Metascore
75

Generally favorable reviews - based on 25 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 21 out of 25
  2. Negative: 1 out of 25
Watch On
  1. Reviewed by: Ty Burr
    88
    The thread that winds through their stories is love lost and connections found, but only the audience is able to weave it into something to keep.
  2. 75
    The purpose of the movie is perhaps to show us, in a quietly amusing way, that while we travel down our own lifelines, seeing everything from our own points of view, we hardly suspect the secrets of the lives we intersect with.
  3. A little like a British Eric Rohmer film -- a lot of talk, and a lot of talk about love and relationships -- Lawless Heart has wit and a winning charm.
  4. The result is a film that's honest and tepid, intelligent and dull, worthy and forgettable.
  5. 60
    Despite its leisurely pace, this unpretentious, character-driven picture is a low-key charmer.
  6. Reviewed by: Phil Hall
    30
    About as funny as a funeral.
  7. 91
    Working toward its refreshingly light but utterly apt ending, the film teems with insights into the human condition revealed by an unusually smart script and a wonderfully committed cast. It's a truly fine work.
  8. The storytelling structure is far more interesting than the story itself. And the elegiac pictures of boats and water are, dismayingly, most engrossing of all.
  9. Reviewed by: David Edelstein
    100
    An unassuming gem: an impishly funny, melancholy, absolutely delightful English ensemble drama.
  10. 90
    Virtually nothing at all is wrapped up in The Lawless Heart, which is probably why it feels so satisfyingly whole by the end.
  11. Charming, disarming and in some ways humbling film.
  12. By allowing the stories to play off one another and allowing layers of meaning to accumulate before we even notice them, the filmmakers capture some of the essential strangeness of life -- the way our relations are governed by laws that remain invisible to us until art reveals their workings.
  13. It's an intriguing experience.
  14. 80
    Tom Hollander gives a strong performance as the considerate and quietly grieving young man.
  15. 40
    Like grieving itself, the film is awkward, messily honest, and sometimes darkly funny.
  16. So well crafted, so original, that each overlapping scene swells with new life and interpretation.
  17. 88
    Sharp, witty and decidedly different.
  18. Solid acting and engaging characters round out the neatly assembled tale.
  19. Perfectly modulated in its tone and performances, Lawless Heart is content to be a small, quiet film. We could use a few more like it.
  20. 63
    It takes a while to get used to the fractured narrative, but once done it is easy to put your mind on autopilot and go with the offbeat characters and events.
  21. Gimmickry is death to this sort of artsy endeavour -- it turns a movie with a small budget into a small movie.
  22. 80
    For these gifted directors and their fine ensemble, the notion that every life forms into a mosaic of intimate, largely unobserved details is the story most worth telling.
  23. 80
    Its protagonists' hearts aren't lawless so much as stuck in various states of quiet desperation, and the modest charms of this observant, affecting film fortunately bear little relation to the sensationalistic label.
  24. 80
    One beautiful piece of work--as alert and aware a survey of interpersonal relations as you're likely to find at the movies this year.
  25. Reviewed by: Derek Elley
    70
    This slyly humorous, cleverly constructed comedy-drama wends its way through different takes on similar time frames to a warm, inclusive ending.

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