Metascore
82

Universal acclaim - based on 44 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 39 out of 44
  2. Negative: 0 out of 44
  1. 100
    The triumph of Foxcatcher is not in the subject but in its art. The clear-eyed compassion and moral intelligence of Miller’s film brings sense to the senseless, and finds the human pulse behind the tabloid shock. It’s not a movie to make you feel good, but, at moments, it reminds you what goodness is.
  2. Reviewed by: Steven Rea
    Nov 22, 2014
    100
    Foxcatcher is a story of wealth and the lack of it, of family connection and disconnection. But more than anything, it is a story of a mind unraveling. The result is devastating drama for those of us looking on.
  3. Reviewed by: Ann Hornaday
    Nov 22, 2014
    100
    Foxcatcher exerts a mesmerizing pull, not only because it affords the chance to witness three fine actors working at the height of their powers, but also because it so steadfastly resists the urge to clutter up empty space with the filigree of gratuitous imagery and chatter.
  4. Reviewed by: Peter Rainer
    Nov 14, 2014
    100
    The story is so powerfully observed that it does indeed become larger than itself – an American tragedy.
  5. Reviewed by: Kenneth Turan
    Nov 13, 2014
    100
    A despairing, intentionally disturbing film that draws us into a maelstrom of desperate emotions, it holds up a dark mirror to the American dream and does not like what it sees.
  6. Reviewed by: Peter Travers
    Nov 13, 2014
    100
    The hypnotic and haunting Foxcatcher can prove its worth as one of the year's very best films. Steve Carell, Channing Tatum and Mark Ruffalo give the performances of their lives.
  7. Reviewed by: Justin Chang
    May 23, 2014
    100
    If the screenplay, by Dan Futterman (“Capote”) and E. Max Frye, is relatively spare in terms of dialogue, it’s satisfyingly rich and thorny in its conception of the tightly wound triangle at its center, while Miller’s direction evinces the same sustained intensity and consummate control of his material that defined his first two features.
  8. Reviewed by: Todd McCarthy
    May 23, 2014
    100
    Mesmerizing in its incremental layering of a bizarre, tragic and thoroughly warped character study, Foxcatcher sees director Bennett Miller well surpassing even the fine work he did in his previous two films, Capote and Moneyball.
  9. Reviewed by: Robbie Collin
    May 23, 2014
    100
    Miller finds grand, America-describing themes in the interactions between these three men: the extraordinary influence of inherited wealth, the hunkered-down ambition of working-class athletes, the equation of material success with honour and moral rectitude.
  10. Reviewed by: Jessica Kiang
    May 23, 2014
    100
    With Foxcatcher, [Miller] has outdone himself, turning his uniquely meticulous eye to a tiny story in a totally rarefied, specific environment and through whatever alchemy he has perfected, created something so universal and resonant that it feels epic, sprawling, almost ancient in its mythic overtones. Foxcatcher is an enormous film.
  11. Reviewed by: Peter Bradshaw
    May 23, 2014
    100
    It is a gripping film: horrible, scary and desperately sad.
  12. Reviewed by: John Bleasdale
    May 23, 2014
    100
    Carell, in a rare but not unique departure into drama, proves himself as accomplished at tragedy as he is at comedy.
  13. Reviewed by: Eric Kohn
    May 23, 2014
    91
    Though anchored by a affecting and sullen turn by Channing Tatum, the movie derives its primary discomfiting power from Steve Carell in a revelatory performance as a monster of American wealth.
  14. Reviewed by: Manohla Dargis
    Nov 13, 2014
    90
    Mr. Miller does his finest work with his three superb leads.
  15. Reviewed by: Andrew O'Hehir
    Nov 12, 2014
    90
    Foxcatcher is another strange and compelling anthropological drama from Miller, a director with evident expertise at enabling Oscar-worthy star performances.
  16. Reviewed by: Joe Williams
    Dec 22, 2014
    88
    If you don’t know the true story, we won’t spoil it for you except to say that it’s not the expected outcome. But if you’re willing to be thrown for a loop, you’re in good hands with this medal-worthy cast and crew.
