Metascore
64

Generally favorable reviews - based on 18 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 11 out of 18
  2. Negative: 0 out of 18
  1. Reviewed by: Mike D'Angelo
    Jun 17, 2014
    90
    Shot over five nights in a single location, and almost entirely improvised, Coherence is no-budget filmmaking at its most delectably inventive.
  2. Reviewed by: William Goss
    Jul 9, 2014
    89
    Coherence presents a far-fetched premise at the outset, only to slyly smuggle in some remarkably relatable matters of the heart along the way.
  3. Reviewed by: Marc Mohan
    Jul 10, 2014
    83
    If Rod Serling had hired Robert Altman to direct a "Twilight Zone" episode, it might have turned out something like this.
  4. Reviewed by: A.A. Dowd
    Jun 18, 2014
    83
    The result is an uncommonly clever genre movie, reliant not on special effects — of which there are basically none — but on heavy doses of paranoia.
  5. Reviewed by: Clark Collis
    Jun 11, 2014
    83
    The wordy end product may be short on demons and murderous droids, yet Coherence is a satisfying and chilling addition to the ever-growing pal-ocalypse subgenre.
  6. Reviewed by: Bilge Ebiri
    Jun 20, 2014
    80
    Byrkit’s film is very much its own thing. It’s an urbane dinner-party movie that turns into something magnificent, terrible, and strange – and yet it never quite stops being an urbane dinner-party movie, never lets up its tone of ironic refinement. Coherence is a gentle film, but you walk away from it with your brain on fire.
  7. Reviewed by: Stephen Dalton
    Jun 19, 2014
    80
    An ingenious micro-budget science-fiction nerve-jangler which takes place entirely at a suburban dinner party, Coherence is a testament to the power of smart ideas and strong ensemble acting over expensive visual pyrotechnics.
  8. Reviewed by: Sara Stewart
    Jun 18, 2014
    75
    Writer/director James Ward Byrkit, in his feature debut, achieves effective chills with only eight actors and a living room, intermixing quantum physics (shout-outs range from Schrödinger’s cat to “Sliding Doors”) with the very mundane human tendency toward bad judgment calls in a crisis.
  9. Reviewed by: Nick Prigge
    Jun 15, 2014
    75
    The film's impression of personas is less traditionally sinister than representative of its inquiry into identity and what happens when social barriers begin to fall away.
  10. Reviewed by: Andrew O'Hehir
    Jun 19, 2014
    70
    After the fundamental problem of Coherence has become clear, or clear-ish – there’s another dinner party, at that other house, that looks an awful lot like this one – the movie becomes slightly too much like an unfolding mathematical puzzle, although an ingenious one that reaches a chilling conclusion.
  11. Reviewed by: Robert Abele
    Jun 19, 2014
    70
    The performances... are solid, and the conceit is alluringly mind-bending without ever seeming off-puttingly brainy.
  12. Reviewed by: Elizabeth Weitzman
    Jun 19, 2014
    60
    Byrkit and his actors successfully build a sense of tension, and then dread, from what appears to be an extremely limited budget. Indeed, the movie was shot primarily in his own living room.
  13. Reviewed by: Joshua Rothkopf
    Jun 17, 2014
    60
    For a sci-fi indie of vast ambition but limited means, Coherence does a sterling job with coherence.
  14. Reviewed by: Gabe Toro
    Jun 18, 2014
    58
    It feels like this is a short film idea stretched to feature length, and the padding doesn't work.
  15. Reviewed by: Manohla Dargis
    Jun 19, 2014
    50
    At some point, though, Mr. Byrkit turns one too many corners (characters, meanwhile, begin bustling in and out of rooms like Marx Brothers extras), and what began as a nifty puzzle feels more like a trap.
  16. 50
    The one thing Coherence needs most is that word that gives it its title.
  17. Reviewed by: Justin Chang
    Jun 25, 2014
    40
    Coherence devolves into a noisy, cluttered portrait of dysfunction, all clenched fists and shouted expletives. The twists may be novel, but the talk, and the upshot, are all too dispiritingly familiar.
  18. Reviewed by: Michael Atkinson
    Jun 17, 2014
    40
    The Rod Serling tension Byrkit is angling for never quite arrives, nor does any real Borgesian frisson. But thanks to its social setting, it does offer a vivid and perhaps intentional satirical portrait of L.A. culture.
User Score
7.2

Generally favorable reviews- based on 24 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 6 out of 6
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 6
  3. Negative: 0 out of 6
  1. Dec 15, 2014
    8
    If you liked Primer and/or Another Earth, this is a movie for you. Smart, clever and ambiguous, Coherence belongs in that new genre ofIf you liked Primer and/or Another Earth, this is a movie for you. Smart, clever and ambiguous, Coherence belongs in that new genre of peaceful but somewhat terrifying end of the world pictures. Full Review »
  2. Oct 8, 2014
    8
    This was an unexpected surprise, as I knew absolutely nothing about it going in. It was recommended to me by a friend who's also a big horrorThis was an unexpected surprise, as I knew absolutely nothing about it going in. It was recommended to me by a friend who's also a big horror fan and I'm glad I listened to him! So much was done here with such a small budget. I watched it with two others and we were all silent and gripped throughout, yet couldn't stop talking about it afterwards.

    To even say that it's a sci-fi movie is somewhat a spoiler, but unavoidable. It's best to go in knowing as little as possible. One of the most enjoyable and refreshing sci-fi movies I've seen in some time and one that managed to build up quite the sense of dread towards the end. It'll have you trying to guess what's going to happen next, all while doubting everything that you've seen on screen.

    An under-rated little gem of a film.
    Full Review »
  3. Sep 29, 2014
    9
    One of the best sci-fi movies I've seen in a while. Some slick storytelling magic that keeps everything just enough out-of-whack to instill aOne of the best sci-fi movies I've seen in a while. Some slick storytelling magic that keeps everything just enough out-of-whack to instill a sense of dread. A very dialogue-driven movie, and the dialogue is believable. Has a loose, quick vibe - the actors are all able and for the most part believable, and it seems they were left a little improvisational wriggle-room to make the scenes that much more realistic. The premise is ridiculous and Twilight Zone-worthy, but the way it plays out makes you feel like it's really happening. Comet overhead causes odd things to occur and I'll leave it at that - the story best plays out when you have no expectations of what's to come. As others have said, the fact that this movie gets the blood pumping and tensions rising with no special effects or over-the-top gore, no A-list actors or sweeping cinematography (the camera work is great, though) - is a testament to the power of good storytelling. Full Review »