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Metascore
53

Mixed or average reviews - based on 10 Critics What's this?

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  • Summary: Nine women meet every Wednesday afternoon for 21 weeks of group therapy in this entirely original, ultra modern probe into the American psyche. (Artistic License Films)
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 5 out of 10
  2. Negative: 1 out of 10
  1. 80
    Some psychobabble ("We're all trying to be who we are") is inevitable, but somehow or other the thing works, largely because the acting, though primarily reactive, invests the movie with enough immediacy and specificity to turn the most excruciating banality into an original thought.
  2. The sort of independent-film project that could have been disastrous in less-skilled hands. But Freeman's direction is so deft and the performances so natural that her remarkable experiment ends up feeling more realistic than most documentaries.
  3. Reviewed by: Ed Park
    70
    Though the characters are in fact sustained improvisations, the roles feel inhabited rather than acted -- a quality acutely present in scenes of excruciating awkwardness.
  4. Reviewed by: Ken Fox
    60
    De Marken and Freeman preserve the group dynamic by dividing the screen into six parts, each mini-frame capturing actions and reactions from a different camera angle, and while the film drags in spots, the performances are unusually powerful.
  5. The movie teeters on a slippery dividing line between realism and fiction. It gains power from the mercurial nature of its improvised acting and split-screen camera work, though.
  6. The well-intended Group is nevertheless problematic. It's relentlessly grueling, as therapy can be, and not everyone will be able to see a reason to watch it.
  7. 20
    It is all a contrivance; the cast and filmmakers were under the delusion that putting unhappy women in a room would lead to drama.

See all 10 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 1 out of 1
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 1
  3. Negative: 0 out of 1
  1. MichaelS.
    Aug 7, 2002
    7
    I only bother rating and commenting on movies here when I feel that they are getting a raw deal. And GROUP, while not perfect, is a smart, touching, and formally-inventive film which deserves better than the Metascore trouncing it's getting. Yes, it is a first film, and it sometimes dips into touchy-feely territory a bit too much. But it is often hilarious, and its characters actually surprise with their insights and original perspectives. Also, I think whoever is assigning Metacritic scores for these reviews is asleep at the wheel. Read Ed Park and Ella Taylor for yourself, and see if the low numbers make any sense to you. (Hint: they won't.)[Ed: Upon further review, I agree. The scores have been adjusted accordingly.] Expand