Metascore
82

Universal acclaim - based on 35 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 31 out of 35
  2. Negative: 0 out of 35
  1. Reviewed by: Tim Robey
    Aug 3, 2013
    100
    If films were gestures, this one would be a perfectly timed shrug, with the smile to match.
  2. Reviewed by: Ann Hornaday
    May 24, 2013
    100
    The writing is so musical, so attuned to human frailty and aspiration, that I defy anyone to watch the movie without smiling — with amusement one minute, rueful recognition the next, but probably always with some measure of simple, undiluted delight.
  3. Reviewed by: Kenneth Turan
    May 16, 2013
    100
    Effortless and effervescent, Frances Ha is a small miracle of a movie, honest and funny with an aim that's true.
  4. Reviewed by: A.O. Scott
    May 16, 2013
    100
    With its swift, jaunty rhythms and sharp, off-kilter jokes, Frances Ha is frequently delightful. Ms. Gerwig and Mr. Baumbach are nonetheless defiant partisans in the revolt against the tyranny of likability in popular culture.
  5. Reviewed by: Ben Kenigsberg
    May 15, 2013
    91
    Above all, Frances Ha is a wry and moving portrait of friendship, highlighting the way that two people who know everything about each other can nevertheless grow apart as their needs change.
  6. Reviewed by: Eric Kohn
    Feb 19, 2013
    91
    At times, Frances Ha strains from emphasizing the characters' snarkiness and disregarding plot. By routinely going nowhere, however, the movie eventually finds a distinctive voice that carries it through.
  7. Reviewed by: Bill Goodykoontz
    May 23, 2013
    90
    There is no particularly cathartic climax to Frances Ha. Instead there is a more realistic depiction of Frances’ growth. Like Gerwig’s performance, it’s natural, it’s realistic, perfectly believable.
  8. Reviewed by: Jordan Hoffman
    May 19, 2013
    90
    The film is so engaging because it's so damn funny.
  9. Reviewed by: John Anderson
    May 16, 2013
    90
    Frances Ha also marks the rare instance in which an actress has the perfect role at the perfect time. Ms. Gerwig's work here is fragile, delicate, subject to bruising; something that could wither under too much attention. Perhaps Ms. Gerwig is the greatest actress alive. And maybe Frances Ha is just the ghost orchid of independent cinema.
  10. Reviewed by: Stephanie Zacharek
    May 14, 2013
    90
    Frances Ha is a patchwork of details that constitute a sort of dating manual—not one that tells you how to meet hot guys, but one that fortifies you against all the crap you have to deal with as a young person in love with a city that doesn't always love you back.
  11. Reviewed by: Todd McCarthy
    Feb 19, 2013
    90
    The director mixes moods with a playfulness that is both brazen and carefree and yet precisely modulated, yielding results that amplify the specific content of the screenplay. This makes for a film that, however cheap it was to make, is incredibly rich to watch.
  12. Reviewed by: Kimberley Jones
    Jun 5, 2013
    89
    Funny and touching, Frances Ha may very well be the most eloquent take yet on a generation in flux – a cinematic talk-back to so many Atlantic articles, minus the scolding and the statistics, and uncharacteristically (for Baumbach) uncynical.
  13. Reviewed by: Mary Houlihan
    May 30, 2013
    88
    Filled with witty dialogue and natural performances, Frances Ha marks a return to form for Baumbach.
  14. Reviewed by: Michael Phillips
    May 23, 2013
    88
    You may watch Frances Ha relating to little of it, or a lot of it, but this "road movie with apartments," as the director (shooting here in velvety black-and-white, recalling Woody Allen's "Manhattan" in its texture) so aptly put it, is informed by a buoyant, resilient spirit.
  15. Reviewed by: Peter Travers
    May 16, 2013
    88
    Baumbach, in his most compassionate film since The Squid and the Whale, catches Frances in the act of inventing herself. It's a glorious sight to see.
  16. Reviewed by: Ella Taylor
    May 16, 2013
    85
    Running through the streets of New York for the sheer hell of it, Frances has the gift of joy to her very marrow. As for Greta Gerwig, I get the feeling she's just gearing up.
  17. Reviewed by: Steve Persall
    May 29, 2013
    83
    Baumbach keeps everything dialed down to medium cool, with occasional flashes of exuberance like Frances dancing down a street to the beat of David Bowie's Modern Love.
  18. Reviewed by: Chris Nashawaty
    May 15, 2013
    83
    Gerwig, who previously starred in Baumbach's "Greenberg," is charmingly awkward. And Sumner (Sting's daughter) is an ace with deadpan one-liners.
  19. Reviewed by: Rodrigo Perez
    Feb 19, 2013
    83
    Loose, limber and driven by a fierce energy and staccato/pause rhythm we haven't seen previously from this filmmaker, Noah Baumbach's sublime Frances Ha is a fresh and vivacious near-reinvention of the director/writer's comedic milieu.
  20. Reviewed by: David Hughes
    Jul 22, 2013
    80
    Although the monochrome photography will invite comparisons with Manhattan, Frances Ha is closer in spirit to Godard than Woody Allen. Anchored by a charming performance from Greta Gerwig, it’s as light and breezy as a walk in Central Park, and just as refreshing.
  21. Reviewed by: Neil Smith
    Jul 19, 2013
    80
    Charming, poignant and often very funny, Baumbach and Gerwig’s latest collaboration is a joyous portrait of an unformed personality that should strike chords of recognition in all who watch it.
  22. Reviewed by: Catherine Shoard
    Feb 19, 2013
    80
    Gerwig's performance is full of depth and nuance; self-conscious without being mawkish, clever behind the kook.
  23. Feb 19, 2013
    80
    Baumbach pushes beyond sincerity in search of truth, drawing from such stylistic forebears as the French New Wave, Woody Allen and Andy Warhol's Factory films to capture a reality that has eluded him on his more polished dramedies.
  24. Reviewed by: Joe Williams
    May 23, 2013
    75
    Gerwig makes us want to believe that in a city where anything is possible, Francis Ha has the last laugh.
  25. Reviewed by: Marc Mohan
    May 23, 2013
    75
    It's visually appealing, but embodies the movie's (and Frances') problem: wanting to be taken seriously without putting in the real work required to prove you're actually serious.
  26. Reviewed by: Rene Rodriguez
    May 23, 2013
    75
    Playful, effervescent comedy.
  27. Reviewed by: Peter Rainer
    May 17, 2013
    75
    It’s a skimpy, overextended riff, but some of the seemingly tossed-off moments are lovely.
  28. Reviewed by: Kyle Smith
    May 16, 2013
    75
    Baumbach seems mainly interested in capturing the whimsical rhythms of unformed post-college life, with money too scarce and roommates too ample — but he already did that, did it better and with more rueful feeling, in the much funnier “Kicking and Screaming,” the debut he made at 25 and one of the best films of the 1990s.
  29. Reviewed by: John Semley
    May 12, 2013
    75
    Noah Baumbach's film feels like too perfect a portrait of quarter-life malady, down to the rushed redemptive endnotes and Greta Gerwig's idealized heroine.
  30. 75
    Frances Ha turns melancholy and almost painful to watch in its last act as she and we see the dead end dead ahead. And the film doesn’t seem to earn the finale the two of them cooked up for us.
  31. Reviewed by: Godfrey Cheshire
    Jun 11, 2013
    63
    [Baumbach's] collaboration with Gerwig has a freshness that may or not owe something to first-blush romance but that renders this bittersweet comedy occasionally inspired, frequently charming and always watchable.
  32. Reviewed by: Joshua Rothkopf
    May 14, 2013
    60
    Daringly plotless and disconnected (“just like my life!” squeals the target audience), Noah Baumbach’s latest, a breeze, feels a lot less self-absorbed than usual, mainly for not having a neurotic at its core.
  33. 60
    Frances Ha is an irritant when it lingers. When Baumbach’s touch is more glancing — when he cuts before the humiliation — it sings.
  34. Reviewed by: Dana Stevens
    May 19, 2013
    50
    Frances Ha feels like a collaboration between two people in love, and not always in the best way. There are too many scenes in a row that make the same point.
  35. Reviewed by: Joe Neumaier
    May 16, 2013
    40
    Aiming for lightness but landing with a thud, Frances Ha is a well-meaning blunder. Director Noah Baumbach’s ode to Brooklyn twentysomething life is a flibbertigibbet fable that, like a self-absorbed flirt you meet at a party, grates on the nerves despite being easy on the eyes.
User Score
7.6

