User Score
7.4

Generally favorable reviews- based on 85 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 70 out of 85
  2. Negative: 12 out of 85

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  1. Nov 23, 2014
    3
    This is not your standard movie. I am going even to say it is not a normal one. There seems to be no plot, or clear ideas. The movie will be what you make of it. And this is not a type of film I enjoy. I don't think it is targeted to the people that expect to just watch a movie. This is something else. And you have to be in another state of mind to appreciate. And while I assume that there are people who are going to like it and even think it is great, I am certain I'll never be able to truly understand why. On the plus side, it has some beautiful and slightly outrages shots, which at least deserve 3 out of 10 on their own. Expand
  2. Sep 1, 2014
    1
    This movie has arresting visuals. That's the best that can be said for it. Other than that it is incomprehensible weird for the sake of it nonsense. There is no story. In short, it is a film that only a critic could like, in other words pretentious pseudo intellectualism.
  3. Dec 20, 2013
    3
    What the.. Did I watch? Boring to say the least. It has a couple of interesting moments but most of it is a mass of incoherent events. Besides it makes you hate the protagonist
  4. Dec 19, 2013
    10
    I love this surrealistic romp through Paris is a beautiful piece of storytelling. It is basically several short stories pieced together in a very creative fashion. Holy Motors is bizarre, to say the least, but still accessible. At the end of it all, I was left asking questions like, what was real, which for me is a good thing!
  5. Nov 13, 2013
    10
    The film is an invitation to open your mind, heart & eyes and simply imagine. A collection of scenes stitched together only by a man who must take on any role and has the means to do so. On the surface the ice is cold and hard, but underneath there is so much to discover. A film wise enough to look and the mirror and laugh, but not too loud. A father, an old lady, a dying man, a killer, a lover, a ninja, a musician, a celebration of life and art. Like life itself, Holy Motors takes many unexpected turns. Holy Motors is a unique, surreal ride; aRt on wheels. Expand
  6. Jun 28, 2013
    9
    Is something real if no one believes in it? Then why go on? You need to step out of your narrative movie box. It's an unclassifiable film cryptic, absurd, and obtuse but there isn't a second that isn't completely enthralling. The ending is flat, but that is an isolated and small complaint. I definitely need to see it a few more times.
  7. Apr 17, 2013
    0
    Deep down in my heart, I felt like this was the WORSE MOVIE EVER MADE! it's WORSE THAN HORROR/ROM-COM MOVIES! it's like you are watching a horrible Theater Play..

    (The good thing is: Now, everytime I need to check if a Reviewer is stupid, I can check if he/she liked this crap! hahahaha)
  8. Apr 8, 2013
    9
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. Part of the brilliance of this film is that it could mean one thing to one person, and something entirely different to another. I’m sure that’s true of all films that have little narrative drive and are labeled “bizarre,” but this film has elements that clearly, to me, are statements intended by Carax. It’s a film about film, but also about life and how people interact within it. Apparently, this is way above my head, the film makes several cinematic references including to those of the actors in the movie as well as Carax’s own filmography. This, and the opening sequence of Carax opening a door that leads to a movie theater, is an indication that the movie is making a statement about film. Carax stands above an audience who appear like zombies, and it seems that Carax is present to change their engagement with the film. Sure enough, a toddler walks down the aisle and a very large dog does as well as the title “Holy Motors” is plastered over the zombie-like audience. The limousine that drives Oscar around is a machine (as referred to in the film) that might be symbolic of the machinery of the current film system. Inside are the director (driver who supplies Oscar with scripted material) and the actor who is literally preparing for different roles. Much as the audience is unsure of what will happen next, it seems this could be symbolizing actors often not understanding certain material as he/she is dragged from scene to scene, not in any sequential order. The man who visits Oscar in the car could of course be some type of producer. At the end, the limousine pulls into a garage called “Holy Motors.” It’s the machine that made the film that of course pulls into a garage that is the title of the film. When the driver exits, the limos are left alone as they speak to one another. It seems they’re worried that “they” won’t need “us” anymore. One limo concurs with that sentiment. It seems Carax is commenting on how soon people won’t need the machinery that creates modern films. Just as the old studio system in Hollywood no longer exists, neither will the current one. In this day of Netflix with exclusive “television” series, and the opportunity to place works on YouTube, filmmakers won’t need these same machines.

