Metascore
47

Mixed or average reviews - based on 30 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 8 out of 30
  2. Negative: 6 out of 30
Watch On
  1. Reviewed by: Roger Moore
    Oct 5, 2011
    75
    Restless is far more precious than profound. But that takes little away from this soulful teenage exploration of love, life and death.
  2. Reviewed by: Roger Ebert
    Sep 21, 2011
    75
    All of the performances are pitched correctly. Nobody pushes too hard. Nobody underlines anything. Perhaps calmed by Van Sant, the characters seem peaceful, not troubled (as they should be).
  3. Reviewed by: James Berardinelli
    Sep 20, 2011
    75
    An emotionally rewarding experience: strong performances from leads Henry Hooper and Mia Wasikowska and a tender love story conveyed with genuine feeling.
  4. Reviewed by: Stephanie Zacharek
    Sep 12, 2011
    70
    The picture is so fluttering and tender, so guileless, that you almost can't believe it was made by an old hand like Van Sant. Then again, maybe you can.
  5. Reviewed by: Joe Williams
    Oct 21, 2011
    63
    If you haven't seen a wasting disease in real life, you might think Restless is romantic. If you have, you might diagnose it as terminally cute.
  6. Reviewed by: Mike Scott
    Oct 7, 2011
    63
    As clearly calculated and self-consciously cutesy as it is, it's also tender and meaningful stuff -- and far more watchable than other recent attempts to capture the existential angst of adolescence. ("The Art of Getting By.")
  7. Reviewed by: Claudia Puig
    Sep 15, 2011
    63
    Restless is a self-consciously quirky coming-of-age tale that's essentially a teenage hipster "Love Story."
  8. Reviewed by: Peter Travers
    Sep 15, 2011
    63
    Wasikowska, from "Alice in Wonderland" to "Jane Eyre," is an actress of translucent expressiveness. And Hopper has his father's brooding intensity and a quicksilver humor all his own. They are both so good, I suggest you dive into the story unfolding in their eyes rather than the banal one in the script.
  9. Reviewed by: Richard Nilsen
    Oct 6, 2011
    60
    You also aren't sure what the film is about or if it's about anything at all, except fluid filmmaking.
  10. Reviewed by: Pete Hammond
    Sep 14, 2011
    60
    If "Harold and Maude" hadn't already gotten there 40 years ago, this quirky but engaging trifle might seem refreshingly original.
  11. Reviewed by: Joshua Rothkopf
    Sep 13, 2011
    60
    Gus Van Sant directs his players just shy of mush; he's a filmmaker capable of brilliant dares (Milk, Paranoid Park) and shocking whiffs (Finding Forrester, the pointless remake of Psycho). This one's kind of in the middle.
  12. Reviewed by: Rene Rodriguez
    Oct 6, 2011
    50
    If anyone other than Gus Van Sant had directed Restless, the film could have well been impossible to sit through.
  13. Reviewed by: Liam Lacey
    Sep 29, 2011
    50
    Relentlessly twee as all this is, Wasikowska's warmth and Hopper's off-beat timing (he's the son of the late Dennis Hopper) are appealing to watch.
  14. Reviewed by: Ann Hornaday
    Sep 29, 2011
    50
    Restless is saved from movie-of-the-week soppiness by its plucky lead actors; by now we assume (correctly) that Wasikowska will infuse her character with lucid, clear-eyed warmth.
  15. Reviewed by: Steven Rea
    Sep 29, 2011
    50
    If illuminating dawns and dusks had basked Mia Wasikowska and Henry Hopper in a rosy glow, the mopey cuteness of Restless would have been too much to bear.
  16. Reviewed by: Sheri Linden
    Sep 17, 2011
    50
    The insistently quirky details don't disguise the fact that the drama grows ever more predictable and precious, complete with falling-in-love montage. Screenwriter Jason Lew's character insights take the form of the obvious.
  17. Reviewed by: A.O. Scott
    Sep 15, 2011
    50
    It is hard to say, though, if this film, directed by Gus Van Sant from a script by Jason Lew, is an argument for denial or a treatise on acceptance. Curiously, and in a way that is sometimes touching and sometimes icky, it does not seem to perceive much of a difference.
  18. Reviewed by: Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Sep 15, 2011
    50
    Annabel and Enoch learn from each other, even as time ticks away and the end draws near. Weeping is invited, but by no means required.
  19. Reviewed by: Keith Phipps
    Sep 14, 2011
    50
    Somehow, Van Sant has made a film about life and death in which the stakes never seem higher than whether one insolent kid will stop being such a horrible mope.
