Metascore
78

Generally favorable reviews - based on 18 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 16 out of 18
  2. Negative: 0 out of 18
  1. 88
    Not about murder in the literal sense, although that seems a possibility. It is about a man who would like to kill his father, and who may have been killed spiritually by his father.
  2. Michel Bouquet's performance makes Anne Fontaine's How I Killed My Father required viewing.
  3. The script is a steady accretion of small stabs to the heart, propelling the gorgeous performances of Berling, Regnier, and especially the 76-year-old French cinema veteran Bouquet, whose every faint smile is killing.
  4. Reviewed by: Ty Burr
    88
    Polite but emotionally devastating, How I Killed My Father throws such questions out like smart bombs, and they detonate long after the end-credits have rolled.
  5. Truly, there can be nothing as complex as the simplest human relationships, and nothing as satisfying as a film that understands that as this one does.
  6. Reviewed by: Ken Fox
    80
    Fontaine's thoughtful character-driven screenplay is the perfect vehicle for Berling and Bouquet and both are superb. As father and son, they play off each another in fascinating ways as the film moves towards its perfectly modulated, intriguingly ambiguous final moment.
  7. 40
    A kind of murder mystery, but eventually the only victim is the audience's interest -- the picture is uncompromising and inauspicious.
  8. 100
    The most disturbing and effective thriller I've seen in many moons. Rarely, indeed almost never, is such high-wattage brainpower coupled with pitch-perfect acting and an exquisite, unfakable sense of cinema.
  9. 75
    The title is to be taken figuratively, not literally -- is a top-notch study of family angst.
  10. The acting is superb, with emotions roiling beneath rigid exteriors.
  11. 80
    Fontaine gives her film the tone of a psychological thriller, with the potential of violence always lurking beneath the surface.
  12. The pleasure is in watching veteran star Bouquet and the versatile Berling go at it -- they even seem to look alike.
  13. 40
    A disappointment after the droll, breezy suggestiveness of Fontaine's equally Freudian "Dry Cleaning," How I Killed My Father is rather less than the sum of its underventilated père-fils confrontations.
  14. 75
    What strikes you the most about this well put-together film is how little you're drawn to either character or really understand where either is coming from.
  15. 90
    The result is an intelligent, moving and invigorating film, just the thing for adults bored with the shock-horror posturing to be found in the work of so many young European directors.
  16. Reviewed by: Jonathan Curiel
    100
    Under Fontaine's direction, family dysfunction is an intense experience with unexpectedly positive repercussions, even if the steps between are painful and potentially deadly.
  17. Reviewed by: Patrick Z. McGavin
    75
    Cold, nervy and memorable.
  18. Reviewed by: J. R. Jones
    80
    Fontaine and Jacques Fieschi collaborated on the screenplay, and Jocelyn Pook's chilly string score nicely evokes the menace underlying the film's plush settings.

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