Lost River

Lost River Image
Metascore
42

Mixed or average reviews - based on 21 Critics What's this?

User Score
6.7

Generally favorable reviews- based on 52 Ratings

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  • Starring: , , , ,
  • Summary: Set against the surreal dreamscape of a vanishing city, Billy (Christina Hendricks), a single mother of two, is swept into a macabre and dark fantasy underworld while her teenage son, Bones, discovers a secret road leading to an underwater town. Both Billy and Bones must dive deep into theSet against the surreal dreamscape of a vanishing city, Billy (Christina Hendricks), a single mother of two, is swept into a macabre and dark fantasy underworld while her teenage son, Bones, discovers a secret road leading to an underwater town. Both Billy and Bones must dive deep into the mystery if their family is to survive. Expand

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Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 3 out of 21
  2. Negative: 5 out of 21
  1. Reviewed by: Ben Kenigsberg
    Apr 9, 2015
    80
    Lost River ponders people and places left behind in the name of progress. Slyly political, it observes the mortgage crisis through a warped looking glass. The cinematographer, Benoît Debie, finds a perverse beauty in the decline.
  2. Reviewed by: Jordan Hoffman
    May 20, 2014
    69
    Ryan Gosling wanted to make an art film and, despite some dull patches, pretty much succeeded.
  3. Reviewed by: John Bleasdale
    May 26, 2014
    60
    This is the kind of oddball midnight movie that could easily gain a cult following and there are delights to be had in the midst.
  4. Reviewed by: Eric Kohn
    May 26, 2014
    42
    Rather than making his own movie, Gosling has composed a messy love letter to countless others.
  5. Reviewed by: Matt Glasby
    Apr 6, 2015
    40
    Coasting on charismatic performances and a quality crew, Gosling’s debut proves two things: screenwriting is hard, and stylish and stylised are very different things.
  6. Reviewed by: Todd McCarthy
    May 26, 2014
    40
    The visuals are undeniably dreamy, but they mostly seem borrowed from other filmmakers’ dreams.
  7. Reviewed by: Justin Chang
    May 26, 2014
    20
    A risible slab of Detroit gothic that marks an altogether inauspicious writing-directing debut for Ryan Gosling.

See all 21 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 10 out of 16
  2. Negative: 0 out of 16
  1. Apr 10, 2015
    10
    The intro cuts, shot choices, color tones, neons, the shallow dof shots, and wide angle shots are incredible.
    Ryan truly made Detroit a
    The intro cuts, shot choices, color tones, neons, the shallow dof shots, and wide angle shots are incredible.
    Ryan truly made Detroit a character. Yes there are influences of Refn, Cianfrance, and Malick, but shouldn't there be? I even felt a little bit of Harmony Korine. Ryan is a talented and dedicated actor, he spent the time while on set with these directors to learn from them, no surprise that his directorial debut would show their influence. Ryan is also a musician, and the number that Ben Mendelsohn does with what I believe to be Ryans voice or at least written song is electrifying. Eva Mendes is underrated period, she killed in A Place Beyond the Pines, and her talent to convey strong emotion with little to no words is seen again in this film. All in all, the movie was casted perfect, hats off to the casting director and Ryan. The story is one of the directors narrative, which is what film should be. Viewers need to learn to appreciate movies for moments and originality, rather then hold every film they see to summer blockbuster standers or cookie cutter scripts. This movie is a cinematic art installation, and a look into Goslings storytelling mind. I'm sure it will be a cult classic, and nevertheless how dope is it that a leading actors brain works like that? I mean imagine this film for the generations to come, and the body of work Gosling will leave behind? How cool would it have been if James Dean would have made a film like this? Pay attention to the monologues and writing in this film, its phenomenal. I hope he directs more films in his career, and this film deserves a wider release. Hollywood sometimes under appreciates, as well as doesn't give the credit certain artist deserve because they won't do studio movies or be a puppet. This is a great movie, and I hope more people have the opportunity to see it. - Jutt DaRe
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  2. Mar 1, 2016
    10
    I was expecting worse, but I've been delightfully surprised. I may be biased as my aesthetics perfectly fit with the movie's ones, but i trulyI was expecting worse, but I've been delightfully surprised. I may be biased as my aesthetics perfectly fit with the movie's ones, but i truly appreciated the tone of the colours, or the night city scenarios as well as the atmosphere that you can feel in the night-swamp scene, something that reminded me of something familiar.
    But also the story, in my opinion, is pretty good, considering the dream-like context in which the movie is set in, and some things they don't actually have to make sense, due to the oniric nature of the film, explaining, or at least giving the viewer enough hints to get what's going on.
    The atmosphere of decadence of the movie went immediately beneath my skin, all the settings were well made, from the desolated town from the decadent city, including the swamp and the basement, everything cured to the last detail, and it shows it.
    The soundtrack is sublime, and extremely appropriate to each situation, evoking with colours and sounds something past, a vague sense of nostalgia, or at least did to me.
    I read about really bad critics about this movie, and now I'm questioning myself I saw the same one as the Cannes' jury, because Lost River it is sublime, an experience, a movie to see with attention, to get the most of it, I really loved Ryan Gosling's debut as Director.
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  3. May 9, 2016
    9
    I totally enjoyed this movie by the first time, but even much by the second time of watching. The influences from other directors, especiallyI totally enjoyed this movie by the first time, but even much by the second time of watching. The influences from other directors, especially Nicolas Winding Refn, are a lot. But I like it how they all together mixed up in what Lost River is. Lost River is full of beautiful shots (especially the opening sequence). At the end Lost River left me with the same feeling as Only God Forgives, you either like those "dream", art like movies or you hate them. I'm one of those who loves them. Expand
  4. May 7, 2015
    7
    Underrated......All in all I enjoyed the movie, very weird and dream like at times but I really like the style. People compare it to driveUnderrated......All in all I enjoyed the movie, very weird and dream like at times but I really like the style. People compare it to drive but the only real comparison is the soundtrack other than that this is completely different. Very independent and well shot. It's a movie about the struggles of poor community's and some fairy tale stories behind them. Sometimes the story and scenes are unnecessary but it was risky and goslin is trying to be exactly that. I could for sure see this movie becoming a criterion someday because of the style and riskiness . Go watch it and enjoy it for the weird creepy fairy tale it is. Expand
  5. Jun 15, 2015
    6
    You can easily see the influences from Nicolas Winding Refn and David Lynch in this film; it's so dreamy and airy, yet colorful while the filmYou can easily see the influences from Nicolas Winding Refn and David Lynch in this film; it's so dreamy and airy, yet colorful while the film feels slow and almost a bit lifeless. While the story becomes a bit muddled and incoherent, the calibur of the cast's talent as well as the film's soundtrack leave me hopeful for Ryan Gosling's next project. Expand
  6. Apr 15, 2015
    6
    Ryan Gosling’s first rodeo at the Writer/Director’s chair was something. The dramatic mystery-fantasy ride that Gosling is taking us on isRyan Gosling’s first rodeo at the Writer/Director’s chair was something. The dramatic mystery-fantasy ride that Gosling is taking us on is enchanting but also disturbing.

