Generally favorable reviews - based on 24 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 23 out of 24
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 24
  3. Negative: 1 out of 24
  1. 90
    A work of astonishing delicacy and force, a tone poem about the Frankenstein jolts that all of us, at one time or another, have to live through.
  2. Ramsay reaches out boldly with a film that is as unsettling as it is minimalist.
  3. (Morton's) character here is emotionally mute -- though Morvern speaks, she can't or won't reveal what's in her heart -- and her performance is brilliant from start to finish.
  4. As Morvern, Morton is disconcertingly enigmatic, often bordering on catatonic. But she carries the movie effortlessly. And even though we're on the outside looking in, she carries us along, too.
  5. 88
    I think the answer is right there in the film, but less visible to American viewers because we are less class-conscious than the filmmakers.
  6. 88
    Morton deserves an Oscar nomination, but she is unlikely to get one. The movie is too dark and out of the mainstream to impress the conservative fogies who vote for the prizes.
  7. A gossamer tale about a heavy subject -- a passive creature who slowly emerges as the active author of her own life.
  8. There are two reasons Ramsay succeeds with a story that might at best be called morbid: She visually transforms the dreary expanse of dead-end distaste the characters inhabit into a poem of art, music and metaphor -- and she has the perfect actress to embody Morvern.
User Score

Mixed or average reviews- based on 24 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 10 out of 13
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 13
  3. Negative: 3 out of 13
  1. Feb 20, 2011
    Meditative soul-search - Lynne Ramsay explores the inner life of the mysterious woman Morvern Callar in her second feature film preceding her acclaimed feature film debut "Ratcatcher" (1999).

    Morvern Callar is a woman in her twenties who lives with her boyfriend in a Scottish coastal town where she works at a shopping mall with her best friend Lanna. Christmas is nearby, and one day after visiting the local pub with Lanna, Morvern returns to her home where she finds her boyfriend dead on the floor of their living room. Left behind with an unpublished novel, a recorded tape of music and some money, Morvern invites her friend on a holiday trip to Spain.

    Scottich film maker, screenwriter and photographer Lynne Ramsay had made three short films and her first feature film "Ratcatcher" (1999) before she made this innovating character study which was shoot in UK, Scottland and Spain. Her patient and poetic camera movements mirrors a passion and consideration for her motives which is very appealing. The intimate close ups of Samantha Morton leads the viewer closely enough to captivate it's attention, and Lynne Ramsays individualistic film style and creative perspectives makes her one of the most interesting female directors a long side Susanne Bier, Jane Campion, Sally Potter and Margreth Olin.

    Once one sees the face of Samantha Morton it triggers our curiosity for the dark haired, mystic and short spoken Morvern Callar who has recently lost her lover and is getting trough the initial phase of grief. Morvern is an archetype heroine, and after facing a traumatic incident she counterattacks in stead of digging herself down. But is she in denial? or is she trying to escape reality? The synoptic though alluring screenplay adapted from Alan Warners novel aims in on the main character and creates an unforgettable character brought to life by Samantha Morton who delivers an enchanting performance which is reminiscent of Emily Watson`s performance in "Breaking the Waves" (1996).

    Alvin H. Kuchler`s colorful and artistic photography and the psychedelic music from amongst others Apex Twin and The Velvet Underground increases this interpretive independent films cryptic mood.
    Full Review »
  2. Aug 27, 2010
    Morvan Callar joins the countless number of feminine characters in cinema whose unrestrained mystique equally frustrates and fascinates the viewer, and ultimately keeps us glued to the screen. Samantha Morton's performance is really what gives the movie its power (more so than Ramsay's directing), managing to lure us in but leave us disconnected from the mysterious stoichism of her character. The hipster soundtrack and fast-cut editing were nice touches, bringing its classic philosophical ideas to the modern age, a structure which is bound to strike a chord among niche audiences (i.e. Druggies/Clubbers/Hipsters). However, the dialogue almost seems like it was added as an afterthought and the messages presented only seem half-fulfilled by the end of the film. Full Review »