Generally favorable reviews - based on 26 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 22 out of 26
  2. Negative: 0 out of 26
Watch On
  1. Reviewed by: Owen Gleiberman
    Sep 6, 2012
    Lindhardt, sweet and childish and achingly vulnerable, gives a stunning performance.
  2. Reviewed by: Joshua Rothkopf
    Sep 4, 2012
    This is a drama about finding one's self-worth; you simply have to see it.
  3. Reviewed by: Sam Adams
    Sep 5, 2012
    Keep The Lights On feels less like a memoir than a collage made from diary scraps, evocative but not prescriptive.
  4. Reviewed by: Gary Goldstein
    Sep 8, 2012
    A haunting, immersive portrait of a romance between two men, one that's marked - and marred - by both drug dependency and emotional codependency. Not unlike last year's gay-themed drama, "Weekend," it proves an important and mature piece of business.
  5. Reviewed by: A.O. Scott
    Sep 6, 2012
    Its subject is not addiction or ambition, or even love in a conventional romantic sense, but rather the more elusive and intriguing matter of intimacy: how it grows, falters and endures over time.
  6. Reviewed by: Eric Hynes
    Sep 4, 2012
    With its naked but never self-indulgent depictions of sex and all manner of addiction, Keep the Lights On is disarmingly, at times exhilaratingly, human.
  7. Reviewed by: Andrew O'Hehir
    Sep 4, 2012
    Not only does this film gloriously fulfill the potential that Ira Sachs has tantalized movie-lovers with for years, it also help explains what took him so long. Out of lost love comes a terrific work of art; it's the oldest story in the world, but it always feels new when it's done right.
  8. Reviewed by: Roger Ebert
    Oct 24, 2012
    By dropping in on this couple from time to time for the kinds of moments one of them might remember, the film is more honest than its characters.
  9. Reviewed by: Calvin Wilson
    Oct 12, 2012
    The performances are first-rate, with Lindhardt particularly moving as a guy who's in deep denial about just how much he can expect from a relationship with an addict.
  10. Reviewed by: Bob Mondello
    Sep 7, 2012
    The film, though, is as sure-footed as their partnership is not - a nuanced portrait of emotional turmoil, persuasively acted, richly sensual one moment, wrenching the next, and unlike so many films centering on gay characters, not particularly concerned with things like coming out or HIV.
  11. Reviewed by: Eric Kohn
    Sep 4, 2012
    Sachs skillfully explores dangerous extremes -- not only drug addiction, but the slipperiness of attraction.
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 12 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 1 out of 3
  2. Negative: 0 out of 3
  1. Sep 4, 2014
    An often painful and brutally honest look at love and romance. This film proves that gender makes absolutely no difference... love is love--noAn often painful and brutally honest look at love and romance. This film proves that gender makes absolutely no difference... love is love--no matter how tough love is. A fine debut from Thure Lindhardt as Erik. Full Review »
  2. Nov 10, 2012
    This review contains spoilers, click full review link to view. I don't understand why it's 'hip' to remake material we've all seen before with a 'gay' label. If someone has never had experience with addiction, this film might do something. But it skirts its responsibility to delve deeper into the treacherous aspects of bottoming out and recovery - we go from 'just using' to a full-on intervention full of characters we've never met. And then suddenly, "shazam!" they're procaiming their love for each other again.

    I found the lead actor distracting - nothing against a foreign accent, but this brought nothing to the film except some unwanted comic parody. I didn't find either believable, and feel that this is another 'make a gay movie' from an angle that once all gays see the light and adopt the broken, pathetic marriage and relationship system of straights, the world will then be all good, golden and complete.

    Addiction is a serious disease, and far more rampant in the gay demographic than anywhere else. This film doesn't do much to shed new light, despite the title.
    Full Review »
  3. Oct 22, 2012