Metascore
58

Mixed or average reviews - based on 25 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 11 out of 25
  2. Negative: 1 out of 25
  1. Reviewed by: Kimberley Jones
    Sep 10, 2014
    89
    God Help the Girl is not so perfectly crafted, but the promise – oh, the promise is irresistible.
  2. Reviewed by: Kenneth Turan
    Sep 4, 2014
    80
    No one comes out and says that music is the language of the soul, but no one has to. We see it happening right before our eyes.
  3. Reviewed by: Brad Wheeler
    Oct 9, 2014
    75
    God Help the Girl is about aspirations and goals, musical or otherwise. Murdoch is working some things out here, gracefully on the whole. His own band has toggled between frail sincerity and pop mastery itself over the years. The former is more endearing and original, but it’s not for everyone. Which is how I might describe his film.
  4. Reviewed by: Steven Rea
    Sep 12, 2014
    75
    The film's conceit - mopey strangers meet, form a band, and take to the dance halls - has a Judy Garland/Mickey Rooney let's-put-on-a-show innocence, and exuberance.
  5. Reviewed by: Ignatiy Vishnevetsky
    Sep 3, 2014
    75
    God Help The Girl is, in other words, a spotty movie — sometimes silly, sometimes dead serious. It is, however, nobly spotty — inconsistent in a way contemporary productions rarely are, its shortcomings the result of an excess of creative energy, rather than a lack thereof.
  6. Reviewed by: Barbara VanDenburgh
    Sep 18, 2014
    70
    It's adorable. It's also very thin. There's a disconcerting literalism to the songs' dramatic representation that chokes the drama.
  7. 70
    It’s an inviting, approachable world that Murdoch creates for us — still a total fantasy, of course, but one with a veneer of plausibility. Get on its wavelength, and you’ll be utterly charmed. Don’t, and you’ll run screaming from the theater.
  8. Reviewed by: Serena Donadoni
    Sep 2, 2014
    70
    Browning captures Eve's weariness and enthusiasm, and her lovely voice and crisp delivery gives Murdoch's labored lyrics a vulnerable immediacy.
  9. Reviewed by: Katherine Kilkenny
    Jan 24, 2014
    67
    God Help the Girl doesn’t quite succeed in convincing the viewer to toss conventional character development out the window, it still has its moments.
  10. Reviewed by: James Rocchi
    Jan 26, 2014
    64
    Murdoch’s film is fraught with ambition and aspiration, but a little thin on talent and technique.
  11. Reviewed by: Kyle Smith
    Sep 3, 2014
    63
    The gorgeous heartache of songs by the group Belle and Sebastian gives God Help the Girl its dreamy appeal, but thanks to a poky story line it essentially amounts to a series of music videos.
  12. Reviewed by: Catherine Bray
    Sep 3, 2014
    60
    The whole phantasmagorical enterprise is so sweetly confident that it just about gets away with its entirely casual approach to believability.
  13. Reviewed by: Ed Frankl
    Sep 3, 2014
    60
    Even if Murdoch's directorial style is at times off-putting - the dance routines oscillating wildly from charming to naff - it's hard not to be taken in by trips into Glasgow's backstreet gig venues and the type of Victorian splendour seen on screen too rarely.
  14. Reviewed by: Noel Murray
    Sep 3, 2014
    60
    While Murdoch exhibits masterful control in a recording studio, he isn’t a natural-born filmmaker. Much of God Help The Girl feels haphazardly stitched together, with pieces missing or placed in the wrong order, as though Murdoch didn’t get all the footage he needed.
  15. Reviewed by: Ian Freer
    Aug 18, 2014
    60
    As Marmite-y as Stuart Murdoch's music, you'll find it either winningly charming or irritatingly fey. Either way, its warmth shines through.
  16. Reviewed by: Xan Brooks
    Jan 24, 2014
    60
    God Help the Girl comes loose and easy, verging on the slipshod. It's warm and generous, verging on the sentimental; a film that crystallises the best and worst of Belle and Sebastian's songwriting skills.
  17. Reviewed by: Peter Keough
    Oct 2, 2014
    50
    When it comes to writing and directing movies, though, Murdoch has some work to do. “Girl” meanders narratively and with random chronology, some scenes playing like tepid music videos, others as unhelpful efforts at exposition, some as strained drama, and some as the genuine, funny, spontaneous interactions of gifted young people.
  18. Reviewed by: Stephanie Merry
    Sep 11, 2014
    50
    The tone is all over the map, switching from fantastical one moment to naturalistic the next... It all gives God Help the Girl a disconnected, haphazard feel.
  19. Reviewed by: Michael Ordona
    Sep 11, 2014
    50
    The fine cinematography by Giles Nuttgens ("Hallam Foe," "Dom Hemingway") infuses warmth and texture. It conveys the laze of summer and juxtaposes the cold of the hospital with the not-quite-real palette of waking fantasy. However, also like the music, the filmmaking habitually meanders.
  20. Reviewed by: Glenn Kenny
    Sep 5, 2014
    50
    The movie doesn’t quite make it to two hours, but my patience was tried pretty much any point at which the movie went a long stretch without a song.
  21. Reviewed by: Jeannette Catsoulis
    Sep 4, 2014
    50
    Belle and Sebastian fans will be fully sated; everyone else might feel as if they’d consumed a meal consisting entirely of meringue.
  22. Reviewed by: Chris Cabin
    Sep 2, 2014
    50
    Stuart Murdoch clearly knows quite a bit about crafting pop tunes, but the film's consideration of the work of songwriting is totally flippant.
  23. Reviewed by: Dennis Harvey
    Jan 24, 2014
    50
    It will be up to viewers to decide whether God Help the Girl is ingratiatingly naive art, gratingly inept art, or a bit of both.
  24. Reviewed by: David Rooney
    Jul 17, 2014
    40
    The wistful pleasures are stretched awfully thin at almost two hours in a film that blurs the line separating self-irony from tiresome self-consciousness.
  25. Reviewed by: Rodrigo Perez
    Jan 24, 2014
    33
    A major gaffe, God Help The Girl finds a great artist taking on a huge challenge and stumbling painfully on its ambition almost every step of the way.
User Score
6.7

Generally favorable reviews- based on 15 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 4 out of 4
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 4
  3. Negative: 0 out of 4
  1. Sep 6, 2014
    7
    If nothing else, the music is great, and the trio of actors are a treat to watch. As NY Mag says, if you buy into the fantasy of the thing, you'll love it, if not, you might be a bit bored. I enjoyed it. Full Review »
  2. Sep 19, 2014
    8
    The movie is a bit confusing (at least, it was for me) but it does not change the fact that it's beautiful. It's really beautiful. I expected more, but I still liked it. The songs are great and the story too. You probably will find it boring, but if you really get into the movie you'll like it too. Full Review »
  3. Sep 6, 2014
    10
    Je t'aime, God Help the Girl, mais je suis vraiment énervé vous n'avez pas l'un des top 3 des chansons dans le film. Je veux dire, la chanson-titre de la remorque n'est même pas dans le film. Full Review »