Metascore
62

Generally favorable reviews - based on 14 Critics What's this?

User Score
8.4

Universal acclaim- based on 17 Ratings

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  • Summary: Julia, 40, is an alcoholic. She is a manipulative, unreliable, compulsive liar, all strung out beneath her still flamboyant exterior. Between shots of vodka and one-night stands, Julia gets by on nickel-and-dime jobs. Increasingly lonely, the only consideration she receives comes from herJulia, 40, is an alcoholic. She is a manipulative, unreliable, compulsive liar, all strung out beneath her still flamboyant exterior. Between shots of vodka and one-night stands, Julia gets by on nickel-and-dime jobs. Increasingly lonely, the only consideration she receives comes from her friend Mitch, who tries to help her. But she shrugs him off, as her alcohol-induced confusion daily reinforces her sense that life has dealt her a losing hand and that she is not to blame for the mess she has made of it. Glimpsing imminent perdition, and after a chance encounter with Elena, a Mexican woman, Julia convinces herself – as much in panic and despair as for financial gain – to commit a violent act. As the story unfolds, Julia's journey becomes a headlong flight on a collision course, but somehow she makes the choice of life over death. (Magnolia Pictures) Expand
Watch On
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 8 out of 14
  2. Negative: 2 out of 14
  1. 100
    Tilda Swinton hasn't often been more fascinating than in Julia, a nerve-wracking thriller with a twisty plot and startling realism.
  2. 91
    In tone and plot, Julia often resembles an extended episode of the AMC series "Breaking Bad"--except that Swinton's character is never NOT bad.
  3. 88
    Charles Bukowski would have loved this foul-mouthed, fiery, reckless woman. Against all odds and common sense, you will, too.
  4. This overlong, lurchy homage to John Cassavetes' 1980 film "Gloria" is a mess, but a fascinating one, given Swinton's desperately avid performance in the title role.
  5. Reviewed by: Scott Foundas
    60
    Tilda Swinton doesn't merely act the title role in French director Erick Zonca's Julia--she devours it, spits it back up, dances giddily upon it, twirls it in the air.
  6. Swinton's performance, and practically everything else about Julia, seems off – tone-deaf. She plays an out-of-control wastrel who enters into a kidnapping scheme gone horribly wrong, as does the movie.
  7. The end result is like Quentin Tarantino reworking a Charles Bukowski story.

See all 14 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 4 out of 4
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 4
  3. Negative: 0 out of 4
  1. JimF
    May 13, 2009
    10
    For about its first hour, "Julia" is one of the craziest good films I've ever seen, and when the lunatic kidnapping plot is put in For about its first hour, "Julia" is one of the craziest good films I've ever seen, and when the lunatic kidnapping plot is put in motion, I thought perhaps I should be calling 911 to have the director arrested for creating the illusion of child endangerment. But the extremely talented, original, and authentic director Eric Zonca, with the great help of a career performance by Tilda Swinton, has something much better and more interesting in mind, a redemptive drama morphed from the shell of a gutsy portrait of addiction that is in every way the movie "Rachel Getting Married" wanted to be but couldn't. "Julia" never for one moment of its almost 2 1/2 hour length plays things safe, but it's a deeply human and satisfying movie all the same. Expand
  2. BrentA
    Jul 22, 2009
    10
    There are not enough words to describe the veracity of of Tilda Swinton's performance. She is unmatched in her brilliance. This movie is There are not enough words to describe the veracity of of Tilda Swinton's performance. She is unmatched in her brilliance. This movie is undoubtedly the best movie of the year, and Tilda Swinton needs an oscar for this role. Expand
  3. stepheng
    Sep 15, 2009
    10
    I was memorized by Swinton's devasting performance from start to finish. Tilda does deserve an Oscar for this!
  4. JayH
    Aug 15, 2009
    7
    Tilda Swinton's amazing performance makes the film. She puts so much thought into every role. It's a good story, fine direction and Tilda Swinton's amazing performance makes the film. She puts so much thought into every role. It's a good story, fine direction and cinematography. It's a very detailed film. One complaint, more should have been cut, it's overlong. Expand

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