Metascore
76

Generally favorable reviews - based on 30 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 27 out of 30
  2. Negative: 0 out of 30
  1. 88
    Jesus' Son surprises me with moments of wry humor, poignancy, sorrow and wildness. It has a sequence as funny as any I've seen this year.
  2. 90
    A mesmerizing film spinning from hilarity to heartbreak.
  3. It's so wonderfully silly, coarse and down-to-Earth that its radiance sneaks up only over time.
  4. The latter element joins with Crudup's excellent acting to make this deliberately scruffy tale a worthwhile experience if you can handle its explicitly sordid subplots.
  5. Another grotty drama about junkie love? Well, yes...I make an exception for Jesus' Son.
  6. In a sea of one-note symphonies, this touching feature is bleak and comic, heartbreaking and affirmative, romantic and tragic, gimlet-eyed and sympathetic, all at the same time.
  7. Reviewed by: Ken Fox
    70
    But for all the divine touches, FH is no Jesus, or even his son: He's just another wide-eyed American Adam on the road again, a dazed and confused Huck Finn of the highways.
  8. 63
    Grim stuff, filled with great sorrow and tragedy, but it's never maudlin or weepy.
  9. I don't much like movies about junkies...but this is easily the liveliest and most inventive I've seen since "Drugstore Cowboy" (1989).
  10. The movie will not be for all tastes. Its seedy lifestyles, nonjudgmental attitudes, nonlinear narrative, and central character whose problem is his lack of emotions is definitely nonstandard fare.
  11. Reviewed by: Todd McCarthy
    80
    An intermittently compelling and occasionally hilarious road movie.
  12. 83
    If the result doesn't make dazzling watching, it nonetheless has the power to haunt.
  13. 80
    It has a nobility and modesty, along with a refreshing lack of cynical attitude, that you rarely find in independent films these days.
  14. Floats before your eyes like pieces of a jigsaw puzzle. The surprise is that, fitted together, these pieces make a completed picture.
  15. Movies about junkies are often brutal to watch, but Jesus' Son has such a light touch, you have little to fear. Little to gain, too.
  16. Crudup gives a performance that is by turns scary, heartbreaking, grotesque and funny as hell.
  17. Reviewed by: Richard Corliss
    80
    It's best to see this as a drug buffet. Graze through the vignettes... and you'll find three or four tasty bits to snack on.
  18. Reviewed by: Jay Carr
    63
    It's often a downer, with a sweet but largely passive protagonist.
  19. Though Maclean uses every trick available to make up for the missing inner voice, we never get into Crudup's mellow loser like we should. Maclean's got an incisive eye, but it's poised on the outside of the terrarium looking in.
  20. Transcends ironic grunge-glamour and achieves a beguiling combination of dark comedy and genuine sweetness.
  21. 85
    If you haven't seen his (Crudup's) work before, Jesus' Son could be the one that makes you his biggest disciple.
  22. Meanders as aimlessly as its drugged-out characters.
  23. A dashing fusion of the literary and the cinematic.
  24. 50
    Does it make it as a movie? Only in fits and starts.
  25. Reviewed by: Ernest Hardy
    90
    An especially compassionate look at human frailty that also never loses sight of the inherent ridiculousness of "the human condition." Jesus' Son is one of this summer's best movies.
  26. 88
    A story of faith and redemption, as viewed through the blurry and bloodshot eyes of a young man.
  27. 70
    Makes good use of its actors.
  28. Reviewed by: Paul Cullum
    90
    Wildly funny bum's rush through the existentially absurd, self-engendered peaks and valleys of the junkie's lament.
  29. Reviewed by: Other (Specify)
    80
    Has the edge of black comedy that defines Maclean's sensibility, but it also has a mature new sweetness. And it's certainly one of the best films about the life of an addict since "Drugstore Cowboy."
  30. Reviewed by: A. O. Scott
    80
    One of the pleasures of Jesus' Son is watching a filmmaker take risks and discover new resources of style.

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