  17. Reviewed by: Rene Rodriguez
    Dec 18, 2014
    88
    Foxcatcher is too cold of a movie to love, but that chilliness is intentional and transfixing, a parable about the darkest corners of the minds of men that dares to whisper instead of shout.
  18. Reviewed by: Ty Burr
    Nov 25, 2014
    88
    The movie’s tone is hushed, restrained; emotional damage is crammed way back where no one can see it yet defines everything through a murky prism.
  19. Reviewed by: Richard Roeper
    Nov 20, 2014
    88
    Foxcatcher is a disturbing and memorable film.
  20. Reviewed by: Claudia Puig
    Nov 14, 2014
    88
    Foxcatcher might just be the feel-bad movie of the year. But it's so well-acted that audiences won't want to miss its dark, chilling yet restrained story. A little less muting of this outlandish true-to-life tale, however, might have made it even more mesmerizing.
  21. Reviewed by: Rex Reed
    Nov 12, 2014
    88
    It’s an amalgam of dramatic all-American themes including ambition, paranoia, greed and the ice cubes in the blood that fuel the ruthless pursuit of success in the competitive world of sports. Color it hair-raising.
  22. 88
    Carell, though, is the real shock to the system here. He is quirky, queer in the old fashioned sense, and pathetically funny.
  23. Reviewed by: R. Kurt Osenlund
    Sep 23, 2014
    88
    Of Bennett Miller's many directorial feats, his canniest is his depiction of the precariousness of bonds, and how those bonds can shift, drastically yet almost imperceptibly.
  24. Reviewed by: Jordan Hoffman
    May 20, 2014
    88
    Nothing short of fascinating.
  25. Reviewed by: Jeff Baker
    Dec 19, 2014
    83
    Foxcatcher has a sober, chilly vibe that's completely at odds with the sport of wrestling and the men and women who love it.
  26. Reviewed by: Drew McWeeny
    May 23, 2014
    83
    These performances are beyond reproach, which makes it even stranger that the film never quite turns into the crushing experience it feels like it should be.
  27. Reviewed by: Bill Goodykoontz
    Dec 4, 2014
    80
    Miller maintains control over the proceedings at all times, which is impressive enough. But where he really soars is in the performances he gets from his three lead actors.
  28. Reviewed by: Joe Morgenstern
    Nov 13, 2014
    80
    Foxcatcher is a radical departure from Mr. Miller’s previous feature, the smart and entertaining “Moneyball.” It isn’t meant as conventional entertainment, but it’s fascinating to watch from start to finish.
  29. Reviewed by: Joe Neumaier
    Nov 13, 2014
    80
    Rare is the drama that plumbs the quirky, unsettling depths of human nature like Foxcatcher. Simultaneously understated and grippingly edgy, this is an arresting examination of naivete, mismatched worlds and old-fashioned American oddness.
  30. Reviewed by: Noel Murray
    Nov 12, 2014
    80
    Director Bennett Miller and screenwriters E. Max Frye and Dan Futterman have thought through every scene and every line in Foxcatcher. Nothing is irrelevant. The film proceeds like a well-constructed argument.
  31. Reviewed by: Michael Phillips
    Nov 20, 2014
    75
    It's meticulous, fastidiously controlled and a tiny bit enervated. I've seen it twice; it's successful enough in what it's attempting to merit at least one viewing. But even after two, you may struggle with what's not there, and should be, or could be.
  32. Reviewed by: James Berardinelli
    Nov 17, 2014
    75
    Like "Raging Bull", Foxcatcher is a dark drama masquerading as a sports movie.
  33. Reviewed by: Kyle Smith
    Nov 12, 2014
    75
    Mesmerizing, eerie and unpredictably weird.
  34. Reviewed by: Dana Stevens
    Nov 15, 2014
    70
    As powerful as Foxcatcher can be scene to scene, there’s something maddeningly indistinct about it at times, as if the details that would make it all make sense remain somehow inaccessible to us.
