Metascore
68

Generally favorable reviews - based on 25 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 17 out of 25
  2. Negative: 0 out of 25
  1. Disarms with its sincerity and frankness.
  2. This patient, perceptive, nonjudgmental love story about age difference is the first to convincingly explain the temporal physics of May-December romances.
  3. 90
    Offers something magical in the haunting and hypnotic performance of Sarah Polley...(the film) cuts deep.
  4. Reviewed by: Todd McCarthy
    90
    Wonderfully acted and slickly mad. Acutely written with an eye to the motivations and ambiguities involved on both sides in such a relationship.
  5. 88
    The movie's heart is in the right place.
  6. 80
    As talented as Polley proved herself in "The Sweet Hereafter" and "Go," this is her best work yet.
  7. Affectionately told ...beguiling.
  8. 80
    Affecting, gloriously acted.
  9. 75
    Should make Polley, memorable in "The Sweet Hereafter" and "Go," into a bona-fide star.
  10. At the heart of the film, Polley - with her wary, unsure stares, her open smile and beguiling intelligence - is terrific.
  11. An enigmatic but gorgeous film.
  12. Reviewed by: Morgan Fouch
    75
    Polley's doe-eyed innocence is in overdrive.
  13. 70
    Rea hits just the right balance of sympathy and self-interest.
  14. 63
    A shy and depressed college graduate falls in love with a Bohemian artist, as in Woody Allen's "Manhattan."
  15. Polley, the paraplegic incest victim in Atom Egoyan's "The Sweet Hereafter," gives a mesmerizing central performance.
  16. Reviewed by: Mike Clark
    63
    The cumbersome wrap-up, which follows a four-year narrative gap, seems too fanciful and bogs down what has been a stronger second hour.
  17. Reviewed by: Jay Carr
    63
    While the appeal of Guinevere is decidedly intermittent, it's there, and the acting is right on the money.
  18. 60
    Deftly mixes rueful sentimentality and trenchant observations about the constantly shifting balance of power that drives relationships.
  19. Reviewed by: Ernest Hardy
    60
    A good, though unremarkable, film.
  20. We have a right to yawn, but we don't, and Sarah Polley is the reason.
  21. Bogs down during several fuzzily romantic interludes.
  22. 50
    It doesn't take Rea long to decide that he's more interested in extending his record for Longest Acting Career Sustained on One Expression, and he's back to his baggy-eyed, hangdog look.
  23. 50
    Except for Polley and Rea, the performances are heavy-handed.
  24. 40
    Partly because the seducer's technique is methodical--as a former conquest explains to the naive heroine--the movie's answers are too easy.

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