Generally favorable reviews- based on 97 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 20 out of 30
  2. Negative: 5 out of 30
  1. Jun 2, 2013
    6
    Greta Gerwig co-wrote this with her hubby/director Noah Baumbach, which is pretty obvious. The character (and apparently the actor) are self-involved to the exclusion of good filmmaking. I'd call it a character study, but the character's not that deep. She 's a woman who is not successful at career, finances or friendships (with the exception of her best girlfriend). She ambles thru her aimless life, which starts out charmingly but gets tiresome and talkative before it's over. Maybe Baumbach thought shooting it in black and white would elevate it above basic twentysomething mumblecore, but it didn't work for me. Full Review »
  2. May 21, 2013
    4
    This is my second consecutive Noah B. movie starring Greta Gerwig which just fell flat for me. Sure, it's somewhat real, it's clever, and urbane, but it's also very catty, nasty, and trendy. I chuckled twice in the movie, but didn't fully laugh once. I wanted to like it and laugh more, but the movie didn't pull it out of me. Full Review »
  3. Jun 20, 2013
    3
    A big disappointment. I wanted to like it, but I couldn't. Frances is terribly self-absorbed and oblivious to the feelings of those around her. Up until the last five minutes, every chance she has to make a decision, she make a bad one. That isn't realism to me; in real life we make a mixture of good decisions and bad ones. Only the ending, where she finally wakes up, saved the movie from being a complete disaster.

    I saw this with our weekly movie group, and none of us gave it thumbs up.
    Full Review »