    Lost River first looks like a documentary or an old film but it gets weird real fast. The documentary aspect of it comes from the debt crisis theme the movie has, people choking with debts leaving their homes, deserted neighborhoods and ghost towns but the film goes from a very grounded theme into a phantasmagorical world filled with disturbing dark metaphors with violent and/or dodgy characters.

    The music is hypnotic and fits the surrealism atmosphere of the film but it gets annoying real fast. Although it mostly fits the movie, there’s almost too much of it, the music is not really helping in the cinematic experience of Lost River.

    No matter how you may feel about the movie you can't deny that it's beautifully acted. Ryan Gosling knows how to pick his cast but the one I was most surprised about, was Iain De Caestecker, whose presence and performance was electric. Iain is impressive, from the second he appears on screen everything you need to know about his character is there, you can read it on his face, his attitude and hear it in his voice. He held his own next to Hendricks and Ronan, as it turns out he is incredibly talented.

    I know Lost River must be - is - a metaphor but god I need help to figure it out. I may not be doing enough drugs to understand that film or I haven’t experience enough of life but it was difficult for me to decipher. A short version of the film would have been fine, great even, but a full feature film, wow that’s something.

    Lost River is an experience, like any ride in an amusement park it will leave its mark but it doesn’t mean that you’ll enjoy it. @wornoutspines
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  7. Apr 10, 2015
    4
    Focus more on story more than visuals or your movie isn't going to make any sense or even going anywhere, just stuck in it's own tracksFocus more on story more than visuals or your movie isn't going to make any sense or even going anywhere, just stuck in it's own tracks Gosling.

    The story is about a single mother is swept into a dark underworld while her son discovers an underwater town.

    I was interested in Lost River every since it's first teaser trailer by it's fairy tale imagery and with the repeating words of "Look at my muscles", by Matt Smith . But after hearing the negative reviews and the fact that this movie was booed at the Cannes film festival. After seeing the movie I can see what Ryan Gosling was trying to reach but it didn't really mash well on screen and the overall result is a mess of film and I'm not here to hate on Gosling as I had hope for him and maybe he can do a better directed movie in the future.

    Ryan Gosling directing in the movie was meh, and the whole time I noticed he worked on the visuals and the look of the movie which by the looks great but still I felt the focus was only on that and not the whole film, I might be wrong or not. Ryan has worked with many directors in his career with the same style but I think he really took the style and version that Nicolas Winding Refn had with Only God Forgives and I wouldn't call it a bad thing as some critics are making it out to be, it's just a actor starting directing who wants to be like another director he worked with to get the directing career started.

    Matt Smith (Or Doctor from Doctor Who to those who seen the show) is also in this movie and he was actually pretty good and honestly the best part of this movie for me.

    The movie itself has this fair tale dream look to it with it's visual's and I think the perfect director who would have made this movie much better is David Lynch as his movies do have a dream like look to it which would worked more in Lost River, because to be honest the movie felt like a bore at times showing pretty imagery and no weight to it which still remains forgettable.
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See all 16 User Reviews

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