    Holy Motors is about life too. In life, people play different roles throughout a day a parent becomes a spouse, a co-worker, a neighbor, a parent, and back to a spouse. While none of us are probably playing the role of angry leprechaun (is that what that thing was?) who eats flowers as well as fingers and steals models, that act is seemingly as monstrous as those of atrocities committed on a daily basis. These characters that Lavant becomes are not meant to be literal, none of the film is, but perhaps symbolic of people we can become or represent. At one point a man in the limousine asks Oscar how he keeps going to which Oscar replies for the beauty of the act. Is this Carax asking his audience, why do we continue to live? Maybe it’s for the beauty and for the pursuit of love. One of Lavant’s characters says something to the affect of ‘death is good but it doesn’t have love.’ And of course throughout the film are beautiful shots of Paris. It seems that if one has his/her eyes open he/she must be depressed or at least cynical (as MGMT would put it), but if one has his/her eyes open they also can’t resist the beauty of cities, people, or love itself.

    8.5/10
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  9. Mar 25, 2013
    9
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. Few films of late have engaged my deepest emotional inhibitions, challenged my understanding of filmmaking, and beckoned me to substitute personal meaning for visual substance. Holy Motors, the newest flick from French filmmaker Leos Carax, does this and so much more. To classify this film as "weird" would be to describe Gary Busey as "quirky." When you think that this movie has gone completely off-the-rails, taken its many characters to the deepest bounds of the imagination, Holy Motors aims only to usher you further into the madness occurring on screen. Holy Motors revolves around a day in the life of Mr. Oscar, a working Frenchman, who appears to take on the role of various characters in different scenes, each more bewildering than the next. Mr. Oscar, driven around in a limo, stops at different areas of town to portray a certain cinematic scene or emotion. After finishing his role as a given character, the man returns to the limousine. These jobs range from motion-capture performer to homeless beggar to audacious assassin. The viewer cannot believe what he or she is witnessing. If you can, you have more serious issues to worry about. What makes Holy Motors so compelling is its continuous neglect of deeper meaning. While interpretations can be drawn from the memorable images appearing in view of the camera, the film always challenges such an interpretation by creating a next scene even more ridiculous and unbound by conventional tactics. Does Leos Carax suggest deeper parables when he has a naked, flower-eating psychotic rest in the lap of Eva Mendes? To be honest, I am not positive that he does. If the true purpose of Holy Motors is that it has no purpose, then maybe it is that odd absurdity that elevates the film to greatness. Mr. Oscar's jobs start off comically-insane and quickly turn clinically-insane, yet there are unexplainable moments of triumph layered throughout the work. Two music scenes, one in which Mr. Oscar and friends begin a full-scale folk jam, and another in which Kylie Minogue herself sings as if she is part of an elaborate musical, provide the harmony that unexpectedly serves to tie the seemingly unconnected scenes of the movie together. Denis Lavant turns in the single greatest acting performance of 2012 on the big screen. Lavant did not receive a well-deserved Oscar or Golden Globe nomination, yet he turned one of the most ill-beckoning and demanding roles ever created for film, into an off-putting and stunningly-real depiction of a man with the world's most complex list of chores to finish by supper time. The aforementioned Eva Mendes and Kylie Minogue only appear in the film for one extended scene each, yet both appear viable in the mad world of Leos Carax. The entire movie can be summed up in the final scene, in which Mr. Oscar's limo sits in a garage. What follows appears so childish, so mundane, it retains and exposes the spirit of the entire film. Just when you think the film might become overtly symbolic or suggestive of a non-literal interpretation, Carax includes a scene which completely jets things back to Never-Never-Land. And that is why it is so good. Irreverent and incomprehensible, unemotional and magnanimous, Holy Motors represents one of the top cinematic achievements of the year and an absolute must-see. Expand
  10. Mar 10, 2013
    7
    Nobody can say they know exactly what's going on through this film, but what you do know is that your in for something that's so original that you can't stop watching.
  11. Mar 7, 2013
    1
    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 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.
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  12. Feb 24, 2013
    10
    Such a surrealistic masterpiece, Holy Motors are intended to be disgusting, violent and pathetic, so the viewer can found the harsh beauty that lies within by digging deep in this exceptional tour de force. Holy Motors is a difficult, disturbing and oddly mesmerizing film. One the past year's best movies.
  13. Feb 13, 2013
    8
    It's a movie about movies and it's very well done. Although i felt like the director is mocking us, firstly because the audience is sleeping and secondly because of the monkey scene. Of course the highlight is the breathtaking performance by Denis Lavant.
  14. Feb 12, 2013
    7
    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 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! Expand
  15. Feb 5, 2013
    8
    Holy Motors, all of a sudden contained much of what i like and don't like about movies. It was carefully paced, insanely weird, exceptionally visionary and courageous, largely experimental, ultimately disturbing. All in all, surprisingly good surreal dreamscape. But it also frightened me and sometimes its sadness was overwhelming and unbearable. With all of its surrealism, it still felt as a realistic intrusion and exposure of my own little live and privacy. It was like we all live on the stage of a singular theater, from day to day, from second to second playing our self, acting that we have control over our self, pretending to be free, when in fact we aren't even allowed to go backstage for a minute to take some rest. It haunted me. Expand
  16. Jan 27, 2013
    10
    A celebration of the many bells, whistles, and motivations that go unseen in the making of film, each pseudo vignette of Holy Motors shows the many ways that films make us feel, think, and react. The sparse clips of early film images (a man doing body exercises) suggest that Leos Carax is striving for more than a simple 'this symbolizes this' mentality, and instead chooses to lament the days when a film was shot on film. The opening scene shows Carax as the viewer in a cinema filled with emotionless audience members. The people approach the cinema as a brain dead exercise in banality, and therefore are represented as brain dead corpses. It is only when Carax enters the theater that the gorgeous elements of Holy Motors are shown to us, which is to say that there are higher levels of intelligent cinema waiting to be mined and brought forth for those who are willing to view them. Let the movie zombies go watch...well, movies about zombies. Save the creative and intelligent work for those who appreciate them. Expand
  17. Jan 12, 2013
    8
    Only the the French or a lunatic could make this film! Or in this case: both. This is one of those wonderfully weird movies where nothing is explained but left up to the viewer to figure out. It's self reflective on the nature of cinema, how it's interwoven with reality and the relation it has to it's audence. You can't help but stare almost hypnotised at the strange scenes and photographically composed shots while constantly wondering where they are going with it and if you're absorbing everything or missing something. It might leave you a bit puzzled so not recommended for people who like clean straightforward movies. If you like to see something completely different, give it a shot! You might like it :) Expand
  18. Nov 26, 2012
    9
    The world we live in today is infatuated with the spotlight, with the notion of being captured on camera at all points in time an ideal for some. We have television shows dedicated to this idea of
  19. Nov 23, 2012
    8
    This has got to be one of the most bizarre films I've ever scene. Delivered to us straight from the art house, Holy Motors is a mad piece of work. It follows an actor starring in a film I call the real world; where the streets of Paris is his acting playground. Yes, this is his actual job, he takes it very seriously and there are others like him. Dennis Lavant is forced to stretch his physical acting prowess as the star of this film; and Kylie Minogue (who performs an awesome number) displays her acting chops. I am not sure what to make of this film by it's grossly unusual end; but one thing was certain, I enjoyed it. Viewers should proceed with caution; this odd movie is not for everyone. Expand
  20. Nov 23, 2012
    8
    This review contains spoilers. Warning spoiler ahead?

