Mixed or average reviews - based on 28 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 12 out of 28
  2. Negative: 4 out of 28
  1. 83
    If you might wish the film got deeper under the skin of the characters, you also feel grateful for the fact that you'll never get closer to them than watching it.
User Score

Mixed or average reviews- based on 15 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 3 out of 5
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 5
  3. Negative: 2 out of 5
  1. Oct 18, 2010
    Who said that evil is banal? Banality is the problem with this film which is technically well-made and cast with mesmerizing actors--especially the young ones; the son and the girlfriend and the son's lover. What motivates
    the mother? Why is her behavior so far off balance? Julianne Moore may have done better with a more filled out characterization. When the film began I immediately thought of a far more effective characterization of a borderline personality--Nancy in the film, "Sid and Nancy." And the film seriously underplays what has happened to the son--until the devasting finale. The real son, who this character was based on, in life, showed extreme behavioral signals, not just the enuie and lassitude we see here.
    Full Review »
  2. MichaelH
    Apr 11, 2009
    Movie could've been great if not for several major flaws. Clocking in at around 90 minutes, it was way too short to instill any story and could've benefited from at least another half hour of development. The story is very disjoint and events and characters are forgotten as suddenly as they were introduced. The movie is basically just a series of powerful scenes, all independent of each other however. Julianne Moore also plays pretty much the same thing she always plays. Fairly disappointing. Full Review »
  3. JayH
    Sep 18, 2008
    Julianne Moore is terrific as always, stylish, perhaps too much so. The art direction and costumes are great. The main problem with the film is that none of the characters are appealing. But, it's worth watching. Full Review »