Metascore
81

Universal acclaim - based on 42 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 35 out of 42
  2. Negative: 0 out of 42
  1. Reviewed by: Mike Scott
    Jan 28, 2011
    100
    It is beautiful, and it is difficult to watch. It is heartwarming, and it is heart-wrenching. It is absorbing, and it's unsettling.
  2. Reviewed by: Steve Persall
    Jan 27, 2011
    100
    Sounds depressing, but Blue Valentine is a reminder that well-measured and expertly acted pain is as thrilling to watch as 3-D spectacle.
  3. Reviewed by: Bill Goodykoontz
    Jan 14, 2011
    90
    Once it's done, you feel terrible for these people, for their lives, for their daughter, especially. Is that entertainment? To each his own, but it is compelling and, yes, rewarding.
  4. Reviewed by: Lawrence Toppman
    Jan 13, 2011
    88
    After 30 minutes, I wondered why I was watching a drama about a quarrelsome couple who seemed so obviously wrong for each other. After 60 minutes, I knew. After 90 minutes, I cared. By the end, I was riveted.
  5. Reviewed by: Roger Ebert
    Jan 6, 2011
    88
    Derek Cianfrance, the film's writer and director, observes with great exactitude the birth and decay of a relationship. This film is alive in its details.
  6. Reviewed by: Rick Groen
    Jan 28, 2011
    88
    Two superb actors etch an unflinching portrait of a young marriage doomed never to grow old.
  7. Reviewed by: James Berardinelli
    Jan 17, 2011
    88
    The cumulative experience leaves an aftertaste that, although not bitter, is too strong to be easily washed away. That's the mark of a worthwhile motion picture.
  8. Reviewed by: Joe Williams
    Jan 14, 2011
    88
    It's true that the movie is both emotionally violent and sexually explicit. Yet these scenes from a marriage are crafted with such attention to detail and overarching honesty that Blue Valentine touches the heart.
  9. Reviewed by: Rene Rodriguez
    Jan 12, 2011
    88
    There isn't a moment in the entire film that doesn't feel genuine.
  10. Reviewed by: Dana Stevens
    Jan 6, 2011
    90
    Williams plays this tired, disillusioned, chronically angry woman without a trace of actorly vanity. It's a performance noteworthy not just for its intensity but for Williams' ability to communicate inner experience at a micro-level of detail.
  11. Reviewed by: Mick LaSalle
    Jan 6, 2011
    100
    Extraordinary and beautiful.
  12. Reviewed by: Joe Morgenstern
    Dec 30, 2010
    90
    Here's one vote for the most affecting, anguishing, revealing and prophetic scene of the movie year-and yes, it's all of those things at once in a powerful film that alternates between moments of earlier happiness and later pain.
  13. Reviewed by: Andrew O'Hehir
    Dec 30, 2010
    90
    An intimate, gorgeous and wrenching portrait of a working-class marriage in what may be a state of terminal decay.
  14. Reviewed by: Stephanie Zacharek
    Dec 30, 2010
    85
    The faces of these performers - particularly Williams' - are the key to Blue Valentine.
  15. Reviewed by: Owen Gleiberman
    Dec 29, 2010
    100
    Blue Valentine is lushly touching and gorgeously told.
  16. Reviewed by: Kyle Smith
    Dec 29, 2010
    88
    A small but shattering film that marks its writer-director, Derek Cianfrance, as an artist of real depth, observes relationship dynamics at a molecular level, welling with as much understanding as Ingmar Bergman's "Scenes from a Marriage."
  17. Reviewed by: Claudia Puig
    Dec 29, 2010
    100
    Gosling and Williams have the most palpable chemistry of any screen couple this year, never striking a false note in this achingly tender tale of a love that implodes before our eyes.
  18. Reviewed by: Peter Travers
    Dec 29, 2010
    88
    Ryan Gosling and Michelle Williams give two of the most explosive and emotionally naked performances you will see anywhere. Just know you're in for a workout.
  19. Reviewed by: Joe Neumaier
    Dec 29, 2010
    100
    Halfway into Blue Valentine, a work so beautifully acted and emotionally honest it is my choice for best movie of the year, there's an amazing flashback scene you hope never ends.
  20. Reviewed by: Nathan Rabin
    Dec 28, 2010
    100
    It's an emotionally claustrophobic drama, played with frayed nerves and raw emotions, and it serves as an unrelenting glimpse into relationship hell. It could easily have devolved into sweaty, pretentious melodrama or ersatz John Cassavetes if Cianfrance and his actors didn't maintain perfect control over the material.
  21. Reviewed by: Scott Tobias
    Dec 28, 2010
    90
    Cianfrance and his actors, Michelle Williams and Ryan Gosling, have not made a cold or schematic film. They aim instead for raw emotional experience, one that's full of insight into the ways a relationship can go astray, but mostly feels like a slow-motion punch to the gut.
  22. Reviewed by: Joshua Rothkopf
    Dec 22, 2010
    100
    Blue Valentine has a quiet, resigned wisdom to it.
  23. Reviewed by: Rex Reed
    Dec 20, 2010
    100
    Blue Valentine is about real life, warts and all, over narrative conventions like action and plot mechanics. It is brutal, compassionate, beautiful in its ugliness and one of the bravest films of the year.
User Score
7.6

Generally favorable reviews- based on 260 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 53 out of 64
  2. Negative: 7 out of 64
  1. Feb 9, 2011
    9
    Cianfrance's directing is laid back, as in he lets the actors do the story telling. The emotional bond formed by these characters can be seen and felt, due to the two spectacular leads. The soundtrack provided by Grizzly Bear highlights the emotional strain just right. Full Review »
  2. Jan 31, 2011
    5
    Stars Ryan Gosling and Michelle Williams were also executive producers of this film, which explains the self-indulgent acting exercise that they've turned into a downer. It runs two parallel courses, when they meet and fall in love and several years later, when their marriage is falling apart. It took 3 writers to create the mundane dialogue and a director with a claustrophobic camera. Granted, the performances are award material, but the film is grim and painful for the characters and for us. Full Review »
  3. Feb 9, 2011
    2
    After watching Blue Valentine all I could feel was disappointment. The screenplay didn't do justice to the cast, who gave an outstanding performance considering. Full Review »