Generally favorable reviews - based on 16 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 15 out of 16
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 16
  3. Negative: 1 out of 16
  1. 100
    Aside from the effectiveness of Set Me Free as a coming-of-age story, it's also one of the most poetic avowals of love for movies that I've seen in years.
  2. 90
    Maintains a reflective, bittersweet tone that's almost tactile.
  3. 90
    Karine Vanasse, as the protagonist Hanna, is perfectly cast because she has the body of a woman and the sweet, sexless face of a child.
  4. Propelled by a captivating, wrenching performance by Karine Vanasse as Hanna, a 13-year-old girl adrift in a sea of powerful emotions in Montreal in 1963.
  5. Nicely acted and inflected, this is a very fresh piece of work.
  6. Reviewed by: Richard T. Jameson
    Blessedly free of candy-box prettiness, cloying gentility, and anything else that might dishonor its deeply felt, sensitively observed memoir.
  7. A challenging concept conveyed here most impressively onscreen.
  8. 75
    The movie gets a little confused toward the end, I think, as its writer and director, Lea Pool, tries to settle things that could have been left unresolved.
  9. Shows us a filmmaker, unafraid of her emotions, unafraid to mine her past, someone clear-eyed, non-egoistic, full of life and warmth.
  10. 75
    Tells its story so effectively through pictures it's barely necessary to read the subtitles.
  11. Stands apart from the trite conventions of most coming-of-age drama chiefly through the originality of Pool's approach and the honesty and conviction of Karine Vanasse's portrait of Hanna.
  12. 75
    A coming-of-age movie that stands apart from the rest.
  13. Exquisite and fragile in visuals and tone, yet has some difficulty with a choppy narrative.
  14. 70
    Spare and quietly heartbreaking, this French-Canadian feature uses a fine brush to depict a teenage girl in the midst of a quiet crisis.
  15. Reviewed by: Cary Darling
    Sports a cool, early '60s soundtrack of hit-radio pop. But, make no mistake, this is no "American Graffiti."
  16. A slice of life that adds up to exactly the sum of its parts, no more, no less.

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