Metascore
73

Generally favorable reviews - based on 39 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 33 out of 39
  2. Negative: 1 out of 39
  1. Reviewed by: Ann Hornaday
    Dec 20, 2012
    100
    Turns out to be one of the most transportingly romantic movies of the year, one that finds the most stirring emotion in struggle rather than in ginned-up melodrama or easy resolution.
  2. Reviewed by: Steven Rea
    Dec 20, 2012
    100
    The narrative at the heart of Rust and Bone is a vehicle for sentiment and over-the-top histrionics if ever there was one, but Audiard and his two stars deliver the exact opposite: a film thrillingly raw and essential, life-affirming, sublime.
  3. Reviewed by: Kenneth Turan
    Dec 6, 2012
    100
    Romantic but pitiless, fearlessly emotional as well as edgy, Rust and Bone is a powerhouse.
  4. Reviewed by: Andrew O'Hehir
    Nov 23, 2012
    100
    One of the year's best films precisely because it can't be boiled down to a message or synopsis. It's an exercise in style that risks trashiness in search of transcendence, and it's a sizzling celebration of the power of music, the power of images, and the electric, destructive power of the human body.
  5. Reviewed by: Kevin Jagernauth
    Nov 21, 2012
    91
    By the picture's knotty finale, in which Audiard navigates a late-stage twist with ease and emotion, you know you are in the hands of a master who is directing with the confidence and command that few possess.
  6. Reviewed by: Anthony Lane
    Nov 26, 2012
    90
    Rust and Bone might as well be called "Water and Light"; it glitters and flares with the urge to renew those things - limbs, knuckles, lovemaking, and parental bonds - which are easily fractured and lost.
  7. Reviewed by: A.O. Scott
    Nov 23, 2012
    90
    Rust and Bone is a strong, emotionally replete experience, and also a tour de force of directorial button pushing. Mr. Audiard is a canny showman, adept at manipulating the audience's feelings and expectations with quick edits and well-chosen songs.
  8. Reviewed by: Stephanie Zacharek
    Nov 23, 2012
    90
    Jacques Audiard's Rust and Bone is an unapologetic melodrama rendered in what you might call semi-stylized neo-expressionistic realism, and it works like gangbusters.
  9. Reviewed by: James Rocchi
    Nov 21, 2012
    90
    What Audiard has created here is nothing less than the rare combination of high art and beautiful filmmaking with visceral power and gut-level emotional reality - it's like a symphony of fists, or a brutal assault by angels.
  10. Reviewed by: Lorien Haynes
    Sep 12, 2012
    90
    Physically it is a kick in the teeth, a depiction of poverty, sex and violence which crosses most known codes of acceptability.
  11. Reviewed by: Calvin Wilson
    Jan 11, 2013
    88
    A film that's all the more intriguing for being virtually impossible to categorize.
  12. Reviewed by: Stan Hall
    Jan 10, 2013
    83
    Audiard's craft is still arresting, and the film hums with beauty, vigor and blood.
  13. Reviewed by: Eric Kohn
    Nov 23, 2012
    83
    While its main characters are tough-minded, Rust and Bone is itself pure heart.
  14. Reviewed by: Bill Goodykoontz
    Dec 20, 2012
    80
    A satisfying story of yearning and, eventually, satisfaction.
  15. Reviewed by: David Fear
    Nov 20, 2012
    80
    Lyrical touches and the most moving use ever of Katy Perry's "Firework" almost cancel out a cheap-shot third-act tragedy, yet it's the actors that save the film from soaping itself into Euro-miserablist irrelevance.
  16. Reviewed by: Peter Bradshaw
    Sep 12, 2012
    80
    What could have been simply bizarre, sentimental or contrived here becomes an utterly absorbing love story.
  17. Reviewed by: Richard Corliss
    Sep 12, 2012
    80
    Sometimes engrossing, sometimes exasperating romance. In these scenes, Cotillard shows she doesn't need the validation of Cannes or the Academy. Her strong, subtle performance is gloriously winning on its own.
  18. Reviewed by: Marjorie Baumgarten
    Jan 23, 2013
    78
    The filmmaker has created a haunting movie, one that connects on a visceral level that defies easy explication. The unembellished performances by Cotillard and Schoenaerts exude a raw authenticity that anchor the film's grander melodrama and embed the characters in the viewer's memory.
  19. Reviewed by: Rick Groen
    Dec 20, 2012
    75
    By turns brutal and tender, Rust and Bone is a bullet train of heightened melodrama that refuses to derail.
  20. Reviewed by: Mick LaSalle
    Dec 20, 2012
    75
    A tough movie about tough people for a tough audience. So prepare to get roughed up a little.
  21. Reviewed by: Ty Burr
    Dec 20, 2012
    75
    The leads save it, particularly Cotillard, who once again subverts her own glamour with ferocious lack of ego. The movie itself only occasionally matches her intensity.
  22. Reviewed by: Peter Travers
    Nov 20, 2012
    75
    Writer-director Jacques Audiard (A Prophet) probes the psyches of two people in crisis. His hypnotic film means to shake you, and does. Schoenaerts reveals unexpected layers in Ali. And Cotillard delivers a tour de force of unleashed emotions. She's astonishing.
  23. Reviewed by: Mike D'Angelo
    Sep 12, 2012
    75
    Both actors are tremendous - especially Schoenaerts.
  24. Dec 6, 2012
    70
    Rust and Bone is a movie about letting go of shame and making way for the advent of pleasure. Let that be your guide to watching it as well.
  25. 70
    Rust and Bone doesn't come together, but it's a triumph of non-actorish acting.
