How I Live Now

User Score
6.7

Generally favorable reviews- based on 31 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 19 out of 31
  2. Negative: 2 out of 31

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User Reviews

  1. Jan 4, 2014
    10
    This is a rare film. A gemstone. an oil painting of a young woman neurotic.
    This film is a simple but not simplistic. the characters are sketched as if they were living in a real fairytale. Real like the tension that is always present and alive. a magical movie. I have no other words. happy to have seen it.
  2. Nov 11, 2013
    8
    An American teenager (Saoirse Ronan) is sent to rural England to spend the summer with step-cousins. Just as her aloof attitude changes and she begins to love the experience (and the oldest boy), a terrorist takeover rocks the couintry. What starts as a transplanted teen drama takes a forceful shift into a tense fight for survival. The young cast creates characters that are appealing andAn American teenager (Saoirse Ronan) is sent to rural England to spend the summer with step-cousins. Just as her aloof attitude changes and she begins to love the experience (and the oldest boy), a terrorist takeover rocks the couintry. What starts as a transplanted teen drama takes a forceful shift into a tense fight for survival. The young cast creates characters that are appealing and director Kevin Macdonald (Last King of Scotland) has crafted a surprisingly affecting and sometimes frightening film. Expand
  3. Feb 22, 2014
    8
    I think it's become a habit for me to misunderstand people from the movie poster. Till I watch this movie I thought it was Noomi Rapace then realised I was wrong. I saw all of Saoirse Ronan movies and liked everyone. In my thought she is nothing but a female version of Freddie Highmore. Because I love all of his movies like hers. They are the great young actors, the future is waiting forI think it's become a habit for me to misunderstand people from the movie poster. Till I watch this movie I thought it was Noomi Rapace then realised I was wrong. I saw all of Saoirse Ronan movies and liked everyone. In my thought she is nothing but a female version of Freddie Highmore. Because I love all of his movies like hers. They are the great young actors, the future is waiting for them.

    This British movie was based on the book. The story is set in the backdrop of the third world war United Kingdom. Where an American teenage girl sent to the English countryside by her father, where she get stuck in middle of the modern war. Begins her game of survival along with her young cousins. Between this her first ever love makes her to take tough decisions during hard times.

    If you had seen 'Lore' you would find some similarities with the story. Especially the second half of this movie was somehow resembled that movie. Maybe the main character, the teen girls from both the movies makes us bluff. Only the foot journey was similar in appearance, but the rest was travelled in different directions.

    The love story did not stand up to the standards of true love. Looked like young people's sexual expedition, especially like the first experience in life for them. Should have spent more time for those two characters to develop romantic relationship between them to convince the viewers. The movie captured great countryside green sceneries of England. That keeps us to stick with this till the end.

    7.5/10
    Expand
  4. Nov 11, 2013
    7
    Nonetheless, I generally enjoyed How I Live Now. Its story offers an intriguing and unique angle on a classic YA theme. It features some striking visual moments, and a hard-earned message of hope and perseverance. But Macdonald seems out of his depth directing a kid-centered drama, and the characters suffer, coming off as archetypes (the dream boy, the nerdy brother, the obnoxious littleNonetheless, I generally enjoyed How I Live Now. Its story offers an intriguing and unique angle on a classic YA theme. It features some striking visual moments, and a hard-earned message of hope and perseverance. But Macdonald seems out of his depth directing a kid-centered drama, and the characters suffer, coming off as archetypes (the dream boy, the nerdy brother, the obnoxious little sister) or never quite coming together at all. It's a difficult thing translating a book that is told in the voice of a character to a film where most of her internal monologue is stripped away. And it's a shame that so much was stripped away that How I Live Now's heroine seems barely there at all. Expand
  5. Jan 6, 2014
    7
    I've never seen a filmization which was as amazing as the book until "How I Live Now". The screenwriters and Macdonald created an incredible movie with appropriate acting of the leads.
  6. Apr 2, 2014
    8
    Don't pay attention to the professionals on this one. They're far too hung up on categories. Is this a YA? Is it a war drama? Is it art? Who cares? This film is like your first time with your first love. It's awkward and fumbly at times, but it's also honest and heartfelt. Not once did I ever feel manipulated and not once did I stop caring about what would happen to these innocents caughtDon't pay attention to the professionals on this one. They're far too hung up on categories. Is this a YA? Is it a war drama? Is it art? Who cares? This film is like your first time with your first love. It's awkward and fumbly at times, but it's also honest and heartfelt. Not once did I ever feel manipulated and not once did I stop caring about what would happen to these innocents caught in a conflict they could barely see, much less comprehend. Saoirse Ronan is wonderful. She owns every moment she's on the screen. Despite the smug judgment of some critics, How I Live Now is two hours very well spent. Expand
  7. Jul 31, 2016
    6
    Another teenage angst movie, this time with an English locale. I really don't think anyone with emotional/mental problems can change that much that quickly.
Metascore
57

Mixed or average reviews - based on 29 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 13 out of 29
  2. Negative: 1 out of 29
  1. 63
    As a dystopian teen movie, Macdonald’s adaptation of Meg Rosoff’s young adult novel is refreshingly free of digital apocalyptics and unnervingly prone to random violence.
  2. Reviewed by: Mick LaSalle
    Nov 14, 2013
    25
    Drama is as much about perspective as it is about events, and the angle provided by How I Live Now turns out to be self-defeating.
  3. Reviewed by: Glenn Kenny
    Nov 8, 2013
    75
    It's strong stuff, and the actors are fully up to it.