Universal acclaim - based on 27 Critics What's this?

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Universal acclaim- based on 42 Ratings

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  • Starring: ,
  • Summary: A middle-aged London factory worker is shocked when the mixed-race daughter she gave up at birth decides to track her down. At first she denies she is her mother. All family members become emotional, as everyone's secrets are exposed.
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 26 out of 27
  2. Negative: 0 out of 27
  1. 100
    It moves us on a human level, it keeps us guessing during scenes as unpredictable as life, and it shows us how ordinary people have a chance of somehow coping with their problems, which are rather ordinary, too.
  2. 100
    Reveals itself detail by searing detail.
  3. Leigh goes right to the core of his character's lives and mines the place where we're weakest, most alone and sometimes the cruelest.
  4. Reviewed by: David Ansen
    The results are wondrous, wrenching and crazily funny to behold.
  5. Reviewed by: Sean Means
    Breathtaking, heartbreaking.
  6. Leigh has a gift for demonstrating character from the outside in.
  7. Reviewed by: Staff [not credited]
    Unquestionably a finely observed, deeply felt work, though with some nagging problems in pacing and structure.

See all 27 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 13 out of 13
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 13
  3. Negative: 0 out of 13
  1. ShaniceT
    Dec 2, 2006
    Phenomenal film! Brilliant screenplay, direction, and acting.
  2. Dec 31, 2010
    Mike Leigh reveals to us how secrets and lies can cause upset, pain, and regret in what has to be one of the best British films of all time. With spot-on dialogue and glorious performances it is hard to find fault with Leigh's masterpiece. Just when we thought Cynthia would live out the rest of her days as a worker in a banal factory, with her confrontational daughter Roxanne, she is thrown a life line in the form of Hortense, and we see their relationship flourish. Timothy Spall is also on top form as the glue that holds the family together. Expand
  3. Macky
    Oct 23, 2005
    The Best Movie I have ever seen, PERIOD! Unbelivable acting, great story, deeply moving. If you care about people more than special effects see this movie. Expand
  4. Oct 19, 2013
    I am a huge Mike Leigh fan and this is his crowning glory. I still remember the first time I saw it at the movies. I had the tears streaming down my face in several parts. The acting is incredible. The story really interesting. It's an I can't miss kind of film. I am baffled that anyone would give it a negative review unless of course the only type of film they like is violent or action adventure. This film is neither that's for sure. Expand
  5. PatC.
    Jun 11, 2007
    It's a struggle to follow this movie in the early going as it tracks two sets of characters who do not initially interact. Finally what is going on reveals itself. From then on, one is witness to an important story exceptionally well told. Upon reflection the accomplishment of this film is exemplary. The last line of spoken dialogue, filled with peace, is as perfect a masterpiece of closure as any ever committed to film. A must see for those who differentiate the best from the rest. Despite the difficult setup I cannot recommend it highly enough. Expand
  6. Mar 28, 2012
    The gearing up at the beginning of the film is slow while the cello and gray skies don't help much to break up the denseness. Secrets and Lies becomes more engrossing as it goes along. Terrific acting all the way really helps the vision. Reminds me a lot of "In the Bedroom" in that the sullen mood rarely lets go even when characters are smiling or laughing. Over all a quality film. Expand
  7. Aug 24, 2010
    Woman decides to trace her real mother after the death of her adoptive mother.
    Usual Mike Leigh affair with all the grit, tension & emotion
    you'd expect. Pretty well acted but thought it went a bit annoying towards the end. Thought the musical score was a bit lame too & didn't really fit. Expand

See all 13 User Reviews