Holy Motors


Universal acclaim - based on 34 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 30 out of 34
  2. Negative: 0 out of 34

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Critic Reviews

  1. Reviewed by: Ann Hornaday
    Nov 12, 2012
    An electrifying, confounding, what-the-hell-just-happened exercise in unbounded imagination, unapologetic theatricality, bravura acting and head-over-heels movie-love.
  2. Reviewed by: Richard Corliss
    Oct 25, 2012
    It's an exhilarating trip of movie madness and sadness.
  3. Reviewed by: Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Oct 24, 2012
    An exhilarating puzzle, one of the grand cinematic eruptions of the year.
  4. Reviewed by: Andrew O'Hehir
    Oct 18, 2012
    Whatever sense you make (or don't) of the spectacular, hallucinatory Holy Motors, it's the coolest and strangest movie of the year, and once it gets its druglike hooks in your brain, you'll never get them out again.
  5. Reviewed by: Miriam Bale
    Oct 18, 2012
    Each episode of director Leos Carax's film perfectly masters the exact tone of a different genre, finding precisely the saddest moment in each of its vignettes.
  6. Reviewed by: Gabe Toro
    Oct 18, 2012
    Holy Motors keeps kicking into a different gear, much like an eternally waking dream.
  7. Reviewed by: Mike DAngelo
    Oct 17, 2012
    It's a glorious dream-epitaph.
  8. Reviewed by: Melissa Anderson
    Oct 16, 2012
    Unclassifiable, expansive, and breathtaking.
  9. Reviewed by: Nick de Semlyen
    Oct 15, 2012
    Splashing around in the same mad puddle as Lynch but a good deal funnier, this tale of a man with many faces is an exhilarating, audacious, lunatic rocket-ride. Hop on board.
  10. Reviewed by: Peter Bradshaw
    Oct 15, 2012
    Weird and wonderful, rich and strange – barking mad, in fact. It is wayward, kaleidoscopic, black comic and bizarre; there is in it a batsqueak of genius, dishevelment and derangement; it is captivating and compelling.
  11. Reviewed by: Eric Kohn
    Oct 17, 2012
    There's no doubting that Holy Motors is an ungodly mess of images and moments, some more alluring than others, but it sure leaves a mark.
  12. Reviewed by: Stephanie Zacharek
    Oct 18, 2012
    Holy Motors - exhilarating, mournful and always stunning to look at - makes no sense at all if you have your heart set on narrative comprehensibility or even plain old thematic cohesion. It could almost be a film made in a time before language, a rendering of modern life - or modern lives - as a kind of cinematic cave painting. With songs. And a white stretch limo. And Kylie Minogue.
  13. Reviewed by: Manohla Dargis
    Oct 16, 2012
    It's a gift for moviegoers to have this much freedom, and exhilarating. In Holy Motors you never know where Mr. Carax will take you and you never know what, exactly, you're to do once you're there.
  14. Reviewed by: Marjorie Baumgarten
    Dec 5, 2012
    Holy Motors is as individualistic a movie as you're likely to encounter – both in terms of the filmmaker's intent and the viewer's takeaway. Warmth and humor abide within its every frame but, like Carax's dreamer at the film's outset, you must find the key within yourself that unlocks the mysteries.
  15. Reviewed by: Rick Groen
    Nov 16, 2012
    You may be of the opinion that taking in an art film, especially the haute brand that disdains conventional narrative, is like watching paint dry. If so, happy surprise, Holy Motors is definitely the art film for you – it's like watching paint blister.
  16. Reviewed by: Michael Phillips
    Nov 8, 2012
    Lavant is splendid in the film, and he's essentially the entire film - and yet, Holy Motors is somewhat more than a contraption built for a fearless performer.
  17. Reviewed by: Roger Ebert
    Nov 7, 2012
    Here is a film that is exasperating, frustrating, anarchic and in a constant state of renewal. It's not tame. Some audience members are going to grow very restless. My notion is, few will be bored.
  18. Reviewed by: Peter Travers
    Oct 18, 2012
    Holy Motors, fueled by pure feeling, is a dream of a movie you want to get lost in. It's a thing of beauty.
  19. Reviewed by: Peter Rainer
    Nov 18, 2012
    This is the kind of it-can-mean-whatever-you-want-it-to-mean art film that I usually run from, but Carax is such a prodigiously gifted mesmerist that, if you give way, you're likely to be enfolded in the film's phantasmagoria.
  20. Reviewed by: Sheri Linden
    Nov 15, 2012
    In Holy Motors Carax insists on our other selves. His daylong ride is a wary celebration, a joyful dirge that's served up in concentrated form by a roving band of accordion players. It's all in a day's work.
  21. Arizona Republic
    Reviewed by: Bill Goodykoontz
    Nov 6, 2012
    If you're willing to let a movie wash over you and work at what it might mean, you'll love "Holy Motors," Leos Carax's surreal ode to … identity? Movies? Performance?
  22. Reviewed by: Dana Stevens
    Oct 20, 2012
