Mixed or average reviews - based on 14 Critics What's this?

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  • Starring: ,
  • Summary: Isabelle (Huppert), an ex-nun who believes that God has an as yet unspecified mission set aside for her, keeps herself fed by writing short stories for a pornographic magazine. One day she meets Thomas (Donovan), a confused but insightful amnesiac wandering the streets of New York City. When they set out to discover Thomas' past, Isabelle suspects that it's somehow linked with a desperate young porn actress, Sofia (Lowensohn). (Sony Classics) Expand
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 7 out of 14
  2. Negative: 3 out of 14
  1. 88
    Amateur is Hartley heaven, a sharp-witted thriller that takes off into dark and uncharted territory.
  2. Reviewed by: Todd McCarthy
    Just as quirky and idiosyncratic as the Gotham-based writer-director's earlier efforts, this one pushes the spiky humor a bit more to the fore while unfolding a tale loaded with offbeat oppositions and odd character detailing.
  3. 75
    Amateur is a curious mixture of high art and delicious campiness, and the result is a funny, insightful, and almost-hypnotic motion picture.
  4. Amateur, the fourth film of American independent filmmaker Hal Hartley, is by far his best - though, in the wake of "The Unbelievable Truth," "Trust" and "Simple Men," that is, admittedly, not saying much. [05 May 1995]
  5. The particulars of the plot don't make a great deal of sense, but Hartley's films have much more to do with style, or rather a philosophical refusal to show emotional involvement.
  6. Hartley turns what might have been a lurid pulp thriller into a freeze-dried art thing. He squeezes all the juice out of pulp. [19 May 1995]
  7. Amateur gives the impression of a sloppy first draft. It begins with a splash, meanders until it reaches feature length, then ends abruptly.

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