  20. Reviewed by: Mark Holcomb
    Sep 13, 2011
    50
    Gus Van Sant's latest - a middle-class hetero teen romance, no less - walks the line between mainstream sentimentality and dark art-house humor so effectively that it seems noncommittal.
  21. Reviewed by: Justin Chang
    Sep 12, 2011
    50
    At once delicate and clumsy, tender and twee, Restless wraps the pain of grief and impending mortality in the balm of a teenage love story.
  22. Reviewed by: Damon Wise
    Oct 17, 2011
    40
    Compared to its direct inspiration - Hal Ashby's blackly brilliant "Harold And Maude" - Restless comes off like an anemic facsimile. After the excellent "Milk," this is more like curdled cheese.
  23. Reviewed by: Marjorie Baumgarten
    Oct 5, 2011
    40
    This story about two death-obsessed teens is twee and precious instead of genuine and candid.
  24. Reviewed by: Joe Neumaier
    Sep 16, 2011
    40
    This overly twee, morbidly cute romance initially digs up the ageless "Harold and Maude" as a touchstone before it slips the coils of watchability.
  25. Reviewed by: Ty Burr
    Sep 29, 2011
    38
    A torpidly precious love story about death-obsessed adolescents, the film's becalmed and embalmed in its own sensitive self-pity.
  26. Reviewed by: Lou Lumenick
    Sep 16, 2011
    38
    Unlike Van Sant's grittier, less sentimental recent small films, it's twee enough to make your teeth ache. It's the director's biggest miscalculation since "Even Cowgirls Get the Blues" 18 years ago.
  27. Reviewed by: J.R. Jones
    Sep 22, 2011
    30
    The young sweethearts amuse themselves by donning steampunk outfits and crashing the funerals of dead children, which may seem quirky and sweet if you can disregard the awful grief of such gatherings; the problem is that, once you manage this, the main characters' grief doesn't register either.
  28. Reviewed by: Todd McCarthy
    Sep 12, 2011
    30
    The most banal and indulgent of Gus Van Sant's periodic studies of troubled kids, this agonizingly treacly tale comes off like an indie version of "Love Story" except with worse music.
  29. Reviewed by: Walter Addiego
    Sep 22, 2011
    25
    The film is morbid and mawkish, and packed with enough forced whimsy to make you scream.
  30. Reviewed by: Nick Schager
    Sep 11, 2011
    25
    Gus Van Sant's cinema, which of late has been fixated on immersing viewers in particular times and spaces, takes a detour into excruciating quirkland with Restless.
User Score
7.1

Generally favorable reviews- based on 25 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 5 out of 7
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 7
  3. Negative: 2 out of 7
  1. Jun 28, 2012
    6
    The first hour of this film is wonderful, funny, touching and underplayed. Mia Wasikowska is something special (as is Schuyler Fisk as herThe first hour of this film is wonderful, funny, touching and underplayed. Mia Wasikowska is something special (as is Schuyler Fisk as her sister struggling to accept the reality of the situation) and the relationship between her, Henry Hopper and the Japanese ghost is nicely drawn (after you give in to the logic of it). The problem is the last third of the film. What was being built up to be quite an emotional conclusion, dissolved into cliche quickly and undercut the impact of the film's conclusion. Full Review »
  2. Apr 2, 2012
    7
    A Febiofest screening, nothing signposts that 3 years after multi-Ocsar nominated (including 2 wins) MILK (2008), Gus Van Sant will cook suchA Febiofest screening, nothing signposts that 3 years after multi-Ocsar nominated (including 2 wins) MILK (2008), Gus Van Sant will cook such a cancer-ridden romantic flick grappling with a soul-healing recovery of a parents-bereaved boy after his short relationship with a dying girl although death has been a persistent topic all through his omnibus. The over-simplified structure may impede Gus from a more spacious platform to perform his mastery, and precipitating an out-and-out snub from all sorts of awards consideration and the disastrous box-office turnover is fatal to destroy its investorâ Full Review »
  3. Mar 11, 2012
    9
    When expressing my views on a film I examine my feelings. Did I "feel' something? Was it strong, believable? Did I cry, laugh, hide my eyes,When expressing my views on a film I examine my feelings. Did I "feel' something? Was it strong, believable? Did I cry, laugh, hide my eyes, etc. The characters in Restless made me feel something. They communicated their situation. They made me see how their reactions to their personal challenge made sense. In this film plot-lines or a story faux pas does not matter. Two wonderful portrayals of people who fall in love and must deal with heart breaking issues. They do it, they understand the "thing" their dealing with, and hopefully reach a better place in their lives. I "felt" their pain, sorrow, but most of all their happiness in finding each other when they needed someone the most. An A-. Full Review »