Metascore
72

Generally favorable reviews - based on 25 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 20 out of 25
  2. Negative: 1 out of 25
  1. Reviewed by: Bill Goodykoontz
    Aug 25, 2011
    90
    Bursts at the seams with wild creativity.
  2. Reviewed by: Robert Abele
    Aug 4, 2011
    90
    With American independent filmmaking all too often a ready punching bag in today's cinéaste culture, this frequently dazzling, eccentric portrait of mutually assured destruction is that most delirious of combos: charmingly funny and emotionally terrifying.
  3. Reviewed by: Peter Travers
    Aug 4, 2011
    88
    Here's a movie that starts in your face and, amazingly, keeps coming at you. That's a good thing.
  4. Reviewed by: Nick Schager
    Jul 31, 2011
    88
    Evan Glodell's debut has the sweetness of a lullaby reverie and the blazing ferocity of a monster-car nightmare, a first-comes-elation, then-comes-madness structure that resembles that of "Blue Valentine," another tale focused on the commencement, and then collapse, of an affair.
  5. Reviewed by: Owen Gleiberman
    Aug 4, 2011
    83
    Bellflower is stylishly watchable - even when it's preposterous.
  6. Reviewed by: Eric Kohn
    Aug 2, 2011
    83
    Despite its meandering plot, Bellflower presents its doom-laden vision as an astonishingly distinctive state of mind, arguing that the end of one self-made world always marks the start of a new one.
  7. Reviewed by: Manohla Dargis
    Aug 4, 2011
    80
    There's more here than initially meets and sometimes assaults the eye, including the hyperbolic dudeness of it all.
  8. Reviewed by: Joe Morgenstern
    Aug 4, 2011
    80
    A daring feature debut by Evan Glodell, Bellflower looks like it was shot with the digital equivalent of a Brownie box camera, and generates an almost palpable aura of anxiety.
  9. Reviewed by: Andrew O'Hehir
    Aug 4, 2011
    80
    Bellflower is a genuine breakthrough, and after its own profoundly flawed fashion, a work of genius.
  10. Reviewed by: David Fear
    Aug 2, 2011
    80
    In one grease-monkey swoop, Glodell proves that he's a subversive talent worth following. Let a thousand of his future projects bloom.
  11. Reviewed by: Marc Savlov
    Aug 11, 2011
    78
    The result is a film that looks like no other in recent memory.
  12. 75
    Glodell never lets his creation spin out of control. Bellflower revs the engine of an exciting new maverick.
  13. Reviewed by: Tirdad Derakhshani
    Sep 15, 2011
    75
    Bellflower has plenty of rough edges and it suffers from a bad case of hipper-than-thou-ness. But it's a triumph.
  14. Reviewed by: Michael Phillips
    Sep 15, 2011
    75
    A rewardingly twisted hybrid of low-fi mumblecore and stylized thriller.
  15. Reviewed by: Roger Ebert
    Sep 14, 2011
    75
    A scrappy indie movie that comes out of nowhere and blows up stuff real good. It also possibly represents the debut of a one-of-a-kind filmmaker, a natural driven by wild energy, like Tarantino.
  16. Reviewed by: Ty Burr
    Sep 8, 2011
    75
    Hardly a consistent piece of work, but even when it falls apart toward the end in a mess of bad acting and amazingly youthful pretentiousness, you may find it hard to look away. Handmade and helpless, it's nevertheless the real deal, an artful blurt of sensitivity and rage.
  17. Reviewed by: Amy Biancolli
    Aug 18, 2011
    75
    The protagonists and their idle dreams of a fiery wasteland may well be nihilistic. But the movie - with its stunning cinematography and lingering aftertaste of old-school heartbreak - most assuredly is not.
  18. Reviewed by: V.A. Musetto
    Aug 5, 2011
    75
    Brace yourself for an explosively brutal finale.
  19. Reviewed by: John DeFore
    Jul 31, 2011
    70
    It's messy and leaves an unusual taste on the palate, but Bellflower has a strange, ugly-sweet appeal that couldn't have been produced without the schlocky entertainments that have channeled the imaginations of gifted but impressionable kids for decades.
