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
8.2

Universal acclaim- based on 9 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 3 out of 3
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 3
  3. Negative: 0 out of 3
  1. Aug 10, 2014
    8
    Reminds me a lot of "Primer", but a little more accessible. Very fun and Twilight Zone-esque.

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    Full Review »
  2. Aug 10, 2014
    9
    Schrödinger's Cat: The Movie

    Zero FX Magic

    Coherence is a rare treat in a world with so much bad sci-fi in theatres and on television
    (the current syfy line-up comes to mind).

    It's really good, complex, sci-fi that never bogs down in explication. It also doesn't rely on special effects to sell its central concept.

    The cast is believable and the narrative weaves its way deftly through the characters, very average, lives.

    Buy It at Amazon now - thank me later.
    Full Review »
  3. Aug 7, 2014
    9
    Coherence is a mind bending thriller that is half part a complex alien movie, and on the other half it is about dysfunctional relationships. Throughout you have the doubt of if it is really happening or not, which raises your pulse and adapts tons of tension. Full Review »