Forty Shades of Blue


Generally favorable reviews - based on 16 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 12 out of 16
  2. Negative: 0 out of 16

Where To Watch

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Critic Reviews

  1. 90
    A compelling family melodrama somewhat in the manner of late John Cassavetes or early Robert Altman…the film combines high production values, terrific acting and a distinctively American lyricism in a combination you hardly ever see these days.
  2. Alan, who Mr. Sachs has said was based on his own father, is a great character - passionate, complicated, bursting with life. Those words also describe Mr. Torn's performance.
  3. Director Ira Sachs moves to the rhythms of his native Memphis, teasing emotional resonance out of geography.
  4. The song may be somewhat familiar, but Sach gets understated performances from his entire cast and finds interesting harmonies as they play out their clashing duets.
  5. 80
    Investing a lot of time on each corner of his three-sided character piece, director Ira Sachs (who co-wrote the film with Michael Rohatyn) has created a film as dramatically intense as it is opaque.
  6. 80
    This is still powerful, undiluted stuff -- a jolt of backwoods moonshine whiskey injected into the veins of the atrophied American relationship drama.
  7. Sachs has pulled off a film of inferences and intimations, thanks largely to the casting of accomplished actors.
  8. 75
    Rip Torn gives his best performance in years.
  9. 75
    I despised the character of Alan James so sincerely that I had to haul back at one point to remind myself that, hey, I've met Rip Torn and he's a nice guy and he's only acting.
  10. Reviewed by: Todd McCarthy
    A muted but nicely observed study of a Russian woman's gradual estrangement from her domineering Memphis music-legend husband.

Awards & Rankings

User Score

Universal acclaim- based on 9 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 2 out of 3
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 3
  3. Negative: 1 out of 3
  1. JohnB.
    Jul 5, 2006
    I can't imagine how this film received so many good reviews. (best drama at Sundance-you must be kidding!) It is a really thin, I can't imagine how this film received so many good reviews. (best drama at Sundance-you must be kidding!) It is a really thin, depressing little story that goes nowhere. The relationships between the characters are not in any way believable or interesting, and even the sex scenes were poorly done. [***SPOILERS***] The final scene was representative of the entire film-the female lead walks away from the car-no resolution, no closure, no reason to know what will happen to the characters, and even worse, no reason to care.The director is obviously new at filmaking, and needs more experience. I'm only sorry I had to sit through one of his early learning experiences, because it was boring and worth nothing. Full Review »
  2. BrianC.
    Jun 25, 2006
    Dynamite acting pulls this several notches above the pack.. Rip Torn is memorable.
  3. FranciscoM.
    Oct 6, 2005
    Rip Torn gives an amazing performance. I really enjoyed the film.