  26. Reviewed by: Todd McCarthy
    Sep 12, 2012
    70
    Absorbing if somewhat predictable in its dramatic trajectory, Jacques Audiard's follow-up to his powerhouse prison yarn "A Prophet" benefits from unvarnished, forthright performances from Marion Cotillard and Bullhead hunk Matthias Schoenaerts, as well as from the utterly convincing representation of the former's paraplegic state.
  27. Reviewed by: Peter Debruge
    Sep 12, 2012
    70
    A tender yet heavily de-romanticized love story between a boxer with broken hands and an orca trainer with missing legs, Rust and Bone serves as an impressive if somewhat overblown exercise in contrasts.
  28. Reviewed by: Peter Rainer
    Dec 7, 2012
    67
    Rust and Bone is made by filmmakers and actors who are capable of much more – and they know it. The result is a true oddity: an orgy of hokum dressed up as an art film.
  29. Reviewed by: Roger Moore
    Jan 30, 2013
    63
    Rust and Bone doesn't earn the ending it delivers.
  30. Reviewed by: Connie Ogle
    Jan 11, 2013
    63
    The movie wanders off course in the final act, as if none of its three screenwriters could quite figure out how to end it.
  31. Reviewed by: Claudia Puig
    Dec 6, 2012
    63
    This gritty examination of physical and psychological wounds offers a superb performance by Marion Cotillard, who speaks volumes with her eyes, and a less convincing one by her lead co-star.
  32. Reviewed by: Rex Reed
    Nov 20, 2012
    63
    Proving again that her Best Actress Academy Award for playing Edith Piaf in "La Vie en Rose" was no fluke, the marvellously sensual Marion Cotillard, with her wounded doe eyes and look of permanent unfulfilled longing, delivers another kidney punch as a double amputee in love with an illegal bare-knuckle fighter in the French shocker Rust and Bone.
  33. Reviewed by: Jesse Cataldo
    Nov 16, 2012
    63
    It runs a complicated bait and switch on its audience, passing ostensible exploitation fodder through a high-toned prestige filter.
  34. Reviewed by: Mike Scott
    Jan 18, 2013
    60
    Rust and Bone is somber and gritty if nothing else, a movie that takes itself very, very seriously, even as it struggles at times to find its focus.
  35. Reviewed by: Joe Morgenstern
    Dec 6, 2012
    50
    Why are certain films less than the sum of their appealing parts?
  36. Reviewed by: Kyle Smith
    Nov 21, 2012
    50
    The visual effects are amazing, but they don't make up for acting that is restrained to an uninsightful fault.
  37. Reviewed by: Owen Gleiberman
    Nov 20, 2012
    50
    Cotillard, with stringy long hair and a coal fire of severity in her eyes, has what it takes to play a woman who feels that she's lost everything. But she's forced to flail and mood-swing from scene to scene. In an insult to the disabled, there is never much to her but her hellacious injury.
  38. Reviewed by: Joe Neumaier
    Nov 23, 2012
    40
    Though Rust and Bone aims for a blasé attitude toward disabled drama - in a far more artificial way than another French film, "The Intouchables," did earlier this year - it's underwritten characters and hoary approach plunk it into mediocrity. As wheelchair-bound Stephanie practices her whale-training motions to Katy Perry's "Firework," it's eye-rollingly obvious.
  39. Reviewed by: Melissa Anderson
    Nov 20, 2012
    30
    Audiard himself might have benefited from a simple reminder of left from right; his rudderless film confuses a pileup of preposterous, sentimental scenarios with genuine emotion.
User Score
7.8

Generally favorable reviews- based on 69 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 19 out of 21
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 21
  3. Negative: 2 out of 21
  1. Nov 23, 2012
    10
    Just beautiful! Marion Cotillard really excels in expressing feelings with the less word possible. Audiard mixes love, sex and brutality like it's actually a natural thing. This drama is so down to earth and well acted that you accept every aspect of Ali & Staphanie's tough personality, even if they are not very lovable. They don't try to make you love them, they just tell a story with it's simplicity and all of it's complexity at the same time. Another Audiard and Cotillard home run. Full Review »
  2. Dec 3, 2012
    9
    fascinating, poignant and spectacular life message, Rust and Bone plays with the lives of these people in a way enigmatic, offer to a Marion Cotillard providing her best performance from La Môme. Full Review »
  3. Jan 15, 2014
    9
    Rust and Bone is a brilliant movie, nothing like I have seen before. It is amazing how this film manage to show so much with little things, and those are a father with a son in need, a woman with an uncommon job and a dysfunctional love relationship. The director also apply small camera shots and low lighting, in order to demonstrate in a better way the emotions of the characters and the cruelty of the reality. The idea of the story is to exhibit Ali, a man that suddenly becomes in charge of his son, but the thing is that he does not know how to do it. When he or his son gets hungry, he looks for food scraps or steals from a store. If he needs money, he works in whatever it takes, no matter if other people get hurt. And when he is angry or stressed, he goes to a fight club. The protagonist is like an animal, does what he wants when he wants. So out of nowhere, he meets Stephanie, a killer whale trainer. And as the same as her whales, she will train Ali to face the world correctly. That is why he is rust, like a metal that cannot withstand the environment. And he needs to become bone, like Stephanie, that resists every obstacle in life. The most overwhelming part is the scene after the accident when she is on the rooftop of her building, practicing the old routine with the killer whales. You can notice that when she raises her arms, her eyes reflect an ineffable feeling of nostalgia, but with a willing of fighting. Full Review »