Career Girls

Metascore
76

Generally favorable reviews - based on 25 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 23 out of 25
  2. Negative: 0 out of 25

Critic Reviews

  1. Reviewed by: Robert Faires
    Jun 3, 2013
    89
    An abundance of feeling plays across the faces of his two leads; Cartlidge and Steadman bring to light every flicker of awkwardness, indecision, anger, regret, joy, admiration, and affection felt by Hannah and Annie.
  2. Reviewed by: Michael Ollove
    Jun 3, 2013
    88
    The coincidences pile up in Career Girls, but by then Leigh has involved us so fully in the emotional lives of his characters that the contrivances are easily dismissed.
  3. Reviewed by: Steven Rea
    Jun 3, 2013
    88
    Career Girls doesn't have the sweep of Secrets & Lies, nor the venom of Naked (which also featured the riveting Cartlidge). But in the small world it keenly describes, the film packs an emotional punch - silly voices and all.
  4. The Globe and Mail (Toronto)
    Reviewed by: Liam Lacey
    Jun 3, 2013
    88
    In the entrancing frames of Career Girls, nothing extraordinary happens and everything is revealed. [26 Sep.1997, p.E8]
  5. Reviewed by: Michael Wilmington
    Jun 3, 2013
    88
    So intense and warm are Leigh's feelings for his characters, that we may remember Hannah and Annie long afterward as old friends -- imperfect yet lovable, pals with whom we've suffered and laughed a lot.
  6. Charlotte Observer
    Reviewed by: Lawrence Toppman
    Jun 3, 2013
    83
    Career Girls is a chamber piece: intimate and direct, two voices performing monologues and duets of irony, despair and hope. [29 Aug 1997, p.11E]
  7. Tampa Bay Times
    Reviewed by: Steve Persall
    Jun 3, 2013
    83
    Whatever Career Girls lacks in polish or ambition, it compensates with three memorable performances and an unwavering filmmaker working on nobody's terms except his own. [5 Sep. 1997, p.3]
  8. Reviewed by: Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Jun 3, 2013
    83
    It isn't easy to get close to these two women. But the effort yields a rewarding take on the resiliency and therapeutic importance of friendship.
  9. Reviewed by: Staff [Not Credited]
    Jun 3, 2013
    80
    A simple, slight but delightful slice of life à la Leigh, with some heart-stoppingly committed performances and genuinely moving moments. It won't set the world on fire, but will smoulder in your brain long after you've left the cinema.
  10. Reviewed by: Jay Boyar
    Jun 3, 2013
    80
    By the soaring standards of Mike Leigh's career, Career Girls (which opens locally today) is a minor work. But minor-league Leigh is better than major-league most other people, especially because he possesses the most emotionally sophisticated sensibility of any contemporary filmmaker.
  11. Reviewed by: Kenneth Turan
    Jun 3, 2013
    80
    Though its plot frequently falls back on coincidence, so much so that the characters joke about it, Career Girls has the almost magical ability to involve us emotionally with these women even though there are points when we would've sworn that wouldn't be possible.
  12. Reviewed by: Christopher Hemblade
    Jun 3, 2013
    80
    As is the norm with the best of Leigh, Career Girls is a masterly observation of the foibles of the human condition, rendered with an incisive bite and delivered with boisterous wit.
  13. Boston Globe
    Reviewed by: Jay Carr
    Jun 3, 2013
    75
    Career Girls is a film that knows how wounding and complicated life can be, yet still believes in, and convincingly renders, the healing power of friendship. [15 Aug. 1997, p.D4]
  14. St. Louis Post-Dispatch
    Reviewed by: Deborah Peterson
    Jun 3, 2013
    75
    While Career Girls has an overall somber tone, it is sparked by Leigh's humor and the actresses' - particularly Hannah's - verbal quickness... While the film may not be very satisfying to viewers, it is intriguing to watch Leigh's work and to see the women's characters develop. [22 Aug. 1997, p.6E]
  15. Reviewed by: Walter Addiego
    Jun 3, 2013
    75
    Less ambitious than the highly successful "Secrets & Lies," Career Girls has its own modest merits - a real sense of wit, much of it expressed in Hannah's sharp verbal sallies, and a melancholy truth that both women realize.
  16. 75
    A film that, despite its slight intentions, offers several lovely moments.
  17. Reviewed by: James Berardinelli
    Jun 3, 2013
    75
    Career Girls is a wonderful diversion -- expert film making that's all the more effective because it seems so natural and effortless. The movie lacks the grit of Naked and the emotional impact of Secrets and Lies, but, because it effectively transforms two strangers into people worth caring about, Career Girls can be regarded as nothing less than a success.
  18. Reviewed by: Roger Ebert
    Jun 3, 2013
    75
    What is the use of a film like this? It inspires reflection... Mike Leigh's films realize that for most people, most days, life consists of the routine of earning a living, broken by fleeting thoughts of where our efforts will someday take us--financially, romantically, spiritually or even geographically. We never arrive in most of those places, but the mental images are what keep us trying.
  19. New York Daily News
    Reviewed by: Jami Bernard
    Jun 3, 2013
    70
    Career Girls reaches a little too often and unconvincingly for convenience... But Leigh remains one of the few film makers today to make movies that are solely character-driven, in which personal insight is its own reward. [8 Aug 1997, p.46]
  20. The Hollywood Reporter
    Reviewed by: Michael Rechtshaffen
    Jun 3, 2013
    70
    While humor abounds, the reflective piece nevertheless carries an emotional heft that tends to sneak up on the viewer after the fact. It's a testament to Leigh's tremendous skills as a storyteller and the splendid performances of his leads, Katrin Cartlidge ("Breaking the Waves") and newcomer Lynda Steadman. [7 Aug. 1997]
  21. Reviewed by: Todd McCarthy
    Jun 3, 2013
    70
    Mike Leigh has made one of his most modest pictures, although one that offers quite a few laughs and other quirky pleasures.
  22. Reviewed by: Janet Maslin
    Jun 3, 2013
    70
    There is the sense that Mr. Leigh, whose unusual collaborative method with actors is an essential facet of his writing and direction, is too willing to confuse tics with truth. Indeed, this time the actors' solipsism is more apparent.
  23. 67
    The tale doesn't always seem sure where it's going, and for once in his career, Leigh doesn't always appear to have a firm grasp on his project.

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