Generally favorable reviews - based on 39 Critics What's this?

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Generally favorable reviews- based on 73 Ratings

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  • Starring: ,
  • Summary: Put in charge of his young son, Ali leaves Belgium for Antibes to live with his sister and her husband as a family. Ali's bond with Stephanie, a killer whale trainer, grows deeper after Stephanie suffers a horrible accident.
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 33 out of 39
  2. Negative: 1 out of 39
  1. Reviewed by: Ann Hornaday
    Dec 20, 2012
    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: Kevin Jagernauth
    Nov 21, 2012
    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.
  3. Reviewed by: James Rocchi
    Nov 21, 2012
    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.
  4. Reviewed by: Mick LaSalle
    Dec 20, 2012
    A tough movie about tough people for a tough audience. So prepare to get roughed up a little.
  5. Dec 6, 2012
    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.
  6. Reviewed by: Peter Rainer
    Dec 7, 2012
    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.
  7. Reviewed by: Melissa Anderson
    Nov 20, 2012
    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.

See all 39 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 20 out of 22
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 22
  3. Negative: 2 out of 22
  1. Nov 23, 2012
    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. Expand
  2. Dec 20, 2012
    The film is a powerhouse. The emotions it portrays and arouses are raw. The pile-up of bad luck disasters might strain credulity were it not for the performances by Cotillard and Schoenarts, She will win most kudos because she must act with prosthetic limbs, but it's his work that really is remarkable. He is a man who continually disappoints and redeems himself--it's brilliant work. Expand
  3. Jan 15, 2014
    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. Expand
  4. Dec 1, 2012
    Marion Cotillard shine on entertaining Rust and Bone. Compelling, emotional and funny although the subject is serious. Losing legs doesn't mean losing vagina, the movie tell us the basic rule of sincerity with hilarious way. Expand
  5. Nov 24, 2012
    The reflexive response while watching this film is an over-stressed anguish-stricken tone which could be elicited from another French-speaking melodrama OUR CHILDREN (2012, 7/10), a thrilling familial calamity engendered by the neglectful repercussions of a mother's puerperal melancholia from director Joachim Lafosse, which has been named as Belgium's entry of the upcoming Oscar season, while RUST AND BONE ruefully missed the quota from France (the 2011 box office monolith THE INTOUCHABLES, 8/10, surprisingly nabbed the opportunity, which is very auspicious to be nominated among the final five). As the masterly Jacques Audiard's follow-up after the awards-sweeping A PROPHET (2009, 9/10), a riveting prison drama about a rookie Arab's staggering ascendency as the big wheel among the confronting mafias, which heralds the prime period of his career, RUST AND BONE has inherited the narrative's forceful impetus, with staples like altercations, violence (the brutal black market boxing), accidental tragedies and post-trauma syndrome successively strike throughout the main characters' lives and being graphically thrust in front of viewer's retinae, sparking off a quite sophisticated bitterness with certain quantity of compassion. From BULLHEAD (2011, 8/10), a hefty Matthias Schoenaerts proceeds on adroitly with his rough diamond bearing, and utterly radiates his masculinity with his hunky stud physique, seamlessly accomplishes his (rite-of-passage) portrayal of a blood-thirsting but benevolent, playing-the-field but innocent, sometimes irresponsible but ultimately devoting single father with a 5-year-old son; so to speak for the Oscar-winner Marion Cotillard, as the co-lead, a orca-trainer lost her legs during a live-show, thanks to a praiseworthy green screen capture technique and Audiard's deliberate generosity which gives her prolonged lingering close-ups to refract a rehabilitating journey of a despondent heart; Cotillard is almost impeccable in carefully moulding her role's nuanced yet protean traits (please sticking to your mother tongue instead of meddling with American hot stuffs). Although this time, the character is much thinner than her Oscar-snatching one-man show LA VIE EN ROSE (2007, 8/10), Cotillard's chance of a second nomination is quite possible (currently she is my No.4 of the year), but for Mr. Schoenaerts (my No. 2 of the year notwithstanding), his competition will be much more portentous (a lower repute does hurt). By and large, the film is far less intriguing than A PROPHET, there are some palpable (tedious) moments which one may sense the camera really overstays its welcome (e.g. the drama between the brother and sister is awfully cliche), since the script adapted by Craig Davidson's original novel is quite straightforward, it replies too much on the emotional curves of the two leads (in spite of the superb performances) when grappling with their debacles in life to propel the film through its pleasing ending, which is a blunt maneuvre judging by Audiard's talent. But in another way, there are remarkable and mesmerising shots aplenty (a great Steadicam work from DP Stéphane Fontaine), the scenes of Marion and orca re-connecting alone are beyond any ineffable beauty a film could present. Last but not the least Alexandre Desplat's original score has its subtle but competent existence which hones up the film's many theatrical episodes (the ice surface rescue part, to wit). Expand
  6. Dec 8, 2012
    Cotillard and Matthias are two of my favorite actors, so I was looking forward to this film. It delivers on many levels - the visuals are incredible, to say the least. The blunt, animalistic nature of Ali turns out to be the perfect antidote to the recently disabled orca wrangler, which is inspiring. But the Ali's extreme selfishness and lack of regard for his son was a bit over-the-top, and it detracted from the effectiveness of the film as a whole. It was so extreme as to border on the unbelievable. Perhaps the filmmakers could have dwelt a bit more on the circumstances through which the boy's mother left the picture and the fighter's response to it. Cotillard is SO effective in her role that she makes up the film's broader shortcomings. I got the sense that the film could have been so much more with the talent behind it. Expand
  7. May 17, 2013
    The premise of the film was certainly ambitious. Not sure I can remember a movie attempting to cover so much ground. Perhaps that was the problem, as little effort was made to develop the characters or, perhaps they were just all rather depressing, pitiful and flat. The story is somewhat dark, gritty and largely unredeeming. Save your money. Expand

See all 22 User Reviews