    Holy Motors, a movie that's beyond weird, and beyond beautiful.
  23. 80
    Holy Motors is typically confounding but on every level that matters a work of unfettered - and liberating - imagination.
  24. Reviewed by: Megan Lehmann
    Oct 15, 2012
    Exhilarating, opaque, heartbreaking and completely bonkers – French auteur Leos Carax's so-called comeback film, Holy Motors, is a deliciously preposterous piece of filmmaking that appraises life and death and everything in between, reflected in a funhouse mirror.
  25. Reviewed by: James Mottram
    Oct 15, 2012
    A surreal head-scratcher that'd make Luis Buñuel smile, it may not be perfectly formed, but there's no denying its fierce originality.
  26. Reviewed by: Rene Rodriguez
    Nov 21, 2012
    Holy Motors is wild and unfettered and playful - the work of an artist who carries his love of cinema in his bones, and knows how to share that affection with the audience.
  27. Reviewed by: Mick LaSalle
    Nov 15, 2012
    You will look in vain for some definite logic to Holy Motors. You could see it as a metaphor for the actor's life, or a story about the desire to transcend the self. Anything you decide is fine.
  28. Reviewed by: Wesley Morris
    Nov 1, 2012
    The film has sprung from the mind of the Frenchman Leos Carax and ought to be seen to be believed, on the largest screen you can find, and probably sober, too, since it becomes its own narcotic.
  29. Reviewed by: Rob Nelson
    Oct 15, 2012
    Audaciously giving itself license to do whatever it wants, Leos Carax's narratively unhinged, beautifully shot and frequently hilarious Holy Motors coheres -- arguably, anyway -- into a vivid jaunt through the auteur's cinematic obsessions.
  30. Reviewed by: Ed Gonzalez
    Oct 15, 2012
    Léos Carax's maddening, self-satisfied, though never smug, game of spot-the-reference seems intended only for a particular type of cinephile.
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 94 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 18 out of 24
  2. Negative: 5 out of 24
  1. Feb 12, 2013
    I rated Holy Motors 75 out of 100. The reason i did not give it more points is that after the "infamous" monster sequence, the movie slowsI rated Holy Motors 75 out of 100. The reason i did not give it more points is that after the "infamous" monster sequence, the movie slows down and never reaches the heights it reach until that point. Anyways this is a movie you need to see and make your own explanation about the meanings behind it. I would like to mention Denis Lavant's absolutely outstanding performance, which is one if the best of this year. Holy Motors is a very different movie, a cinematic journey not afraid to explore new territories. Recommended! Full Review »
  2. Mar 7, 2013
    Holy Motors is a day in the life of a performer. We see Oscar (Lavant) picked up by his driver/assistant, he is told that he has a certainHoly Motors is a day in the life of a performer. We see Oscar (Lavant) picked up by his driver/assistant, he is told that he has a certain number of appointments that he must attend throughout his day. Soon after we learn that at each appointment he is to play a new character. Who he is performing for and why he is performing is for the viewer to decide for themselves. There in lies my problem with Holy Motors. There is no narrative to speak of, and there is no character development. Unless of course you consider the fact that Oscar becomes exhausted from all of his appointments character development.

    There is one positive in Holy Motors, and that is Denis Lavant. He transitions flawlessly from one character to the next, and portrays each character convincingly. I would say that Lavant is giving my second favorite performance of 2012, next to Day-Lewis in Lincoln. However once again my issue becomes that I am given no reason to care about any of the characters he is portraying. It's as if I am watching a very good audition. If I was casting a movie I would hire Lavant, if I'm looking to enjoy a film for two hours, no thanks.

    Holy Motors is deliberately bizarre and surreal so there is an audience that it is appealing too. I am just not that audience which I'm sure is no skin off Carax's back. For me Holy Motors is simply artistic masturbation.
    Full Review »
  3. Nov 20, 2012
    No, this film has far too many boring stretches to work - especially in the second half of the film. I'm a fan of Cronnenberg, Lynch andNo, this film has far too many boring stretches to work - especially in the second half of the film. I'm a fan of Cronnenberg, Lynch and other filmmakers who do weird in much more interesting and provocative ways. Sure, there are some disturbing images and fodder for discussion - they're simply not tied together into a meaningful whole which worked for me. I went into the film knowing generally what to expect, and I can let good inaccessible art flow by me, but I checked my watch 2 or 3 too many times for my liking. Full Review »