surface and no depth in his effort to channel the late novelist William Faulkner.
Audience Reviews for Undertow
Looked promising, but ultimately underwhelming. Also, Kristen Stewart is in this for about ten minutes, if that, so don't let that be a deciding factor in watching this! The first few minutes seemed interesting and it had it's moments, including a small appearance by Shiri Appleby, but I just found it did not hold my attention particularly well.
Jamie Bell, Devon Alan, Dermot Mulrony, Josh Lucas, Kristen Stewart "Can I carve my name in your face?" David Gordon Green is surely becoming one of my favorite directors. I have read that they call his directing "Southern Gothic". I like it. His movie's are not predictable. Undertow is set in the South of Georgia, and its a dramatic thriller about two brothers, Chris and Tom, who are on the run from their greedy Uncle Deel after the death of their father. It's really sad. The youngest brother is ill and likes to eat odd things like paint and mudd. On their journey they come in contact with some characters that help them on their way. Really great performances from Devon Alan. He becomes the character, it's like he isn't even trying. Loved that, exspecially for him being so young. Jamie Bell is a favorite of mine. I thought he was amazing. Josh Lucas was really good. Seen a few of his movies lately and I really like his work acting.
Heartbreaking yet very fulfilling in accomplishment.
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