User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 58 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 51 out of 58
  2. Negative: 6 out of 58

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  1. Sep 17, 2010
    Not really a Joy Division fan but enjoyed this. Beautifully shot, moving & some excellent acting by Sam Riley, Samantha Morton & the ever brilliant Toby Kebbell.
    Nice to see Macclesfield getting a bit of recognition.
  2. May 25, 2013
    Shot entirely in black and white I found this film very atmospheric and it also had a gritty realism about it. I thought all the performances were excellent with both Sam Riley and Samantha Morton taking top honours. I also have to give a mention to Toby Kebbell who totally stole a couple of scenes with some great over-the-top one-liners. The story is primarily told from Debbie’s point of view and as such we get a very interesting look at the life of this enigmatic soul. This film inspired me to go out and buy a Joy Division greatest hits CD and it’s music that’s always been close to my heart. I should mention that all the live performances portrayed in the film were performed by the actors and so hat’s off to them for making it real. Whether you were a fan of the band or not I’m sure you’ll get something out of this one. Be warned though, it’s quite a tough watch, even when you do know the outcome.

    SteelMonster’s verdict: RECOMMENDED

    My score: 8.4/10
  3. Nov 17, 2012
    The result is a shockingly human and aptly perceptive biopic.
  4. Aug 7, 2013
    A story about a tormented young singer committing suicide on the verge of stardom is bound to have a certain appeal. However, the risks of falling into melodramatic or morbid are high. Corbijn avoids both, directing this minor masterpiece with restrain and respect for all those involved.

    I loved the B&W photography. It recreates the atmosphere of those years, which seem long gone, the
    bleak but bubbling music scene, and the excitement about the new wave just about to explode. Youth having everything and not realizing how fragile life is.

    Ian Curtis was a particularly fragile creature, both because of his epilepsy and his problem with communication. A confused boy without guidance, who wrote some of the most depressing lyrics ever, he still has a huge following. Maybe because his anguish is universally understood.

    I am not a Joy Division fan, nor was I particularly shocked by Ian Curtis early departure. However, this movie is so well made that made listen again to their music. After more than 25 years their songs sound even more claustrophobic and depressing and I wonder how Curtis would have developed as a singer.

    Had he lived on, I doubt he could have transitioned easily into the light-hearted pop atmosphere of the late 80's. By checking out so early he became unforgettable. Even more so, with this sober but poignant movie celebrating his short time on earth.

Generally favorable reviews - based on 27 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 25 out of 27
  2. Negative: 0 out of 27
  1. The cast is excellent, particularly Riley and Morton and, as Joy Division’s brash manager, Toby Kebbell. He’s a great character, bitter and hostile and a scoundrel: a born manager of talent destined to tear itself apart.
  2. Control is director Anton Corbijin's first feature, and he too frequently makes the mistake of falling back on his rock video skills.
  3. 88
    One of the most perceptive of rock music biopics.