Mixed or average reviews - based on 14 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 8 out of 14
  2. Negative: 0 out of 14
  1. What counts here is the acute psychological validity with which Gordon evokes a coming of age that's seen with a darkly outrageous sense of humor--and no small amount of compassionate detachment.
  2. Reviewed by: Holly Willis
    The elegant gambol through ideas, combined with Gordon's clear love of luminous motion -- literally -- is a welcome treat.
  3. Fine acting and creative directing lend three-dimensional life to this absorbing story, which blends dreamlike elements with sharply etched drama and touches of pure cinematic ingenuity.
  4. Gordon is so visually and stylistically inventive and the actors are so skillful that you aren't likely to lose interest.
  5. 70
    Has moments of terrific lucidity, even brilliance.
  6. The one thing about Luminous Motion that can be said with certainty is that Bette Gordon should be making more movies.
  7. 63
    Never regains its raw power once the sultry Unger retreats from the front seat of her Chevy to the privacy of her suburban bedroom.
  8. An ambitious film that sticks with you long after you have left the theater -- because of both what it achieves and what it does not.
  9. 60
    If Lloyd's performance is the film's near-fatal flaw, Unger's is its saving grace.
  10. It's a bit like "The Sixth Sense," but without the melodramatic comfort of the supernatural.
  11. Reviewed by: Staff (Not credited)
    Although Lloyd's performance (reminiscent in mannerism to Haley Joel Osment), sometimes drags, it's the only real defect in a surprisingly effective film that doesn't stoop to offer easy answers.
  12. 50
    Has its moments, but overall it's depressing.
  13. Its tone is stilted and mannered -- and most of it seems a bit loony.
  14. Reviewed by: Ken Fox
    Gordon makes the mistake of preserving Bradfield's highly idiosyncratic dialogue -- dazzling on the page, deadly in any actor's mouths -- and the otherwise talented Lloyd is miscast.

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