Mixed or average reviews - based on 42 Critics What's this?

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Generally favorable reviews- based on 50 Ratings

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  • Summary: Albert Nobbs is a woman passing as a man in order to work and survive in 19th century Ireland. Some thirty years after donning men's clothing, she finds herself trapped in a prison of her own making. (Roadside Attractions)

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 22 out of 42
  2. Negative: 3 out of 42
  1. Reviewed by: Lawrence Toppman
    Jan 26, 2012
    Most movies about people passing themselves off as the opposite sex can't sustain the illusion, but "Nobbs" does.
  2. Reviewed by: Roger Ebert
    Jan 25, 2012
    Close never steps wrong, never breaks reality. My heart went out to Albert Nobbs, the depth of whose fears are unimaginable. But it is Janet McTeer who brings the film such happiness and life as it has, because the tragedy of Albert Nobbs is that there can be no happiness in her life. The conditions she has chosen make it impossible.
  3. Reviewed by: Ann Hornaday
    Jan 27, 2012
    Like the man himself, Albert Nobbs is a sweet, sad, sensitive little film, a haunting reminder that each of us, on some level, is impersonating someone.
  4. Reviewed by: Sara Stewart
    Dec 19, 2011
    Unfortunately, Albert is so good at being unobtrusive, he nearly disappears from his own story, making it hard for us to get invested in it.
  5. Reviewed by: Mick LaSalle
    Jan 26, 2012
    Though the movie drips and aches with good intentions, I do wonder how lesbians may feel about seeing lesbianism presented as a mere traumatized distortion of female heterosexuality.
  6. 50
    The performance is extraordinary, literally: Close resembles no man I've ever seen, or woman either. She's the personification of fear - the fear of being seen through, seen for what she is.
  7. Reviewed by: R. Kurt Osenlund
    Dec 20, 2011
    Perhaps thrown by the challenge of having to direct women as men and not just as themselves, director Rodrigo Garcia turns in what may be his poorest effort to date, opting for a nearly airless tone, presenting a look that's sadly un-cinematic, and presiding over a collection of performers that seem to be operating on very different planes, and with accents of varying thicknesses.

See all 42 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 7 out of 15
  2. Negative: 3 out of 15
  1. Jan 28, 2012
    Albert Nobbs is the most heartbreaking and touching film I have seen in years. I disagree with much of what some critics are saying - I was never ever bored, found the drama tense and compelling, subtly building a sense of dread about what might be about to happen. The scene on the beach - Albert's one moment of true freedom, brought tears. Glenn Close is the master of this drama, not Janet McTeer, as some are saying. To me she simply added some comic relief, and was, at most, a cartoon. See it, you will love it. Expand
  2. Jan 3, 2012
    The two fascinating things to expect in this movie is the nomination-worthy act of Glenn Close and Janet McTeer, and the Make-up. Otherwise, the story is slightly drugging. You'll keep waiting if Close's character will finally turn into her real gender identity. Expand
  3. Sep 22, 2012
    An otherwise indifferent film is made memorable with yet another career defining performance by Glenn Close. And even though the subject is interesting and the supporting cast also do an excellent job, the film never really becomes truly great. Expand
  4. Dec 24, 2011
    It is designed to be a Glenn Close vehicle but Janet McTeer emerges as the real star. I wouldn't be surprised if, for this film, she becomes the Oscar winner that she should have been for "Tumbleweeds." Expand
  5. Dec 7, 2012
    Let me begin by saying I really enjoyed the film a lot. Glenn Close and Janet McTeer are fantastic as women living double lives as men; I'm very happy that they received Oscar nominations last year because they delivered two of the finest performances of 2011. Albert Nobbs does have some major issues however, but it's worth mentioning that it's hard to determine what could have made it better. The biggest problem I had with the film was that it was not as powerful or emotionally resonant as it could/should have been. I also didn't think Mia Wasikowska and Aaron Johnson were that great which surprised me because they're rising stars. Overall though I think Albert Nobbs is worth the watch; the characters are touching and the lead performances are remarkable. Expand
  6. Feb 6, 2012
    The "uncanny valley" is a robotics/animation term that describes the subtle area between looking human and looking creepy. That's where Glenn Close resides in this film. She plays a woman who lives as a man to make a living in 19th century Ireland, but the peculiar makeup is never convincing. Ironically, Janet McTeeer, who also plays another woman-as-a-man, easily passes. If you look pass this technicality, you'll find a quiet, sad film about a quiet, sad person who's trying to cope with her unusual existence. There's a solid supporting cast and some enjoyable subplots, but the deliberate pacing prevents the film from ever building up much steam. Well-crafted in the "Masterpiece Theatre" style, but insignificant and predictable in the drama. Expand
  7. Jan 5, 2012
    very disappointing movie. Story feels incomplete and unfulfilling. Could have explored era issues of cross dressing,gay marriage and second class women with far more depth and interest., Other plot line also shallow.
    Glenn Close for oscar Nomination .Not comparable to Meryl Streep in Iron Lady

See all 15 User Reviews


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