    I had no idea what this movie was, or was about. Watched it based on the metacritic reviews. This is an art film, on the topic of cinema, acting, and the state of the industry. The acting in this film is very good, but after watching it, I have no idea what the film is actually attempting to convey exactly. My advice? Just enjoy it, don't try to really make sense of it til the credits roll. My take on it is that the filmmaker believes that the movie industry is running out of creativity, and this his his attempt to simply create something on film. So just throw logic out the window and do your best to appreciate it as cinema in its individual parts. It is up to you to define it.
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  21. Nov 20, 2012
    4
    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 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. Expand
  22. Nov 17, 2012
    9
    Holy Motors is a laugh out loud comedy. One of the grand cinematic eruptions of the year. Nothing makes "sense" in the movie. A must see for comedy movie fans
  23. Oct 17, 2012
    10
    Holy Motors is one of the best movies of this year -in my opinion- is interesting, have an awesome but weird trama, the development is really great, the performances are incredible and the screenplay is excellent. Holy Motors is an awesome movie.
Metascore
84

Universal acclaim - based on 34 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 30 out of 34
  2. Negative: 0 out of 34
  1. Reviewed by: Marjorie Baumgarten
    Dec 5, 2012
    89
    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.
  2. Reviewed by: Joe Williams
    Nov 30, 2012
    50
    There are a few beguiling moments in Holy Motors, particularly a martial-arts sequence and an erotic dance while Mr. Oscar is dressed in a motion-capture body suit, but the road between those moments is so strewn with stalled ideas that audiences who care about character and plot are liable to take the exit to a movie that makes sense.
  3. Reviewed by: Rene Rodriguez
    Nov 21, 2012
    75
    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.