Metascore
54

Mixed or average reviews - based on 7 Critics What's this?

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  • Summary: A dark comedy about stepping up when your parents are going downhill; a love letter to anyone who's ever been a caregiver for someone who raised them.
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 3 out of 7
  2. Negative: 1 out of 7
  1. 70
    Not a lot happens, and yet, as in the best so-called “slice of life” stories, you feel one way of life ending and another struggling to be born. The little that happens is enough.
  2. Reviewed by: Steve Erickson
    May 13, 2014
    70
    For the most part, A Short History of Decay triumphs over its pretensions.
  3. Reviewed by: Kyle Smith
    May 14, 2014
    63
    Rookie filmmaker Michael Maren’s script isn’t deep, but it’s heartfelt without being sticky, suggesting that the best way to deal with aging parents is to savor every tender frustration while you can.
  4. Reviewed by: Nicolas Rapold
    May 15, 2014
    60
    Despite Mr. Maren’s own ample experience as a writer, the references to book culture don’t feel vivid enough to act as more than scene-setting, and the film’s strength lies in the family relationships.
  5. Reviewed by: Frank Scheck
    May 20, 2014
    60
    Although more than a little meandering and self-indulgent, the film is likeable nonetheless thanks to its incisive characterizations and canny capturing of true-life moments.
  6. Reviewed by: Elizabeth Weitzman
    May 15, 2014
    40
    Nathan’s neurotic self-indulgence strains our patience.
  7. Reviewed by: David Ehrlich
    May 15, 2014
    10
    A stagnant portrait of the degradation that envelops those fortunate enough to live so long, the film desperately tries to mine sweetness from the banality of life’s endgame, but the falseness of its bittersweet storytelling only accentuates the misery.
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 0 out of
  2. Mixed: 0 out of
  3. Negative: 0 out of