  35. Reviewed by: Richard Corliss
    Nov 14, 2014
    70
    Tatum’s is the central performance: most daring because it’s least giving. He has often played young men of thick athleticism and slow wit. It’s proof of Tatum’s intelligence that he can make the audience feel smarter than the characters he plays – until they reveal a sly brilliance halfway through the movie.
  36. Reviewed by: Amy Nicholson
    Nov 11, 2014
    70
    Foxcatcher is merely a very, very good character study with acting so fine that it's frustrating it's not in the service of a real, emotional wallop.
  37. Reviewed by: Anthony Lane
    Nov 10, 2014
    70
    So skilled are both Carell and Tatum that the movie itself falls prey to the characters’ repression. Though never less than careful and clever, it’s also a stunted and fiercely unhappy piece of work, straining hard to deliver home truths about a commonweal that has beaten itself out of shape.
  38. Reviewed by: Chris Nashawaty
    Nov 7, 2014
    67
    The most haunting thing in Bennett Miller's latest film, Foxcatcher, is Steve Carell. That's right, the same rubber-faced comedian who gave us the dim-witted meteorologist of "Anchorman" and the oblivious corner-office boob of "The Office."
  39. Reviewed by: Matt Zoller Seitz
    Nov 13, 2014
    63
    In the end Foxcatcher proves impossible to embrace because of fundamental miscalculations in performance, direction and makeup, along with a certain clumsiness in the way that it tries to use its profoundly sad story to make some kind of grand statement about American values, or the lack thereof.
  40. Reviewed by: A.A. Dowd
    Nov 12, 2014
    58
    The movie reaches for big insights about America’s obsession with winning and the dangers of unchecked entitlement, while simultaneously treating its real-life subjects like the stars of a Greek tragedy.
  41. Reviewed by: Steve Davis
    Dec 17, 2014
    50
    Whatever the case, Foxcatcher provides little insight. Art can shape the truth in ways that resonate beyond the obvious. Regrettably, the truth-shaping here grapples for significance, without any apparent aim. Catch as catch can.
  42. Reviewed by: Mick LaSalle
    Nov 20, 2014
    50
    The experience of watching Foxcatcher is of constantly waiting for something to happen — and of giving up, long before something actually does.
  43. 50
    The movie’s take at times is fascinating. But it’s basically one long, sick joke played at half speed. It’s a ponderous, sick joke.
  44. Reviewed by: Keith Uhlich
    May 23, 2014
    40
    Once Miller lays all his cards on the table, however, you realize you haven’t been watching people struggling with the very real temptations of unchecked privilege, so much as fumbling blindly in a glib, gloomy satire of American exceptionalism.
User Score
7.1

Generally favorable reviews- based on 67 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 14 out of 26
  2. Negative: 6 out of 26
  1. Nov 15, 2014
    3
    The critics were overly kind with their reviews, or... they were paid. Aside from the 3 'characters' that were well played, butThe critics were overly kind with their reviews, or... they were paid. Aside from the 3 'characters' that were well played, but underdeveloped, there is not much story here or point. Viewers are left scratching their heads... what did i just watch? what happened? why? I was very disappointed that there was no insight in to the characters or what the point was. Full Review »
  2. Nov 15, 2014
    4
    I agree with foxgrove, unfortunately. Mark Ruffalo is outstanding (totally convincing as older brother Dave Shultz), and he's more thanI agree with foxgrove, unfortunately. Mark Ruffalo is outstanding (totally convincing as older brother Dave Shultz), and he's more than reason enough to endure the tedious slog that is the majority of the film. Carrell isn't bad, but he's a rich, strange zombie who doesn't do a whole lot - and I felt like this story could have been told in half the time. The Wrestler touched on a few of the same themes, but it handled the story with a much more deft touch. Full Review »
  3. Nov 15, 2014
    10
    Thoroughly written, directed and acted. "Foxcatcher" is Bennett Miller's finest work, and Mark Ruffalo, Channing Tatum and the incredibleThoroughly written, directed and acted. "Foxcatcher" is Bennett Miller's finest work, and Mark Ruffalo, Channing Tatum and the incredible Steve Carell are at top of their game. One of the best films of the year! Full Review »