What Maisie Knew - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

What Maisie Knew Reviews

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
June 12, 2013
The film is touching, filled with taste and care, but not enough to avoid being coy and sentimental.
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
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
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
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.
June 3, 2013
Intimate, unnerving and entirely addictive.
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
June 3, 2013
As Maisie, Aprile seems lit from within; a more vividly natural child actress I have trouble imagining.
June 3, 2013
The story is sad, but the talent involved in its telling is elating.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
May 30, 2013
"What Maisie Knew" packs a surprising emotional punch, one that stays with you for a while when the movie's over.
Read More | Original Score: 3.5/4
May 30, 2013
Mischievous updating of the Henry James novel, made especially moving by young Onata Aprile.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
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
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.
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
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
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
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
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+
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.
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
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
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.
Read More | Original Score: 5/5
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
Top Critic
May 2, 2013
It fails to bring much insight to what essentially amounts to a massive parental guilt trip.
Full Review | Original Score: B-
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
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
May 1, 2013
Poignant and exemplary, this is one of the best films of 2013.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
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
April 30, 2013
The film is admirably committed to simulating the messy experience of life as a real Maisie might live it.
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.
April 29, 2013
Tasteful melodrama benefits from uniformly strong performances.
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.