Mixed or average reviews - based on 10 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 5 out of 10
  2. Negative: 1 out of 10

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Critic Reviews

  1. It's a beautifully modulated performance in a nicely crafted, quietly unassuming character study by Vancouver-based writer-director Carl Bessai.
  2. Poignant and well acted, though not very memorable.
  3. 75
    The dreamy drama Emile shows how a talented cast can turn a tentative plot into pleasant viewing.
  4. 70
    A small but excellent cast supports McKellen in what is a beautiful and intelligent film.
  5. At heart a reverie, a meditation on the past and its treacheries.
  6. Reviewed by: Scott Foundas
    A routine memory piece about long-buried family secrets that bubble back to the surface to wreak havoc.
  7. While most films in which the angry past confronts the guilty present degenerate into mawkish reconciliations, Emile errs on the side of restraint.
  8. 50
    Sensitively played but ultimately undone by its unconventional approach.
  9. Both lightweight and heavy-handed, Carl Bessai's arthouse drama can't even be redeemed by Ian McKellen's sensitive turn in the title role.
  10. 30
    Odd beginning permits viewers to leave after five minutes and know what happens. Those remaining are left with the full tome, its 92-minute length hiding an experience as draining as "Heaven's Gate."

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