  20. Reviewed by: John Anderson
    Jul 31, 2011
    70
    A likely cult hit among horror fans and a gleeful affront to more delicate sensibilities, Bellflower takes the young-adult romantic-comedy blueprint and subjects it to a kind of devilish origami, creating a disturbed and disturbing parable about young male fantasies, fears and avoidance of adulthood.
  21. Reviewed by: Joe Neumaier
    Aug 5, 2011
    60
    Like its antiheroes, this slacker tragedy has moments of calm and originality that are sadly obliterated by a tendency toward the extreme. Still, in a kind of reverse apocalypse, the movie's toughest stretch is its first two-thirds, a navel-gazing, semi-romantic nothing-a-thon that falls away in time for the movie to emerge from the ashes.
  22. Reviewed by: Rob Nelson
    Aug 2, 2011
    60
    In the end, Glodell's bona fide B-movie is monumentally dumb but damn near undeniable - although perhaps only a midnight drive-in screening in rural Texas, beat-up Chevys dripping muffler fluid and steam hissing from hot gravel, could do it proper.
  23. Reviewed by: J.R. Jones
    Sep 15, 2011
    50
    Glodell seems to be reaching for the nihilistic buddy romance of a movie like "Mean Streets" (1973), but without the serious intent; despite all the roiling emotions, this begins to feel like a pile-up of macho fetish items and stylistic affectations.
  24. Reviewed by: Keith Phipps
    Aug 3, 2011
    42
    It is, without a doubt, a striking debut. But it's also punishingly distasteful and disjointed almost beyond coherence, a repetitive heap of a film that feels disgorged rather than crafted.
  25. Reviewed by: Michael O'Sullivan
    Sep 8, 2011
    38
    Worse yet is the insincerity of the film's central performances. Too cool by half, Glodell, Wiseman and Dawson speak every line as if it had air quotes around it. In fact, the entire movie feels as though it has air quotes around it.
User Score
5.8

Mixed or average reviews- based on 32 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 3 out of 8
  2. Negative: 4 out of 8
  1. Aug 6, 2011
    9
    One of the rare films that lives up to the promise of the trailer, and Bellflower's trailer is incredibly cool. Evan Glodell does a terrific acting job as the lead character, but his script and direction are also spot on. The way the film is unfocused, blurry, and jumps frames at certain high tension moments is highly effective. The relationship between the two old friend leads is somewhat reminiscent of the guys in Clerks, though their building of flamethrowers, fire-breathing cars, and in-dash whiskey fountains set them apart. I've heard this movie compared to Fight Club, but that's way off. This movie has a huge heart. So much action, betrayal, and pulp.... I'm fired up to see it again. It was great seeing and HEARing Medusa (the car) at the film's opening night at the Nuart in LA. Evan also spoke to the crowd - his humility and awe at the size of the crowd was refreshing. Full Review »
  2. Sep 18, 2011
    2
    This review contains spoilers, click full review link to view. I thought this movie had extreme potential, and the acting was fantastic except for a few pregnant pauses and awkward plot situations, however it overall left a bad taste in my mouth and it was for me a poor job at a dating and cheating film that made an excuse to film gratuitous boobies. I loved the flame-throwing, the cars, and the bond and comedy between the two friends, but other than that I wanted to leave but couldn't because my friend bought the tickets so I was forced to sit through two hours in a film about basically nothing. There were also a few holes and a filming mistake where (spoiler alert) a character trades his car for a motorcycle, but you see a scene when he's driving home in the car. I really wanted to see this film be more about the muscle car and flame-throwing fantasy and less about the gratuitous boy meets girl then things go sour story. I found it boring and emotionally painful, and I kept saying to myself, "Why are films like these allowed to be played in major theaters?". The movie could not decide if it was a comedy or drama, and I would not call this film a black comedy. Full Review »
  3. Dec 30, 2013
    5
    This film of very harsh realism and large amounts of symbolism definitely comes from the postmodern tradition, and was interesting and thought-provoking enough for the majority of it to be entertaining. But then came the final scene to ruin the whole movie. Apart from the annoying repetition of the Mad-Max-influenced nickname "Lord Humungous," the scene destroys the deep insights gotten from the rest of the movie by seeming to make the whole film's theme a glorified version of "bros before hos." Still, the characters and filming was good enough to make the film not completely ruined, but very disappointing nonetheless. Full Review »