Universal acclaim - based on 12 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 11 out of 12
  2. Negative: 0 out of 12
  1. Reviewed by: Kenneth Turan
    Apr 10, 2014
    Ilo Ilo is writer-director Anthony Chen's first film, but breathtaking intimacy in storytelling is already second nature to him.
  2. Reviewed by: Stephen Holden
    Apr 3, 2014
    This remarkably terse movie doesn’t waste a word or an image. It refuses to linger over each little crisis its characters endure. And its detachment lends a perspective that widens the film’s vision of people reacting to events beyond their control.
  3. Reviewed by: Marc Mohan
    May 15, 2014
    With evocative performances, especially from the two women, and a nicely modulated sense of nostalgia, Ilo Ilo marks the emergence of a promising new cinematic voice.
  4. Reviewed by: Bill Goodykoontz
    Apr 10, 2014
    Chen captures with both humor and heartbreaking realism the complicated mechanics of the family dynamic and how outside forces work to shape it.
  5. Reviewed by: Guy Lodge
    Apr 28, 2014
    Not all magically benevolent nannies fly on talking umbrellas, as we learn in this beautifully formed little heart-tugger.
  6. Reviewed by: James Mottram
    Apr 28, 2014
    As their early fights give way to growing respect, it’s a beautifully calibrated relationship, with small moments gradually building into something much bigger. A gem.
  7. Reviewed by: Maggie Lee
    Apr 10, 2014
    Anthony Chen is remarkably astute in his depiction of the class and racial tensions within such a household, his accessible style enabling the characters’ underlying decency and warmth to emerge unforced.
  8. Reviewed by: Joshua Rothkopf
    Apr 1, 2014
    None of this is pushed into comic relief—the filmmaker lets his drama play out with gentleness — and you smile at the many evolutions.
  9. Reviewed by: Mark Jenkins
    Jul 17, 2014
    Sensitive performances by the four main players suit the tone, which is naturalistic and even earthy — most of the characters are shown going to the bathroom — yet ultimately poignant.
  10. Reviewed by: Stephen Dalton
    Apr 10, 2014
    Finely acted and minutely observed, Ilo Ilo certainly has the texture of real life. The performances feel authentic, the emotional shadings agreeably nuanced.
  11. Reviewed by: Chris Packham
    Apr 3, 2014
    Small details and incidents accrete into a pointillist rendering of despair.
  12. Reviewed by: Ben Nicholson
    May 3, 2014
    Throughout, each of Ilo Ilo's performers give wonderfully naturalistic turns, providing the entire film with a heartening authenticity.
User Score

Universal acclaim- based on 12 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 1 out of 1
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 1
  3. Negative: 0 out of 1
  1. Jul 3, 2014
    A great, understated film, natural in every way: in its writing, its acting, its lighting, its camerawork. An organic family drama that flows loosely from one anecdotal stop to the next, perhaps what is Ilo Ilo's best quality is how each small drama feels both incredibly detailed and specific but also broadly relatable as well. Small gestures and glances inform this coming-of-age story with rich nuance; while the friendship between nanny Terry and 10-year old Jianle takes center stage, elements of class struggle, cultural differences, the secrets between husbands and wives, religion, are all espoused in extraordinarily fair ways. There are no villains here, only downtrodden, frustrated individuals, all deserving, all engendering our sympathy. Full Review »