What Maisie Knew - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

What Maisie Knew Reviews

Top Critic
Cath Clarke
Time Out
August 21, 2013
Sensitive and almost unwatchably perceptive about dysfunctional families -- and it's acted with knife-sharp precision.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
Top Critic
David Thomson
The New Republic
June 12, 2013
The film is touching, filled with taste and care, but not enough to avoid being coy and sentimental.
Top Critic
Randy Myers
San Jose Mercury News
June 4, 2013
On the surface, this indie does sound like standard-issue material, but its dynamics are far more complex than its simple exterior.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
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Ann Hornaday
Washington Post
June 3, 2013
What Maisie Knew gives the audience a ground-eye view of its mesmerizing title character, a plucky, charismatic New Yorker who navigates downtown bars and building lobbies with the street savvy of a pro.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Carrie Rickey
Philadelphia Inquirer
June 3, 2013
The result is a film that deeply engages us on multiple levels. Not only do we wonder what Maisie knows and how she knows it, we want to get this seedling to a place where she won't have to be transplanted every day.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
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Mick LaSalle
Hearst Newspapers
June 3, 2013
It's a study of human nature, not at its worst, but at its most typically pathetic, and it goes to show that the more things don't change, the more they stay lousy.
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Andrew O'Hehir
Salon.com
June 3, 2013
Intimate, unnerving and entirely addictive.
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Joe Neumaier
New York Daily News
June 3, 2013
The aggravatingly manipulative What Maisie Knew feels, perhaps deliberately, as if its emotions were drawn in brightly colored crayon.
Full Review | Original Score: 1/5
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David Edelstein
New York Magazine/Vulture
June 3, 2013
As Maisie, Aprile seems lit from within; a more vividly natural child actress I have trouble imagining.
Top Critic
Colin Covert
Minneapolis Star Tribune
June 3, 2013
The story is sad, but the talent involved in its telling is elating.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
Top Critic
Moira MacDonald
Seattle Times
May 30, 2013
"What Maisie Knew" packs a surprising emotional punch, one that stays with you for a while when the movie's over.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
Top Critic
John Anderson
Newsday
May 30, 2013
Mischievous updating of the Henry James novel, made especially moving by young Onata Aprile.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
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Ty Burr
Boston Globe
May 24, 2013
What Maisie Knew" is about the erosion of innocence in the midst of plenty, yet it rarely feels heavy-handed, so serene is its own faith in its tiny heroine's strength.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
Top Critic
J. R. Jones
Chicago Reader
May 23, 2013
Selfishness and cruelty never go out of style, which might explain why this millennial update of Henry James's 1897 novel works so well.
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Claudia Puig
USA Today
May 23, 2013
The camera is often at Maisie's eye level, emphasizing how adults are seen by the perceptive Maisie. The sad-eyed Aprile's honest portrayal is heart-wrenching.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
Top Critic
Barbara VanDenburgh
Arizona Republic
May 23, 2013
A raw, uncomfortable examination of a family torn apart by two parents who love their daughter only half as much as they love themselves.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/5
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Betsy Sharkey
Los Angeles Times
May 16, 2013
Without losing the 19th century author's sensibility, screenwriters Carroll Cartwright and Nancy Doyne have brought into the modern age James' unforgiving examination of the effect of a messy divorce on a child.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
Top Critic
May 3, 2013
The film raises more uncomfortable questions about Maisie's uncertain future than it ever answers, but that's in keeping with the emotional honesty the filmmakers are striving for.
Full Review | Original Score: 6.5/10
Top Critic
Peter Rainer
Christian Science Monitor
May 3, 2013
We experience her upsets without the leavening of outside interferences. And because Aprile is such an intuitive performer, we are always searching her face for the imprint of her suffering.
Full Review | Original Score: B+
Top Critic
Mary F. Pols
TIME Magazine
May 3, 2013
Some moviegoers may opt for an easier cinematic pleasure than this carefully crafted, discomforting look at familial misery in hyper drive, but it is the most provocative movie about parenting I've seen since The Kids Are All Right.
Top Critic
Stephen Whitty
Newark Star-Ledger
May 3, 2013
Yes, these people are cliches. But they know it. And so do the actors, who push past the stereotypes to slowly show us that perhaps these young and rather unimportant people are far more grown-up and involved than anyone else around them.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
Top Critic
Kyle Smith
New York Post
May 3, 2013
This is a fine idea for a PSA TV commercial, but (a) they already did it back in the '70s and (b) it goes on well past the 30-second mark.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
Top Critic
A.O. Scott
New York Times
May 2, 2013
"What Maisie Knew" lays waste to the comforting dogma that children are naturally resilient, and that our casual, unthinking cruelty to them can be answered by guilty and belated displays of affection.
Full Review | Original Score: 5/5
Top Critic
Peter Travers
Rolling Stone
May 2, 2013
Directors Scott McGehee and David Siegel, abetted by an astute scriptfrom Nancy Doyne and Carroll Cartwright, find something sadly timeless in a child torn apart in a custody battle that no one wins, least of all the child.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Sam Adams
AV Club
May 2, 2013
It fails to bring much insight to what essentially amounts to a massive parental guilt trip.
Full Review | Original Score: B-
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Sheila O'Malley
Chicago Sun-Times
May 2, 2013
"What Maisie Knew" is an indictment of those who do not realize that innocence is not something to be scorned and used, but cherished and protected.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Chris Nashawaty
Entertainment Weekly
May 1, 2013
Both of these actors have been great before and will be great again. But in this bleak indie bummer that confuses hopelessness with depth, they're really nothing more than selfish, one-dimensional monsters.
Full Review | Original Score: C
Top Critic
Rex Reed
New York Observer
May 1, 2013
Poignant and exemplary, this is one of the best films of 2013.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
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Joshua Rothkopf
Time Out
April 30, 2013
Since moving into domestic subjects, their (Scott McGehee and David Siegel's) footing has been less sure, and you'll resent What Maisie Knew's tidy conclusion.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
Top Critic
Alan Scherstuhl
Village Voice
April 30, 2013
The film is admirably committed to simulating the messy experience of life as a real Maisie might live it.
Top Critic
Justin Chang
Variety
April 29, 2013
This beautifully observed drama essentially strikes the same sad note for 98 minutes, though with enough sensitivity and emotional variation to make the experience cumulatively heartrending.
Top Critic
John DeFore
Hollywood Reporter
April 29, 2013
Tasteful melodrama benefits from uniformly strong performances.
Top Critic
David Denby
New Yorker
April 29, 2013
There is much anger, betrayal, and cruelty as the girl's watchful eyes take in everything and she learns, slowly, what she must do to survive.
Top Critic
September 9, 2012
Whether or not there is story plausibility here, there is an emotional integrity to every reaction Maisie has to every development.