Generally favorable reviews - based on 11 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 6 out of 11
  2. Negative: 1 out of 11

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Critic Reviews

  1. Reviewed by: Roger Ebert
    Nov 7, 2012
    Melissa Leo plays her without inflection, giving us no instructions about what our opinion should be. It is a brave performance, an act of empathy with a sad woman.
  2. Reviewed by: Eric Kohn
    Sep 11, 2012
    While Francine distinguishes itself with atmospheric strangeness, Cassidy and Shatzky never create a satisfying whole.
  3. Reviewed by: Farran Smith Nehme
    Sep 13, 2012
    What with the unexciting hand-held camerawork, and the off-putting script and lead performance, Francine remains as frustrating as its inscrutable title character.
  4. Reviewed by: Ian Buckwalter
    Sep 14, 2012
    At times Francine feels like a documentary as well, an intimate observational work in the mode of Frederick Wiseman or the Maysles brothers, where the omnipresence of the camera puts the characters so at ease that they reveal subtle moments of character that they might otherwise hide out of self-consciousness.
  5. Reviewed by: Bill Weber
    Sep 11, 2012
    In a character study of an ex-con who gives her heart and mind to animals rather than people, Melissa Leo's risky performance is ultimately framed with a disappointing, distanced pity.
  6. Reviewed by: Tasha Robinson
    Sep 12, 2012
    Francine is so minimalist that it has to rely almost entirely on Leo for solidity, and it would be a far stronger film if it supported and framed her more effectively.
  7. Reviewed by: David Rooney
    Sep 11, 2012
    A minimalist, image-based character study that is almost impossibly fragile and yet emotionally robust, Francine is a legitimate discovery.
  8. Reviewed by: Stephen Holden
    Sep 12, 2012
    A small gem of bleak, neorealist portraiture.
  9. Reviewed by: Keith Uhlich
    Sep 11, 2012
    The movie might very well have come off as a too-clinical experiment if it weren't for Leo, who maintains a rivetingly mysterious aura even as her character's behavior becomes increasingly bizarre.
  10. Reviewed by: Justin Chang
    Sep 11, 2012
    A glum but tenderly observed micro-portrait of a woman struggling to re-enter society after being released from prison.
  11. Reviewed by: Melissa Anderson
    Sep 11, 2012
    Reveals itself to be a project of few interesting ideas.

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