Blue Car


Generally favorable reviews - based on 31 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 29 out of 31
  2. Negative: 0 out of 31

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Critic Reviews

  1. A memory of the automobile in which a father drove away from his family provides the title for Blue Car but no hint of the power of writer-director Karen Moncrieff's superb feature debut.
  2. 90
    A quietly devastating song.
  3. 90
    Karen Moncrieff makes an extraordinary debut as a feature film writer and director with this observant drama about a budding teenage poet who, amid many traumas, finds the courage to become herself and set out as an artist.
  4. There are no surprise twists, no characters who rise above themselves, no cheap happy endings. There are just people struggling with emotions and situations they think are beyond their control.
  5. 88
    The ending of the film is as calculated and cruel as a verbal assault by a Neil LaBute character.
  6. Bruckner's restrained performance reveals a girl drowning in her own lack of self-esteem. When she finally comes up for air, she shatters the surface with a force that, in the hands of a less thoughtful director, could send her spinning down the melodramatic road to ruin.
  7. 80
    Bruckner's Meg is that rarity, a credible screen teenager.
  8. Mr. Strathairn's complex, exquisitely nuanced portrayal of a man who goes over the line allows his character to be both hero and villain, sometimes at once.
  9. Certainly no feel-good flick of the summer. But it's always tough and honest.
  10. Moncrieff's insistence on her subject suggests conviction -- about her contribution and about her cast. Both beliefs are pretty much justified.
  11. Wall Street Journal
    Reviewed by: Joe Morgenstern
    For the most part, though, Ms. Moncrieff has given us a portrait of a young woman with a luminous soul.
  12. 80
    Moncrieff offers a rare, unromantic take on female adolescence as sharp as a razor: It cuts right to the bone.
  13. Even with its drawbacks, Blue Car remains an intimate, thoughtful drama, with a performance no one is likely to forget.
  14. Reviewed by: David Rooney
    This melancholy, insightfully scripted coming-of-age drama is moving without being manipulative and makes an assured calling card for writer-director Karen Moncrieff.
  15. There’s more narrative happenstance loaded into the script of Blue Car than its running time should effectively allow, but the real keeper moments in Moncrieff’s movie are the small, quiet ones in which a simple glance speaks volumes.
  16. 75
    Captures the complex dynamic of a mentoring relationship like few movies before it.
  17. Ms. Moncrieff's low-key directing is matched by fine acting from Agnes Bruckner as Meg and David Strathairn as her mentor. Aside from a somewhat schematic climax, this is as smart a debut as we've seen in a long while.
  18. This is a film without a single false note. From the rain-streaked windshield to the unaffected line readings from a stellar cast, there is not a shot in Blue Car that doesn't ring true.
  19. 75
    Bruckner is an amazement, piercing the heart without begging for sympathy. This small gem of a movie is the perfect setting for her breakthrough performance.
  20. 75
    Settles into an unflinchingly honest coming-of-age portrait.
  21. Reviewed by: Glenn Kenny
    Moncrieff’s overriding theme here isn’t empowerment but survival. The movie crams a hell of a lot of dysfunction into its 88 minutes.
  22. 75
    Moncrieff's story remains fresh despite the familiarity of its general outline. This is mostly due to the skilled performances she elicits; even when the unfolding events have been seen many times before, watching human beings react realistically never gets old.
  23. Reviewed by: Ty Burr
    It's that central dance between teacher and student that makes the movie both hard to watch and worth your attention - a subtle waltz of power in which it's difficult to tell who's leading until too late.
  24. Reviewed by: Claudia Puig
    Blue Car is like an unpolished sapphire, at once harshly realistic and resplendent.
  25. 70
    The scenes of family squalor are memorably persuasive, but any filmmaker ending her movie with the heroine throwing a crumpled poem into the ocean needs a few more writing courses.
  26. Even without nudity, the sex scene between Meg and Auster is one of the most uncomfortable on film. Not just because of the actors' age difference (Strathairn is 54, Bruckner 17), but because of Meg's inexperience and misplaced trust.
  27. 63
    A well-intentioned coming-of-age film anchored by two indelible performances but weakened by an overabundance of drama.
  28. Feels like a bit of an emotional mugging.

Awards & Rankings

User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 10 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 5 out of 7
  2. Negative: 1 out of 7
  1. Heather
    Feb 27, 2007
    I really enjoyed this film. It was brutally honest and kept you interested until the end. It's one of those movies that I still find I really enjoyed this film. It was brutally honest and kept you interested until the end. It's one of those movies that I still find myself thinking about several days later. Great acting! Full Review »